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It was 15 years ago that the web became free thanks to the visionary leadership of computer guru and web-inventor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee.  The open-source technical documents, that he and other developers posted, liberated web tech from obscure compsci labs and released it out into the open. 8.5 Billion pages later, the World Wide Web continues to grow both in size and in its integration into our daily lives.

Interesting Web Statistics

•    Number of years each took to reach 50 million users
Radio – 38 years
TV – 13 years
Cable – 10 years
Internet – 5 years
•    The average person each month usually visits 59 domains, views 1,050 pages averaging 45 seconds for each page and spend about 25 hours a month doing this! Each surfing session lasts approximately 51 minutes
•    The estimated number of Internet users in the world for March 31, 2008 is 1,355,110,631 – 1/5 of World Population
•    Affiliate Marketing is expected to grow to over $ 230 Billion in 2008.
•    In 2007 More than 281 Exabytes of data was created, captured or replicated. (It would take more than 280 Billion iPod Shuffles to store all that data.)
•    The compound annual growth rate is expected to be almost 60 percent.

Here is what the web visionaries had to say to the bbc about the Web, and what we might expect in the next 15 years.

“The future is always in the past and for the web particularly. In a hundred years, 15 years will seem to be just the infancy of the web, when the semantic web wasn’t even completely deployed… What’s exciting is that people are building new social systems, new systems of review, new systems of governance. My hope is that those will produce… new ways of working together effectively and fairly which we can use globally to manage ourselves as a planet. “ – Sir Tim Berners-Lee

“We mustn’t forget we chose the name WWW before there was even one line of code written. We could do that because the internet as an infrastructure was already there.
Either we were going to fall on our faces or we would have something that would be truly worldwide. There was nothing in between. In much less than 15 years I think we need to figure out what the social impact is going to be of the Semantic web. I am not sure this is a good thing. I don’t know who is controlling it. And because it works by ontologies, who decides on what basis I am going to see things? “
Robert Cailliau worked on the development of the web with Sir Tim Berners-Lee at Cern.

“What we are really building is a global brand where all the computers in the world are connected, where all the devices in the world are connected, sometimes intermittently off and on, and all the people are connected. This is going to be a very different thing. It’s ironic that back in the 70s there was all this talk about global consciousness, ‘blah blah blah’, and it really is going to happen. Except it’s going to happen mediated by computers. We are connected now to this network of devices and computers and they augment our intelligence and our ability to share, to communicate, and we as a culture are changing as a result. It’s the most profound change since the advent of literacy. And it’s bigger than the industrial revolution. We are on the front of a new renaissance; and that doesn’t mean all good things, there could be a lot of bad things there too.”
-Tim O’Reilly

“The estimate is that 80% of all content now generated on our databases in our computers is user generated and only 20% is enterprise. So how are we going to manage that tsunami, that overwhelming avalanche of information? …The future is the Semantic web, or web 3.0. Rather than at the moment what you have to do is do some smart searching, and integrate through a lot of documents that are offered up to you, Web 3.0 will be able to do a lot of that information brokering for you.”
–    Nigel Shadbolt

“But the reason it is exciting is that it makes these connections so much easier. Some of them are educational, some of them are entertainment but they are the things that make human life worth living. In 15 years the web will be everywhere; in ways we don’t know”
–    Mitchell Baker

“It’s is going to become a very refined electronic community and a set of communities that will operate at many different levels; individual interests as well as broad social efforts. You’ve seen a lot of that take place in the American elections that are gong to be taking place later this year. All the candidates have become very effective at being able to use the web as a way to both communicate and connect with their communities.”
Mark Bernstein

“Everything is moving so fast. If you look at what I am doing with my cell phone now, transmitting live video around the world, that’s really different from just five months ago.
It’s even going on with Twitter. There is a new tweet coming into my account every 15 seconds and 15 years from now what’s that going to feel like? You are going to be able to do a lot more than 140 character messages. I will be Twittered out by then but there will be something new that comes along that will let me communicate with other people and that is what the web is all about ultimately. “
Robert Scoble

Sounds good to me! Time to celebrate by playing Mario Kart online while I simultaneously “twitter” with my cellphone, watch The Office on my PC, and stream music on my Macbook. Whew!

Comments

11 thoughts on “Happy Birthday World Wide Web
  1. Mike Block says:

    These are some unbelievable numbers. To think that this is still the “infancy of the web” is mind-boggling considering how much progress has been made in 1 years.

  2. Ryan says:

    It’s pretty much impossible to imagen the world without internet. Crazy stuff!

  3. D-Train says:

    The time it took me to read this extremely long blog just shot the average time per page from 45 sec. up to 18mins. Also…no. That is all.

  4. Amanda Moshier says:

    Dear Ed,

    Please ask the Magic 8 Ball what part of that 230 bil is ours…

  5. Scott says:

    Amanda,

    the short answer is…all of it!

  6. Kevin says:

    The Semantic Web, from wiki:

    “Humans are capable of using the Web to carry out tasks such as finding the Finnish word for “cat”, reserving a library book, and searching for a low price on a DVD. However, a computer cannot accomplish the same tasks without human direction because web pages are designed to be read by people, not machines. The semantic web is a vision of information that is understandable by computers, so that they can perform more of the tedious work involved in finding, sharing and combining information on the web.”

  7. D-Train says:

    Nerd, from Wiki:

    Kevin.

  8. edwin says:

    This post has lost its bearings.

  9. Jason says:

    I want to see the viewing stats for the chans.

  10. Al Gore says:

    I made the internet, what are you guys talking about?

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