30 Years of the Public World Wide Web

photo of original IBM PC: keyboard, CPU, and monitor

Flipboard has curated a collection of articles to celebrate the arrival of the internet 30 years ago.

Do you remember your first experiences with the internet? I remember joining CompuServe. As I remember it, the service was a huge conglomeration of text links. With our membership information packet, we got a huge fold-out paper menu that we taped to the wall—and it took up the whole wall—near the computer. It listed the nested hierarchy of how to navigate to whatever information you were interested in. It sounds unwieldy now, but back then it seemed like heaven to someone who loved research more than just about anything else. 

One of the most interesting sites to me among those linked on the Flipboard introductory page is Websites at 30 – how much has the internet changed?

I started my own web site, featuring book reviews, some time in the late 1990s. It started out on GeoCities, where anyone could register and put up a free site. GeoCities was eventually taken over by Yahoo!, who tried to take over copyright ownership of everything everybody published on their sites. That move drove most members, including me, to move to paid hosting services. The need to pay to put up and maintain a web site in order to keep copyright ownership of the content significantly changed the internet, as most people who produced hobby-centered content chose not to pay to keep their sites. 

Here’s another article about the evolution of the world wide web:

He predicted the dark side of the Internet 30 years ago. Why did no one listen?

How About You?

I’d love to hear about your memories of your first experiences with the internet.

© 2021 by Mary Daniels Brown

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