Happy birthday, Internet Web. Twenty years ago, Tim Berners-Lee taught the world to play with the web. That’s right – the world’s first website, a placeholder page written by Sir Berners-Lee way back on August 6, 1991 in the then-nascent Hypertext Mark-Up Language, is celebrating its 20th birthday today.
In order to celebrate the creation of this page by Berners-Lee, it has been mirrored to allow a glimpse into the Internet as it appeared in 1991. It serves as an important reminder for all that the Internet has achieved, as well as all it has done.
In the past two decades, the Internet evolved to its present state. Online banking, video sharing and gaming were ideas that may never have been envisioned when the world wide web became a reality. The web has played a part in capturing criminals, both in the act and in years afterwards. The web has also helped in some ‘regime changes’, with citizens making their voice heard to the world on a medium in which everyone is equal, theoretically. We’ve seen empires rise and fall, the dissolution of the line between public and private, and the end of enforceable copyright. We’ve seen new modes of communication drive out unwanted regimes at home and abroad and we’ve heard the endless howl of a million voices calling out at once, most of them in comments on this site.
In the space of roughly nine years, it was estimated that the Internet had exceeded nine billion webpages. This monumental moment was reached around 2000. Using WorldWideWebSize, the current size of the Internet is roughly around 17.91 billion pages. Considering that it took nine years for the first billion pages to be achieved, and in the space of eleven years afterwards this figure expanded more than seventeen times, it is clear the Internet is only going to grow until something else phases it out or pushes it to extinction.
The original page is mirrored here and it’s a fascinating look at the seed crystal that catalyzed change to the world as we knew it in those heady pre-Internet days. Also porn.