ON Magazine

Happy Birthday to My Friend, the Web! #20Years

Happy Birthday! The web is something that many of us take for granted now. We don’t even think twice about popping open a browser page and reading about the latest news, weather, sports, fitness, parenting, or whatever our passion. If you can think of it - chances are good that you can find it on the web. In fact, I’d be curious as to what there might be anymore that you can’t find on the web.

I have always been fascinated by the web. I remember the stars in my eyes the first time I was able to search on something and find information about that topic from people and sources I’d never even heard of before. It was amazing! And for me, it still is.

 ON MagazineThat’s why I found the current issue of ON Magazine to be fascinating! You see, the entire issue is focused on the web and its 20th birthday!  Many of us, in fact, here at EMC have found this issue to be one that resonates deeply with us. Our Blogging Corps has each been taking a turn in sharing our own thoughts on the questions posed by ON Magazine. I was tagged by fellow blogger and EMCer David Spencer, so here are my thoughts…

 

How has the web changed my life?

I can’t even begin to list all of the ways that the web has changed my life. I’m on the web every single day. It’s hard to imagine a day without it, to be honest.  Does that qualify as an addiction?

The first obvious thing that comes to mind is the fact that I have chosen a career focused on the web. Every single day I use the web to communicate with others, both inside and outside of EMC, about what I’m working on. Part of my responsibility is to be on the social web, to understand it, and to teach others how to use it while also developing best practices, use cases, and guidelines for participation that help people to understand how to use it to represent EMC well.

Stargate SG-1 The second thing that comes to mind is the ease with which I can access information. As a Stargate SG-1 fan, I like Chris Brogan’s analogy of “gate jumping” in this issue. The web allows me to jump around and view what I’m interested in, for as long as I’m interested in it and then move along and check out the next thing. As I said before – you can search on and find information on just about anything you can possibly think of. I don’t have phone books in my house any longer because I look everything up on the web. I watch news, TV shows, and movies on the web. I have even sold some (not all because some books I still love to hold in my hands while reading them) of my books that are available on the web. Every one of my research papers for my MBA had more web resources sited that physical books and periodicals. I even turned in my papers for my degree online.

I’m trying to find a facet of my life that the web doesn’t touch these days…We planned our wedding in Maui online down to the very last item. We shopped for our condo online, researched neighborhoods and communities online, even applied for our mortgage online – I never even met our mortgage broker in person. I shopped for my car online, and car insurance and a local dealer near where I lived for service. I print grocery coupons from online, and view the weekly sales ads online. I subscribe to newsletters that I’m interested in online and receive them via email. I share photos, videos and updates with colleagues and our family online. If I’m presenting at an event, my family can often view it online as though they were there. I even design and order our holiday cards online.

How has the web changed business and society?

In addition to all of the above examples of information accessibility which have certainly impacted business and society in general, there are businesses around now that are strictly online. They don’t even have a physical office that people go in to every day – business is conducted remotely via email, web meetings, phone calls, and even telepresence. Tools like Skype allow me to view and chat with anyone in the world with an internet connection and an account for free, which is still an amazing concept to me.

The web, and particularly the social web, has enabled businesses to connect with companies and individuals like never before. The possibilities for sharing and gathering information are immeasurable. Listening in the social web enables us to be that “fly on the wall” we’ve all wished we could be at one time or another when looking for feedback on our companies and products. The social web enables us to send messages far and wide for very little investment (generally only someone’s time) in such a viral nature that we’ve still not fully harnessed how far our reach is with such social platforms.

Worldmap The web has connected the world and made it much flatter and enabled worldwide collaboration in ways that we might never have imagined 20 years ago. I can talk to anyone, anywhere, at any time, many of whom I’d have never had an opportunity to meet, had it not been for the web.  

What do I think the web will look like in twenty years?

It’s hard to say for sure…but I think buzz words like social media, Web 2.0, Web 3.0, social web will be long gone. There will be no need to define it that way because it will already be that way, and will have been for a long time…

Kids coming of age now have already always had the web all of their lives. They think it’s the norm. Imagine how it will be in another 20 years – the children coming of age in 20 years will have always had the social web and conversations and interactions that are still new to many.

I think too that the notion of websites will likely go away – content will be served up more based on individual user preferences. It will be like an uber personal landing page experience or something like that.

The web as we know it today will likely be unrecognizable in twenty years, it will have evolved and changed so much. But, imagine the possibilities….Just too cool! I can’t wait!

I've tagged Christine Christopherson to carry on the topic.

So, what about you - What do you think the web will look like in twenty years?

 

Check out the other blogs on this topic:

Barry Burke - #20years of the web, as seen by the storage anarchist

Christine Christopherson - The Web at 20…looking good, kid!

David Spencer - The web at #20years old

Edward Newman - The Web at 20!

Gina Minks - The web has been around for #20years (and I’ve been around for 14 of them)

Kathrin Winkler - The Web and the World

Len Devanna - Celebrating 20 Years of Web

Natalie Corridan-Gregg - Internet is 20 years old. Ah, to be twenty years old again!

Stuart Miniman - Imagine the Web in 20 Years & Celebrating the Web at 20

Yo Delmar - The Web is 20 years old, what now in the next 20?



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