The World Wide Web turns 30: A look back at the good, bad and the ugly
The World Wide Web turned 30 years old this month, and like any Millennial entering their third decade, there were plenty of cringeworthy moments along the way. While the growth of widespread connectivity has undoubtedly helped change our day-to-day reality since it was invented in 1989, even the Web’s “parents” are uneasy about some of the changes.
In an open letter from the World Wide Web Foundation published on March 12, Tim Berners-Lee, whose original “Information Management: A Proposal” is considered the brainchild for the internet as we know it, warns about the unforeseen dangers that have come about over the past 30 years.
“While the web has created opportunity, given marginalized groups a voice, and made our daily lives easier, it has also created opportunity for scammers, given a voice to those who spread hatred, and made all kinds of crime easier to commit,” the letter reads.
But Berners-Lee doesn’t view the future of the Web through the lens of doom and gloom that often accompanies headlines about an increasingly connected world. While there have of course been bad actors that have taken advantage of social networking and cybercrime, the growth of connectivity has had an extremely positive impact on how enterprises operate.
Today, companies are able to leverage connectivity to a greater extent than ever before to make their businesses more agile, their workers more flexible and ultimately streamline budgets across the board. Companies are no longer confined to a central office or tethered to a hardware-based network infrastructure if they wish to connect to teams remotely. Instead, the economy is based around companies that have successfully used the internet to break down virtually all communication and geographical barriers to business, creating a more dynamic and competitive global economy.
In the letter, Berners-Lee went on to urge governments, companies and citizens to ensure that “everyone contributes to a Web that drives equality, opportunity and creativity,” seeing continued growth for his “brainchild” as a force for positive change in the years to come.
How can enterprises contribute?
For starters, making sure that teams are able to use the internet safely and effectively is critical. To do so, enterprise IT teams need to prioritize comprehensive network performance monitoring that sees into all corners of the network -- from the direct internet access (DIA) app delivery paths to the private LANs that live at the edge of the enterprise network, supporting remote workers.
An effective solution like AppNeta can help teams safely connect over the Web or via legacy network architectures to ensure that end users are getting the performance out of their web tools that they need. This, in turn, helps teams discover new and innovative ways to leverage connectivity for years to come.
All that said, a big thank you to the World Wide Web for giving us a place to connect, work and to view puppies on demand.