The World Wide Web and it's evolution

My Project Two Toastmaster speech

This is my Project Two Toastmaster speech delivered on the 19th of October 2011... Thought I would post it while getting ready for my Project Three Speech.

"Last evening, my mother called me and asked if I had seen the election violence on the web. But 20 years ago a web would have meant something she swept off the wall.

Fellow Toastmasters, Mr. Toastmaster and Dear guests, Good Evening!

As you may have realized, I will be talking to you about the World Wide Web and its evolution.

The World Wide Web is usually known by its numeronym W3. The father of evolution, Charles Darwin needed to go on a five-year sea voyage and many years of research to publish his theory. Unfortunately for him, he did not have the luxury of using the Web.

So, as I started out on my research for the evolution of the Web, where did I turn to? Obviously to the Web. The year was 1990 and a physicist by the name of Tim Berners-Lee came up with the concept of the Web. It caught on like fire. Today it is accessed by astronauts in space and by our kids who are still in their nappies.

As I talk to you about the evolution of the web, I will touch on Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web.

In the year 1970, Sir Arthur C Clarke, a very popular Science Fiction writer predicted the advent of the web. Not even 20 years later Web 1.0 was born and it was not science fiction. It was reality. Sir Tim Berners-Lee debuted the World Wide Web to the public on the internet on the 6th of August 1991. Interestingly, The first Web Server was a NeXT computer built by the late Steve Jobs. The web was out there in the wild. But only text and no graphics.

In 1993, the Mosiac browser allowed content authors to mix text and graphics. This is the point where the Web turned from being a tool for the brainy guys to being an information source for the masses.

The evolution of the Web continued with the introduction of HTML standards 2.0 to 4.0 from 1993 to 1996. During this time browsers such as Netscape, Opera and Internet Explorer were introduced in that order. Cookies, Javascript and SSL were introduced during the same period.

In 1997, Flash and CSS 2.0 were introduced and in 1999 began the BIG dot com boom. 2001 saw that bubble burst with some billionaires becoming beggars.

Though people were thereafter cautious about investing in the Web, the Web grew at a massive pace. In 2003, the Safari Browser was introduced and was soon after followed by Firefox.

Though the Web was growing I was not content to be a passive viewer. I wanted to get in the game and have my voice heard on the internet. I could have started out with

But this was overkill since the era of web 2.0 had already begun. I had my own blog in 1999 where I wrote what I wanted. Like what I had for dinner last night. I was on Facebook in 2006 where I met my friends in a virtual lounge and blocked the ones I didn't like. I shared videos of my life on YouTube in 2007 and saw some spooky ones as well.

With Web 2.0, viewers such as you and me had turned to contributors and editors. The World of the Web had turned topsy turvy once again.

The web is synonymous with another name and that is Google. The search giant got in on the game of Web Browsers and came up with Google Chrome in 2008. Around the same time, HTML 5 was introduced and it promises a world of wonders today. In 2011, to top it all, Google released an OS solely dependent on the Web.

But it gets even more interesting with the Semantic Web which is coined as Web 3.0. Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 were created for human consumption. Great User interface designs, cool graphics and the works to make each and every website better than the last. But this brought in the issue of indexing the data and making it machine understandable.

In a nutshell, the Semantic Web needs to bridge this gap where a machine will understand the contents on the Web. In the future we wouldn't need to search for a keyword on Google, rather Google will learn about our culture, religion and preferences and start making suggestions to us.

Web 3.0 is yet a more futuristic term and is very speculative. But the last 20 years of rapid development have shown us where we are heading and that science fiction is now a reality in our homes and on our phones. Maybe very soon it will be embedded in our bodies as well.

Still we talk again, Happy Browsing.

Thank you."

This article was originally written on Google's Blogger platform and ported to Hashnode on 17 Sep 2022.