From the Archives: Photo of the First Web Server

Many of you may have seen this before, but since it’s always good to know your history, here’s a photo purporting to be of the first web server, a NeXT workstation belonging to Sir Tim Berners-Lee when he worked at CERN creating what would become the World Wide Web (found via @jasonhiner). If nothing else, it shows how stunningly boring the detritus of our digital history is (yes, this is a value judgment coming from the woman who really enjoyed poking around in a collection of old processors). When our civilization collapses, and they find the thousands of black boxes (and blades) that once stored our memes and social interactions, what will they make of our culture? Perhaps we should be printing out LOLCats on archival paper?

800px-First_Web_Server

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

It’s Not Just the Data, But What You Do With It

[qi:100] For the longest time, I have had an unshaken belief in the Internet’s core truth: It is a vast repository of data that can be tapped to build interesting, and perhaps exciting, experiences. In other words, it is not just the data, but what you really do with it — something that was brought home this weekend with this TED talk by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who invented the web. (See his presentation.)

In his presentation, he urged the attendees to think about information and how it could be linked to create a web of data. “Data is relationships,” he said. Relationships give meaning and context to that data. Data, which comes in different forms, is essentially the underpinning of the next web, he said. Read More about It’s Not Just the Data, But What You Do With It

Highlights from TED: Tim Berners-Lee, Pattie Maes, Jacek Utko

We’re now more than halfway through the 2009 TED Conference, the thought-provoking gathering of innovative and multidisciplinary presenters. While some of the talks — on topics like reducing environmental impact in carpet tiles and addressing the crushing pressure creative people feel — fall outside of the GigaOM realm, a few have struck me as very relevant for this audience. Read More about Highlights from TED: Tim Berners-Lee, Pattie Maes, Jacek Utko

What Is the Future of the Web?

Is Net Neutrality essential for democracy? What role will AI have in the future of the web? What will Web 4.0 look like? On June 11, in an attempt to answer these and other questions, Tim Berners-Lee and other leading web authorities will gather at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., for an old-fashioned debate with a social media twist: The content of the debate will be collaboratively created by web users, who can submit questions and promote them through a user-based ranking system similar to Digg. The most popular questions will form the basis of the debate, which will be webcast live. Viewers will also be able to interact with the panelists by submitting questions and comments in real time. For more details about this interactive event, plus instructions on how to submit and rank questions, go here.