Wednesday, May 01, 2013

A Humble Beginning 

This is the first web site ever created.  CERN, the European science agency, has restored it in honor of the 20th anniversary of the web.  Twenty years...  It seems longer than that, probably because the web has toppled nearly every other form of media in becoming the communications medium of the earth.  No one would have guessed from this small-scale exercise in hyperlinking that such a vast network would grow.  The world couldn't imagine it nor could traditional media who dismissed its importance until it eroded their power and wealth.  At first, it was a toy and geeks would excitedly e-mail one another when a new web page appeared.  But, the web grew swiftly and it was impossible in short order to review all of the pages going up daily.  It was in tens, then hundreds, then thousands and tens of thousands then millions.  I recall those days vividly.  It was exciting, but we couldn't grasp how it related to PR.  We knew we would have to get involved with the web but we didn't understand until later that it would become the primary communications presence of the organization 24/7.  There are still those who see a web page as a brochure and not the dynamic presence it should be.  For the rest of the world, it is an invention greater than Gutenberg's movable type.


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