This past weekend, a major 25-year anniversary took place. On August 6, 1991, a little thing called the World Wide Web made its debut. The World Wide Web Project, created by the British scientist Tim Berners-Lee, was devised as an "information retrieval initiative aiming to give universal access to a large universe of documents," its site says. The first proposal for it was written in 1989, but it wasn't until 1991 that the first files could be accessed online — a word that was still foreign at the time. The thing that most of us can't imagine living without was just the seed of an idea that most people rejected until 1993 — proof that the best innovations can take time to stick. (It's even crazier to think that Google wasn't founded until 1998.) The first-ever website that Berners-Lee released to the world was created on his NeXT computer, a clunky work station that had been designed a few years earlier by none other than Steve Jobs. You know, that Apple guy. The site described the "project," with links to information including, "What's out there?" (a guide to "the world's online information"); a "bibliography," and a history of the project. It's as simple as websites get: a white page, with plain black script and blue links.
CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, finally made the software behind that site available to the public in 1993, allowing anyone, anywhere to create a website. It's unlikely that Berners-Lee and his cofounders could ever have imagined that project would turn into a place ruled by Facebook, memes, and Kim Kardashian — or that we'd all be as reliant on it as we are now. We'd say the site belongs in a museum, but, of course, it's forever stuck in the interweb.