Tag Archives | Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Tim is on Twitter

Sir Tim Berners-Lee

He’s as important a pioneer as Johannes Gutenberg or Alexander Graham Bell –except that he’s alive, well, and very much deeply involved in determining the future of the medium he created. He’s Sir Tim Berners Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web and the director of the World Wide Web Consortium, and it was an honor to sit in the same ballroom as the guy yesterday as he appeared onstage as the final guest at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

As TechCrunch’s Robin Wauters noted, Sir Tim has joined Twitter–here’s his account–and started tweeting shortly before his Web.20 session began, Like nearly every new Twitter user, he started out by being somewhat confused, as he noted in his first tweet.

Tim Berners-Lee Twitter

Judging from Sir Tim’s third tweet, he’s already a user of the Twitter-like Identi.ca service–which makes sense, since (unlike Twitter) it’s an open-source project and therefore reflective of his dedication to openness on the Web.

Side note: Twitter’s recent introduction of a spam reporting feature is a boon, but there’s something jarring about the “report timberners_lee for spam” link at the right of his page. It’s a little as if George Washington suddenly showed up at the White House today, wanted to stop in for a visit, and was forced to walk through a metal detector…


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Twenty Years Ago Today, the Idea That Became the Web Was Born

Tim Berners-LeeOver at Cnet, Charles Cooper has a nice post on a meaningful historical tidbit: Twenty years ago today, Tim Berners-Lee, who was working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research near Geneva, Switzerland, submitted a proposal to his bosses on how the organization could do a better job of keeping track of information. It involved publishing documents online with links to tie everything together, and it was the idea which eventually turned into the World Wide Web.

If you were trying to determine the twentieth anniversary of the Web, you probably wouldn’t decide it was today. (Another possibility would be August 6th, 2011–the day that marks two decades since Berners-Lee’s first Web site went live on the Internet.)  But his 1989 memo remains good reading, and the fact that his plan to change how CERN used information turned out to change how the world uses information is as inspiring as stories about technology get.

I’m about to board an airplane to go to the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, and have been brooding about the fact that I’ll be deprived of the Web for just a few hours while we’re in flight. It’s startling to remember that something as essential as the Web is so new–and that the guy who came up with it is not only still with us but very much involved in shaping its future.

Thanks, Sir Tim! I feel like I owe you my career–because if there weren’t a Web, there sure wouldn’t be a Technologizer…


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Napster Sells Out…to Best Buy

I like to call today’s Napster “Napster,” since it has little in common with the legendary service that bore the same name other than music. It hasn’t been a hit. But now it’s getting another shot at success.
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