20 July 2007

The World Wide Web

Glimpse the future being correctly predicted by the good people at DEC.
... a vast array of information is being made available in an attractive, easy-to-use form—and for free!—over the Internet. A global electronic mall is under construction. People congregate here, interact here, and find the information they want. And here, too, they are beginning to conduct business ...
Richard Seltzer reports:
This video was created by me and Berthold Langer in February 1994, when we worked at DEC. NCSA (creators of Mosaic, the first Web browsers) and dozens of other organizations, distributed thousands of copies of this video, using it to help spread the word about the business potential of the Web, which, at that time, many business people found difficult to imagine.

I vividly recall a talk in '94 or '95 by Nicholas Negroponte, of MIT Media Lab and the back page of Wired, in which someone in the audience asked Negroponte if we would ever see advertising on the Internet. Ha ha.

(Negroponte, to his credit, said that it was already happening, and that we could count on seeing more and more ... )


Jack said...

I've just come across this 1990 BBC programme, in which Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, predicts something very like the World Wide Web.

TheWayOfTheGun said...

That's a good reminder of the tone in those days. I've been thinking of that a lot since essentially the same conversation is taking place around 3D virtual worlds such as Second Life and its competitors.

Those of us who see the business and other potential for 3D worlds are having a tough time convincing the rest of the world. To be fair, just because we were right about the web a decade or so ago, doesn't mean we are necessarily right again. I'm still comfortable with the bet.

Jonathan Korman said...

Color me skeptical. 3D worlds have artistic and pedagogical value, but don't strike me as useful for biz. I'm with Brian Moriarty when he says:

“Unfortunately, many would-be engineers of shared illusion have read Snow Crash and adopted it as a specification.
The cyberpunk conception of virtual reality is not really very interesting. Only a hacker would find the problem of avatar collision interesting.
Space and time are not intrinsic properties of virtual presence. Space and time will not exist in virtual presence unless we bring them with us. Space and time are boring. Let's not invite them.”