BBC started airing a very good documentary about the internet a few weeks ago called The Virtual Revolution. I finally watched the first episode just the other night. Itâs amazing how much has happened in such a small time.
Google was incorporated in 1998 (went public in 2004). Youtube started in 2005. Twitter in 2006. The World Wide Web was created in 1990 with the first web server being created by Tim Berners-Lee in that year.
It was a fantastic documentary and it really makes you think.
We are still very much in the beginning of all of this. There are still things to be done that no one has thought of yet. We still havenât reaped much of the benefits that the improvements in communication channels will have lent to science and medicine and as much as the internet has changed all of our lives, Iâm sure itâs nothing compared to whatâs to come.
I routinely chat with people in China and India (and back home in the States) while visiting offices here in the UK. In high school, these places all seemed so far away.
This twenty years of the internet will one-day seem like just a blip to us. One day years in the future, people will talk about how the newspapers and music industries cried foul before they found their own way. We will talk about the quaint days of waiting for our favourite TV programs to be aired. Soon, we will look back on Twitter and Facebook the same way we look back on the old newsgroups (it was all so crude!).
The other day I found myself falling into the trap of thinking that everything had been invented already. Surely, there are no new opportunities out there because theyâve all been invented. Or, someone is already working on them. But the truth is that weâve hardly scratched the surface.
There are still things that arenât quite right in technology. Still loads to do. For example, as much as webcam chat is fantastic and a nice novelty, itâs still too complicated to get âordinaryâ people to use it.
As much as things change, we still think in old terms. Artists still come out with Albums, even though we can buy and download only the tracks we want. Why do we need the album grouping? We still have business people who think they need to fly thousands of miles to have a meeting in another office, because we havenât found a method of communication that is better an 8 hour flight. Too many of us still get up in the morning and drive or take a train to an office building to do work that could easily be done at home. When we get to grips with some of these new realities, we will start thinking differently and even more innovation will come.
I was reading the xkcd comic strip (if you havenât read it, youâre missing outâhttp://xkcd.com), and saw this this strip:
2003 wasn’t that long ago. Or maybe my age is just catching up with me.