Web Directions Conferences for web and digital professionals

A History of the Web in 100 Pages

In 2010 the BBC, in conjunction with the British Museum, produced a groundbreaking podcast series, A History of the World in 100 objects. Through 100 highly engaging episodes each focussing on an object from human history, they tell a story of humanity (central to the series is the idea that it is just one of countless possible tellings of our shared story).

I’ve been interested in the history of the Web for many years. I’ve been privileged to have been invited to CERN twice now to work on projects associated with the earliest days of the Web, and started my own project some years ago to interactively document the Web’s history, through major technology releases and cultural and intellectual milestones.

I’ve also long been keen to try and tell the story of the Web and its origins to an audience beyond the professionals for whom the Web is central to their working lives. About how it came together, how it evolved, why it succeeded. I’ve thought of writing a history, doing a Ph.D, even pitched a documentary series to a national broadcaster–who didn’t really see the appeal.

And then recently while listening to A History of the World in 100 objects, it occurred to me that that model might well work for telling the story of the Web–A History of the Web told through 100 Pages. By telling the story of 100 influential pages in the Web’s history (out of the now half a trillion pages archived by the wayback machine), might we tell a meaningful history of the Web?

It’s a work in progress, but the opportunity rose recently when the wonderful folks from the Web Stories conference asked me to speak, to start on the project of recording some of the stories of these pages. So here’s a bit of a prototype, the first 3 pages–only 97 to go!

Hope you might enjoy this short documentary, it was really well received!

I’d also love suggestions as to the pages you think should be part of the 100 most significant pages in Web History.

In 2021 we have a whole series of events for Front End Developers

Across 2021 Web Directions is presenting a series of online conferences for front end designers and developers. Focussed deep dives, they go far beyond what you might expect from conference presentations.

Learn more and register now

Across the year we have 6 conferences planned, the first 4 announced, focussing on CSS, Front End Performance, JavaScript and Progressive Web Apps, with more to come.

Priced individually from $145, or attend all 6, plus get access to our conference presentation platform Conffab for just $595, or $59 a year.

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[Web Directions] is a delicious mix of things educational, social and mind-blowing. It’s time out from the hurly-burly to step back, get some perspective, and develop new ways forward, fortified with a whole lot of new stuff in your head.

Chris Stephens Technology Director, Mozo