I read today that the first web page was created 25 years ago today.
That reminded of how I first heard of the web in 1993 or 1994, and wasn’t much interested in it. It sounded like a bulletin board or something.
But one of my computing friends kept going on about it, and trying to explain all the things it could do. But I still wasn’t interested.
And then one day he said that I could publish my ideas on it. And I could even embed Java applets in web pages. And with that I finally got interested.
I got interested because for about 20 years I’d been kicking around an idea that I’d started calling Idle Theory. And I wanted to publish something about it. But I didn’t think any publisher would be interested in it. I couldn’t see how any publisher could ever possibly be interested in it. And I was beginning to think I’d never be able to publish it.
But now, all of a sudden, I could see a strange new way of publishing it. It didn’t matter to me whether I got paid. All I wanted was to be able to put the idea out into the world. And pretty soon I was creating web pages for a book that rapidly became a collection of webpages, linked together in no particular order. And in 1998-99 I started publishing them online here.
And over the next 10 years I added more pages. And Idle Theory built up a tiny following. It even got 3 pages in a book. But I don’t think it ever got more than about 10 hits a day. Or maybe it was 10 hits a week.
I’m amazed it’s still available online. And still getting hits. For the past 6 years or so I’ve not been able to edit it, but recently I discovered I still could. And so I’m planning on adding some more pages. If anything is, Idle Theory is my life work. I’ve been fooling around with it for over 40 years now. And it still seems as powerful an idea as it ever did. And I’m glad I found a way to publish it.
These days I’m much better known for this blog. And on a good day that gets 1000+ hits a day.
And I use the web to get news, and weather forecasts, and satellite images. And I use it to buy stuff and for online banking. And I use it to listen to music, or play online golf or snooker, or just read. The web is an astounding thing. And these days I don’t know what I would do without it.
And yet I never saw it coming.