The web is... amazing!

The 12th of March 2014 marked the 25th anniversary of the invention of the World Wide Web by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. To celebrate, Craig Lockwood and his team organised The Web Is.. conference in Cardiff on 30/31st October 2014 which I had the pleasure to attend.

The main conference was held at the Sherman Theatre and was spread over 2 days. All of the talks followed the pattern of “The web is... [fill in the blanks]” which, given such a broad remit, provided for a wide variety of subject matter.

Despite the talks being, on the surface, quite diverse they did, of course, share the common thread of the world wide web. Aside from the technology aspect, what it also meant they had in common was the fundamental aspect of sharing and accessibility that was Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s dream.

The dream behind the Web is of a common information space in which we communicate by sharing information.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee

The talk that really hammered this home for me was Robin Christopherson’s. It was both inspirational and humbling to see him use assistive technology in giving his talk and hearing of how the web has turned difficulties into opportunities for him and so many others with disabilities.

Need to know how to wire a plug? Search in Google, Bing or whatever takes your fancy and you will find thousands of helpful individuals have taken the time and made the effort to write an article, draw a diagram or make a video showing you how. The web would be a much poorer place if we didn’t share.

Other notable talks for me were from Mr Bingo, Seb Lee-Delisle and David Hieatt. All of which were inspirational and entertaining and great examples of people who have not only had great ideas of how to use the web to their benefit but have actually got on with it and implemented them.

The social web

For me, a conference wouldn’t be complete without the social aspect and The Web Is was fantastic on this score. As well as catching up with friends I also made new ones, notably Rab, Tady and Anthony who joined me on a somewhat lively tour of the city on the final night! Everyone was approachable and friendly so I'd like to thank you all for helping make the conference especially memorable.

Your point being?

Without the web, I would not be designing and building websites for a living. Without the web we wouldn’t have the platform on which to share information and create wonderful things. Without the web I would not have have had the pleasure of meeting many of the people I now consider friends. So thank you, Sir Tim, the web is amazing!

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