The internet and World Wide Web weren't born in a day, so their birthdates aren't singular events. But August 23rd doesn't even register as a date when a significant event related to the internet or the World Wide Web took place. Still, Internaut Day, observed on August 23rd, celebrates the invention of the World Wide Web. (The World Wide Web and the internet are distinct from each other, and "internaut" can be defined as a person who has a deep knowledge of how to use the internet, as well as of its history.)
Internaut Day has been marked since at least 2013. That year, it was given credence by CNN when they mentioned it during a broadcast. Not much became of it, but the date was given further credence in 2016 when Facebook released a message on August 23rd that said, "The web opened up to the world 25 years ago today. We thank Sir Tim Berners-Lee and other internet pioneers for making the world more open and connected." Berners-Lee himself tweeted that August 23rd wasn't the correct date. Nonetheless, the World Wide Web is celebrated today with Internaut Day.
So what are some of those dates that are significant to the creation of the World Wide Web and what happened on them? On March 12, 1989, Tim Berners-Lee, a CERN scientist, wrote a proposal for a "distributed information system." This would become the World Wide Web. On December 12, 1990, the world's first website and server were ready and went live on CERN. Then, on January 10, 1991, not only CERN but the whole physics community gained access to this web system. On August 6, 1991, Berners-Lee put a summary of his project on some internet newsgroups, and with that, the World Wide Web was first made publicly available on the internet. One other significant date in the creation of the World Wide Web was April 30, 1993, the date when CERN released the World Wide Web's source code to the public so that anyone could freely use it. Many consider this to be the true anniversary of the World Wide Web!
How to Observe Internaut Day
Here are a few ideas on how the day could be marked:
- Surf the World Wide Web!
- Check out the first-ever website.
- Build your own website.
- Support the World Wide Web Foundation.
- Read Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners Lee.