W3 in 1994: the year of new beginnings


Once upon a time long, long ago we sent and received important documents using an odd creature who sometimes ate the paper we fed him and were always sending distress signals everywhere. Those were the days of the almighty fax. How this wonderful invention helped us to be more productive!

A few years later the World Wide Web and subsequently email entered the scene. Many still remember the scratching modem connecting sound and arguments with family members that then picked up the phone. Then, companies did not have a dedicated domain name and employees did not have email.

“I remember the company I worked for at the time, a publishing company, with one computer connected to the internet, suspiciously squashed into the furthest and darkest corner of the office. We had to pre-book our spot and report back on our usage.“

The first website was developed by British physicist Tim Berners-Lee, creator of HTML, at CERN in Geneva, it was published on 6 August 1991. View the earliest available version of the site here. On 30 April 1993 CERN made World Wide Web (“W3” for short) technology available on a royalty-free basis to the public domain, allowing the web to flourish.

In the beginning the number of websites increased slowly. By 1992 the web consisted of merely 10 sites, by 1994 this number grew to 2,738. Jump back to the present and we are reaching for the 100 million mark.

On local soil we experienced our own firsts in 1994 with our country’s inaugural democratic election. The web though saw the launch of the first fansite, created for The Simpsons television show (still running) and the first website for a member of the U.S. Congress, Senator Edward Kennedy, which was active until his death. Twenty one years ago it was difficult to explain the internet. Would you have done better than these Today Show hosts? “What is the internet anyway?”

Google stepped onto the scene in 1998 which lead to a completely different user experience. They tapped into the mass of information available on the Net and gave sense to searching through this labyrinth. They expanded their offering using the functionality of the web and build a global empire.

The web, Google, social media, content marketing, web design and web management has become a fundamental aspect within any business. Azapi specialises therein to create and manage a web presence that enhances and grows companies. We are also a certified Google partner. Over the last twelve years Azapi has developed with the world wide web and intends to expand even further, while growing your business. Drop us a line to make sure you are ready for the next twenty years.


Internet connectivity as explained in 1994

In 1994 TIME did a cover story about this new kid on the block. They knew the internet was the next big thing in technology, but it was was still so unfamiliar that it needed to be explained: “the world’s largest computer network and the nearest thing to a working prototype of the information superhighway”.

In May of that year, computer-book publisher Ziff-Davis Press released Mark Butler’s “How to Use the Internet”. The book explained some then unfamiliar terminology:

  • E-mail: “Never forget that electronic mail is like a postcard. Many people can read it easily without your ever knowing it. In other words, do not say anything in an e-mail message which you would not say in public.”
  • Finding people to communicate with: “… telephone a good friend who has electronic mail and exchange e-mail addresses with him or her.”
  • Joining mailing lists: “Although it is polite to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to a human, do not include these words in the messages you send to a listserv. They may confuse the machine.”
  • “Surfing” the Internet: “Surfing the Internet is a lot like channel surfing on your cable television. You have no idea what is on or even what you want to watch.”
  • Searching the Internet: “If a particular search yields a null result set, check carefully for typing errors in your search text. The computer will not correct your spelling, and transposed letters can be difficult to spot.”
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