#OpenLearning19 Pre-Week

Our task for OpenLearning19 is to annotate this text about the ’30th birthday’ of the web, and to reflect here on the annotations.

What I picked for annotation, are two keywords (Gopher, and Virtual Library curation) of the web history because I am grateful that the text mentions these things that seem almost forgotten already.

Many accounts of the web history sound like the story about a Saint, or as if the web had arrived on a single day like an asteroid. In my memory it was a collective effort of many people and a gradual development of the infrastructures. And I think it is useful to remember this when we are now supposed to collectively fix it.

Here are two older blog posts about my differing experience of this history,

  • one about gopher vs. early www,
  • another about the virtual library.

If you want more, here is a picture from 1994 (archived later), showing how a browseable ‘virtual’ library catalog could appear much more ‘real’ than a merely searchable card catalog. Index cards, a basement rack storage, a bookshelf and database symbols.

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2 Responses to #OpenLearning19 Pre-Week

  1. clarkie7 says:

    Thank you! I found this really useful and enlightening. To be transparent, I was born in 1987 so I experienced the transitioning of the internet rather than the creation and collective “assembly” of it. I will be honest, I was a little… “What did I just read?” when I started that article. I glanced over “gopher” more because I had no idea what it was! Also, more so, I can’t believe that we are now into a period of time where the newest generation actually has no idea what it was like before the internet. I still remember the old MacIntosh beasts in the back of our classrooms in grade school haha. But, back on track, I found your blog helpful to put some of the material into context (also your annotations!). Looking forward to discussing things further over the next few weeks!


  2. x28 says:

    Thanks for the friendly feedback. Looking forward, too.


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