Building the Metaverse – Connecting it to the Real World

Some “visionaries” just said, “hey, but the cool idea about WWW is that you can interconnect sites using hypertext”. So what? We had dozens of alternatives. There was no centralized searching, for instance (Gopher had it). So who would care about it?

A group of people developed a new type of browser which displayed images and not only content (i.e. text). This was called Mosaic (much later the code was “absorbed” by Microsoft into IE) and it was a revolution. Other technologies were “pure text”. Now suddenly you could get designers to play around with pages. And if you have designers, you are able to do fancy sites, reflecting corporate images. And suddenly this was not a “cool technology” any more. Web sites popped up around the world pretty quickly. What later became the W3G used to have a list of “new sites today” – that’s how I was able to “prove” for a long while that I did with a friend the first site in my country back in 1993 (yes, the list has disappeared from the Web ages ago). After a few months, you simply couldn’t click on all “new sites” any more, and simple search tools were added to find the page you wanted. That’s how it all started.

By late 1994, silly companies – small, understaffed, with a handful of techies and with luck a crazed-out marketeer – sstarted convincing other companies that “the Web would be the major platform for business in the world”. You can’t even imagine how people looked at us that time. If they laughed, that meant that at least they listened. Most couldn’t care less for that “major business platform”. It was academic stuff, or stuff for kiddies. Later on, the excuse was that the Web just had too much sex, and no “decent company” would really want to associate with that.

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