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1/18/2005
02:51 PM
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Thanks For The Memories

Do you remember when you first "got" the Web? If you do, we'd like to hear about it.

We're working on a special project for the spring of this year, and we need your help. Do you remember when the Internet—the WEB—first broached your consciousness? The moment or day or experience that spoke to you and said something like, "Hey, this thing is for real!" I sort of do.

I was working for the Electronics Group here at CMP at the time, and we were pretty early into the Internet. We had one editor who was waaaaayy ahead of the curve on this one, and he had us jazzed about it and its potential long before there was really much out there to see and do.

There were certainly no "e-commerce" sites at that point; in fact, most of what was out there was still pretty raw and ungainly. But I clearly remember sitting with him one day at a PC we had set up in a conference room that was there just for Web viewing. I believe we were running Mosaic at that time. Anyway, this guy told me about some "sites" I could look at, and one was CERN, the big, Swiss-based lab. (CERN is now found at http://public.web.cern.ch/Public/Welcome.html and its tag line is, ". . .where the web was born!" Interesting that I really haven't looked back there since that day, yet here they are proclaiming themselves Web pioneers; there are no coincidences.) My Web guru explained to me how to type in the "url—at the time, http and the slashes and all that seemed so odd and software-developer-like—and, soon enough, I was taken to the lab in Switzerland.

I know it must sound naïve and silly, but, at the time, to me, it felt like I was actually going there: "Jeez," I said to myself, "here I am sitting in Manhasset looking into a place in Switzerland. . ." or something like that. It was an epiphany, of sorts, and it eventually changed the course of, not only my journalism career, but the course of history, too.

I won't argue that mine is sort of a "so-what's-the-rest-of-the-story story," but it's really what happened.

Now I ask for your stories. Do you remember the first time the Web struck you as being for real? The first time it really got under your skin and made you think, "Now this could be something different." Even more to the point, do you remember when it changed the way you do business, the way you do your job, the way your company runs?

We're interested in all that and would like to hear from you. If you'd like to send something my way, understand that it is potentially for publication and can and will be edited like any other copy we get. I can't tell you any more about the project at this point, but take my word that you're going to find it interesting.

So tell me your personal and business Web stories, which, I hope and trust, will be better than mine. Be sure to include your name, company, e-mail, and phone number.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Tim Moran is Senior Managing Editor of TechWeb.

TechWeb's editors are busy assigning and editing and linking and otherwise creating the content you see on TechWeb.com and the Pipeline sites, but we wanted the chance to tell you what we see and what we think about it directly. So, each week, The TechWeb Spin will bring you the informed insight and unique perspective of a different TechWeb editor: Fredric Paul, Scot Finnie, Tim Moran, Stuart Glascock, Mitch Wagner, and Cora Nucci. We hope you like it, and even if you don't we hope you take the time to tell us what you think about it.

Check out The TechWeb Spin Archive.

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