Explaining the New Web

I’m giving a presentation on what everyone is missing out on the web to my group at work on Wednesday. 90% of the people that are going to be there have never heard of Firefox, don’t know what Gmail is and certainly don’t know what RSS is. I’ve got a load of topics I will be talking about in detail, however I’d like to ask everyone reading this what they believe are the most important contributions, sites, applications, technologies that have been released on or related to the the internet in the past 5 years.

Currently I’ve got the following headings I’m playing around with:
  1. Brief History of the Internet - It’s only a little over 10 years old, where was it and how has it matured?
  2. The Open Source Movement - Brief explanation and introduction to the plethora of programmes out there ripe for use and contribution towards.
  3. Firefox - The only browser you should be using.
  4. Google - What it can do for you that you didn’t know
  5. The Wireless Office - “Web 2.0″ applications, Writely, 37Signals, etc.
  6. Emerging Technologies - RSS, Tagging.

What do you think I’m missing, bearing in mind I’ve got only 50 minutes to play around with and I’ve got to condense everything in roughly 40minutes with 10 minutes for questions.


  1. Why not mention voip? So many people think they know what voip is but don’t actually use it. Mention great applications like Skype!

    1 Michael
    Quote | 7/3/2006
  2. Missing? Maybe some research would be good because the ‘Net is a lot more than ten years old. Does your comment system allow a bunch of URIs or would it be classed as spam? I have a ton of good material from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

    Pip, pip!

    2 Flotsam
    Quote | 7/3/2006
  3. Michael - Good call on Skype, completely forgot :).

    Flotsam - Well yes if we decided to go all the way to the idea of the internet as a bunch of hyperlinks then it goes back to 1949, but I don’t think many people give a shit about that. 10 years of the Netscape IPO going online in August 1995, that’s where I’m starting. Chuck the urls, hopefully it’ll go through, but I’ll keep an eye out for it in my moderation que.

    4 Khaled
    Quote | 7/3/2006
  4. The standards movement and the trend towards dynamic interaction (i.e. AJAX).

    5 Andrew Hamann
    Quote | 7/3/2006
  5. Hey, Khaled,

    It should be in your mod queue. There’s a lot of links in there and it’s good reading even if not relevant for your task in hand.

    Pip, pip!

    6 Flotsam
    Quote | 7/3/2006
  6. Your list looks about right for a simple presentation. I guess you don’t want to overload them with too much information.

    It’s a good list.

    7 Michael
    Quote | 7/3/2006
  7. “It’s only a little over 10 years old”

    Actually, the internet has been around for far longer than 10 years. It’s the WWW (World Wide Web) that you’re thinking off.

    Pretty good list though I’m surprised you left off blogging. Social networking might also be a good addition though time constraints mean you might not have time.

    It’s also a good idea to keep the talk on Google brief as the other subjects are likely to be more informative.

    8 Phu
    Quote | 7/3/2006
  8. “don’t know what Gmail is”

    …but be sure to give them a quick primer on Gmail.

    9 Phu
    Quote | 7/3/2006
  9. Speed.
    If there wasn’t the speeds we have now, we’d have little of the above.

    ‘Broadband - find crap faster’ :)

    10 Podz
    Quote | 7/3/2006
  10. The biggest difference between an experienced, confident web user and someone who’s timid to try out new things is the ability to distinguish between who’s good for you and who’s bad for you, what is good software, what is better left avoided, etc.

    Obviously you’re trying to bridge the gap someway by giving this talk, but I would try and boil down what it is that gives a web-head the confidence and ability to sort the good from the bad, since I’d be sure that’s one of the big obstacles stopping them being where you are. Bit of a nebulous concept, but seems relevant.

    11 SpiderMonkey
    Quote | 9/3/2006
  11. Thank you for your post.

    I think you are missing quite a bit. I don’t mean to put you down or in any way discourage you from the work you are so passionate about, but there is a “bigger picture” to consider.

    Technology can be defined as the use of tools, knowledge and processes to solve problems and extend human capability. Technology includes both physical and socio-cultural aspects, that is, a technology is not detached from its current or intended use.

    The new resurgence and excitement about the Web is mostly about technology for those of us who work In the field. For those who don’t, the significance involves the social changes that are occurring.

    It called context and that is what I believe is so important about this moment it time. It marks the point at which we entered into a conversation about the social possibilities the Web can help facilitate.

    Thank you.

    12 Michael Almond
    Quote | 11/3/2006
  12. No thank you Michael for posting. To be honest the real reason behind my talk was to try and RAISE awareness for the web. In the outside or real world, there is little to no excitement whatsoever, at least in the UK and most of Europe that is. Can’t really say what the deal is in the US etc. So for me it was about making people understand where the web is, and where it is likely to go and how it will ultimately effect them. I’ll be posting about this in a further post later on this week.

    13 Khaled
    Quote | 11/3/2006

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