This World Wide Web you're looking at right now wasn't always something most people considered worth a second glance -- let alone hours days weeks years of nonstop staring. In fact, even some of the big info-nerds of the day ignored or dismissed it early on.
One of the earliest public demonstrations of the Web came back in 1991, when a man named Tim Berners-Lee sat at a table with a computer in a Texas hotel conference room, willing to give anyone with a few minutes to spare a personal introduction to his invention -- a concept and a structure that would soon spark a worldwide information revolution.
Every person in the room that day likely came to depend on this invention by the close of the 1990s, if not sooner. But when first confronted with the Web in that hotel, most simply said whatever the equivalent of "meh" was at the time, and went in search of a drink.… Read more