A dollar for Sir Tim Berners-Lee

I woke up early this morning (4.15 am if you’re interested in exact time and such trivia) and this thought flashed across my mind:

What if every web developer and every website owner paid Sir Tim Berners-Lee a dollar just out of goodwill?

Okay, if you’re in Asia or Africa, you can pay 25 cents. If you’re not familiar with Tim Berners-Lee, he’s the nice guy that invented the Web (WWW) and gave it away for free. Here’s what he writes in an FAQ on his web page:

The Web is an abstract (imaginary) space of information. On the Net, you find computers — on the Web, you find document, sounds, videos,…. information. On the Net, the connections are cables between computers; on the Web, connections are hypertext links. The Web exists because of programs which communicate between computers on the Net. The Web could not be without the Net. The Web made the net useful because people are really interested in information (not to mention knowledge and wisdom!) and don’t really want to have know about computers and cables.

Read that last line again. It’s probably the understatement of the century. Made the net useful indeed!

I got thinking about money because people that write blogs are given donations, Bill Gates made a ton, but this guy, he didn’t make any, and he’s cool with it. You gotta reward guys like this. Here’s what he says about not “cashing in” on the concept:

Not really. It was simply that had the technology been proprietary, and in my total control, it would probably not have taken off. The decision to make the Web an open system was necessary for it to be universal. You can’t propose that something be a universal space and at the same time keep control of it.

Come on, it’s only a dollar. 25 cents if you’re in Asia or Africa! What say?


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