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The first website went public 25 years ago

Tim Berners-Lee announced the World Wide Web project on August 6th, 1991.

Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The internet just marked another major milestone. The first website, Tim Berners-Lee's description of the World Wide Web project, went public 25 years ago on August 6th, 1991. The launch was unceremonious -- Berners-Lee announced the project on a Usenet group, and it wasn't until after August 23rd that new users visited the site. However, the launch effectively marked the start of the web as a widely available tool.

There wasn't exactly a rush to embrace the technology, mind you. The big leaps toward the mainstream came in 1993, when NCSA released the first widely popular web browser (Mosaic) and CERN helped adoption by making the web's software both free and open source. Berners-Lee's original approach to the web treated it more as a platform for academic collaboration than a revolution. Still, there's no denying that the events of 1991 got the ball rolling on a fundamental shift in communication.