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World Wide Web Creator Discusses Future of Digital Publishing
Higher Ways Publishing - Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989, prompting the rise of e-book publishing. Berners-Lee recently delivered the keynote speech at the International Digital Publishing Forum’s Chicago-based Digicon conference, where he discussed the future of digital publishing.

Vision of publishing

Industry portal Publishers Weekly reports that in his speech, titled “Realizing the Vision of Publishing Technology Being Web Technology” he delivered key insights. The legendary inventor described the World Wide Web’s history as a convenient, if disruptive publishing platform, before discussing how it could serve as a future enabler of innovative publishing technologies.

Berners-Lee compared the World Wide Web to his earlier invention, open source e-book initiative project Gutenberg, which was founded in 1971. Shedding insight into the World Wide Web, he said that “setting up a website is like setting up a bookstore.” Going on, he described the Web’s “massive shift from static Web links to being a Web where every online page could be programmed like a computer,” stating that the Web has evolved from a place for “scientists, geeks, and people with lots of data.”

Experiencing a Future trajectory

He went on to talk about how the evolution of the web could influence digital book publishing going forward. Berners-Lee cited W3C’s Open Web Platform, which facilitates the running of all kinds of content on various platforms. Explaining, he said that this type of platform enables interoperability, adding that one day “the kind of coding you see in e-books may also be used in cars, on screens of all kinds,” through this tool.

Berners-Lee said that this, along with yet to be conceived technology, could allow people to turn the walls of conference halls and classrooms into screens. This would enable the displaying of content from devices such as smartwatches to a mass audience, changing the way we interact with said content. Adding further, he said that “print books will be here forever,” but with Web technology, “people will be able to take them everywhere. This is challenging and exciting.”

Additional insight

He shed further light on the future of digital publishing in an interview with Publishers Weekly. When asked if he could have predicted how his invention would change the world, Berners-Lee responded: “Nobody could have expected today’s world [of technology]. The Web allows you to do any crazy idea and you’re only limited by your own creativity… There is a universality on the web. It can be used for any genre. You can browse. It’s flexible. It unleashes the shackles put on publishing by paper.”

Talking about online publishing, Berners-Lee cited the vital role played by bloggers and bulletin boards in the Web’s earliest years. Elaborating, he said: “They were a big part of the web, so empowering the individual was always there. The Web levels the playing field, and yes, that means you also get a lot of junk… the Web challenges all business models, but it creates new ones.

“We used to have shelves of technical manuals, but no more. So the Web saved a lot of trees. But in general there are now other models to sell content through apps, subscription and advertising-based models.” Challenging claims that the internet shortens peoples’ attention spans, Berners-Lee said: “The Web changes how we think, but I don’t think it’s making people stupid. The Web changes the things we have to do. We do things more quickly now. We don’t have to memorize things anymore. There is a way for people to become experts more easily.”

About Higher Ways Publishing

Higher Ways Publishing was established in 2003 by Hayim Oshky and Mike Walden, it helps authors and publishers transform brilliant ideas into commercial success. Headquartered in Tel Aviv Israel and California, they are a market leader in digital and hard-cover publishing for the health, fitness and relationship industries. Higher Ways Publishing have assisted many authors in expanding their online presence in the growing digital marketing world.

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