Stanford Web site has 10th birthday

The Associated Press
Tuesday December 04, 2001

MENLO PARK — Ten years ago, a Stanford University physicist created the first U.S. Web site — three lines of text, with one link to e-mail and another link to a huge scientific database. 

Paul Kunz’s basic Web site, which first appeared Dec. 12, 1991, was the first U.S. site on the World Wide Web, which was then just a year old. 

In celebration, a two-day symposium at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center titled “The Once and Future Web” is bringing together some of those involved in creating the Web to discuss its future. The symposium began Monday. 

Kunz decided to build his site after visiting the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva and meeting with British programmer Tim Berners-Lee. Berners-Lee and his colleagues had set up the first Web server and created a site. 

“I don’t think, 10 years ago, anyone foresaw it would grow this fast,” Kunz said. “There’s a whole generation of people growing up who think the Web’s always existed. 

The Web has developed considerably, with graphics, motion and sound, and even an industry that has built up around it. 

The anniversary comes after a collapse in that industry, but Mark Pesce, the author of “The Playful World: How Technology is Transforming our Imagination,” still sees the Web as an integrated part of people’s lives with access becoming available on even more appliances. 

“It’s that kind of world we’re evolving into,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s not just sitting at a computer.”