Trends in the Evolution of the Public Web

April 16, 2003

The swiftness of the World Wide Web’s ascension from obscure experiment to cultural icon has been truly remarkable. In the space of less than a decade, the Web has extended into nearly every facet of society, from commerce to education; it is employed in a variety of uses, from scholarly research to casual browsing. Like other transformational technologies that preceded it, the Web has spawned (and consumed) vast fortunes. The recent “dot-com bust” was a sobering indication to organizations of all descriptions that the nature and extent of the Web’s impact is still unsettled.

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