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The popularization of the web is arguably the most important development in high tech. From its humble beginnings at CERN, the web has become an integral part of how people lives and how business operates. While the execesses of the dot com bubble has subsided, the impact of the web is real and cannot be overstated.

Economically, it promises to promote easier flow of information and smoother collaboration between different businesses and organizations. The resulting increase in productivity could help raise people's standards of living. At the same time, by making it easier to form global teams, it helps to accelerate globalization, with the positives and negatives that such a seismic change can bring.

Sociologically, by allowing the formation of ad hoc communities, the web potentially could lead to deeper democratization of our societies, and is transforming the way citizens participate in the political process. At the same time, the popularity of the web are pushing the issues of privacy, security and the widespread pushing of spam and smut to the front of the issues.

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Written by Mike Kwong