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Berners-Lee, Web take bow at Olympics

Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee takes a star turn during the opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics in London.

Sir Tim looks on as his tweet lights up the stadium.
Screenshot by Edward Moyer/CNET

Forget about the ripped-and-rugged sprinters and shot-putters, bring on the gold-medal geeks.

The opening ceremony of this summer's London Olympics obliged that sentiment, as Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee got the star treatment during the extravaganza.

A hip-hoppy dance routine gave way as a stage-set suburban house rose from the ground to reveal a lone keyboard jockey surfing away in solitude.

None other than Berners-Lee it was, and with a flick of his wrist, he lit up the stadium with a grandly flashing tweet: "This is for everyone."

And so, more and more, it is. In the two decades or so since its inception, the WWW has grown from a nerdy curiosity into a tool well nigh as widespread as the telephone or TV. Twitter itself reported today that 9.66 million tweets concerning the Olympics opening ceremony were sent out as the spectacle unfolded -- that's more than the number of tweets sent out about the 2008 Beijing Olympics during the entire run of that tournament. Clearly, the Web is nothing these days if not mainstream (though it bears noting that a digital divide does still exist, even in a country as well off as the U.S.).

Berners-Lee's tweet itself generated almost 10,000 retweets, Twitter said in its blog post. Here, courtesy of Berners-Lee himself, and the Web, is a clip of Sir Tim's big Olympic moment:


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