Why CoreMedia signed the Contract for the Web


Knud Kegel

When the man who invented the World Wide Web announces that the Internet is broken, people pay attention. Tim Berners-Lee’s new #ForTheWeb initiative has the potential to transform the way we use the web. And here at CoreMedia, we're excited to help make that happen.

Back in 1989, when Berners-Lee was a scientist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, he came up with an idea. What if we could combine the seamless connectivity and intuitive usability of hypertext interfaces with the global network connectivity of the early Internet. The result was something he called the World Wide Wide. And ever since its launch, the world has never been the same.

Browser Worldwideweb

Browser Worldwideweb

Starting with a single website in 1990, the web has exploded in size and importance. Today there are more than two billion websites in the world – 1 for every 4 people. It’s changed the way we learn, create, shop, and share. It’s erased political borders and lowered economic barriers. It's empowered communities to stand up to despots and take control of their destiny. But not all of its effects have been positive. As he addressed a global audience at the 2018 Web Summit in Lisbon this week, Berners-Lee declared that the web has failed to live up to its original promise. Although billions of people use the web every day as a vital tool, over half the world’s population still lacks access to the Internet. And full access to all the benefits of the web is become more limited every day, as an increasingly small number of companies consolidate control of the networks and authoritarian governments find new ways to control and censor online speech.

With the rate of new Internet users dropping, the dream of universal connectivity is growing more distant. The web is becoming less private, less civil, and less accessible to marginal populations while simultaneously becoming more expensive, more commercialized, and increasingly unsafe for women and oppressed communities.Here are a few facts:

Woman Laptop

Woman Laptop

But it’s not too late. As the online visionary John Perry Barlow said, “A good way to invent the future is to predict it.” And it's in that spirit that Berners-Lee has announced his new initiative.

The #ForTheWeb Campaign is a global one to recruit governments, companies, and individual citizens to agree on a set of core principles and to collaborate on projects designed to make the web safer, more diverse, open, and accessible.

From the commercial perspective, companies are being asked to:

  • Make the internet affordable and accessible to everyone
  • Respect consumer privacy and personal data
  • Develop technologies that encourage good behavior and discourage bad – to put the public good first 

Global industry leaders have already agreed to sign Berners-Lee’s new “Contract for Web” and we are excited to have joined the new contract for the web as well.

Here at CoreMedia, we believe the future of the web will be defined by the quality of online content and the diversity it supports. Companies cannot succeed at engaging their customers or growing their business in an online environment that's not completely accessible, safe, affordable and equitable. We wholeheartedly support what Berners-Lee and the World Wide Web Foundation are trying to accomplish with this initiative. And we encourage our partners, friends, and followers to support it as well.

Kids Laptop

Kids Laptop

So, what can you do?

First, do some research: Check out the WWW Foundation’s new report on “The Case #ForTheWeb.”

Then, tell your story: The #ForTheWeb team is actively collecting testimonials from ordinary people around the world about how the web has changed their lives and what they hope it can become in the future. These videos will be incorporated into a film that will be released next March to celebrate the 30th birthday of the web.

Finally, join the movement: Visit the #ForTheWeb project site to find out more about how specifically you can get involved.

The future of the web is up for grabs. It's up to us – and you – to set it on the right course.

Stage 1: Fragmented: Multiple Channels

You’re a digital dinosaur!

You have a beautiful website, but with fragmented digital experiences, you run the risk of extinction.

It’s time to evolve.

Your audiences want a seamless experience, no matter what's happening behind the scenes. When your experience is different or difficult, it’s important to start with the basics, such as cultivating a holistic approach to online digital experiences. Realign your teams, platforms, processes, goals, and metrics around a comprehensive view of the online experience. Focus on the end-to-end customer journey cutting across channels, desktop and mobile.

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Stage 2: Integrated: Multiple channels

You’re a fish!

Signs of exciting life are starting to form. Your DX is responsive and adaptive but it’s not quite personalized yet.

Keep swimming!

The integration of your brand content across every touchpoint (website, online store, social media, emails, apps, point of sale) creates immersive experiences. These flagship sites combine content-rich brand experiences with immediate conversion capabilities. Business teams and marketing are closely aligned. However, while the digital experience is responsive and adaptive, it’s not yet personalized.

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Stage 3: Instant: Global expansion

You’re a crocodile!

You’re taking it global. Speed and scalability are key and just like a crocodile, you’re fast…but you’re clumsy.

Oh snap!

In this stage, the online digital experience becomes completely dynamic. You need content that is global, yet relevant, with plenty of local insights: Who is the user? Are they using a mobile phone? Is it raining where they are? Is it snowing? If it is, maybe they need warm, waterproof boots. All of this contextualized information creates a better user experience. With one global orchestration, you’re able to adapt everything, in whatever country or language you choose – while keeping turnaround times low. So keep evolving.

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Stage 4: Dynamic: Real time personalization

You’re a lion!

You’re reaching more customers in more countries and languages than ever before, and now you’re finally hunting and collecting info with precision.

But you can do more to keep your brand roaring!

As you graduate to the Instant level, you’re able to rapidly update everything - not just in one language and for one country, but in 20 languages and for 100 countries. Speed and scalability are key, driven by the need to roll out global campaigns in all languages and all touchpoints and make updates in minutes or hours, not weeks. But there’s still more to do to reach nirvana.

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Stage 5: Immersive: Elevated experiences

You’re Captain Content!

You’ve done it! You have opposable thumbs AND you’re saving the world with your seamless, elevated customer experiences.

You're a superhero in the digital space.

Your digital world and your physical world are blending together in the most complementary way possible. When shoppers visit your store, they’ll be greeted with their pre-selected products. Language changes dynamically depending on country of origin – it's like the whole store was set up just for your one specific customer.

In this final stage, your customer experience is truly immersive and superior, and your flagship store merges your physical and digital world into one, with a truly personalized individual experience.

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