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How 21stcentury.co.uk began, who is behind it, and why.

21stcentury.co.uk was first born as an idea back in 1995, when Clifford White – music composer and producer of the 80’s hit album Ascension – purchased the domain name with a view to creating a kind of ‘Tomorrows World on the web’. Tomorrows World had been a popular TV programme on the BBC during the 80’s – a sort of precursor to ‘The Gadget Show’ – and Clifford had enjoyed seeing where the latest technology was headed, with it’s prospects for a brighter future.

Clifford WhiteAlways having been something of a sci-fi geek, Clifford’s love of Star Trek and the works of Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Sheckley and Douglas Adams, Clifford quickly realised the potential of the internet as an information resource, and he envisioned the 21stcentury.co.uk website as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all things futuristic and technological, fusing articles about the latest gadgets and technological marvels, with ruminations about Science, Physics, the environment and other topics of global interest.

However, whilst Clifford’s vision and intention remained intact, the internet was only just being born (technologically speaking) and Clifford struggled to attain his goals for the website. Quickly learning HTML, Clifford built a rough sketch of the website, but this proved to be too clunky and unwieldy to update. Within a few years the database technology of ASP (active server pages) became available, and again Clifford attempted a rebuild of the website. Using Microsoft Access as a resource, Clifford was an early adopter of the database methodology, and towards the end of the 1990’s, Clifford neared completion of his first official draft of the 21stcentury.co.uk website, which featured a wide variety of his favourite subjects merged together in an innovative and futuristic directory, or ‘portal of the future’…

21stcentury.co.uk in 2001

After a few further revisions and some additional database development, in 1999 the website was officially launched, and quickly became a smash-hit, attracting millions of visitors every year…

>>> Read Part Two : Press & Reviews



21st Century Stats

Originally launched: 1999.

Relaunched: January 1st, 2016.

Contributors: 70 contributors including futurists, engineers, teachers, writers, 23 doctors and 7 professors.

Created by: Clifford White.

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