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Today has been designated One Web Day - a day of celebration of the internet - with a number of celebrations planned across the world tonight, including the appearance of the man that invented the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, expected in London.

The holiday is the brainchild of net luminary and law professor Susan Crawford, who started planning for the day at the start of the year and has persuaded a number of other web leading lights to join in and host their own events from New York to Tokyo to Naples and London.

In London, the Lord Mayor (not Ken, the other one) will make a speech at 4pm outside Mansion House about the future of the web, while the UK's net community has planned drinks in the Royal Exchange Grand Cafe & Bar at Bank between 2pm and 6pm where, it is rumoured, Tim Berners-Lee will make a guest appearance after it was discovered he was in the country.

Meanwhile, net entrepreneur Joi Ito has already started celebrating at the Ana Hotel in Tokyo, posting details on his blog; and Crawford will be at the New York event along with Craig Newmark of Craigslist, Scott Heiferman of Meetup, Drew Schutte from Wired, and Gale Brewer from New York's City Council. A further 20 events from Bulgaria to the Phillipines, and even on virtual world Second Life have been organised.

All details on events across the world have been listed on the OneWebDay website.

The idea behind OneWebDay is to remember that the web is not just a jumble of machines, but also a social environment.

"The web is worth celebrating, and so we're going to do that - and not take it for granted," Crawford explained. "The idea behind OneWebDay is to create an Earth Day for the internet. It is a day to celebrate how important the web is to each of us."

As well as the talk and excuse for a party, however, OneWebDay also wants to encourage people to collaborate over the net, including posting photos of events across the world online, and recommends that everyone do one web-related action in celebration. It suggests teaching someone to use an application like a blog or a wiki, start a group blog, help a student find a new educational resource, talk to your town about getting free wireless access, and so on.

More details about events and the idea behind OneWebDay can be found at www.onewebday.org. ®

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