Tim Berners-Lee (TBL), in his first blog post, reminds us of a very important bit of web history. He writes: "The first browser was actually a browser/editor, which allowed one to edit any page, and save it back to the web..." TBL might also have noted that the Enquire program that he wrote in 1980 (10 years before the WWW) supported an edit mode.
The idea of a read/write web had been motivating the work of many hypertext developers like TBL long before the web was born. But, the last 10 years experience with the largely "read-only" web has caused many people to forget that the original idea was to create a writeable, creative space -- not just a network of things to be read. Fortunately, the growth of blogging is finally causing the renaissance of the read/write web. What we don't understand, I think, is how the original idea of the read/write web could have been "lost" -- even temporarily.