26 September 2011
World Wide Web
No matter what you call it, W3, the net, or triple dub, the world wide web is a connection to the digital universe. The internet contains hyperlinks, the digital universe’s worm hole, that take you to a completely different part of the web if so desired. It is a vessel to post information, send information, and receive information. “It’s basically a lot of different files (all over the world) that are linked to each other, so that you can look at a file that has a link to another file and then follow that link to read the next file.”1
The world wide web in present day is a powerful and fast tool, but it hasn’t always been this way. People of the world wanted to communicate more quickly than a four-day horseback ride to another city to deliver a message. This is where necessity starts to breed invention. “The Atlantic cable of 1858 was established to carry instantaneous communications across the ocean for the first time…cables laid in 1866…remained in
use for almost 100 years.”2 Here is what is believed to be the beginnings of the World Wide Web. That obviously wasn’t enough for the world to function with one another so the seed that was sewn started to grow and evolve. Initially it seemed as if the web was created for government use. “1957 – October 4th – the USSR launches Sputnik, the first artificial earth satellite. 1958 – February 7th – In response to the launch of Sputnik, the US Department of Defense issues directive 5105.15 establishing the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA).”2
This new development was the foundation and the beginnings of our present day web. It was the birth of a new technological advancement.
“In 1962, Dr. J.C.R. Licklider was chosen to head ARPA’s research in improving the military’s use of computer technology. Licklider was a visionary who sought to make the government’s use of computers more interactive. To quickly expand technology, Licklider saw the need to move ARPA’s contracts from the private sector to universities and laid the foundations for what would become the ARPANET.”2
Communications between universities continued to progress after their fist initial log in test. After a while, the information system began to enter the more public realm. ARPA had renamed itself to DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Agency) and other institutions were adopting this technology.
- 1986 The technical scope of IPTO expands and it becomes the Information Science and Technology Office (ISTO).2
- 1991 ISTO splits into the Computing Systems Technology Office (CSTO) and the Software and Intelligent Systems Office2
As you can see, after companies split and popularity begins to grow, the World Wide Web has matured into what we use today. In fact it’s what I am using as a research tool to write this paper. It is much more than just a research tool, however I personally feel that it is used primarily for that reason.
Web browsers can access the web. These include Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Netscape, although the latter isn’t in much popularity anymore. I’m sure there are others. I just wanted to name a few. These browsers allow anybody with a computer and a telephone line to access nearly any information they can think of.
If you want to shop, send letters, look at pictures, watch movies, or even read the newspaper, you can. The World Wide Web, or the Internet which it is typically called, is a venue for social networking as well. There are many sites to talk to friends or leave a blog post all due to this interconnectivity that has been developed.
I believe there can be many influences with the Internet as well. With the capacity to reach billions or even trillions of people, you can persuade many minds and sway many decisions without ever leaving your house.
The Internet is a very interesting digital structure. It’s almost like a live organism that grows constantly. It is also still evolving. Internet sites constantly try to create a more user-friendly environment. I feel people get confused when they can’t find something to click or there is anything that requires more effort than just a click. On a side note, I think it’s funny when people recklessly click because their page hasn’t loaded immediately after the first click. Which is another point. The connection to the Internet has gotten a lot faster. It’s also wireless! Our need for the Internet has driven companies to market Internet accessibility on their phones!
The Internet is easy to get on and when you get there it is fairly simple to navigate. My mom doesn’t know how to text message, but she can surf the web and
e-mail me links to sites. That’s how easy it has become for people to use. Why wouldn’t it be easy? Companies stand to lose a lot of money if the user of their site can’t look, listen, or find what they are with quickness and ease. This transcends itself into the real world.
People seem to want to be in and out. No hassles, no waiting, just catering to their every need. The only thing that would make the Internet the hottest commodity known to man, is if your product would just materialize in your room with a minimum waiting time.
The Internet has its drawbacks though. Once your information is out there, everyone has the possibility of seeing it. Your credit card numbers, bank information, personal information. The web is definitely not a place for privacy.
The World Wide Web has come a long way and has developed and will continue to develop. Who knows what the next big move for the Internet will be, but this “information super highway” will be around for a long time and so will our connections between people and places in this digital universe.
The World Wide Web for the Clueless
Text copyright 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002 by Eri Izawa
History of Internet & World Wide Web The Roads and Crossroads of Internet History