The Internet - World Wide Web

We all know about the basic internet, indeed we are using it right now. This section will explore the little known areas and side nodes that are seldom explored for the nuggets of knowledge they contain. Information that will help you to better use and explore the internet that has greatly changed and enriched all of our lives.

"What I learned was the ability to understand how the Internet works without any prior knowledge."

Experienced across the world

THE INTERNET, AND ESPECIALLY the World Wide Web, finally brought computers into the mainstream. The Internet is the reason that computers actually became useful for the average person. The Internet is the thing that made a computer something you check in with daily, even hourly. And that is what this section is about: how the web and the Internet allowed computers to infiltrate our everyday lives. From roughly 1993 through 2008 computers and technology itself stopped being esoteric and started becoming vital and indispensable. This section is about how we allowed those technologies into our lives, and how those technologies changed us.


Great hookup

Computers were first hooked together in a meaningful way in 1969. This was the ARPANET, the grandfather of the Internet and it was birthed by a Cold War–era alliance of the United States military and the academic-industrial complex. The ARPANET was a blue-sky research project that, ostensibly, would allow for greater (and more resilient) communications among decision-makers during a nuclear strike. The ARPANET evolved into the Internet we recognize today not as a populist or mass-market communications system, but as an electronic playground between universities where academics could play and exchange ideas. however the Internet remained stubbornly aloof, sequestered in the ivory towers of academia.

ties that bind

Tim Berners-Lee invented the WORLD WIDE WEB while he was employed at CERN, the great multinational scientific research institution in Switzerland. The Internet was born in the midst of a great scientific effort to win the Cold War, and the web was born in the midst of a great scientific effort to reveal the secrets of the Big Bang. Berners-Lee saw his new Internet protocol as an improvement on top of the existing ARPANET structure of the Internet itself. He built the WWW upon previous conceptual and philosophical notions (hypertext, cyberspace, collaboration) to create what was really a new medium. In his Usenet post announcing the web, Berners-Lee declared, “The WWW project merges the techniques of information retrieval and hypertext to make an easy but powerful global information system.”

World Wide Web

On 6 August 1991, British physicist Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in Switzerland published the first ever website, the WorldWideWeb (W3).

By the end of 1992 there were ten websites online and, after CERN made the W3 technology publicly available on a royalty-free basis in 1993, the internet gradually started to grow into the all-encompassing giant that it is today.

By 1994, there were close to 3 thousand sites, one of which was a fledgling Yahoo! which, originally called ‘Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web’, started its online life as a web directory.

Windows was beginning to take personal computers into the majority of the world’s homes and offices, and the computer mouse and the graphical icon were making computing an easy point-and-click intuitive for everyday people. The web lived in this world. You navigated the web with a mouse, you clicked on links, and the whole thing moved with the innate, logical simplicity of how human thought seems to work: jumping from one idea or association to another, flowing backward and forward in the direction of idea and inspiration, reference and retort.

The WORLD WIDE WEB took the fundamental concept of the Internet (connecting computers together) and made it manifest through the genius of the hyperlink. One website linked to another. One idea linked to another. This metaphor of the link made the whole conceptual idea of the Internet, of linking computers together, of linking people’s minds together, of linking human thought together, finally and wonderfully real. By the time Google came onto the scene in 1998 there were over two million websites. 


Today there are 1.71 billion websites, and  despite being lower than 2017’s 1.76 billion, the number of websites is currently increasing at a very fast rate each year.