Before the invention of the internet, we would have to call one store after another to try to get the best price on a major purchase. When we did buy something, it was not from the convenience of our own home. We stood in line at the bank during “bankers’ hours”. As for finding information, we either did not find the information we needed or did so only through great effort and expense. We also were more isolated as individuals because of the barriers of time and distance. On the whole, it is clear that the internet has benefited society by allowing for easier communication and access to data. In particular, communication and access to data has been eased through the use of: the various ...view middle of the document...
This was a great advantage over having to mail a letter and wait for a response or make a comparatively expensive telephone call with the hope that your party is available.
Another example of networking is “Packet Switching”. Packet Switching is the process of taking numerous files and combining them into a “Packet” to be sent in a space-saving way to another host/person. This enables files that were once too large to be sent over a network to actually be sent and received within a reasonable timeframe. Some common examples of data transferred in compressed form are downloaded movies, photographs, and software.
Aside from networking, another part of the internet, and particularly the web, allows for faster communication and access to data. The web is a system of Internet servers that support specially formatted documents. The documents are formatted in a markup language called HTML (HyperText Markup Language). Through the use of this computer language, the internet has become a fundamental building block upon which to create a society that is fully benefitting from the internet. In particular, the web facilitates communication and data availability by allowing the user to access information from a location other than the location where the data is stored, all without the trouble and delays of having to travel or mail a hard copy. One example of the faster communication and access to data allowed by the web is its current use of the internet as a glorified television set.
Although the web was driven initially by the overall need for communication within a specific business or group, it is not surprising that the most rapid web growth has been outside of the work environment, and specifically in the area of increasing the amount of publicly available information. According to Fensel, web publishing, “in which few write and many read”, has profited most from the snowballing effects of constantly rising numbers in readers and writers. In the current environment, with the invention of “intranets” (i.e., inner networks not available for public use or internal servers), web use is returning to organizations and to the original goal of facilitating workplace collaboration.
In fact, that original idea of collaboration never left. “There have always been, since 1991, many internal servers, but as they were generally invisible from the outside of the companies’ firewalls, they did not get very much attention from the press”(Pagani 4). For the web to work to the greater advantage of people, it needs not only to be easy to browse for information, but it also must be easy to put information out on the internet. In a world of people and information, the people and the information should be in equilibrium. This ease of access to information and also the ability to quickly share information is one of the main benefits that the internet has brought to society today.
Along with networks and the web,...