The WWW: Evolution of a New Communication Medium

The World Wide Web is a new medium of communication that allows for rapid and seamless distribution of hypertext and hypermedia information throughout the globe. Despite the fact that the idea of the WWW as it is now implemented is only six years old, the technologies and ideas that have brought us the web have developed since the forties. In this hypertext essay, I will trace the development of the WWW through two of the it's three paths of creation.

  • The Internet Network: This network of networks created a way for computers to connect together. It's ability to structure communications without centralization was crucial for the rapid growth and acceptance of the web.
  • Hypertext: All books are hypertext documents in that they use footnotes and reference sources. The idea of hypertext as a system for creating an amorphous body of information using links can be traced back to 1945. It's long intellectual development and refinement, through a vast number of projects and publications, provided a precedent for the Web's creation.

I will not chart the history of the personal computer. It is enough to know that the web could not have happened without the evolution of the computer from textual number crunchers to multimedia machines with graphical interfaces.

After following the evolution of the internet, hypertext, and the WWW, I will spend some time talking about how it differs from other communications mediums. Finally, I will discuss how the WWW is changing society and make some predictions about it's place in the society of the future. I have come to the conclusion that because the WWW allows for rapid and seamless integration of all other technological mediums of communication, it will allow people to learn and interact in new and powerful ways, and will be the primary force in constructing a radically different future society.

References and bibliography.

Chris Boraski