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The Basics:
About the Internet and the World Wide Web
The Basics
The Internet
New Ways to Communicate
Tools for Using the Internet
The World Wide Web
Web Browsers
Aids for Navigating the Internet
Accessing the Internet
Regional Resources
Creating a Web Presence
Resource Locator
Electronic Communications
Electronic Publishing
Electronic Commerce
Online Marketing
This section of "Living in a Networked World" describes the Internet and the World Wide Web. It includes an historical overview, explains how you can use the Internet and the World Wide Web, and explores some of the implications that these communications systems will have on our lives.


The Internet has been called the "network of networks." Simply put, it's a way to link millions of people around the world, each of whom is using a computer connected to a smaller network such as the one in their office, or school, or to a commercial network such as America Online or CompuServe.

The Internet has quickly become a global communications system, offering new ways to reach other people and vast new sources of information. Don't be overwhelmed by the rapid advance of the technology. The phone lines and computers are merely the tools of the networked world that make new forms of human communication possible. These new ways to communicate are supported by a variety of simple tools for using the Internet. One aspect of the Internet, the World Wide Web, is becoming one of the most popular forms of this new communications medium.

Nobody owns or controls the Internet or the World Wide Web, although millions of individuals and organizations control their own piece of it. The Internet does have some governing bodies that propose standards and specifications and help plan for the future including the Internet Society and the World Wide Web Consortium and the U.S. Internet Council.

Individuals or organizations who just want to browse the Internet, send e-mail or use other basic facilities will need only a computer, modem, communications software and a simple way of accessing the Internet. The faster the computer and modem, the better, especially if you want to use the most sophisticated graphics and the animation capabilities of the World Wide Web. However, even older, slower computers can make use of most of the Internet's information and communications resources. It doesn't have to cost much to become an accomplished network user. Even those who want to create a World Wide Web presence will find many affordable options, although ambitious Web sites will require more sophisticated equipment and services.

The explosive growth of the Internet and the World Wide Web has created an environment where users have many choices and few restrictions. The sheer number of resources can be overwhelming, but there are a number of aids for navigating the Internet that can help you find the information you need.

Many training and education programs in the Greater Washington region are available for people seeking personal or classroom instruction. To learn more on your own, we recommend the following sources: Information Sources

The following list is a small sample of the resources available to you.

Magazine Articles:

  • "Managing in a Wired World" appeared in the July 11, 1994 issue of FORTUNE. This article looks at how computer networking effects organizations.

A number of periodicals are available that cover the Internet, World Wide Web, and electronic communications. They include magazines, newsletters, journals and online electronic magazines (sometimes called Ezines). Visit Yahoo's Internet Magazines listing to see some of the titles available. Books:

  • The Internet Unleashed 2nd Edition
    By Steve Bang, Martin Moore, Rick Gates, et al, Sams Publishing.
  • Navigating the Internet
    By Mark Gibbs and Richard J. Smith, Sams Publishing.

Resources for Nonprofits:

CompuMentor is a nonprofit organization that helps other nonprofits, public agencies, and schools use technology effectively. Their Web site includes resource centers for nonprofits, educators, and volunteers.


Online Information:

Newsgroups, Listservs and Discussion Groups:
  • for Net-Happenings is a mailing list and discussion group about Internet facilities.
  • news://news/comp.infosystems.www.announce for Announce is a newsgroup that provides a place to discuss the World Wide Web.

For an explanation of newsgroups, listservs, discussion groups and other Internet facilities, see New Ways to Communicate and Tools for Using the Internet.

Online Guides:

Affiliations and Conferences:

Additionally, many conventions and conferences are held regularly which focus on Internet and networked communication issues. Up-to-date lists of single and recurring events - local, national, or international - are also available. Visit one of the following resources for more information.

Online Internet Research:

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