It is wrong to think about the Internet as a platform or a mass media channel. What began as a project from the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) came to be much more than network between machines. The goal was to use current infrastructures to access military databases in disperse locations. Thanks to the way it was designed, the Internet can now be used for a multitude of porpuses, of which viewing webpages and exchanging emails are just two of the oldest examples.
“(…) I did not forsee the powerful side of the internet community and its impact in every aspect of our society. My initial vision was for the network to allow for machine-to-machine or person-to-machine interaction but it’s main use is now the person-to-person interaction.”
In time the Internet evolved and was used in universities and later became available to the public. With this growth we also saw an increase in ways we can interact, with each other and with machines. Content is now passed on to others at much greater speeds and be accessed through a vast number of platforms (computers, mobile phones, netbooks and even game consoles). Most of all, it is meant so that anyone can both access and publish content for everyone thus allowing for a number of interactions, from personal phone calls and messages to group forming and mass collaboration.
What we call the Internet is in fact a set of communication technologies that are made to interact with each other and allow for a rich and interactive communication. The most visible part of the Internet is the Web, a network of hyperlinked documents to which we are beginning to add a myriad of other features and possibilities of interaction thanks to the use of databases, dynamic programming languages such as PHP, Ruby and several others, and of course, HTML5. This means that today the web is not only made of documents, but also software applications.