The internet

The Internet: its effects and its future

Essay written by Eva Kotsi

Internet, its effects in our lives and the future of the Internet:

The Internet is, quite literally, a network of networks. It is comprised of
ten thousands of interconnected networks spanning the globe. The computers that
form the Internet range from huge mainframes in research establishments to
modest PCs in people\'s homes and offices. Despite the recent hype, the Internet
is not a new phenomenon. Its roots lie in a collection of computers that were
linked together in the 1970s to form the US Department of Defense\'s
communications systems. Fearing the consequences of nuclear attack, there was no
central computer holding vast amounts of data, rather the information was
dispersed across thousands of machines. A set of rules, of protocols, known as
TCP/IP was developed to allow disparate devices to work together. The original
network has long since been upgraded and expanded and TCP/IP is now a "de
facto" standard.

Millions of people worldwide are using the Internet to share information,
make new associations and communicate. Individuals and businesses, from students
and journalists, to consultants, programmers and corporate giants are all
harnessing the power of the Internet. For many businesses the Internet is
becoming integral to their operations. Imagine the ability to send and receive
data: messages, notes, letters, documents, pictures, video, sound- just about
any form of communication, as effortlessly as making a phone call. It is easy to
understand why the Internet is rapidly becoming the corporate communications
medium. Using the mouse on your computer, the familiar point-and-click
functionality gives you access to electronic mail for sending and receiving
data, and file transfer for copying files from one computer to another. Telnet
services allow you to establish connections with systems on the other side of
the world as if they were just next door.

This flood of information is a beautiful thing and it can only open the minds
of society. With the explosion of the World Wide Web, anyone could publish his
or her ideas to the world. Before, in order to be heard one would have to go
through publishers who were willing to invest in his ideas to get something put
into print. With the advent of the Internet, anyone who has something to say can
be heard by the world. By letting everyone speak their mind, this opens up all
new ways of thinking to anyone who is willing to listen. Moreover, the Internet
is an information resource for you to search, gathering new data on key search
aspects of your market. Perhaps most importantly, the Internet offers a new way
of doing business. A virtual market-place where customers can, at the push of a
button, select goods, place an order and pay using a secure electronic
transaction.

Businesses are discovering the Internet as the most powerful and cost
effective tool in history. The Net provides a faster, more efficient way to work
colleagues, customers, vendors and business partners- irrespective of location
or operating system harnessing this powerful resource gives companies strategic
advantages by leveraging information into essential business asset. The
"technology of the future" here today. This is a fact. Businesses
making the transition will, and are prospering; however those that do not will
most certainly suffer the consequences.

One of the most commonly asked questions is, "Will the Net help me sell
more product?" The answer is yes, but in ways you might not expect. The
Internet is a communication "tool" first, not and advertisement
medium. Unlike print or broadcasting media, the Internet is interactive; and
unlike the telephone, it is both visual and content rich. A Web site is an
excellent way to reduce costs, improve customer service, disseminate information
and even sell to your market.

Perhaps, the most important facts about the internet are that it contains a
wealth of information, that can be send across the world almost instantly, and
that it can unite people in wildly different locations as if they were next to
each other. The soundest claims for the importance of the Internet in today\'s
society are based upon these very facts. People of like minds and interests can
share information with one another through electronic mail and chat rooms.
E-mail is enabling radically new forms of worldwide human collaboration.
Approximately 225 millions of people can send and receive it and they all
represent a network of potentially cooperating individuals dwarfing anything
that even the mightiest corporation or government can muster. Mailing-list
discussion groups and online conferencing allow us to gather together to work on
a multitude of projects that are interesting or helpful to us. Chat rooms and
mailing