The internet allows society to communicate with people of all nationality and ages from every country in the world. It has provided the facilities its users most appreciate like the news on the web. Anyone with the skills can post any information on the web, Individuals who post information and use the internet do not need licences or permission which is the reason for such growth globally. The internet is changing the way we communicate but most importantly how we receive and transmit information. “The internet is changing media use patterns and the lifestyles of millions of people who have grown to rely on it as a source of entertainment, information, and communication. People are discovering this interactive medium, and with it, new ways to access information and to communicate with others. The internet is becoming increasingly important in the lives of many people around the world. (Kaye and Medoff, 2001: p.2), I cannot emphasize the importance of the internet as many people not only use it to communicate but also for businesses either to advertise or to partner up with other businesses for parts of the world.
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Tim Berners -Lee created the World Wide Web as a means of sharing scientific information, he wrote the web software as an internet-based hypermedia initiative for global information sharing. “The internet comprises various text only resources and the World Wide Web, which presents information in text, graphic, video, and audio formats. It is this burgeoning internet resource that has captured the attention of millions, and since it is also having a great impact on traditional mass media”. (Medoff and Kaye, 2001: p.3). Traditional mass media allows a “one to many” model of communication where an individual can speak once, but to many people, these are broadcast, satellite television and radio. However the internet allows a ‘many to one’ model which is a cross between mass broadcasting and interpersonal communication, this allows people to choose the information they want and to ignore the rest. The ways in which we communicate are via Email and Chat Forums, Email was developed in the early days of the internet and is currently the most popular, efficient and widely used globally mean of communication. It keeps people connected whether for business or pleasure, the ‘boundaries of email use inevitably overlap with our other metaphors for thinking about the information infrastructure. Chat forums allow the exchange of live conversations. Many argue that “it is a new mass medium that delivers mass messages to a mass audience of web users, thus following the traditional one-to-many model of communication. For example, each web user who visits the CNN interactive page has access to the same information as everyone else regardless of their personal beliefs, attitudes, or opinions. (Kaye and Medoff, 2001: p.9) on the other hand new technologies are developed in order for individuals to select information. This way the internet is seen as a new interactive medium rather than a mass medium. “The internet crosses the boundaries that have traditionally delineated the three modes of communication: mass (one to many), interpersonal one to one and computing many to one. By virtue of its nature, the internet allows for all three types of communication, with a fourth communication mode, many to many emerging. The internet is a vehicle for interpersonal communication and interactivity, mass delivered messages, and information storage, processing, and retrieval. It is a true communication phenomenon and one that allows many forms and styles of communication”. (Kaye and Medoff, 2001: p.9).
The internet changes the way we receive and provide information, we turn to the web for, information, news and entertainment, it is now common for television to be on the web as it enhances ones way of viewing television rather than just using a computer. We now have our favourite shows and news posted on the internet; it is set up so if we miss an episode we can always find it online with extras. This has increased the amount of internet users as it is convenient and comfortable. “Without the time and space constraints that plague traditional media, web authors and designers are free to expand their offerings and produce web-only material and web versions of traditionally delivered fare. The web is exploding with sites that complement traditional offerings but also offer unique content found elsewhere. Electronic magazines and newspapers and online soap operas and talk shows are just a few examples of original content. The web is a unique medium where original and adapted content live side by side” ( Kaye and Medoff, 2001: p.125).
There are new means of communicating where the internet and television would work side by side; Google TV this new wave of technology is set to bring together all information, programs, the internet and media. Internet connected applications will form a central part of Google TV, application such as twitter and YouTube would play a key part as a communication medium on Google TV. Although many disagree to Google TV as people feel Television is suppose to be at the centre of a home and feel this new innovation is rather confusing to the eye, others argue that this new invention would create something new that would bring all one’s interest on one screen.
The World Wide Web has ushered in a new age of news distribution. Prior to the development of the web, the public was at mercy of newspaper printing times and regularly scheduled news programs. Web technology has opened the doors for twenty-four-hour news and for customized reports delivered directly to computer screens at any time of a day. “Electronically delivered news has inherent advantage over printed news in that it can put reports of current events on the air as soon as it happens”. (Medoff and Kaye, 2001: p.155). People want to know what’s going on in the world and that can now be accessed on the internet, news coverage from brazil can be accessed in China, the distribution of stories globally has kept people connected to parts of the world, People interested in stories such as the war in IRAQ or the shooting at a university in America or England can access it online and go into depth of the stories. Examples of newspapers that can be accessed online New York time, The Times, Guardian and The Sun etc. Broadcasting news such as the BBC also has a website of their own where individuals can access their news from; individuals rely on BBC to give them information that could possibly change their lives, protect and to communicate.
Advertisers now Promotion and communication on the web as a way to get the attention from consumers, the four P’s in marketing involves publicity and promotional efforts beyond purchasing advertising space and responding to consumer feedback. The internet has opened ways for disseminating public relations messages to public. “Public relations and the internet are both interactivity and the exchange of ideas, opinions, and information. Interactivity is the common bond between the internet and public relation. The internet provides public relations with a direct link to the public, and the public can in turn interact with public relations agencies and companies’ public relation departments” (Kaye and Medoff, 2001: p.223) “Email communication with reporters and the public electronic distribution of news releases via email and web pages. The internet and World Wide Web are the catalysts that set off the explosion of online services, multimedia information, and interactive technology that is changing the way goods and services are advertised and sold to consumers. Advertising on the web is a way to contact users globally”. (Medoff and Kaye, 2001: p. 223).
The internet is powerful but most importantly a global phenomenon; it is the process of communication in the world today that allows activities to be carried out in a knowledgeable and creative way. The internet is part of everyday life as without it one will feel incomplete; it is the source of entertainment, information and communication. “The internet is the backbone of global computers mediated communication (CMC): it is the network that links up most computer networks (Castells, 2000: p.375). An example of a global internet phenomenon is Facebook, Facebook is not only a social network used to communicate with others but having 30 million worldwide users it is the largest social – networking site with an education focus. The site which features classified advertisements and the exchange of goods and services has allowed users not only to network with friends but also to create links between people and groups with shared interest for them to promote their ideas to others, which has been proven to be an effective business tool examples of the activities that Facebook entails, marketing products, promoting events and connecting with customers/ fans, there is also a new networking site that is proven to almost take over Facebook which is Twitter, twitter is used by everyone to communicate with the world, celebrities use it and we get an update of what they are thinking and even what they are doing we get to meet and communicate with these people over the internet.
Communication through the web can only be possible with the use of internet. “Internet as a global communication network are dominated by individuals and organisation based in countries” however globalisation is the force behind this, as the process has allowed internet to be a communication and information technology. In late modernity globalisation promotes the general good in any practical sense. “The Internet is being used to achieve a great control over globalizing influences and globalised processes of communication in the world today. “The internet is thus creating new opportunities for developing local sensitivity on a global scale, helping aid to remedy problems of global inequality rather than exacerbate them (Slevin, 2000: p. 212).
Another method of communication, where you can access the internet wirelessly is mobile phones, mobile phones are very popular world wide as they are used by everyone not only to communicate by voice or text messaging but other features like surfing the web on your phone. Wi-Fi technologies bring alternative modes of accessing the internet; it has provided internet access to mobile phones users in poor countries where the technology is not popular. “Horizontal networks of communication and multiple sources of information on a global scale create the possibility of a largely autonomous diffusion and exchange of information, ideas and initiatives. (Castells, 2007: p.258). In the 1990’s the internet contributed to the growth of surveillance which then became a Global Sphere. The growth of the internet has provided new opportunities for surveillance where it is seen in the spheres of workplace, military, government and for personal use.
To end the internet would forever have an impact in our lives, it would enhance the way we live and communicate to others, and it would enable us to create identities we share with the world. There are thousands of ways to transfer information and data, we have been giving opportunities to create businesses on a global scale, where we can communicate with business owners in other countries that might enhance ones business. With a click of a button one can access anything on the web which is what makes the internet a phenomenal. With the internet changing lives and developing as a form of information society it also plays a role in exposing people especially politicians and celebrities. Cyberspace is changing how we live our lives and one has to be careful especially living in the public eye. It was cyberspace that exposed the scandal about Bill Clinton; the story, posted on the web to audiences, changed how audiences perspective on him, as well as the scandals about Tiger Woods’ which also spiralled over the web, this could be seen as a negative to the internet and what it comes with. “Technological change seems to have its own logic, which we may perhaps protest about or even try to block, but which we appear to be unable to alter fundamentally. (Kitchin, 2001: p.57) “they are developed at any one time and placed in accord with a complex set of exciting rules or rational procedures, institutional histories, technical possibilities, and last, but not least, popular desirers” (Kitchin, 2001: p.58).
Deibert, R. J. 1997. Parchment, Printing and Hypermedia: Communication in New World Order Transformation. New York: Columbia University Press. Chapter 5
Kaye, B. K. and Medoff, N. J. 2001: The World Wide Web: A Mass Communication Perspective. London: Mayfield.
Winston, B. 1998: Media Technology and Society. A History: From the Telegraph to the Internet. London: Routledge.
Bakardjieva, M. 2005. Internet Society: The Internet in Everyday Life. London: Sage.
Castells M, Fernandez- Ardevol M, Linchuan Qiu J and Sey A. 2007. Mobile Communication and Society: A Global Perspective.
Kitchin, R. 1998: Cyberspace: The World in Wires. Chapter 2
http://www.rheingold.com/ – Howard Rheingold
http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee Tim Berners-Lee
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