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World Wide Web

Video clip synopsis – Websites are the new vehicles for advertising.
Year of production - 2005
Duration - 2min 10sec
Tags - emerging technologies, Internet, media and society, media production, World Wide Web, see all tags


World Wide Web

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About the Video Clip


This interview with Stephen Mayne was recorded for the website From Wireless to Web, produced in 2005.

Stephen Mayne is the founder and editor of independent news service You can view his full biography at From Wireless to Web

The website is a selective history of broadcast media in Australia. Decade by decade, from radio and newsreels to TV and the internet, this history shows how the Australian broadcast media developed and shaped the way Australians see themselves.

From Wireless to Web is a Film Australia production in association with Roar Film.

Curriculum Focus


Area of study 3. New media

This area of study focuses on the social consequences of the emergence of new media technologies. The creative implications of new media technologies are considered in the context of the capabilities of the technologies, their relationship with existing media, how they provide alternative means of representation and distribution of media products. Their cultural significance is investigated in terms of how they challenge and alter our perception of the world through the media products that can be produced and consumed, and the changes, possibilities and concerns that may arise in society.

Technological advancements in the media occur within the context of the society in which they are created, developed and used. Such developments, therefore, not only affect media products themselves but also change the processes involved in production, distribution and consumption. In many instances they may also influence the nature of the reality (the event) being depicted by the media; for example, digital imaging techniques have allowed the manipulation (that is altering, distorting, mutating and reshaping) of photographic representations. The convergence of new media technologies, digitisation, computerisation and high-speed data transfer create new pathways for the transmission, exchange and storage of both existing and new forms of information and entertainment. Issues such as ownership, copyright, privacy and access gain new significance in terms of the relationship between media technology and the circulation of representation.

This material is an extract. Teachers and Students should consult the Victoria Curriculum and Assessment Authority website for more information.

Background Information


The advent of the World Wide Web radically changed the online experience. At last information could be interpreted and displayed in a standardised form across the vast 'web’ of different computer networks. Cyberspace was transformed, appearing as a seamless global information system, enabling users anywhere to search, browse and interact. Now the Internet and Web are redefining the nature of human communication, and challenging traditional limits to human relationships and communities.

World Wide Web
“What we are building now is the nervous system of mankind, which will link together the whole human race, for better or for worse, in a unity which no earlier age could have imagined.” (Arthur C Clarke, science fiction writer, Voices From the Sky, 1965)

The Internet is a communications system formed by the interconnecting networks of computers around the world. But before the advent of the World Wide Web in 1992, only computer scientists with programming skills could make use of the Net.

The World Wide Web – also known as 'www’, 'web’ or 'w3’ – is the virtual world of network-accessible information available to computers. The Web consists of a vast number of 'pages’, and links. Web pages can include text, graphics and images, videos and sound. In November 2004 Google claimed to cover 8,058,044,651 web pages. (Wikipedia 'Size Comparisons’)

The web uses a special language and set of rules to create 'web pages’ – primarily Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) and the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP). 'Browsers’ – software for searching and viewing information on the Web – interpret and display information coded in HTML across the vast 'web’ of different computer networks and systems. This creates an environment that, for users, appears like a seamless global information system, where people may search, browse and interact.

The World Wide Web was 'invented’ in 1989 by British-born Tim Berners-Lee when he wrote the first 'web browser’ – software to interpret and display HTML (hyper text mark-up language) – thereby making the coded material on a multitude of different computers and operating systems uniformly readable in plain English. Berners-Lee was working at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory based in Switzerland at the time. As the international physics community used a diverse range of information systems and computer networks, Berners-Lee wanted to create an efficient way for the different networks to interconnect, share information and communicate with each other. Two years later, in 1992, CERN released the World Wide Web.

Classroom Activities


Answer the following questions from the Video Clip Context and the video clip itself:

  1. Log your internet usage for a week.
    1. Comment on how often you used the web.
    2. What did you use it for?
    3. What were the alternatives you could have used if you had not been able to use the web?
  2. Name five ways the web has changed the way you or your family do things.
  3. Have you or anyone you know ever bought anything online?
    1. Why didn’t you go to a shop? If you have not bought anything online, would you?
    2. What might be some problems with buying online?

Further Resources


Go to From Wireless to Web for more about the history of broadcast media in Australia.