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Video clip synopsis – Websites are the new vehicles for advertising.
Year of production - 2005
Duration - 2min 10sec
Tags - design, emerging technologies, innovation, Internet, technology, technology and society, web protocols, web standards, 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


This Module can be used to achieve some of the outcomes of the NSW Information and Software Technology Years 7–10 syllabus; specifically the following outcomes:
5.4.1: A student analyses the effects of past, current and emerging information and software technologies on the individual and society.

This material is an extract. Teachers and students should consult the Board of Studies 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

  1. Discuss and research the meanings of the following terms: URLs, HTTP, XML/RDF, SMIL, SOAP, web accessibility and web applications.
  2. Explain the difference between hypertext and hyperlinks.
  3. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the international organisation founded by Tim Berners-Lee that works on developing protocols and guidelines that ensure long-term growth for the web. Since 1994, W3C has produced more than ninety web standards, called W3C Recommendations that contribute to web interoperability. Develop a biography about Tim Berners-Lee for a newspaper.
  4. Web applications and dynamic web sites were major developments in the types of interactions that can occur on the web. One simple example is the use of ‘cookies’ to remember details about users so that on return to a specific site, it is tailored to the needs of that user. The ability to search within websites is another example. It also enabled cost effective subscription based services such as Stephen Mayne’s niche website Crikey. The ability to develop ‘smarter’ and more personalised sites as well as providing an interface that allowed customers to access information/services via the web created greater incentive for individuals and organisations to use the web.
    Outline the advantages and disadvantages of web services.
  5. Imagine you have volunteered as an AID worker in a developing country. The community in which you are working will soon have its first computer and internet access. Your role BEFORE the computer arrives is to explain to the community leaders how the internet works and the possible benefits for their community. Prepare what you are going to say. Rehearse your explanation in front of the class.

Further Resources


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

Go to Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), Internet

Go to HowStuffWorks, How Web Pages Work

Go to Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman