What is the Web?

I’m currently studying several MOOCS (Mass Open Online Courses). One of them is all about Web Science – which is proving to be a fascinating subject.

Having just done an exercise on looking at how we came to have a World Wide Web, I have written this short summary of my thoughts so far.

The Web is not a great invention that has been dropped into our everyday lives. It’s an ever-changing, ever-growing resource that we can shape and that will shape us. It’s easy to reify the Web and think that it’s a “thing”, which implies something that we have no control over, and carries connotations of it being almost an enemy or something to fear. But the fact is that we can influence the growth and development of the Web. We can add content, we can use it to enhance our lives, we can decide what resources to use. This means that the Web is more like a person with whom we have a developing relationship. We go through good times and bad times together, we see the Web’s good sides and bad sides, and we gain a better understanding of each other as time goes by.

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