Many people have had a significant impact on the world of mass media that radically changed how the world communicates information. One example of someone who has done just that would be Tim Berners-Lee, who is best known for his innovation: The World Wide Web. Tim Berners-Lee has impacted the world of mass media in several ways. First, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. Second, since the World Wide Web was invented, it has radically changed the way that the people communicate. Third, the internet has revolutionized how the press gets information to the people. Finally, while the Internet has its advantages, it has had alot more than its share of controversy.
First, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. The story behind the invention of the internet is an interesting one. It all began around 1980 while Tim Berners-Lee was working as a software engineer at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva, Switzerland; also known as CERN. He wanted to figure out a new way to organize his notes “in a brain-like way”, but while improving upon the abilities of “that occasionally memory-constrained organ” and came up with a new way of doing it – building a software program called “Enquire” (TIME). Using the ideas that he used to build Enquire and other ideas that were current at the time, he created another way of finding files on his computer: by creating a type of “hypertext” notebook that allows the text in a document to be linked to other files on the computer. He then thought about accessing materials on other computers. He then thought about opening his computer to not only his coworkers at CERN, but to the scientific community everywhere. By using this type of networking scheme by connecting individual computers together on a network, it would mean no centralized system. This would mean that the new network would have no trouble with scalability, which means that it could grow to infinity. Tim Berners-Lee then built a coding system that was easy to learn and use to build web pages. It is called HyperText Mark-up Language, also well known as “HTML”. It has become the most wildly used language that web developers or even normal people use to create web pages and sites. He then created e new set of protocols that allowed these HTML documents to be connected across the Internet called HyperText Transfer Protocol, also well known as HTTP. Soon after that, Tim Berners-Lee wrote the code for the first web browser, which allowed users around the world to access web pages on the internet. Once the World Wide Web debuted in 1991, the world of mass media changed forever as it brought “order and clarity to the chaos that was cyberspace”. The World Wide Web (the “information-sharing model” built for the internet that is the way accessing and sharing information on the internet) and Internet (the massive network of computers) experienced growth at exponential rates (The Difference). At one point, the number of internet users was doubling every 53 days (TIME). Clearly, Tim Berners-Lee’s inventions made a huge impact on the mass media industry.
Second, since the World Wide Web was invented, it has radically changed the way that the people communicate. Since the Internet was first brought online, many social networking sites have radically changed how people, businesses and organizations communicate. One of those websites is Facebook. With Facebook, anyone could create a profile on the site and not only post their thoughts on their “wall” for friends to see and comment on, but also use instant messaging to talk to friends in real-time and even share photos and videos between friends or even everyone on Facebook. Facebook has evolved the way that people communicate in several ways. One example is how easy it is for anyone to click the “Add Friend” and reconnect with old friends. Another example is how the sheer number of people using Facebook affects the mass media, numbering in the hundreds of millions, possibly soon to be in the billions. Because of how many people use Facebook, the chances are good that anyone wanting to find old friends would find them on Facebook. Businesses who want to advertize would use Facebook because their ads would reach a very large amount of people. Organizations who create community pages or groups for a specific cause could also “speak” to a very large amount of people. Another great example is how Facebook is real time and very easy to update. Since Facebook is real time, people could keep their profiles current from anywhere with just seconds of work at a time, even from mobile devices such as cell phones. This also allows people to share events as they happen within seconds (Welcome)(NEWS). Clearly, Tim Berners-Lee’s invention allowed the social networking sites to form and they evolved the way that people communicate. The global nature of the Internet and the World Wide Web only helps to let sites like this expand on a huge scale.
Third, the internet has revolutionized how the press gets information to the people. For hundreds of years, the newspaper has been the best known and well used source of information on current events. However, in recent years, it’s popularity has declined. Nowadays, 61% of citizens in the western world get their news from the Internet, compared to 17% who get their news from the newspaper. This could be for several reasons. One reason would be that people could access up-to-minute news on the internet at any time from any location if they want to because of the nature of the internet and the evolution of mobile devices that have the capability to access it. There is no need to go to a newsstand or store to buy a newspaper to read news that might be out of date. Another reason is that publishing a story on the internet is also much easier and less expensive than publishing it on printed media. Internet news could also have photos and video supporting the text on a new agency’s website. Another reason would also be that the news is available to many more people due to the worldwide nature of the internet (What are)(Newspapers). Another mainstream format that the internet is quickly replacing would be television. Internet television and streaming video are supplying news in about the same format as television with full motion video. Internet video is also easier to set up and less expensive to put a video online or watch it (Internet). Clearly, Tim Berners-Lee’s inventions revolutionized how the press gets information to the people.
Finally, while the Internet has its advantages, it has had alot more than its share of controversy. Since Tim Berners-Lee invented the internet, it has caused many controversies in the world. One key example of a significant issue in many countries that the internet has provided is the use of censorship to filter “obscene” materials and the worldwide nature of the network. Some countries, such as China have responded with a strict internet censorship scheme that regulates what types of content the people may read or write. In fact, the censorship scheme has been given the nickname “The Great Firewall of China” in popular culture because it blocks thousands of websites that the Chinese government feels are a threat to the country and society. It also affects the ability of the press to report current events freely and without restriction. This was especially a huge issue during the Beijing Olympics, where there were many foreign journalists on site. Another key issue that the internet has caused is the issue of privacy. One major breach of privacy that involves the internet would be Google Street View. Google Street View is part of Google Maps and it allows anyone to view an area as if they were standing on a street. Google uses specially modified vehicles with cameras that take pictures in every direction as the car drives along. These pictures are then uploaded to Google Maps and allow users to use them in addition to maps to look at an area. This has caused major privacy problems because there are several occasions when the vehicle takes photos of people on private property that do not wish to be photographed for various reasons. While Google does offer users the option of reporting individual images to request their removal from the web, that that would be after the fact and the image could have be saved by anyone prior to removal (15 Biggest). Clearly, Tim Berners-Lee has made a significant impact on the world of mass media because while his inventions created many advantages to how media is delivered to the people, it also creates massive controversies in the process.
Tim Berners-Lee has had a significant impact on the world of mass media that radically changed how the world communicates information. His innovations that caused these changes are the World Wide Web and the Internet. Tim Berners-Lee has impacted the world of mass media in several ways. First, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. Second, since the World Wide Web was invented, it has radically changed the way that the people communicate. Third, the internet has revolutionized how the press gets information to the people. Finally, while the World Wide Web and the Internet has its advantages, it has had alot more than its share of controversy. Clearly, Tim Berners-Lee has impacted the world of mass media in many ways, positive and negative.