HTML and CSS Reference
1.1.3. Golden Threads
Since those early days, the Web has spawned an entirely new medium
for worldwide information exchange and commerce. For instance, when
the marketeers caught on to the fact that they could cheaply produce
and deliver eye-catching, wow-and-whiz-bang commercials and product
catalogs to those millions of web surfers around the world, there was
no stopping the stampede of blue suede shoes. Even the key developers
of Mosaic and related web server technologies sensed potential riches.
They left NCSA and made their fortunes with Netscape Communications
by producing commercial web browsers and server software. That was
until the sleeping giant, Microsoft, awoke. But that's another story....
Business users and marketing opportunities have helped invigorate the
Internet and fuel its phenomenal growth. Internet-based commerce has
become Very Big Business, exceeding $150 billion annually by 2005.
Traditional bricks-and-mortar businesses have either opened web-based
commercial sites or face extinction.
For some, particularly we Internet old-timers, business and marketing
have also trashed the medium. In many ways, the Web has become a
vast strip mall and an annoying advertising medium. Believe it or not,
once upon a time, Internet users actually followed commonly held (but
not formally codified) rules of netiquette that prohibited such things as
Nonetheless, the power of HTML and network distribution of information
goes well beyond marketing and monetary rewards: serious informa-
tional pursuits also benefit. Publications complete with images and other
media such as executable software can get to their intended audiences
in the blink of an eye, instead of the months traditionally required for
printing and mail delivery. Education takes a great leap forward when
students gain access to the great libraries of the world. And at times
of leisure, the interactive capabilities of HTML links can reinvigorate our
otherwise television-numbed minds.