Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Living Internet Has the Skinny on the Worlds in Cyberspace

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Living Internet Has the Skinny on the Worlds in Cyberspace

Article excerpt


As the Internet becomes more and more a part of our daily, "regular" lives, reporters and editors who would never consider themselves technophiles increasingly are writing about Web sites, newsgroups, domain names, and search engines. And because we don't want to write about anything we don't understand, there needs to be a place where the Internet can explain itself - its history, its structures, its thousands of parts - clearly and quickly when we're in a hurry. And when are we not in a hurry?

One of the best digital resources I've found for background on all things Internet is operated by computer scientist Bill Stewart. His Living Internet site appears to be the most comprehensive online source of information about the Net, made all the better by an organization designed for the fastest possible delivery of data from its screens to our heads.

Stewart offers an excellent overview of the Internet and its main technologies. Each section describes how a specific technology (such as e-mail or newsgroups) was invented, how it works, advanced usage, help resources, and associated topics. Each also features links to authoritative and useful related sites.

Taken all together, this covers the spectrum of basic and advanced information, with material of use to reporters, editors, and readers.

To get started, visit the site at, where Stewart's welcoming message provides a concise overview of the site's structure, along with links to frequently visited sections, such as those covering IP (Internet protocol) addresses and the story of how the Internet was invented. A navigation bar along the left column of the main screen provide links for fast access to seven key sections, covering the Internet, e-mail, the Web, Usenet newsgroups, Internet Relay Chat, multiuser dimensions, and mailing lists.

Click on any of the topics to go to the top of Stewart's article about that technology. Most start with an interesting quote from an Internet pioneer or relevant document, followed by a brief definition of the service and a list of hyperlinked titles of the sections within that subject.

Suppose you needed a broader understanding of Usenet and its world of newsgroup bulletin boards. You could click on the "Usenet Newsgroups" link on the navigation bar. …

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