Sometimes we take everything for granted, and it seems that we all know what we mean when we talk about the Internet, websites and social network, but this is not always the case.
This article is aimed at people who feel a bit overwhelmed by all the concepts and functionalities that digitization forces us to handle and that are not always clear. Our goal is to shed light on basic ideas as a first step to understanding the entire accelerated digitization process in which our society is immersed.
Fundamentals of Web 2.0 and social networks.
The key concepts and fundamentals of the Internet that we are going to explain are the following:
What is the Internet?
The Internet is a network of computers connected worldwide. Through this network, we have access to services such as the world wide web (the websites that we consult daily), electronic mail, file exchange, telephony, digital television, and many others.
The Internet works thanks to the connections of the telecommunications operators; we will not go into detail. Still, the key is to take advantage of the telephony infrastructure to connect large computers (servers) where the services are hosted and which we enter from our devices, whether they are fixed, such as computers or televisions, or mobile, such as smartphones or tablets.
How does the Internet work?
Technical protocols govern the computer network that forms the Internet, and the general protocol is called TCP / IP and identifies each connected computer with IP. The global network is provided with logic through this system so that communications between computers are possible.
Other protocols are those that affect communications, such as email (SMTP), file transfers (FTP or P2P), or the one that affects our access to web pages, HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol), through which our devices know how to find the service we ask for and allow us to link some pages with others.
How does a web page work?
A web page is a set of files generated by html code, to which we have access through an internet connection. Those files are public, and anyone can access them using a browser. The browser is a program that reads html files and shows them to us in a friendly way.
For a web page to be available, a series of elements are needed:
- Domain: It is the name that the browser will search to show us the web. This name translates the IP number of the address into a ‘nice’ title, which is memorable and identifies the service. There are independent international organizations that guarantee the registration of website names.
- Hosting: It is the service through which we ‘host’ the files that make up our website on a server (a potent computer specialized in providing access to websites). This access could be done by connecting a computer 24 hours a day. Still, it is more effective and cheaper to hire these services from specialized companies with large data centers dedicated to this purpose.
- Html files: It is the set of files that browsers decrypt when they access the server to show us a text, images, videos, sounds, etc. and that make up the web pages.
What is a search engine?
It is a web page that provides a particular service: it finds the web related to the concepts we ask for in each search.
Search engines are not a set of informational files about a company, nor do they provide a service, for example, to view videos. They are based on an algorithm that is put into operation when we make a request, and that, based on some criteria, establishes a ranking with the best web pages referred to the keyword that we have entered.
The best known is Google, and all companies want to appear in the best positions of their searches. The set of techniques applied to try to appear as high as possible in the ranking of Google (or other search engines) is called ‘web positioning.’
Its importance is so high that many people confuse Google with the navigation program or application (the best known are Chrome, Firefox, or Explorer). Instead of writing an address (domain) in the navigation bar, they do it in this search engine so that the references found can lead to errors when it comes to finding a particular website.
What types of websites are social networks?
Social networks are a type of service that can work from web pages or mobile apps, and that through a subscription to a database, connect us with other users we can follow. Later an algorithm ‘moves’ our activity and our publications to be more or less visible to the whole database.
Social networks are the clearest example of the evolution of the Internet. At first, the webs were static and unidirectional, and this means that they only provided us with information without the possibility of interaction. Today, all users can become content creators, make comments, share others’ posts, and use online services.
The capacity of the webs as service providers and to serve as communication channels was what came to be called Web 2.0.
The ability to influence our lives on social media is essential. Millions of people worldwide use them every day, so all companies strive to be necessary, trying to add the maximum possible followers and use the internal advertising functionalities of each network.
Each social network is different, and it has a target audience, and its algorithm ‘orders’ the activity and visibility of the publications. If you want to start using them, learn about how they work and their possibilities, not only for personal use but also for business marketing, and find out about each network’s type of content and orientation. There are more visual ones such as Instagram or Pinterest, those that function as information channels, such as Twitter or Telegram, specialized in types of content, such as video on YouTube or Tik Tok, and generalists, such as Facebook.
As you can see, the entire technological system involved in using the Internet is vast. It is not necessary to know all its details, but learning the basics of web 2.0 is essential for today’s society. Digitized services are gaining ground, and knowing how to carry out online procedures or billing electronically will be necessary for a few months.
Suppose all this digital framework still gives you some respect. In that case, we recommend training with a specialized tutor who will guide you and provide you with enough security and independence to start using all the services that the Internet offers today.