While for most of its early existence, the Internet was primarily a research and academic network, the real driving force behind the growth of the Internet came with the advent of the World Wide Web (WWW or Web) in the late 1980s followed by the commercialisation of the Web over the last five years or so. Not only could companies now get access to all of the information on this global network, but they could make money as well. Furthermore, they could do it in the graphic point-and-click environment of the Web.

It has been the Web, perhaps more than the Internet itself, that has captured our imagination and fuelled our move into cyberspace.

This is mainly because

  • it is uniquely geared to satisfying our human traits by being interactive,
  • it incorporates multimedia features and enhances information assimilation and retention,
  • it is available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year,
  • it provides users with a global perspective, and it
  • it provides us with enormous choice