This article will explore who makes the internetwork and how their labour has helped shape the world around us. Who makes the internet work?
1) Internet Service Providers
Internet service providers (ISPs) are companies that provide a customer with access to the internet. They include telephone and cable companies and wireless carriers who connect you to your ISP, which then connects you via fibre-optic lines or radio waves to the rest of the world. Their job is crucial because, after all, there would be no need for the internet if no one could get online. Without them, we wouldn't have access to our favorite websites such as Facebook or YouTube.
Up to 40% of people in developing countries rely on their mobile phones solely for accessing social media sites like Facebook and Twitter due primarily to lack of infrastructure, including ISP.
2) Search Engines
Search engines are, as their name implies, the links that help you find what you're looking for on the internet. Without Google or Bing to point us in the right direction, we'd be left wandering through cyberspace hoping to stumble upon our desired website by chance rather than skill.
Like ISPs, without search engines, there would have been no way of knowing about YouTube back when it first launched and was only used by a handful of people. Even now, if not for Google's incredible ability to guess exactly what you might be searching for before you even finish typing your query, then most likely, many new websites built today wouldn't exist because they wouldn't show up on page one of any search engine results page (SER)
3) Online Merchants
Online merchants are the companies that sell you everything from groceries to cars. Without them, we wouldn't be able to order takeout for dinner or buy new furniture without leaving our homes. Thanks to online shopping carts and PayPal, most people feel comfortable purchasing items they've never seen in person before simply because it's safe and easy. And with sites like Amazon running 24/365, there is no shortage of products available on demand at any given time.
4) Social Media
Social media is an exciting category because it's not always considered part of the internet. However, in 2011 people spent more time on social networks than email and watching videos online combined, which means that at least half our time browsing the web was dedicated to social content.
Facebook has over a billion members making it one of the most popular websites ever launched. At the same time, sites like Twitter helped birth new forms of communication by allowing anyone with internet access (and 140 characters) to share their thoughts with millions instantly through public updates called tweets. Without this unique way to interact across borders, we'd still be limited by geography when contacting friends or family overseas.
5) Internet Pioneers
Internet pioneers are the people who helped build and grow the internet from scratch. They're an eclectic group of brilliant minds, engineers, coders, entrepreneurs, investors anyone smart enough to have ever played a part in inventing or developing modern-day tools that make life online easier for everyone else. Without them, we wouldn't enjoy all the conveniences of having instant access to billions of other people's lives through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and Google Maps and Waze, which help us navigate our way to new places with ease.
Thanks to these visionaries, it has never been so easy (or fun) for creative thinkers worldwide to develop entirely new ways to communicate online. And best yet, we don't need to worry about where the following website or search engine will come from since thousands of startups are now developing new tools every day.
6) Internet Users
Internet users are the people who spend their time browsing websites and using tools like search engines and social media to find information or connect with friends online.
The world would be a very different place if it weren't for these folks because without them, there'd be no one around to visit all those new sites being created every day by entrepreneurs, small businesses, major corporations, anyone. And we certainly wouldn't have anything to share on Facebook when they're not looking since most of our updates are shared privately through direct messages rather than publicly in news feeds where everyone can see what's going on at any given moment.
The internet is a truly incredible invention and would never have been possible without all these different parties working together.