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What is the World Wide Web?


44,248 Questions Answered

TEDEd Animation

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The World Wide Web is used every day by millions of people for everything from checking the weather to sharing cat videos. But what is it exactly? Twila Camp describes this interconnected information system as a virtual city that everyone owns and explains how it’s organized in a way that mimics our brain’s natural way of thinking.

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Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, a hypermedia platform that harnesses the powers of the Internet to connect anything together – people, files, ideas, communities. He wrote a book called Weaving the Web, in which he talks about the freedom that this ability to connect things together gives us.
He is also the director of the World Wide Web Consortium, which does the important work of guiding the development of the web through web standards.
Although Tim Berners-Lee is the father of the World Wide Web, he does not profit from it the way other inventors profit from their inventions. In fact, the Web is an open, de-centralized entity in which anyone can participate. Though web technology and the Internet can be regulated, and often is by governments, the World Wide Web is not owned by anyone. It belongs to all of us.
Here are a few resources about the regulation of the Web and about Net Neutrality: the spirit of open access, many groups provide free and open content via the Web. For example, W3Schools is the world’s largest repository for free tutorials on building websites ( Anyone can access the tutorials and teach themselves about building websites.
The World Wide Web isn’t just a cool place to connect with friends and share information. It is literally changing the way we live our lives, the way we stay in touch with friends and family, the way we find answers to pressing questions, the way we connect with our communities. It has changes the way we work, play, and live.

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Twila Camp
  • Producer Darcy Vorhees
  • Director Tom Beuerlein
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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