The Living Internet

How much do you really know about the Internet? How does it work? Who invented it? The Living Internet has answers to these questions and just about everything else you ever wanted to know about our online world.

I have an endless curiosity for information about the Internet and web. While there are countless sites that cover specific topics, it's surprisingly rare to find comprehensive resources that are both thorough and up to date.

The Living Internet is one of those wonderful sites that will pull you in and hold your attention for hours. The site has been under development since 1996, and is updated weekly. It sports a simple, consistent interface, but don't let the sparse design fool you. The site consists of more than 500 pages, with 2,000 intra-site links over 2,000 external links woven into the text.

The Living Internet is organized into eight major categories: Internet, Web, Usenet, Email, Mailing Lists, IRC (Chat), and MUDs (the once important but now somewhat archaic "multi user dungeons" popular with online gamers).

Each section is organized into eight sections:

- How it was invented
- How it works
- How to use it
- Advanced usage
- Why it's important
- Security issues
- Help
- More information

In addition to the eight major categories, there are numerous links to a melange of other interesting and useful information, including links to recommended software, books and reviews, and a selection of brief biographies of notable Internet pioneers and personalities.

The site's creator, Bill Stewart, is a system engineering manager for a "leading aerospace company." The site has serious credibility -- check out the "comments" page with laudatory remarks from more than a dozen people directly involved in the creation and development of various parts of the Internet.

The Living Internet is an outstanding example of the web at its best -- a freely available labor of love that not only contains a wealth of information in its own right, but points to a carefully selected but wide range of additional excellent online resources.

The Living Internet

The Living Internet: Comments
Laudatory remarks from more than a dozen people directly involved in the creation and development of various parts of the Internet.

2002 Scientific Sci/Tech Web Awards
The Living Internet was one of 50 outstanding web sites selected by the editors of Scientific American. Here are descriptions and links to the 49 others.

Search Headlines

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About the author

Chris Sherman is a frequent contributor to several information industry journals. He's written several books, including The McGraw-Hill CD ROM Handbook and The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See, co-authored with Gary Price. Chris has written about search and search engines since 1994, when he developed online searching tutorials for several clients. From 1998 to 2001, he was's Web Search Guide.