Chapter 2: The Web and the Real World

There are billions of pages on the World Wide Web. They would just be a big pile of pages if they weren't connected.

What connects them? In the real world, a page is next to another page because the pages are held together by the cover of a book. But on the Web, two pages are only "next" to each other if they are linked. As you know, a link is some text or picture on a Web page that you can click that takes you from that page to another. Links turn the billions of separates pages of the Web into a web.

These links are called "hyperlinks" to show that they're not like links in the real world. In the real world, if I want to link together two dogs by connecting their leashes, the two dogs have to be very close to each other. It won't work if one dog is in Cleveland and the other in Rome. On the Web, though, you can link a page in Cleveland to one in Rome as easily as you can link a page you've created with a page your next door neighbor created. That's what puts the "hyper" into "hyperlink."

Links to Explore

Search 3 billion pages


History of Rome

How to make a cat leash




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This is a children's version of David Weinberger's book
Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web.
copyright © 2002 David Weinberger