The Internet has been in public service in China for 16 years. During this period, the Internet has become part of the infrastructure that helps operate Chinese society. Online communication has become a mainstream way for the flow of information of society, and online information technology has entered various social sectors of the country, which is a powerful impetus for the development of Chinese society.
In only the past ten years, the number of Chinese Internet users increased by 2,385.21 percent, the number of Chinese Websites 10,123.9 percent, the number of Chinese domain names 11,139.9 percent, and China's international bandwidth 80,792.79 percent.
While experiencing the various services dominated by online information transmission and the functions provided by the Internet, people can see that Internet information technology has been affecting various sectors more extensively and deeply than any other scientific invention in human history, and has hence been changing people's modes of thinking and lifestyles as well as the way society exists and operates.
In the past ten years, the Internet has propelled information sharing within Chinese society. Media and other organizations have built their own information communication and services platforms on the Internet one after another, which has formed extensive information-communication groups with various functions and structures.
In today's new environment of information transmission created by Internet technology, the public's scope of knowledge and expression has been continuously expanding and rights to supervise growing and consultative mechanisms improving, which have won new spaces for the realization of the information rights of the Chinese public and the building of civil society in China.
Today, applications of Internet technology in China is bidding farewell to the preliminary state of being a tool for public and private information transmission and finishing the historical evolution from simplicity to complexity, oneness to pluralism, and a primary level to an advanced level, releasing its huge potential to propel transformations in various social sectors.
Websites of the government, professional organizations, media and other commercial Websites have continuously explored and improved online information communication services to satisfy the needs of various groups of society. With the help of Internet technology, the public has won more conveniences for obtaining information and more importantly, they have begun to assume the role of authors to participate in the entire process of the production, transmission and information delivery.
If the media convergence talked about by the academia of journalism and communication five years ago referred to Internet technology's change of the modes of operation of various segments of the gathering, synthesis, transmission and business development of the information and the integration of various independent evolutions of media types in history into a richer and more orderly process. Today, with the ever-increasing applications of core technology of the new generation of Web2.0 mode of information communication represented by blogs, tags, SNS, RSS and wiki, we deeply feel that Internet information technology is propelling the changes of technical approaches, functional structures and pattern modes to further change the transformation of the modes of the operation of society.
Nowadays, we have seen that transmitters of information are aggregating information instead of producing it, operating instead of publishing, and integrating the power of online information instead of releasing the power of the transmission of the information of their own. At the same time, receivers of information produce information instead of passively receiving information, fully use information instead of only obtaining information, and they have changed into aggregating groups of information communication from independent individuals seeking information. These changes are profound. They will not only propel the rapid expansion of the total amount of online information but also promote more convenient sharing of online information in a larger scope.
The Internet has become a platform for the world to produce and share information. The modes of information communication created and inherited throughout history are undergoing essential transformations propelled by Internet information technology. The Internet is extending the power of information transmission beyond the Internet to broader social spheres and is exerting influence on various social sectors.
The change of the modes of information transmission propelled by the Internet has increased the total amount of information offered, deepened the excavation of the values of information and improved the efficiency of the use of information.
The Internet is not only a great technological revolution but also a propeller of social transformation. In the past ten years, we have experienced several important phases of transformation:
The era of Web1.0: It's an extensive online communication era featuring the dramatic increase of the total amount of information, the linking of global information, the integrated supply of information and online data search. The main mode of information supply was still public communication dominated by institutions. What we felt were dramatic increases of the total amount of information, the timeliness, completeness, accurateness and convenience of the acquisition of information. And while satisfying our comprehensive needs for information, large portal Websites and international search engines helped us navigate, search, annotate and analyze through the sea of information. Individuals were connected to worldwide information and thus had their horizons expanded.
The era of Web2.0: It's an era when cyber society took shape, mainly featuring the diversification of media patterns, the reinforcement of personal communication, and the popularization of online collaboration. The modes of information supply in this era is respectively, from the perspectives of media types, ways of communication, targets of communication and the evolutional function of the structure of online information, convergence of various media types dominated by video, the application of broadband networks dominated by mobile networks, the information exchanges among individuals and groups to satisfy people's diversified social needs, and the establishment of the structure of cyber society. In the Web2.0 era, we felt the break of the borders of time and space for human communication, the expansion of the power of the transmission of personal information, individuals and groups using the Internet to establish various connections, the visible emergence of the attributes of the cyber society, and power exchanges between cyberspace and society became more smooth, direct and powerful.
The ea of Web3.0: This will be an era when things are fully connected, objects expressed correctly, people perceive the world accurately, and the wisdom of information is fully explained. In this era, an interactive information network will be born, which fully connects the material world and society. We will feel a complex network system on a super-imposed scale with unlimited expansion and harmonious operation. Before our eyes will be a brand-new landscape of civilization of the fusion of the real world and the digital world. In this era, which might be dubbed Web3.0, people will enable the material world to express and show itself and on the basis of direct information exchanges with the objective world, acquire more advanced wisdom to coexist with it harmoniously.
Today's Internet information technology is propelling the building of the full-range information exchange system between society and the objective world. In this system, besides the ongoing formation of new modes of information and social structure among individuals, groups and cultures, the material objects, which were seen as completely passive, will acquire intelligence to express themselves thanks to human intelligence. This trend of technological application is propelling the full-range exchange of information between society and the objective world, the efficiency of operation of the society and the harmonious coexistence of society and the boundless universe. All Chinese online media, including China.org.cn, will win broader space for development in the wake of this major trend.
Today's Internet digital technology is propelling information communication to develop in two ways:
1. The deep excavation of the power of personal information technologies, which includes RSS, blogs, instant-messaging platforms with text recording and interactive multimedia functions, digital cameras with geographical location information, various cable and wireless channels of information communication, various personal-information terminals such as the iPad have given increasingly powerful technological support to the acquisition, creation, transmission and use of personal information. While satisfying the needs of individuals to acquire information, Internet digital technology is digging for the power to produce and transmit information from each and every individual.
2. The large-scale integration of the power of online information. The technical principle and mode for the construction of online information represented by wiki are aggregating the power of the online information in an increasingly broader manner and propelling the integration of online information and collaboration of information of the entire Internet. The full-range connection, gathering, analysis and use of online information have become a trend of the communication of online information; information collaboration across the Internet based on individuals' creation of information has become today's mainstream approach to build massive online information projects.
With satisfying people's needs for information as the core goal, and strengthening personal capability of information communication and social capability of connecting information, today's digital information technology is, in an all-around way, adjusting to the Internet's mechanisms of the creation, acquisition, integration and use of information. Information gathering, navigation, integration, annotation and control technology based on the Internet is giving more and more freedom of the creation and use of information to every person, group, nation, and country, linking them together, promoting the understanding between different groups and cultures, and promoting the exchanges of the power of civilization.
Internet information communication technology for the first time in the course of civilization has offered a digital pattern of civilization in addition to the real-world civilization. This digital civilization pattern is never a simple copy or storage of the real-world civilization pattern, but it has its own laws and power of operation. The two patterns increasingly fuse with each other and conduct complex power exchanges.
Throughout history, the revolution of information communication and social transformation often interact with each other as both cause and effect. In the course of China's reform and opening-up, again we have witnessed this law of the evolution of history.