Life Online at the National Media Museum
We have opened the world's first gallery dedicated to exploring the social, technological and cultural impact of the internet. This permanent gallery will trace the history of the internet, uncover how it has changed people's lives and track the latest trends.
The gallery will bring together historically significant content, multimedia displays, and a programme of special exhibitions exploring contemporary trends and issues related to how the internet and the web are changing society.
Life Online will be powered by the ideas, thoughts and opinions of our physical and virtual visitors, ultimately creating an invaluable public archive of society's relationship with the internet and the web in the 21st century.
The gallery will cover two spaces within the Museum; a permanent exhibition in the foyer and a changing temporary exhibition on Level 7.
The Museum foyer area will contain a permanent exhibition that will track the history of the internet, from the first experimental messages to the rise of modern social networking. A range of inspiring interactives and fun games will explore the story of the internet, whilst a timeline of objects will showcase the evolution of internet and computing technology.
Large-scale overhead projection units will allow the visitor to immerse themselves in a rich multimedia content archive and browse the web as they've never seen it before.
The foyer narrative will be divided into four areas:
In the Beginning - The Internet is Born
Starting in the world of private military and academic computer networking the first section of the gallery will highlight the key innovators who helped lay the foundations of the network and track the growth of the technical infrastructure that formed the internet. Find out who invented the internet and watch as it grows around the world.
Into the World - The Internet Goes Public
After the formation of the first computer networks, the second area of the gallery will explore the early days of online communities. From the first email, to the first home-grown virtual societies, the gallery will uncover the first forays into social networking. The section will conclude with the birth and impact of the World Wide Web. Build your own web page, take a trip in the web time machine and try to protect the internet against some of the world's deadliest viruses.
Into Our Lives - The Internet and You
The birth of the web ushered in a new era of information sharing, online tools and opportunities that have made the internet an integral part of everyday life. Search engines, online business, personal privacy and the online communities that create the rich and dynamic culture of the modern internet will be explored. See if you've got what it takes to become a dot com millionaire, secure your online privacy and contribute your opinion to the gallery.
Into the Future - The Internet Evolves
The final part of the foyer gallery will track the latest internet trends and technology. Through partnership with industry and academia, new concepts, experiments and prototype devices will encourage the visitor to think about where the future of the net is heading. Contribute to digital artworks and see the latest experimental ideas from the digital world.
Keep in Touch
Follow us @mediamuseum to keep up to date with Life Online, help us source content and maybe even end up in the exhibition!