The Web is like Beer

March 11, 2014

Lots of people can’t seem to understand the relationship of the Web to the Internet. So I’ve come up with a simple analogy:

The Web is to the Internet as Beer is to Alcohol.

For some people, sometimes, they are essentially synonymous, because they are often encountered together. But of course they are fundamentally different things

In this analogy, Email is like Wine: it’s the other universally popular use of the Internet/Alcohol.

But there are lots of other uses, too, somewhat more obscure. We could say the various chat protocols are the various Whiskeys. IRC is Scotch; XMPP is Bourbon.

gopher is obscure and obsolete, …. maybe melomel.

ssh is potato vodka.

I leave the rest to your imagination.

Note that the non-technician never encounters raw Internet, just like they never encounter pure alcohol. They wouldn’t know what it was if it stepped on their foot. Of course, chemists are quite familiar with pure alcohol, and network technicians and programmers are familiar with TCP, UDP, and IP.

The familiar smell of alcohol, that you can detect to some degree in nearly everything containing alcohol — that’s DNS.

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5 Responses to “The Web is like Beer”


  1. If the Web is beer, then surely various manifestations of the Web are beer varieties. I’m thinking Facebook is somewhere in the Coors Light or Budweiser space and anything leveraging Semantic Web technology is Belgian.

    Or maybe I have that wrong; maybe Google is Budweiser…

  2. koalie Says:

    Reblogged this on Contemplations in markup and commented:
    I used to describe the Web as clothes hanging from the clothes line that was the Internet, or the Web as an appliance using the electricity that was powered it. But that was before I read that the Web is to the Internet as Beer is to Alcohol. Enjoy this piece from Sandro!

  3. Silver Fang Says:

    Reblogged this on Wolf Howls and commented:
    The Net is like booze.


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