Last updated: 11 march, 2010 - 21:22 GMT

The Virtual Revolution: How and when to listen

Twenty years on from the invention of the World Wide Web, Dr Aleks Krotoski looks at how it is reshaping almost every aspect of our lives.

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Joined by some of the web's biggest names - including the founders of Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, and the web's inventor - she explores how far the web has lived up to its early promise.

For the complete website dedicated to The Virtual Revolution, click click here.


Part One: The Great Levelling

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Aleks Krotoski

Aleks Krotoski is your guide for the series

In the first in this four-part series, Aleks charts the extraordinary rise of blogs, Wikipedia and YouTube.

She also traces an ongoing clash between the freedom the technology offers us, and our innate human desire to control and profit.

See The Great Levelling on BBC World television on Saturday 6 March 2010 at 0110GMT (repeated 1510GMT and at 0910GMT and 2210GMT on Sunday 7 March 2010)


Part Two: Enemy Of The State

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Campaigner for Neda

Posted on YouTube, the death of Iranian woman Neda became iconic

Aleks charts how the Web is forging a new brand of politics, both in democracies and authoritarian regimes.

With contributions from Al Gore, Martha Lane Fox, Stephen Fry and Bill Gates, the programme explores how interactive, unmediated sites like Twitter and YouTube have encouraged direct action and politicised young people in unprecedented numbers.

Yet, at the same time, the Web's openness enables hardline states to spy and censor, and extremists to threaten with networks of hate and crippling cyber attacks.

See Enemy Of The State on BBC World television on Saturday 13 March 2010 at 0110GMT (repeated 1510GMT and at 0910GMT and 2210GMT on Sunday 14 March 2010)


Part Three: The Cost Of Free

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Icon saying Buy Now

Buying online has never been easier - but even free things can have costs

Aleks gives the lowdown on how, for better and for worse, commerce has colonised the web - and reveals how web users are paying for what appear to be 'free' sites and services in hidden ways.

Joined by some of the most influential business leaders of today's web - including Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon), Eric Schmidt (CEO of Google), Chad Hurley (CEO of YouTube) and Bill Gates, the programme traces how business - with varying degrees of success - has attempted to make money on the web.

She tells the inside story of the gold rush years of the dotcom bubble, and reveals how retailers such as Amazon learned the lessons.

The programme also charts how, out of the ashes, Google forged the business model that has come to dominate today's web, offering a plethora of highly attractive, overtly free web services - including search, maps and video - that are in fact funded through a sophisticated and highly lucrative advertising system which trades on what we users look for.

See Enemy Of The State on BBC World television on Saturday 20 March 2010 at 0110GMT (repeated 1510GMT and at 0910GMT and 2210GMT on Sunday 21 March 2010)


Part Four: Homo Interneticus?

Brain scan

Is the internet overloading our brain functions?

Part Four will be available to listen on BBC World Service radio from 15 March 2010

Dr Aleks Krotoski concludes her investigation of how the World Wide Web is transforming almost every aspect of our lives.

Joined by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Al Gore and the neuroscientist Susan Greenfield, the programme examines the popularity of social networks such as Facebook and asks how they are changing our relationships.

And, in a ground-breaking test at University College London, Aleks investigates how the Web may be distracting and overloading our brains.

See Enemy Of The State on BBC World television on Saturday 27 March 2010 at 0110GMT (repeated 1510GMT and at 0910GMT and 2210GMT on Sunday 28 March 2010)

SuperPower: Exploring The Internet

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