As a web designer and hosting provider, I have often “tried” to explain where a website and other online date is stored and how it is accessed.
Rarely have I been able to convey the concept properly.
It was simple enough to explain a domain name by comparing it to a street address. Explaining exactly where the website data is stored and how it is accessed is quite another thing altogether.
Once, I was wrongly accused of all kinds of fraudulent activity, simply because my client was able to look up the information on their domain at another domain registrar’s website. I was never able to make them understand that anyone can look up who owns a domain name – and so I lost the client. No problem. Good riddance.
Today I read an excellent article at CNN.com by John D. Rudder, explaining the “Online Cloud.” I highly recommend it if you’ve ever wondered about this stuff.
Here’s the link: A trip into the secret, online ‘cloud’