Webby, just like everywhere else on the net, got into the “top of the decade” craze and released their own list of the top ten most influential Internet moments of the last decade stretching from 2000-2009. They covered Craig’s list expansion outside San Francisco in year 2000, Wikipedia and Facebook’s launch as well as Obama’s campaign. Go ahead, give it a read.
Now, that is a great list but for something as life changing as the internet, especially in the last decade where it became an integral part of everyone’s life, we at the Thoughtpick blog felt there are some items that fell through the cracks. The following is our own version of what we think got left out by Webby’s list:
1. The rise of Blogging
Everyone has a story to tell, and there has never been an easier way to share yours. Blogging allowed everyone to circumvent the public and reach their audience directly and for free. They went even beyond that when they became a reliable and valuable source of information and news.
2. The Bandwidth boom
Without a fast connection we wouldn’t have been able to do many of the things we do today, like video chatting or streaming movies. We no longer have to put up with an AOL dial-up connection that keeps on disconnecting randomly. And if we are out of luck and only have a dial up connection most of us will opt out rather than put up with the horrible service.
3. The Advent of the Torrent
Bittorrent allowed people to break from the leash of the cable networks. Used legally or illegally, it allowed people to share and download movies, music and many other forms of media on demand, efficiently and without any hassles or adverts facilitating entertainment and enhancing the experience.
4. The Reality of Cyber warfare
Since war games and cyberpunk, the idea of warfare on the internet or through technology has been present in our minds. This decade made cyber warfare a reality, with the online offenses of the Russian/Georgian war and the Iranian defacement of Twitter it became clear that this will the war ground of the next decade.
5. Voice Goes IP
VoIP was a game changer not only for the internet but for communications in general. By reducing the price of calling services like Vonage and Skype put a lot of pressure on phone companies to reduce their prices and upgrade their networks. This in turn reflected well on business and individuals since it allowed them better connections and cheaper prices as well.
6. iPods, iTunes, and podcasts
Made getting your hands on digital music a reality, and for a reasonable price too. It also provided the music industry with a viable online business model to adopt, but they would much rather monopolize all the profits.
7. Mobility from Laptops to Smartphones
No longer do you have to compromise too much performance to own a mobile laptop. That in turn allowed people to go out and be more connected. Whether the consequences of that were good or not is a different story but being able to go out and compute that is definitely a blessing and helped in making the Internet what it is today.
8. The Tech Bust
After the bursting of the tech bubble and the zapping of a lot of pipe dreams such as pets.com, the internet started to become realistic. It was no longer a teenager that could throw a tantrum and getting millions thrown at it to shut it up, it became an adult and had to earn its way in the world.
9. World of Warcraft; The MMO
Blizzard introduced World of Warcraft and online gaming was never the same again, reaching a population of 11.5 million users early in the year and still growing, the game resembles a country of its own. The game provides an entirely alternative form of entertainment which had people, young and old, pouring countless hours into it.
Finally forced webmails to realize that space is cheap, shortly after its introduction Gmail single-handedly forced Hotmail, Yahoo! and other webmail providers to drop their puny 25 MB mailboxes for bigger and more expansive mailboxes that provided larger attachment sizes, better mailbox management and interfaces.
That concludes our list of what we believe are some of the greatest Internet Moments of the last decade that got left out by Webby’s list. Any other moments or inventions that you feel have shaped the last decade? Let us know what you think.