December 13, 2005

Top 10 “Moments” in Internet History

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy — Tom @ 4:38 pm

It’s actually a mix of moments, events, and companies, according to Spark, which is apparently a CNN high-tech TV program (it’s a bad sign when you don’t know; you can vote for your pick of the 10 listed at the link):

Spark’s top 10 Web moments
10. WiFi hotspots — wireless Internet connectivity appears in airports, hotels and even McDonald’s.
9. Webcams and photo sharing — communication becomes visual, and inboxes fill with baby photos.
8. Skype — telephony turns upside down with free long-distance calls, Ebay snaps it up in September 2005 for $2.6 billion.
7. Live 8 on AOL — five million people watch poverty awareness concerts online in July 2005, setting a new Net record.
6. Napster goes offline — Regulators close the pioneering music swap site in July 2001 and file-sharing goes offshore.
5. Lewinsky scandal — Matt Drudge breaks the Clinton/Lewinsky sex scandal in 1998. The blog is born.
4. Tsunami and 9/11 — two tragic events set the Web alight with opinion and amateur video.
3. Boom and bust — trillions of dollars were made and lost as the dotcom bubble ballooned and burst between 1995 and 2001.
2. Hotmail — went from having zero users in 1995 to 30 million subscribers 30 months later. It now has 215 million users.
1. Google — redefined search. Invented a new advertising model and commands a vast business empire.

I’d throw out numbers 2 and 7 (they’re neat, but not groundbreaking events or moments), and replace them with:
2 – Evolution and availability of Broadband makes music, video, photo, and other bandwidth-intensive applications possible.
7 – Ebay itself revolutionizes how people get rid of their “stuff.”

I would also add this to number 6 – iTunes and the iPod bring digital music (and now video) into the mainstream and bring about the first viable alternative to piracy.

A debate about the order of the above could go on forever, but it still seems like there’s still a couple of more important biggies missing. Any ideas on additions would be welcome: e-mail me here or comment below.

Dec. 13: Outside the Beltway Jammer.



  1. If Google redefining search warrants a mention then Altavista introducing it should too.

    Comment by triticale — December 13, 2005 @ 9:31 pm

  2. #1, I didn’t know AltaVista was first (didn’t know who was). Good point.

    Comment by TBlumer — December 13, 2005 @ 9:37 pm

  3. Point 5 is big, but just an example of the type of thing that can happen in an active blogosphere (Drudge isn’t a blog, but still)… Am I not reading carefully enough, or is the word “blog” really not on their list?

    Comment by Eric Kephas — December 14, 2005 @ 12:02 am

  4. #3 – The Drudge item ends with “the blog is born,” and I’m willing to accept Drudge as an early evolution that led to blogs (even though Drudge is weirdly unimpressed with the blogosphere in general–I once heard him say “they need to come up with another name for themselves.”)

    The fact that one guy was able to influence the news, and events, and go around MSM was the point, which he obviously did. In a sense, we’re all still imitating him, but he still has the newsroom connections to die for (and I wonder how he ever got them in the first place).

    Comment by TBlumer — December 14, 2005 @ 12:12 am

  5. [...]”> December 14th, 2005 [Via BizzyBlog.COM] Kristie Lu Stout of CNN started an online poll on the "Top 10 Most Signific [...]

    Pingback by BLOGasia :: Release the power of business blogs » — December 14, 2005 @ 5:19 am

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