CNN is looking at the “10 Best Web Moments.”
These are Spark’s picks as the top 10 moments in the World Wide Web’s short but impressive life. Vote for the one you think is the most significant:
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’m not sure I really think of Hotmail, or Google as a moment, but count me in for Google. The online search engine brought order to the 5 billion web pages out there- and growing. I would have put down Napster for online, rather than when it was shut down. At the very least, Napster showed the power of peer-to-peer networking for information exchange. You can vote for your favorite too!