15 sites that changed the world


Table of Contents

Of the making of lists there is no end. The Observer Newspaper lists fifteen websites that changed the world to celebrate the fifteenth birthday of the web. Here is a part of John Naughton’s introduction to the fifteen.

All this we now take for granted. To get a handle on the scale of what has happened, think back to what the world was like 15 years ago. Amazon was a large river in South America. Ryanair was an Irish airline that flew to places nobody had ever heard of. eBay was a typo. Yahoo was a term from Gulliver’s Travels. A googol was a very large number (one followed by a hundred zeroes). Classified ads were densely printed matter in newspapers. ‘Encyclopedia’ was a synonym for Encyclopedia Britannica. And if you wanted to read what your MP had said in the Commons yesterday you had to queue at the Stationery Office in London to buy Hansard. Oh, and there were quaint little shops in high streets called ‘travel agents’. [The Observer | Review | Websites that changed the world]

And the selected sites:

  1. eBay.com
  2. Wikipedia.com
  3. Napster. om
  4. youtube.com
  5. blogger.com
  6. friendsreunited.com
  7. drudgereport.com
  8. myspace.com
  9. amazon.com
  10. slashdot.org
  11. salon.com
  12. craigslist.org
  13. google.com
  14. yahoo.com
  15. easyjet.com

Now, this is the type of thing that you can argue all day long about. History tends to be written by the winners. Maybe then it is not surprising not to see altavista.com there as it was soon eclipsed. I wondered about expedia.com and nyt.com as important and exemplary.


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