The Webby Awards, the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, released its list of the Top 10 Most Influential Internet Moments of the Decade. The list, which covers everything from the rise of Craigslist to the 2008 presidential campaign, underscores the Internet's impact on major decisions in the lives of people around the globe.
The list is as follows:
Craigslist's expansion outside of its home turf of San Francisco, which revamped the accepted model of classified advertising. (2000)
The launch of Google AdWords, which, as the Webbys put it, "turned advertising on its head" by opening the marketplace to any business.(2001)
The launch of Wikipedia, which, with its 14 million articles in 271 different languages, unites readers and researchers from around the world to collaborate on educational and informational projects. (2001)
The closure of Napster, which in turn gave rise to a flood of media-sharing sites, from iTunes to Hulu (2001)
Google's IPO, which helped to turn the search engine, which claims Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Earth and a host of other innovations, into the most dominant and influential company of the decade. (2004).
The online video revolution, led by YouTube, which made amateurs into Web stars and further changed the means of how news, entertainment and advertising reaches the population. (2006)
Facebook opens to non-college students in 2006, the same year that Twitter launches. Both have immediate and lasting effects on both the course of social networking media, but also how people connect and interact with each other. (2006)
The debut of the iPhone, which turned smart phones into items of everyday necessity, and proved that there was indeed an app for every occasion. (2007)
The U.S. presidential campaign utilized the Internet to inspire (and at times, enrage) voters to become a part of the political process through online video, fund-raising and social media. The result was a completely new paradigm for American politics. (2008)
The protests over the Iranian presidential election of 2009 showed that social networking media like Twitter could be used as a force for positive change in a regime that, despite its best efforts, could not censor the will of the people and its technology. (2009)
And in other Webby news, the 14th annual Webby Awards will be announced in April 2010. The awards pay tribute to excellence on the 'Net in a variety of categories, including news, advertising and online film and video.
-- Paul Gaita
Photo: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on Jan. 20, 2009, shortly before being sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. Credit: Getty Images.
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