This amazing technology called the World Wide Web has been in the mainstream for just a little over 10 years, yet we are already taking it for granted. Much like we take the natural world around us for granted.
Every once in a while though you’ll stop and stare at the sky, or be struck by the beauty of an everyday thing. This can happen even with the web, if you take a moment.
Well, I’m here today to give you that moment. Geeks and Geekettes, Nerds and Nerdesses, I present to you my Seven Wonders of the World Wide Web.
Here we have a website that has a geek factor of 12 out of ten. This company had been a leader in developing systems and a development environment for LISP programming. How tech is that?
But that’s no wonder is it? Well, no, but consider this. They registered their domain name in March 1985. Yes, Symbolics is the oldest living domain name on the Web!
The Thin White Duke is arguably the first superstar to have his own domain name and website. It was registered on August 6th, 1995.
It’s hard to determine who the first celebrity on the web was since some of those pioneers weren’t celebrities at the time. How about Tim Berners-Lee? Inventing the Web is a good way to eventually become a celebrity.
(Note: Douglas Adams, author of the classic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, did post on a Usenet group way back on October 4th, 1993. But that isn’t the World Wide Web, strictly speaking.)
5. World’s Largest Website
There are a few contenders here, since defining what makes a website the largest is hard to agree on. First up is 28 Fields ““ apparently this is the world’s largest website, taking 120 days to download over a DSL connection. But since I don’t have that kind of time, I don’t know if this site is useful anyway.
For physical dimensions, it could be World’s Highest Website. Coming in at a moon-scraping 18,939 kilometers or 11,77 miles high.
For sheer number of pages hosted, you could argue that Google or Archive.org‘s Wayback Machine holds that honour. Google has a cache of almost every page it indexes, which is a significant portion of the Web and Archive.org has historical caches of tons of pages.
This is the most popular website you probably never visited. Coming in at number 19 on Alexa’s Top 500 Sites is DoubleClick. If you are savvy in a computer way, you may have seen entries for DoubleClick in your history or cookies folders. What DoubleClick does is partner with web giants and others for advertising tracking and serving purposes. You may remember them also as an advertising exchange provider.
Remember when Geocities was the Facebook or MySpace of the day? Then remember people starting to diss it as we learned to code HTML for ourselves? Then remember when MySpace and Facebook came along and we were all like, “Hey, this is kind of like Geocities. I miss those days.” and then we signed up for MySpace and Facebook and forgot about Geocities again?
Dude, it’s still there. Good old GC gave many of us our first website, our first look at a WYSIWYG web design, our first abuse of the <blink> tag and animated GIF’s. We still love you Geocities. Sorry, have to go change my Facebook status.
The Webby’s have been going on for 13 years now. That’s right, there are kids in high school have never known a world without the Webby’s. Yet a lot of them have never even heard of them!
If you want to see the best and brightest on the Web, check out the Webby Award Winners.
And don’t forget to nominate and vote for MakeUseOf in 2009!
I know what you’re thinking, “Hey Guy, change your name to Google FanBoy!” Well, can you tell me of any other website that has done as much to change the face of the Web, Internet or computing in general? I didn’t think so. Na na, na na, boo boo!
Seriously, Google has made the entire web easier to use, given us tools we never dreamed were possible and apparently made a bunch of people rich with Google Ads. What have you done lately? Me neither, I haven’t done much. Maybe we should go bowling.
There it is, web surfers and surferettes! The official 7 wonders of the web in my Unofficial Annual 7 Wonders of the Web list. Who’s ready for an after-party?
Bonus: Eighth Wonder of the World Wide Web
Type in ‘wonder’ in Google and you’ll get the Wonderbread site as the first result. Foodstuff, popular culture icon, brunt of attacks on prepared foods and best damn foundation for a PBJ ever.
Do you have a different Seven Wonders Of The World (Wide Web)? Let’s hear them in the comments!
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