The Seven Wonders of The World (Wide Web)

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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.

7. Symbolics.com

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!

6. DavidBowie.com

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.

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(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.

4. doubleclick.com

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.

3. Geocities

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.

2. WebbyAwards

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!

1. Google

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

Wonderbread

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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30 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Amaron

Symbolics.com was registered on March 1985 NOT March 1995.

dynadot.com/domain/whois.html?domain=Symbolics.com

Jash Sayani

1985 ?!!? Internet existed back then ???

Guy McDowell

Amaron: That is correct – that was a typo. I e-mailed my editor just seconds after the article was published to let him know about my mistake.

Jabron: Yeah, I wondered about that too. Like, what exactly is the content? Is it a bunch of gobbledy-gook? I really don’t know. I did start to download it, but I didn’t want to wait 120 days to get my article in.

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lordmalibog

Brilliant Idea and a very catchy Title -Way to go dude…

lordmalibog.blogetery.com/

Guy McDowell

Thanks! Much appreciated.

Reply

Jabron

w00t!!
nice article…
I just that World’s Largest Website maybe a scam… :P

Animated Gifs

Geocities got alot of flack but they were pretty good, the sites were always up – uptime for a free host (granted they’re only html) was still really good.

Reply

Mackenzie

Anyone in Ontario or upstate NY, if you want to see an original Symbolics LISP Machine, go to the Toronto Hackerspace.

I don’t think even the Computer History Museum has one.

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Guy McDowell

What happened to my Diggs? I had 33 Diggs just minutes after the article launched, but now they aren’t showing. Bueller? Anyone?

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DAG

Hold on here, Al Gore invented the INTERNET, right? He said so, he would not lie, would he?

I can’t believe a politician would lie

Alexander Brittain

Actually, Al Gore NEVER said he invented the Internet. That’s yet another false legend that’s been so oft repeated that people think it’s true.

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Daniel Neville

Symbolics.com wasn’t the first domain name.

Nordu.net was, I encourage you to look it up.

Dan.

Guy McDowell

Very good Neville, you are correct that Nordu.net is older than Symbolics.com.

In my research, I kept coming across Symbolics.com as the oldest, but it appears it is simply the oldest .COM domain name still in use.
Another article elsewhere lists nsf.net as the oldest .NET domain with a registration date of 11/05/86. Small consolation for me that someone else is incorrect too.

I suppose one could argue that there is a .ARPA name that is older, since they predate the public registration of domain names. I’m learning something new everyday!

Reply

THX8612

My vote for 8th wonder of the web has to go to zombo.com/

Haha

Hahhaahaa! I love that site.

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jango

‘worlds largest website’ is a joke, doesn’t do anything

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The guy who tested it…

the world largest website you have posted… is fake if you watch your packets received before and after you click the “download” button it doesn’t change at all just a bunch of nonsense.

Reply

pingo

very nice Symbolics.com , I often to the site

softwarefreedown.com

Reply

Arafat

This is what I say a research paper. You work lot. Thanks for this nice article.

Reply

techjunkie

Try this one out as well – excellent “Wonder of the Web”
Well maybe just google.

Duke Nukem Forever – “When Its Done”

http://www.google.com/search?btnG=1&q=When+Its+Done

I knew about this loong time ago but here is the wiki entry also:

http://encyclopediadramatica.com/Duke_Nukem_Forever

“DNF’s Creative Director George Broussard is famous for having mercilessly abused the phrase “when it’s done.” Doing so was a smart move on his part since he never actually intended to release anything other than screenshots of the game. Saying you won’t release a game until its “done” implies, in the video game industry, that you won’t release it until you are totally happy with the quality of your product and will therefore be a good game. This stance has earned them a permanent seat in interweb history as a completely unintentional meme.”

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xanadu

Why are the 7 “wonders” of the web so boring?

Guy McDowell

Funny. That’s what my kids said about the pyramids. But really, that’s much more of an accomplishment than a frat party, isn’t it? That’s pretty much what 4chan is to web.

Reply

Sue

how about the longest domain name ever exists ?

axel

Yep, that would be interesting also!

Reply

MRDPE

OK so the first web site I visited is one of the oldest (15th to be exact) ATT.COM (25-Apr-1986)

TheProfessionalEngineer.com

Reply

good

it was good until u got to google as #1.

you failed.

Guy McDowell

I understand what you’re saying. But after wracking my brains for anything but Google, I had to give in and add Google. It is just that important to the WWW. It had to be in the inaugral unofficial annual Seven Wonders of the World (Wide Web).
Like I wrote, it has affected, and effected, almost every facet of web-based communications and business.

Reply

employee time management

buried for being stupid… when was this list made 1999?

Guy McDowell

So, by that logic, inducting the Rolling Stones into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 30 years after they started is stupid?

I think it’s stupid to add a comment like that and then link to your software company. Is that how you want to represent your business?

Reply

Ragter

Nice little article you have here..nothing really to do on those sites, for the average web-goer, but it’s interesting to know the 7 wonders of the internet, as told by makeuseof.

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