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Gurupreet Singh

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10. Craigslist

Changed classified ads

carigslistCraigslist is a centralized network of online communities, featuring free online classified advertisements – with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, for sale, services, community, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums. Craig Newmark began the service in 1995 as an email distribution list of friends, featuring local events in the San Francisco Bay Area, before becoming a web-based service in 1996. After incorporation as a private for-profit company in 1999, Craigslist expanded into nine more U.S. cities in 2000, four in 2001 and 2002 each, and 14 in 2003. In 2009, Craigslist operated with a staff of 28 people. Its main source of revenue is paid job ads in select cities – $75 per ad for the San Francisco Bay Area; $25 per ad for New York City, Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, Seattle, Washington D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia, Orange County (California) and Portland, Oregon – and paid broker apartment listings in New York City ($10 per ad). The site serves over twenty billion page views per month, putting it in 33rd place overall among web sites worldwide and 7th place overall among web sites in the United States (per Alexa.com on June 28, 2010), with over 49.4 million unique monthly visitors in the United States alone (per Compete.com on January 8, 2010). With over eighty million new classified advertisements each month, Craigslist is the leading classifieds service in any medium. The site receives over two million new job listings each month, making it one of the top job boards in the world. The classified advertisements range from traditional buy/sell ads and community announcements to personal ads. Advertisements for “adult” (previously “erotic”) services were initially given special treatment, then closed entirely on September 4, 2010, following a controversy over claims by state attorneys general that the advertisements promoted prostitution.

9. Geocities

Changed internet accessibility

yahoo geocitiesYahoo! GeoCities is a web hosting service, now available in Japan only. GeoCities was originally founded by David Bohnett and John Rezner in late 1994 as Beverly Hills Internet (BHI). In its original form, site users selected a “city” in which to place their web pages. The “cities” were named after real cities or regions according to their content — for example, computer-related sites were placed in “SiliconValley” and those dealing with entertainment were assigned to “Hollywood” — hence the name of the site. Ten years after Yahoo! bought GeoCities, the company announced that it would shut down the United States GeoCities service on October 26, 2009 and GeoCities websites actually became unavailable on October 27, 2009. There were at least 38 million user-built pages on GeoCities before it was shut down. The GeoCities Japan version of the service is still available.

8. Blogger

Changed the blogging scene

bloggerBlogger is a blog-publishing service that allows private or multi-user blogs with time-stamped entries. It was created by Pyra Labs, which was bought by Google in 2003. Generally, the blogs are hosted by Google at subdomain of blogspot.com. Up until May 1, 2010 Blogger allowed users to publish blogs on other hosts, via FTP. All such blogs had (or still have) to be moved to Google’s own servers, with domains other than blogspot.com allowed via Custom URLs.

7. Pandora

Changed how we listen to music

pandoraPandora Radio is an automated music recommendation service and custodian of the Music Genome Project. Users enter a song or artist that they enjoy, and the service responds by playing selections that are musically similar. Users provide feedback on approval or disapproval of individual songs, which Pandora takes into account for future selections. While listening, users are offered the ability to buy the songs or albums at various online retailers. Over 400 different musical attributes are considered when selecting the next song. These 400 attributes are combined into larger groups called focus traits. There are 2,000 focus traits. Examples of these are rhythm syncopation, key tonality, vocal harmonies, and displayed instrumental proficiency.

6. Facebook

Changed how we interact

facebookFacebook (stylized facebook) is a social network service and website launched in February 2004 that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. As of February 2011, Facebook has more than 600 million active users. Users may create a personal profile, add other users as friends and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Additionally, users may join common interest user groups, organized by workplace, school, or college, or other characteristics. The name of the service stems from the colloquial name for the book given to students at the start of the academic year by university administrations in the US with the intention of helping students to get to know each other better. Facebook allows anyone who declares themselves to be at least 13 years old to become a registered user of the website. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow computer science students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The website’s membership was initially limited by the founders to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities before opening to high school students, and, finally, to anyone aged 13 and over. A January 2009 Compete.com study ranked Facebook as the most used social network service by worldwide monthly active users, followed by MySpace. Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade “best-of” list, saying, “How on earth did we stalk our exes, remember our co-workers’ birthdays, bug our friends, and play a rousing game of Scrabulous before Facebook?” Quantcast estimates Facebook has 135.1 million monthly unique U.S. visitors in October 2010. According to Social Media Today as of April 2010, it is estimated that 41.6% of the U.S. population has a Facebook account.

5. Wikipedia

Changed how we learn

wikipediaWikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 17 million articles (over 3.5 million in English) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site. Wikipedia was launched in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger and has become the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet, ranking around seventh among all websites on Alexa and having 365 million readers. The name Wikipedia was coined by Larry Sanger and is a portmanteau from wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites, from the Hawaiian word wiki, meaning “quick”) and encyclopedia. Although the policies of Wikipedia strongly espouse verifiability and a neutral point of view, critics of Wikipedia accuse it of systemic bias and inconsistencie, and allege that it favors consensus over credentials in its editorial processes. Its reliability and accuracy are also targeted. Other criticisms center on its susceptibility to vandalism and the addition of spurious or unverified information, though scholarly work suggests that vandalism is generally short-lived, and an investigation in Nature found that the science articles they compared came close to the level of accuracy of Encyclopædia Britannica and had a similar rate of “serious errors”. Wikipedia’s departure from the expert-driven style of the encyclopedia building mode and the large presence of unacademic content have been noted several times. When Time magazine recognized You as its Person of the Year for 2006, acknowledging the accelerating success of online collaboration and interaction by millions of users around the world, it cited Wikipedia as one of several examples of Web 2.0 services, along with YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook. Some noted the importance of Wikipedia not only as an encyclopedic reference but also as a frequently updated news resource because of how quickly articles about recent events appear. Students have been assigned to write Wikipedia articles as an exercise in clearly and succinctly explaining difficult concepts to an uninitiated audience.

4. Amazon

Changed the face of retail shopping

amazon.comAmazon.com, Inc. is a US-based multinational electronic commerce company. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, it is the largest online retailer in the United States, with nearly three times the Internet sales revenue of the runner up, Staples, Inc., as of January 2010. Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com, Inc. in 1994 and launched it online in 1995. The company was originally named Cadabra, Inc., but the name was changed when it was discovered that people sometimes heard the name as “Cadaver”. The name Amazon.com was chosen because the Amazon River is one of the largest rivers in the world, and so the name suggests large size, and also in part because it starts with “A” and therefore would show up near the beginning of alphabetical lists. Amazon.com started as an online bookstore, but soon diversified, selling DVDs, CDs, MP3 downloads, computer software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, and toys. Amazon has established separate websites in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and China. It also provides international shipping to certain countries for some of its products.

3. YouTube

Changed daily entertainment

youtubeYouTube is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005. The company is based in San Bruno, California, and uses Adobe Flash Video technology to display a wide variety of user-generated video content, including movie clips, TV clips, and music videos, as well as amateur content such as video blogging and short original videos. Most of the content on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals, although media corporations including CBS, BBC, Vevo and other organizations offer some of their material via the site, as part of the YouTube partnership program. Unregistered users may watch videos, and registered users may upload an unlimited number of videos. Videos that are considered to contain potentially offensive content are available only to registered users 18 and older. In November 2006, YouTube, LLC was bought by Google Inc. for $1.65 billion, and now operates as a subsidiary of Google.

2. eBay

Changed how we buy and sell

ebayeBay Inc. is an American Internet company that manages eBay.com, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a broad variety of goods and services worldwide. Founded in 1995, eBay is one of the notable success stories of the dot-com bubble; it is now a multi-billion dollar business with operations localized in over thirty countries. eBay expanded from its original “set-time” auction format to include “Buy It Now” standard shopping; shopping by UPC, ISBN, or other kind of SKU (via Half.com); online classified advertisements (via Kijiji or eBay Classifieds); online event ticket trading (via StubHub); online money transfers (via PayPal) and other services.

1. Google

Changed vertically everything

googleGoogle Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program. The company was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, often dubbed the “Google Guys”, while the two were attending Stanford University as Ph.D. candidates. It was first incorporated as a privately held company on September 4, 1998, and its initial public offering followed on August 19, 2004. At that time Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt agreed to work together at Google for twenty years, until the year 2024. The company’s stated mission from the outset was “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”, and the company’s unofficial slogan – coined by Google engineer Paul Buchheit – is “Don’t be evil”. In 2006, the company moved to their current headquarters in Mountain View, California. Google runs over one million servers in data centers around the world, and processes over one billion search requests and about twenty-four petabytes of user-generated data every day. Google’s rapid growth since its incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions, and partnerships beyond the company’s core web search engine. The company offers online productivity software, such as its Gmail email software, and social networking tools, including Orkut and, more recently, Google Buzz. Google’s products extend to the desktop as well, with applications such as the web browser Google Chrome, the Picasa photo organization and editing software, and the Google Talk instant messaging application. Notably, Google leads the development of the Android mobile phone operating system, used on a number of phones such as the Nexus One and Motorola Droid. Alexa lists the main U.S.-focused google.com site as the Internet’s most visited website, and numerous international Google sites are in the top hundred, as are several other Google-owned sites such as YouTube, Blogger, and Orkut. Google is also BrandZ’s most powerful brand in the world. The dominant market position of Google’s services has led to criticism of the company over issues including privacy, copyright, and censorship.

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One Response so far.

  1. Robin George says:

    I think you missed out ‘eBay’ & ‘PayPal’! Indeed, it changed the way of Shopping & Payment, respectively… :)

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