An article about the mega sites.
Founded: Pierre Omidyar, 1995, US
What is it? Auction and shopping site
Founded: Jimmy Wales, 2001, US
What is it? Online encyclopaedia
Founded: Shawn Fanning, 1999, US
What is it? File sharing site
Founded: Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, 2005, US
What is it? Video sharing site
Founded: Evan Williams, 1999, US
What is it? Weblog publishing system
Founded: Steve and Julie Pankhurst, 1999, UK
What is it? School reunion site
Founded: Matt Drudge, 1994, US
What is it? News site
Founded: Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe, 2003, US
What is it? Social networking site
Founded: Jeff Bezos, 1994, US
What is it? Online retailer, primarily of books, CDs and DVDs
Founded: Rob Malda, 1997, US
What is it? Technology news website and internet forum
Founded: David Talbot, 1995, US
What is it? Online magazine and media company.
Founded: Craig Newmark, 1995, US
What is it? A centralised network of online urban communities, featuring free classified advertisements and forums.
Founded: Larry Page and Sergey Brin, 1998, US
What is it? Search engine and media corporation
Founded: David Filo and JerryYang, 1994, US
What is it? Internet portal and media corporation
What is it?: Budget airline
So many sites are not here. Whether they were bought out or busted or just didn’t grow enough, there must be a million other sites which had good ideas that didn’t take off. I worked for several pioneer sites which are no longer around. I still volunteer at Dmoz (The Open Directory Project) which has been owned by Netscape and AOL and used by Google and assorted other big and small search engines and web directories. Yet, Dmoz didn’t make this list. It’s too far into the background I would guess. There, but unknown.
I sometimes still write for BackWash which had the concept of presenting the “Internet by personality”. I thought that idea had potential. It did really if you consider the popularity of weblogs. However, the site didn’t grow enough, not enough push to become known so it could rise above the pack. So now it is still there, kind of dwindling, but there like a dinosaur lurking, not ready to give up and yet not having the energy to push itself out into the world any more.
I worked for HerPlanet which was a network of sites for women. That one died off, sort of mysteriously. After years of sticking it out and beginning to build traffic and a following of readers the money supply just ran out. Dottie found a buyer who let her continue to run things, more or less. The new buyer killed HerPlanet. They just never did anything to get the sites back up and online. A year or so later (long after I knew HerPlanet was dead) the domains all became 404, one by one. It was sad. Now and then I check to see if anyone else has begun a site for those domains: HerPlanet.com or HerCorner.com (which was the site I managed) and so on.
What sites do you think could have or should be on this list of world changing sites?