But the archetype for anything is influential by default, and that’s certainly true of this, the spark for every website that followed.
Open platforms invite controversy by their nature, giving voice to groups who want to challenge cultural or legal principles.
Sites like Napster kickstarted illicit music-sharing in the early 2000s, but The Pirate Bay, launched by a trio of Swedes in 2003, exemplifies the anti-copyright argument that “information wants to be free.” The site indexes content hosted by others, providing links that its users can use to download movies, music, books and more — often in flagrant violation of information-sharing laws.
Adobe’s Shockwave and Flash media players were at one point multimedia stars in the ascendant.
Who could have known in those early days, that by 2017, a landscape once loomed over by companies like Microsoft (Internet Explorer) and Netscape (Navigator) would fractionalize and give way to totally new players like Google (Chrome)?
Instead, it serves as a conservative-leaning news aggregator, pointing to articles from across the web and putting an ideologically-spun (and irresistibly clicky) headline on them.
Drudge’s barebones web design has changed little over the years, serving as a sort of living memorial to the days of dial-up Internet.
We’ve made order of magnitude changes to the audiovisual aspects of web design since, but Berners-Lee’s basic thoughts on what a website should be still resonate nearly 30 years later.
Amazon may run the world’s biggest online store today, but credit e Bay for popularizing the idea of an open marketplace for buyers and sellers.
But the site remains massively influential (and massively read) in Washington, D.
C., influencing the agenda of Beltway movers and shakers.
e Bay, which began life in 1995 as Auction Web, forever altered the way the world passed along and monetized used goods.