If we come to think of it, the Internet is a miniature Planet Earth. People began to inhabit the World Wide Web in the 1980s. It proved to be a fertile territory where anything is possible. So, people started to build cyber machines and pages to enable the Internet to come as a support for their lifestyle.
This is the beginning of our story, when people caught the infinite of the online world in their nets and shaped it to take many marvelous forms with amazing abilities. There are 7 of these cyber creations that easily detached from the others due to the huge positive changes they brought to humanity. Today, let’s take a step back and admire the 7 wonders of the Internet.
Wikipedia is the equivalent of the lost royal library of Alexandria. This non-profit website has brought knowledge and culture in almost every home of the modern world. Amazingly enough, the Alexa ranking that evaluates the traffic on each website places Wikipedia above Google, which makes it more than just a search engine.
Some people are against this online encyclopedia mainly because everybody can edit articles any way they like. However, that proves to be just an urban myth, as the website doesn’t allow any article modification without the approval of its moderators. All the more so, the fact that Wikipedia encourages its community to add new information makes Earth a more interconnected web of people. This also inspires more Internet users to research facts and events and contribute to the accuracy of the online encyclopedia.
The best thing about Wikipedia is not so much a thick body of information, but the easy way you can surf it. From the Library of Alexandria page, you make just one click, and you will be propelled to an entire list of libraries from the ancient world, where the marvelous culture of each major lost civilization expands in front of you. From there, you can learn more about Aristotle, the Persian Sassanid Empire or Julius Caesar. Even though Wikipedia may not offer all the details there is about one particular topic, you do learn how one historical event is linked with another, which fills the gaps people may have in their general knowledge.
We use it on a daily basis so we might forget in time how amazing this service truly is. This complex search engine has gone beyond the Internet concept itself. It is the backbone of the online world. Imagine the scenario in which Google goes down. That would be the dawn of speed and anonymity for millions of wonderful digital projects.
In just a few milliseconds, Google can bring any kind of useful website at your fingertips. Many people think that this search engine is responsible for the overload of information, but its job is to create a bridge between users and their desired content. From the comfort of your home, you can travel the world in seconds with only a few clicks.
Also, the system behind Google that powers the whole project is simply genius. There are millions of bots, called crawlers, that receive your request types in the search box, analyze the keywords you gave them, and then they will bring you all the results that exist in the online world. And all these complicated operations are concluded in less than one second. Now that’s a real miracle!
3. Project Gutenberg
This wonder of the Internet was the beginning of a cultural movement. Project Gutenberg brings more than 50,000 eBooks for the use of everyone that has a technological device. Their ample services are free of charge, even though their efforts are gigantic. The founder of the Gutenberg project is Michael Hart, and he is the person who created the digital version of books in 1971, which now go by the name of eBooks.
Thanks to this man, you can now access the same cultural potential that a library offers you from any gadget connected to the Internet. The same materials can be used by people all over the world, which is the main benefit of an eBook that is known as “Replicator Technology.” The efforts that keep this project alive are all accomplished by volunteers. These people type entire books in digital format, and then they proofread the works before publishing them on the website.
All the Gutenberg eBooks are legal, as there are only titles whose copyright has expired. That means that the books are usually from 1923 or later as this is the longest period that the American law terms cover.
Ebay has invented the notion of online auction, and thanks to it, millions of people worldwide have access to a cheap and multilateral market. You can simply list anything that you have around the house and haven’t used in the years. Users from Hong Kong, Moscow, Paris or Durban,will bid against each other with the goal to acquire your products. It works on the popular saying “someone’s trash is another’s treasure.”
You can find everything you want, from a broken laser pointer, which was actually the first product someone bought on eBay, to a yacht, which is the most expensive transaction ever seen around there. The website had the power to upgrade the local market tow a global one. Everyone can find buyers here with some patience and many photos of their products.
In 1999, one of the first blogging platforms launched with the domain name Blogger. Since then, the service popularized this innovative kind of article format and helped the opinions of simple yet brilliant people break the silence of many taboo topics. This is the moment when insightful writers received the voice of authority to the detriment of famous people promoted by television.
In just a matter of seconds, you can enter a new article about your view on a particular subject, and contribute to the biggest online journal in history. Blogger was among the first websites to declare that our opinion matters, no matter who we are.
The e-mail service was the first wonder of the Internet that brought people together from all over the world in one community. The platform first appeared in 1994 as “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web” and its primary purpose was to offer a website directory where links received their own space according to a hierarchy system. Later on, the domain changed into what is today known as Yahoo! This popular name is actually an acronym that stands for “Yet Another Hierarchically Organized Oracle.”
Throughout its activity, the company came to offer a set of services that covers every need of the modern person: email, chat, instant messaging, clubs, photo albums, shops, auctions, home web pages, file storage, news and many others. Nowadays, the website gathers more than 200 million people every month who speak over 30 different languages to find quality information for personal and professional purposes.
Started as an online community for Harvard students only, Facebook has come a long way since then, and the company even achieved a global online communication revolution. You can find more than 22% of the world population on this social platform, which roughly means a total of 1.7 billion users.
Facebook received many negative critics which state that it actually brought damages to the face to face communication by offering a service that connects two people remotely, without actually seeing each other. However, this is just one side-effect of the power that created the online social media. Thanks to Facebook, every corner of the world can open dialogue with each other. Since its advent, Earth experienced a fade of cultural gaps which influenced people to become more tolerant, knowledgeable, and open-minded with each other.
So, these are the 7 wonders that the Internet created for us. All of these digital platforms help us become a better community through knowledge, opinions, and communication.
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