Monday, December 28, 2009

Some milestones of the decade

* The ascension of Google from a new search engine to a near-complete internet experience in itself. Does anyone even think about about alta vista, dogpile, and lycos anymore, let alone use them?

* Wikipedia, which harnessed the aggregate power of public knowledge, for good and ill. By decade's end, its best articles were on a par with those from the Encyclopedia Britannica--because that's where many of them were originally cut 'n' pasted from. And where else could you lose an afternoon's work time, by sorting out the set lists of the Rolling Stones' 1981 tour?

* YouTube. From on-the-spot reportage in faraway places to deep archival footage which hadn't been seen in decades, YouTube was tele-democracy incarnate.

* The ouster of Cynthia McKinney. Yay! Gwinnett County voters no longer had to suffer the stigma of being represented by the cutest li'l communist in the House of Representatives.

* And the rise of the personal blog, and the challenge the best of them presented to the traditional media.

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