Web at 15: Top 5 most influential websites

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As part of this month’s celebration of 15 years of the World Wide Web, this week we’re publishing a few top 5 website lists.

There’s not much room in a top 5 list, and it’s a pretty subjective thing, so feel free to add your own lists and site suggestions in the comments each day.

Today’s list is the Top 5 Most Influential Websites

5. Flickr.com

One of the first mass-appeal content sharing sites, it’s hard to believe that photo-sharing giant Flickr is only about two-and-a-half years old. Launched in February 2004, it allowed users to upload their digital photographs and to comment on them. A great idea in itself, Flickr probably started the ball rolling for other sites with a similar idea.

4. eBay.com

eBay was created in September 1995 and officially named in September 1997, and is still widely considered the Internet’s primary auction site, though many argue it has lost much of its early community feel. eBay suddenly created a place online where people with all manner of bizarre and less common hobbies and interests could meet and trade with other people around the globe.


3. BBC.co.uk

The BBC website launched as bbc.co.uk in 1996, and now forms a major
portal featuring news, sport, programme information and interactive
services, amongst others. It is one of the UKs most visited web sites
overall and in recent years has pushed forward in the use of new web
technology and more wide-ranging content.

2. Amazon.com

One of the Internet’s first major online retailers, launched in 1995,
initially specialising in books and since diversifying into a wide
range of entertainment and leisure goods. Amazon revolutionised
shopping for many people.

1. Yahoo.com

Though Google is the current king of Internet search, back in the early
days, Yahoo was the place to be. It started out as "Jerry and David’s
Guide to the World Wide Web" in February 1994 as a way of keeping track
of the creators’ personal interests on the Internet. By Autumn 94 Yahoo
had had its first million-hit day. Yahoo has grown from strength to
strength since then, and whilst it’s not the biggest or the best today,
from small beginnings it made the Net accessible to everyone.

I’ve missed plenty of influential sites, I’m sure. Tell me yours.

Andy Merrett

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