The internet is increasingly all about people power. Young revolutionaries have paved the way for anyone to be a backpack journalist or an at-home producer. John Heilemann makes us aware of this in the documentary he hosts called 'Download: The True Story of the Internet'. The segment 'People Power' made me more aware of things I had heard much about earlier in the Internet's history. The other videos on how certain browsers and websites came to be were very interesting as well.
In most cases these revolutionaries didn't have to be up there with the rocket scientists, no. They just had to attend an ivy league school, have an idea that could change the course of the internet and tons of time to execute it. Shawn Fanning who created Napster said he just wanted his friends to have an easier way to download music. Before Napster came along they would have to skip their classes just to get the tracks they wanted. I don't think I ever had Napster due to all of the controversies when I was first introduced to the idea of music downloading, but I do remember having WinAmp, LimeWire, etc. After seeing all of those fail I am incredibly thankful for Macs and torrentz in general. Shawn Fanning will continue to be a legacy in the realm of music downloading, but he had a string of bad luck. Although downloading music for free can hurt the artists I still download music in hopes that I will be able to contribute to the artist by purchasing merchansdise or attending shows, but nobody wants to purchase an album and have it turn out to be a bunch of crap.
Also sites like YouTube and Digg gave people the power to not only be heard, but seen. There are so many outlets in which we have the freedom to express ourselves on the internet, through Google especially (ahem, as I write this blog post through yet another Google owned site.)