Monday, July 23, 2012

The True Story of the Internet: Search and People Power

I really did enjoy watching these two parts of the series because it was more up to date and I now know the history behind current technology that is used everyday. 

The first video on searching focused mainly on Yahoo!, Excite, and Google. With Yahoo, the video really explains the struggle the company had in understanding how to make money with their site. I have actually never heard of Excite and to this day the page looks to me a little amateur...

It's a simple design, but a little cramped and outdated looking. 
The problem that Yahoo and Excite found is that they got boggled down with advertising and forgot about what they were actually designed for: searching. 

Then came along Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google, with a better, more appropriate idea for search engines, called link counting. Link counting equated to recommendations in their eyes and that is how they based the order of the search results, which I thought was very smart. I wouldn't want to type in a search about a medical problem and the top result be some health blog that only 3 people have ever linked to. 

Larry Page and Sergey Brin
Searching through the vast amount of information on the web can be a bit overwhelming and I'm sure it was much more so back when these search engines weren't in play. Searching today is easier and simpler, when you need to know something, you can find it. End of story. 

The second video called People Power, shows just how much the web has changed over the years because the world makes it change. YouTube was created by Chad Hurley because he saw the Internet as a way to connect people, a way for people to broadcast themselves. The music scene changed drastically with the creation of Napster by a teenager named Shawn Fanning. 

Shawn Fanning- creator of Napster

Napster opened the music industry to anyone and everyone, naturally not everyone liked that and within 2 years, Napster was shut down. Fanning showed that the content on the web is created by the people that use it. The web evolves as people evolve. If you can create something that people will like and pass along and use, then you have hit the jackpot in todays world. Facebook is a prime example of that. How a small startup can then explode because that is what the people wanted. 

It's interesting to think about what the web will be like in 10 years, seeing how it has changed so much in the past 10. I'm very glad I got to watch these videos and I look forward to the next series they make to talk about the technologies that are happening right now. 

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