IT Management: From the Bubble to the Burst: A Look Back at 25 Years of Dot-Com

 
 
By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2010-03-12
 
 
 

From the Bubble to the Burst: A Look Back at 25 Years of Dot-Com

by Nicholas Kolakowski

From the Bubble to the Burst: A Look Back at 25 Years of Dot-Com

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NetscapeDuring its mid-1990s heyday, Netscape occupied the lions share of the Web browser market, but found itself enveloped in the infamous "browser wars" against Microsofts Internet Explorer. In November 1998, AOL acquired Netscape for $4.2 billion, but Netscapes browser market share continued to steadily drop and the unit was eventually dissolved.

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Google Founded in 1998, Google's streamlined layout and powerful search algorithm appealed to users, who eventually made it the dominant search engine on the Web in terms of market share.

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Amazon.comLaunched in 1995 as an online bookstore, Amazon.com soon expanded into multiple areas of online commerce, including software, furniture, toys and clothing. The company has also entered cloud computing and ebooks, the latter with its popular Kindle e-reader.

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America Online (AOL) This online service provider once counted more than 30 million people as subscribers, and was strong enough to merge with Time Warner. Since that merger, though, its members have been fleeing the company's "Walled Garden" business model, eventually leading to a split with Time Warner, rounds of downsizing and a December 2009 attempt at rebranding.

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Yahoo Incorporated in 1995, Yahoo rapidly grew in popularity as a Web portal and survived the dot-com bust, but by the late 2000s it saw its search-engine market share declining in the face of fierce competition from Google. After fending off a takeover attempt by Microsoft in 2008, Yahoo eventually entered into a search-and-advertising deal that will see Microsoft's Bing take over Yahoo's back-end search.

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The Internet Movie Database (IMDb)Started in 1990 as a merger of a movie-ratings list and an actresses list, IMDb (which also existed under names such as Cardiff Internet Movie Database) eventually grew and expanded onto the Web. Amazon.com eventually purchased IMDb in 1998.

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MapQuest Since launching online in February 1996 (and later being acquired by AOL), MapQuest became one of the most-recognized brands in online maps, although services such as Google and Bing have more recently muscled their way into the space with robust features.

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eBayFounded in 1995, this online-auction site rapidly expanded, acquiring other companies such as PayPal and ensuring that even your most broken-down, useless junk can be sold to someone in the world.

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Department of DefenseThe DoD originally administered the "dot-com" domain name, although responsibility was eventually transferred in 1993 to the National Science Foundation.

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Salesforce.comFounded in 1999 as a software-as-a-service company, Salesforce.com helped introduce the concept of cloud-based services to businesses.

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CraigslistOther sites might gravitate toward incorporating rich content and complex layouts, but Craigslist remains a defiant text-centric entity on the Web, letting its users post messages for everything from apartments and cars to, well, you probably dont want to know.

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NapsterOnce the scourge of the recording industry, Napsters file-sharing service became the most popular way to swap music files, at least until a series of lawsuits from Metallica, Dr. Dre and others forced the network to shut down in summer 2001. The brand has been bought and sold by various companies ever since, but none has been able to revive Napsters buzz circa 1999-2000.

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YouTube Acquired by Google in 2006 for $1.6 billion, this video-sharing Website has become a favorite depository for user-generated content (because you can never have too many surfing-squirrel videos, some people figure). Google has been introducing professionally made content in an attempt to compete against Hulu, Netflix's online-streaming service, and other video sites.

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WebvanOne of the most spectacular flameouts of the dot-com bust, Webvan rapidly built out its infrastructure in an attempt to become the leader in the online-grocery market. It collapsed, taking millions in venture capital with it, but Amazon.com would later acquire the brand.

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Pets.comPets.com attracted a good deal of attention thanks to a Super Bowl ad, a cute sock-puppet mascot and other marketing initiatives, but its pet-supplies-online model wasnt strong enough to survive the dot-com bust. It collapsed in 2000.

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The Pirate BayA Swedish index of BitTorrent files, this Website is especially notable for the massive amount of legal action leveled against it.

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FacebookThis social-networking site managed to surpass previous contenders, including Friendster and MySpace, to become the most-subscribed of its kind in the world. Many of its users have raised privacy concerns, however, over the massive amount of personal data displayed on its pages.

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WikipediaA crowd-sourced encyclopedia, launched in 2001, that quickly became a favored resource for many in the online community. The site currently hosts 3.2 million articles in English, although controversies occasionally erupt about some entries accuracy.

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Whitehouse.govThe official Website of the White House, owned by the United States government, and target of domain-name controversy with Whitehouse.com and Whitehouse.org.

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CompuServeConsidered a premier Internet provider in the 1980s and early -90s, CompuServe found its prices undercut by AOL and Prodigy, and its subscription base slowly decimated. In early 1998, it was sold to AOL, which later shut down CompuServe Classic in 2009. CompuServe 2000, a newer service, continues to operate.

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SlateIn 1998, online periodical Slate attempted to institute a pay-wall based around an annual subscription fee. It didnt work, helping contribute to the idea of the Web as a place with free content.

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The Wall Street JournalUnlike the majority of online news sites, which offer their content for free, the Wall Street Journal has been experimenting with placing its content behind a modified paywall. Whether other media outlets will follow suit is something that remains to be seen.

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Blogger Founded by Pyra Labs, and acquired by Google in 2003, Blogger is representative of those services that have allowed millions of people to start a blog, write a single entry and then abandon it entirely.

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Symbolics The oldest currently registered domain name, originally created on March 15, 1985.

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WebCrawlerOne of the pioneering Web search engines, and the first to provide full text search.

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Rocket Fuel