Loved and hated by many and founded in march of 2006, Twitter is a
social networking and micro-blogging site that allows users to post
their latest updates. An update is limited by 140 characters and can be
posted through three methods: web form, text message, or instant
The Twitter door.
The social network of the moment. On February 4th, 2004 Mark Zuckerberg
launched The Facebook, a social network that was at the time
exclusively for Harvard students. It was a huge hit, in 2 weeks, half
of the student body at Harvard had signed up. Other schools in the
Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately
recruited his friends Dustin Moskowitz and Chris Hughes to help build
Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college
With this success, Zuckerberg, Moskowitz and Hughes moved out to Palo
Alto for the summer and rented a sublet. A few weeks later, Zuckerberg
ran into the former cofounder of Napster, Sean Parker. Parker soon
moved in to Zuckerberg’s apartment and they began working together.
Parker provided the introduction to their first investor, Peter Thiel,
cofounder of PayPal and managing partner of the Founders Fund. Thiel
invested $500,000 into Facebook.
And big Facebook was born.
Mark putting some to-do items in the impossible whiteboard behind the cabinet
Digg is a user driven social content website. Everything on Digg is
user-submitted. After you submit content, other people read your
submission and “Digg” what they like best. If your story receives
enough Diggs, it’s promoted to the front page for other visitors to see.
In the fall of 2004, Kevin Rose came up with the idea for Digg. He
found programmer Owen Bryne through eLance.com and paid him $10/hour to
develop the idea. In addition, Rose paid $99 per month for hosting and
$1,200 for the Digg.com domain. In December of 2004, Kevin launched his
creation to the world through a post on his blog.
Pictures Scott Beale / Laughing Squid
Craigslist is a man’s online classifieds that anyone can use. It cuts
straight to the chase without all the frills, and without crying while
still telling you that “everything is okay”. Everyone appreciates this,
because when you want to find a free box of computer parts from 1995 or
an apartment in NYC, you need something that just works.
Mozilla is an open-source software project that uses a community-based
approach to develop and provide applications such as the Firefox web
browser and Thunderbird email client.
Firefox is possibly the safest and most sophisticated web browser in
existence to date. Its drawing appeal and wonderful security is an
essential for any desktop, laptop or notebook owner.
Joost is a p2p on demand video player that offers professional (legal)
programming much like on your television, but whenever you want. With
very heavy backing from media giants, Joost looks good to take on
Former game designers Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake created
Flickr, an online photo sharing network, in 2004. Flickr, which began
as a photo-sharing feature of their gaming project, has since then
blossomed into one of the premire photo-sharing sites on the web.
Yahoo! purchased Flickr for $35 million in March of 2005.
This service pays attention to what you listen to, in order to
recommend other music that is similar, while allowing you to do the
most fun activity of music, listening to it.
Founded in July 2006 by Jyri Engestrom and Petteri Kopponen, Jaiku is a
micro-blogging and social networking site based in Finland. As a free
service, it allows users to post thoughts, or "Jaikus," via the web or
using the mobile phone. By allowing people to check their friends’
posts or to update their own micro-blog stream, Jaiku can be used as a
way for individuals to remain in constant contact with others.
It is now part of Google.
LinkedIn allow their users to form connections with business associates
whom they trust. The service can also be used to list jobs, find jobs,
or even just plain talk business.
Netvibes is one of the pioneers of the personalized home page. Netvibes
lets you assemble all your favorite widgets, feeds, social networks,
email, videos and blogs on one fully-customizable page.
Launched in 2005, Reddit is a social news website that displays news
based on your personal preferences and what the community likes. Your
preferences are determined based on your history of voting stories up
The company was started by two University of Virginia grads in the Y
Combinator program and two others (Christopher Slowe and Aaron Swartz)
later joined the team.