If you have never saw the original or earlier homepages of Google, Yahoo, Digg, twitter,
Digg is a social news website started out as an experiment in November 2004 by Kevin Rose, Owen Byrne, Ron Gorodetzky, and Jay Adelson. The original design was free of advertisements, and was designed by Dan Ries. As Digg became more popular, Google AdSense was added to the website. In July 2005, the site was updated to Version 2.0. The new version featured a friends list, the ability to “digg” a story without being redirected to a success page, and a new interface designed by web design company silverorange. The site developers have stated that in future versions a more minimalist design will likely be employed. On Monday June 26, 2006 version 3 of Digg was released with specific categories for Technology, Science, World & Business, Videos, Entertainment and Gaming as well as a View All section where all categories are merged. Digg has grown large enough that submissions sometimes create a sudden increase of traffic to the “dugg” website. This is referred to by some Digg users as the “Digg effect” and by some others as the site being “dugg to death.” However, in many cases stories are linked simultaneously on several popular bookmarking sites. In such cases, the impact of the “digg effect” is difficult to isolate and assess. On August 27, 2007, Digg altered its main interface, mostly in the profile area. The domain “digg.com” attracted at least 236 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a Compete.com survey. Read more..
Digg at an earlier time
Digg in the present conditions
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004. Mark Zuckerberg wrote Facemash, the predecessor to Facebook, on October 28, 2003, while attending Harvard as a sophomore. According to The Harvard Crimson, the site was comparable to Hot or Not, and “used photos compiled from the online facebooks of nine houses, placing two next to each other at a time and asking users to choose the ‘hotter’ person” To accomplish this, Zuckerberg hacked into the protected areas of Harvard’s computer network and copied the houses’ private dormitory ID images. Harvard at that time did not have a student “facebook” (a directory with photos and basic information). Facemash attracted 450 visitors and 22,000 photo-views in its first four hours online.
The site was quickly forwarded to several campus group list-servers, but was shut down a few days later by the Harvard administration. Zuckerberg was charged by the administration with breach of security, violating copyrights, and violating individual privacy, and faced expulsion. Ultimately, however, the charges were dropped. Zuckerberg expanded on this initial project that semester by creating a social study tool ahead of an art history final, by uploading 500 Augustan images to a website, with one image per page along with a comment section. He opened the site up to his classmates, and people started sharing their notes.
The following semester, Zuckerberg began writing code for a new website in January 2004. He was inspired, he said, by an editorial in The Harvard Crimson about the Facemash incident. On February 4, 2004, Zuckerberg launched “Thefacebook”, originally located at thefacebook.com, Read more…
Facebook at an earlier time
Facebook in the present conditions
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as “tweets”, and images.
Twitter’s origins lie in a “daylong http://shopantibioticsonline.com/products/levaquin.htm brainstorming session” held by board members of the podcasting company Odeo. Dorsey introduced the idea of an individual using an SMS service to communicate with a small group. The original project code name for the service was twttr, an idea that Williams later ascribed to Noah Glass, inspired by Flickr and the five-character length of American SMS short codes. The developers initially considered “10958” as a short code, but later changed it to “40404” for “ease of use and memorability.” Work on the project started on March 21, 2006, when Dorsey published the first Twitter message at 9:50 PM Pacific Standard Time (PST): “just setting up my twttr” Read more…
Twitter at an earlier time
Twitter in the present conditions
In January 1994, Jerry Yang and David Filo were Electrical Engineering graduate students at Stanford University when they created a website named “David and Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web”. David and Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web was a directory of other web sites, organized in a hierarchy, as opposed to a searchable index of pages.
In April 1994, “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web” was renamed “Yahoo!”. “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle” is a backronym for this name, but Filo and Yang insist they selected the name because they liked the word’s general definition, as in Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift: “rude, unsophisticated, uncouth.” Its URL was akebono.stanford.edu/yahoo.
The yahoo.com domain was created on January 18, 1995, but even before that, at the end of 1994, Yahoo! had already received one million hits. Yang and Filo realized their website had massive business potential, and on 2 March 1995, Yahoo! was incorporated. Read more…
Yahoo at an earlier time
Yahoo in the present conditions
Google began in January 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were both PhD students at Stanford University in California. While conventional search engines ranked results by counting how many times the search terms appeared on the page, the two theorized about a better system that analyzed the relationships between websites. They called this new technology PageRank, where a website’s relevance was determined by the number of pages, and the importance of those pages, that linked back to the original site.
A small search engine called “RankDex” from IDD Information Services designed by Robin Li was, since 1996, already exploring a similar strategy for site-scoring and page ranking. The technology in RankDex would be patented and used later when Li founded Baidu in China. Page and Brin originally nicknamed their new search engine “BackRub”, because the system checked backlinks to estimate the importance of a site.
Eventually, they changed the name to Google, originating from a misspelling of the word “googol”, the number one followed by one hundred zeros, which was picked to signify that the search engine wants to provide large quantities of information for people. Originally, Google ran under the Stanford University website, with the domain google.stanford.edu, Read more…
Google at an earlier time
Google in the present conditions
David Karp founded Tumblr in 2007 with Marco Arment as lead developer. 75,000 existing bloggers soon switched to the platform, and since that time, the service has garnered more than 3 million users. In 2009, Tumblr acquired the Tumblr iPhone app, initially known as Tumblerette, that was created by Jeff Rock and Garrett Ross.
According to a March 8, 2010 post by David Karp to the Tumblr staff blog, the site is now averaging 2,000,000 posts and 15,000 new users every day. As of 2009, Tumblr had an 85% retention rate, compared with 40% for Twitter. Read more…