Thursday, January 19, 2006

Seven Wonders of the Digital World

This came up in a chat with my 12 year old son Callum as we were leaving the Great Pyramids at Giza, the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World. He suggested 3 of the 7.
1. Wikipedia
Biggest democratically built, growing repository of knowledge ever.
2. Napster
Radical and simple idea that changed the world of digital distribution for ever.
3. Toy Story
Perfect integration of story telling and digital graphics that charmed everyone.
4. Linux
Free software struck at the heart of the big vendors. Set the pace on open source.
5. Doom
Groundbreaking first person shooter. Still echoes through games and movie world.
6. Google
Mother of all search engines. Simple front-end and hyper-powerful back-end.
7. World Wide Web
Easy to forget the big-bang idea that spawned the digital revolution.
Any alternative entries?


andy said...

To state the obvious - Blogs and/or RSS...

My personal choice would be Google Earth (The standalone app not the web based mapping thing). It hasn't reached mainstream awareness like the other items on your list but it is the first idea in a long time that made my jaw drop to the floor...

Donald Clark said...

Google maps - nice suggestion. I had this on my original list, but thought it clashed with Google itself. Few pieces of software are so simple to use with so much underlying data.

Blogs/RSS another possible entry

Thanks for these.

IanR said...

You've underestimated connectability. For many people the main use of the net is still email, and increasingly that means Blackberry (and Treo) access to their email.
Ultimately it might well be WiMax that becomes a 'wonder of the world' but for the moment I think Blackberry does it for many people.

Strontiumbitch said...

Dont think any of these could be added but here's a post anyway.

From a sweep of my Post production company:
My own p.o.v Bluetooth, Firewires, Thumbdrives,
Final Fantasy
HD film and editing Final Cut 5
Maya for 3D generation and all the blessed online plug ins...plug ins are to me a wonder..

Unfortunately a very strong inclination towards the more adult side of the Digital world, of 10 people questioned seven responded with some kind of adult friend finding response. When I asked why they said they had no time to meet real people and relied on the net to have any sort of escape or even social life - they would meet online friends and dates in clubs at night, some of the tamer ones like Friendster came up a lot.

andy said...

Actually it was Google Earth I was voting for not Google Maps :)

Similar data-set but it's the unique sense of immersion is what made me want to vote for Google Earth...

helen m said...

Mmmmm .... iPod. It has revolutionised the way we listen to music, share music and buy music. Comparing an iPod to a DiscMan is likely comparing the fax machine to email - you can't believe you ever used one (but you did!).

Anonymous said...

I prefer Shrek to Toy Story. It has better animation.

Anonymous said...

I love Runescape as it is so addictive and all online games. I'm going to try the online games you mentioned in your blog.

DavidM said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DavidM said...

Wiki's are fine - in theory. Bit like Marxism, they rely on the non existance of universal human good will.

If nothing else, they illustrate the truism that it only takes 0.1% of a population to inflict problems on the remaining 99.9%. (Which, could, of course, lead us on to a debate on terrorism & the nature of democracy...)


Anonymous said...

I have an 8th wonder ebay - suddenly we have a whole new distribution and sales channel for people who may never of considered going into business. I am amazed at how quickly Chris, my partner, became very adept with the pc and running a small business with no prior knowledge or formal training. The motivation was making a buck, the learning happened by hard work and stealth (of course with the added bonus of a well designed system).

Anonymous said...

Great list. Toy Story is a favourite to.

Google Earth is definitely on my list too. I'd also add:

* web cams - just got back from skiing in France last week and it was neat to be able to see what the conditions would be like before I went
* GPS - this is transforming travel on road and on foot. I still teach the traditional virtues of map and compass but it is a dying art
* mobile communication devices - I hestitate to call them phones as they can do so much more now.
* million dollar homepage - for the pure viral power of the web

Clive Shepherd said...

My suggestion is Cubase, one of the first if not the first computer-based music sequencer. Empowered a generation of dance music enthusiasts to create their own music without the need for expensive studios, producers or recording companies.

rosiep said...

Search Engines - all the web-based wonders would probably not have been found in the first place without them....


Anonymous said...

Search Engines would be at the top of my list, I don't think a single day goes past without using it.