2013: online services and websites
In the scale of evolution of the Internet, one year is a lot. During the year, the popularity of a website can easily come to naught, and could grow many times over. On the other hand, no wonder they say that history is a spiral. World wide web has gone fifth decade, and by analyzing the changes occurring in it, sometimes you can see not only the UPS and downs of individual web projects, and new coils. In 2013, the Internet was bright, vigorously and at times even controversial. Let’s remember the most exciting online event of the past year.
Kickstarter and others: a new way of doing business on the Internet
The idea of raising funds on the principle of “every little helps” is not new. However, in 2013 we saw the rapid growth of online projects that implement this idea.
For those who have an interesting business idea but lack the money for their implementation, online services for fundraising offer a great start. Simply enough to present their ideas to read out a sample list of expenses to make a business plan- and be very convincing. The future will fall on the shoulders of those who wish to invest in your project. One of the most convenient platforms for such “quick start” is the service Kickstarter. Using this web service implements the most unusual and daring ideas — from raising funds for the film to mass production of folding Slippers. Interesting Kickstarter for those who are going to open a business, and for those who just like a useful device and tracks the emergence of unusual inventions.
Despite the fact that formally present your project on Kickstarter are citizens of very few countries (USA, Canada and UK) last year, many residents of the former Soviet Union have found a way to show their ideas. Many of them were quite successful. For example, the flash iblazr for iPhone, invented by Ukrainian guys, has collected more than 156 thousand dollars — almost three times more than was stated for the successful implementation of the project. And Ukrainian developers tech cube PetCube for remote play with Pets has collected more than 250 thousand dollars with the stated goal of 100 thousand.
Overall on Kickstarter in 2013 and raised more than 920 million dollars. This is three times more than last year. The number of people willing to Finance the projects from last year has doubled and amounted to 5.37 million people.
By the way, a successful campaign to raise money was held, and long before the advent of the Internet. One of the largest such campaigns in history was a nationwide raise funds to build the pedestal for the statue of Liberty in new York. As you know, the statue was a gift of the French people to the centenary of the revolution in the United States, but, by agreement of the parties, to build the pedestal had the American side. Money is sorely lacking. All attempts to collect the required amount (including art exhibitions, auctions and Boxing fights, theatrical performances) were in vain until, until Joseph Pulitzer (Joseph Pulitzer), publisher of the popular newspaper The New York World, published in her appeal to the American people to support the construction of the pedestal of the statue. In five months, approximately 120 thousand Americans responded to the request. Each of them on average gave 85 cents, but the money was enough — and the project was funded.
In our day the Internet does the same thing, what did the newspaper in 1884. It turns out that the idea of raising money through sites like Kickstarter are not new, but this is a good example of how in our days online, you can do what was once done in the real, offline world.
The Closure Of AltaVista
In July 2013, Yahoo has officially closed the site AltaVista.com now when you query this address in the browser is sending to the page search.yahoo.com. This event for the modern web remained almost unnoticed. Nevertheless, those who still remember gogoglevskaya the era of web search, there is a reason to remember the AltaVista website. This search engine and its web portal was very popular in the era of web 1.0.
The story of AltaVista began in 1995. Then the site gave users the ability to search the Internet and Usenet. It was held Raffles, had the opportunity to create their own web pages. Later on the main page of the site housed the popular search queries, comparing the prices of goods in Internet shops and latest news.
In 2003, “AltaVista” was bought by Yahoo and since then so no idea what can be done with this site to bring it up to modern realities. In 2013, the story AltaVista.com officially ended, and now we can go to a once popular the website only through a web archive.
The Revival Of Flickr
Fortunately, not all acquisitions of Yahoo, end up in the web archive. At least until that closing does not Shine to Flickr, which received in 2013, a new life.
Interestingly, Flickr was launched in the same month that Facebook. This was actually the first website where users could share a good pictures and look for interesting photos taken by other people. There were the first signs of social networks, as photos could comment. But mobile and social revolutions that occurred over the next five years, passed service for sharing photos.
Yahoo bought Flickr in 2005. Since then and until the end of 2012, she didn’t do anything to improve the service. Free account give access to only the most recent 200 photos, and the interface left much to be desired. Photos can be viewed only as square thumbnails or in full size and download photos from the service was too uncomfortable. In short, every year the number of users of Flickr were reduced and it seemed that the service is close to closing.
However, with the advent of Yahoo’s new CEO, much has changed. The revival of Flickr began at the end of 2012 with the release of the completely redesigned apps for iOS. This event is very successfully coincided with a message about the changes to the terms of Instagram. In the period from mid December 2012 to mid January 2013, Instagram has lost about half of the active users. They could not accept the fact that the service has reserved the right to sell to third parties the photos posted by users of the service without any notifications and payments. Many of the former integraserv moved just on Flickr (or returned to it).
The new mobile Flickr implemented all the basic functions, users of Instagram and other similar apps: there are friends on Twitter and Facebook, a built-in camera, the addition of various filters, view photos with geotagging on a map, the ability to like photos and tag them as favorites, subscribe to updates friends, leave comments to photos, send your images to feeds Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or email.
Moreover, it was found that the new mobile Flickr even more than Instagram, it has a set of tools for editing images, tools for batch upload of images and organizing them by album, lots of possibilities for search (throughout the service, according to the tapes friends and like photos, by keywords). In short, the app for iOS users like it — and thanks to him the service again.
The design service was also changed: instead of little square pictures that users were offered a fairly large thumbnails which fill the browser window. When scrolling down the page there are all new and new pictures. When you hover on the image, you can immediately see the title, author name, buttons for commenting and adding to favorites.
Of course, in the years that have passed since that time, when thousands of people left Flickr, many have come to trust your photos to Facebook, Instagram and other services, but Flickr is still a bit different purpose. Do not forget that the service stores the uploaded photos in their original resolution, not squeezing them, as the same Facebook, and therefore perfectly suited for the backup of the photographic collection.
And because Flickr is supported by many applications for processing images (including, for example, iPhoto, Aperture, Lightroom), downloading photos to the revived service is very convenient.
The Closure Of Google Reader
Among the services that ceased to exist in 2013, probably the biggest love used Google Reader. The search giant’s decision to close it was for many people a real shock: it is clear that not all of the services gain in popularity, but why close such to which daily turn down millions? Officially, the company explained its decision by the fact that interest in the project opened seven years ago, recently fell. It is clear that the use of RSS, after the appearance of Twitter and other alternatives has decreased overall, but the service was still one of the most popular ways to read news.
However, the Google did not work nor the collection of signatures in support of Google Reader, no many outraged voices on the Internet, and 1 July 2013 this online tool for reading news has become history. The user data subscription available for download via Google Takeout until July 15, after which it was removed from Google.
Together with the closure of Google Reader ceased to exist, and many third-party apps for reading RSS, which used Google account. For example, stopped development of the popular desktop client for reading RSS feeds in FeedDemon.
However, the Holy place is never empty. After the closing of the popular service for reading RSS other similar web apps have received a new life. For example, the service Feedly, which few people knew during the existence of Google Reader, got so many new users that for some time was not available. Only for the first 48 hours after the announcement of the upcoming closure of Google Reader on it moved more than five hundred thousand users, and for the first month — more than 3 million At the end of may 2013 the service has served more than 12 million users.
However, I must give the developers credit: they quickly realized the situation and tried to make the service such that the former users of Google Reader feel to the new place as comfortable as possible. They strongly welcomed the new users promised to add missing features and to do all that migration went painlessly as possible.
In March, Feedly was only available as a mobile app for Android and iOS and as an extension for Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Once from a little-known service, Feedly has become one of the most viable alternatives to Google Reader was launched its completely new version. Two main improvements which it was implemented is working in any browser without having to install add-ons and extensions, as well as a fast import subscriptions from Google Reader in one click. In addition, the opened API to third-party RSS applications.
In late August, Feedly introduced a paid version for $5 per month or $45 per year. Premium members can enjoy such benefits as a full search for articles, integration with Evernote and Pocket, as well as more frequent updates of RSS feeds, compared to free accounts.
The Rise Of Bitcoin
The Bitcoin story began in late 2008, when someone, hiding under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto (Satoshi Nakamoto), has published a paper called Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System (“Bitcoin: P2P electronic money system”). It was described the main principles on which the new electronic currency.
Despite the fact that a new virtual currency has attracted public attention two years ago, that 2013 may be considered as a year when Bitcoin began to speak almost everywhere. Some bankers even acknowledged that virtual currency may be considered as a competitor to real money.
“Bitcoins” can be bought for real money and exchange them, in some countries they can even buy pizza online. But the Bitcoin system is primarily perceived as a convenient means for the sale and purchase of illegal goods: drugs, weapons and other things. All transactions in the system of almost anonymous and safe, so the best method of payment for illegal goods you can imagine. In late October, the FBI arrested the owner of the largest hidden website Silk Road (web resource is available only via anonymous Tor network) on which to carry out various transactions for the sale of illegal goods and services. As a means of payment it was used Bitcoin, and, according to law enforcement officials, the turnover of the website has made 9.5 million bitcoins. Only the owner of the site seized more than 140 thousand virtual coins.
At the beginning of the year, one bitcoin was worth $13 in April, it cost over $260, and since the end of November for one virtual coin you can get a $1 000. Such a sharp increase in the cost of virtual currency, of course, could not pass unnoticed by cybercriminals in the past year, not just once or twice it was reported the hacker attacks to the services of “bitcoin banking”, many of which ended in the transfer to the direction of a huge number of invisible coins.
By the way, to protect yourself from possible theft of virtual money, the value of which is constantly growing, and many experts even suggest storing bitcoins on computers without Internet access. However, in this case, you can accidentally get into the story similar to what happened with the British it professional James Howelson (James Howells). Before the Bitcoin exchange rate began to grow rapidly, he threw the old hard drive from the laptop, which was about 7 500 virtual coins (at the current exchange rate is approximately $7.5 million). Now the failed millionaire trying to find a lost drive in a landfill, however, it is unlikely to succeed — area burial comparable to a football field, and a layer of garbage for several months, since getting to the dump hard drive, up to 1-1.5 meters.
What will be online tomorrow largely depends on what will be interesting to millions of its users. Hardly we are aware that, for the first time taking the decision to Finance any project on Kickstarter or trying the mined “bitcoins” with a brand new video card last generation, we are actively involved in the evolution of the global network. Those same millions who are making history of the Internet is we with you, so I want to believe that online services and websites of 2014 will be what we want to see them. Really want to next year has received the support of users and flourished web projects built on good, peaceful ideas. And to the dark side of the global network was such an insignificant part that it would not be newsworthy.