I had a dream last night. Someone asked what was the coolest thing on the web. I interpreted the question to be specific to a web service like Gmail, Yahoo, Wikipedia, or anything “hosted”. The question to me was, “What is the thing on the web that changes the world the most?” It’s amazing to me that some compilation of programming can have that sort of effect, but it does.
Lots of sites were yelled from the crowd. In my dream, my answer was “The Way Back Machine” (Archive.org). Now that I am awake, I was thinking about it a little more.
The Way Back Machine is really great to keep a real record of every website in the world. That is truly awesome. However, does it change the world? Probably not. Google is awesome, to search the entire web so effectively, but it doesn’t seem quite “the coolest”. Hotkoko used to be the coolest thing on the web, but alas, no more.
Maybe, in the end, it is a silly question. Maybe the web is more than the sum of it’s parts. Maybe a bunch of “pretty cool” sites makes something in total that changes the world. But individually, each one is just “kinda cool”. Did I miss anything?