TECH | 11/10/2011 @ 6:47AM
Which are the most iconic and epoch defining websites, the 10 websites that changed the world we live in? I’m standing in the offices ofStoryWorldwide, a web agency based in London. It isEuropean Internet Week and Jim Boulton has curated an exhibition of those 10 websites. They are a quirky choice. It’s unlikely you will have heard of many of them. And that’s the point. We’re fixated on the rapid evolution of web technology. The time has come to call a halt, at least for a week and admire what a small group of artists, designers, and creatives did to make the web an integral and potent part of our daily lives.
Though a personal journey for him, selections were made in consultation with creatives in New York and London. You still have tomorrow to drop in on Jim and StoryWorldwide. Here’s the list.
# 1. Birth of the web, 1991. Tim Berners Lee very first web site on the Hypermedia Browser/Editor. Set on a Next Cube with the original operating system, the browser is looking good 20 years on – though Berners Lee overwrote the very first web page he created. This is the second.
#2. Antirom, 1994, a series of experiments with new web technology (Director 5) from this path breaking London agency and art collective. Participants included Andy Cameron who went on to direct Benetton’s Fabrica, interactive communications research centre in Treviso, Italy.
#3. The Blue Dot 1995, a Razorfish project. The agency that defined the early digital age, the Razorfish website used a server-push GIF animation – a blue dot, that made it in effect the first animated website. Razorfish then set up an online art gallery called The Blue Dot, a playground for artists, photographers and designers.
#4. Word.com, 1995, the first truly multi-media web originated ezine, in an age when websites were repurposed print.
#5. Noodlebox, 1997, a site with one of the first rich graphical interfaces designed by Danny Brown, an influence on Jonny Ives of Apple.
#6. Head Space, 1997, began as the Head New Media’s 20% time, a space to do cool projects. Became an influential non-commercial online creative community.
#7. Modern Living, 1998, by Han Hoogerbrugge, a precursor of online film, began as a series of looping GIFs and the progressed to Flash, these were the first attempts to transfer cartoon to online animation.
#8. PS2 Pray Station 2, 2000, one of the first sites to open source creative content, PS2 was writer and illustrator Joshua Davis’s story telling site.
#9. Requiem for a Dream, 2000, a website for the movie Requiem for a Dream this was the first attempt to do a movie trailer that was in fact a bone fide narrative and work of narrative art in its own right. Alexandra Jugovic and Florian Schmidt were the designers.
#10. Subservient Chicken, 2004. An online ad for Burger King by The Barbarian Group that garnered 25 million views within two days, before it had been officially launched, Subservient Chicken changed New York and London’s view of the web’s potential. The day digital grew up.
I think that list is pretty controversial but at the same time it opens your eyes to a shared but forgotten history. Powerful stuff. Note how little makes it into the list after 2000!