Top 10 Web 2.0 Winners

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    The Top 10 Web 2.0 Losers list was an interesting look at companies and sites that possibly haven’t lived up to their potential in this era of the web. Today I am going to look at the top 10 sites that I feel have exceeded the expectations of many and have taken marketshare away from established leaders or have become leaders themselves in their industries. Again, these sites don’t have to represent the Web 2.0 concept of rounded corners and AJAX technology, they are simply showing strength during this time of the web.

    1. Myspace. Love it or hate it, this is the top dog on the Web right now and it doesn’t look like anyone is going to take it down anytime soon. With Myspace it was never about the feature set or interface because other sites offer more and look better, it was always about the community (if you are not on Myspace, you are not on anywhere) and the control you had over your page. What fascinates me the most about the site though is that it has gone beyond being just a social site and has now become a social platform where companies form around the sole purpose of developing widgets to use on Myspace.That’s power that any site would love to have. With the amount of people that use the site, any new project that Myspace starts is bound to be an instant hit. Rupert Murdoch is already claiming that Myspace Video will overtake YouTube in 60 days which is no small feat when you consider that YouTube serves over 100MM videos a day.
    2. WordPress. After dethroning SixApart (losers list) in the self-hosted blogging category, Matt Mullenweg set his sights on the hosted blogging space and has been kicking major ass. What makes this even more intriguing is that is essentially running on Open Source software so you aren’t left with the feeling that development will stop anytime soon as you do with MovableType or Typepad. Add to that, the service is free with addons costing a small price per year and you have a company that has a revenue model that doesn’t revolve around advertising (sad when I get that happy over something like that).
    3. Flickr. A popular choice on any Web 2.0 list, this was the first real Web 2.0 breakout hit due to its use of tagging and sense of community. After being bought by Yahoo! things don’t seem to be slowing down and through the use of a great set of APIs the service has become a viral phenonmenon.It has yet to really make a splash with the mainstream audience who still use the larger photo-sharing sites, but it is making great strides to catch up. A free service that uses ads or a Pro version which costs a minimal amount of money per year, Flickr has created a revenue model that revolves around the best of both worlds.
    4. YouTube. In my opinion the most addictive site on the web. There has been a lot of talk lately about the value of YouTube and its ability to stay alive with all the copyrighted content it has on the site, but people tend to forget that the same companies that hold these copyrights are the exact same companies that have been looking for effective ways to reach the younger crowds online. A Chinese kid lip-synching to Backstreet Boys may be copyright infringement due to the use of the song, but how often can a 10 year old song be heard by over 2MM potential buyers in just a couple of days? Companies are starving for this kind of attention and they can get it now without even trying.The company is demanding $1.5 billion to buy them out and it’s quite possible they will find a suitor. For all the talk that people are going to leave in droves to go to other sites that offer money, well let’s just say large sites like this just don’t die in an instant. YouTube will be around for a very long time.
    5. Revver and MetaCafe. Not nearly as popular as YouTube, but still making large strides these two video sites offer producers monetary rewards for posting videos up on their site. Some of the more popular YouTube directors have been using these sites to generate some cash for their efforts, while still posting on YouTube to gain audience. That’s the kicker, even when another site offers them money for their content, they still post on YouTube because that’s where they will make their mark.With revenue-sharing in place and a model similar to YouTube’s, both of these sites are looking very good right now.
    6. Newsvine. Simply how news sites will be done in the 21st Century. With the way syndication of news works, you can read the same story in multiple places, but Newsvine offers reader feedback and a strong community to complement the news you read everyday. If participating isn’t your thing, you are still provided with up to the minute news reports just like any other news site.Newsvine’s audience is mature and knowledgeable and doesn’t cater to just the geek crowd, which is refreshing in this era of the web. A clean design, the type you would expect from Mike Davidson, help to make the site a pleasure to get around.
    7. Yahoo. The largest and strongest company on the list has a sense of where the web is moving. With early acquisitions of Flickr and, Yahoo understands the value of community sites with user-generated content. Now they are the forerunner in getting Facebook so even when people being to panic due to the cutback in advertising it still looks like clear skies for Yahoo.And if you don’t believe in the power of being acquired by a big company, has just announced they have registered their one millionth user and showing a growth rate that has tripled since being acquired.
    8. Digg. There isn’t much to say about Digg that hasn’t already been said. It has taken old school concepts and remixed them in a way that has become addicting. With over 500k registered users in less than two months their growth is almost unmatched. What makes this site so great and why it will continue to grow is the ease of use of the site. After registering you are thrown right into the action and can participate simply by clicking a Digg button. As the community grows their will be more and more turmoil, but that won’t hide the fact that if you are looking for interesting stories and sites, Digg will remain the #1 place to go for a very long time.If you run a site there is no greater pleasure than having an article reach the Digg frontpage. If you want traffic, this is where the action is and that will help keep the site fresh moving upwards.
    9. Skype. If you use VoIP you use Skype. That’s pretty much all you need to know.
    10. Facebook. Potentially to be bought out by Yahoo for $1 billion, Facebook makes a strong case for not trying to cater to everyone. However, things will change now that they have opened registrations for all to use. However, the fact that you can’t manipulate your page like you can with Myspace may show that users want freedom and control if you want their attention.Of course with such a great user interface I may be proven wrong.

    This list was a bit harder to make than the Losers list because there were a couple of sites that could have easily made it.

    I am definitely looking forward to seeing what happens to all of these companies in the next year.

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      1. says

        Flickr rocks-n-socks-em. Unfortunately, I use Myspace, too, because everyone else does.

        (I was about to be silly and say “OMG, add me yo!” then remembered we are already on each others’ friends list.)

      2. says

        With MySpace, I can’t help but think of AOL circa 1997. Tons of traffic, significant user base, but all of that eclipsed by executive hubris. Especially with this talk of creating a more proprietary space and eliminating the widgets that are inheriting traffic from MySpace.

        Agreed. It will be interesting to see what happens.

      3. says

        They definitely have to be careful of how many widget developers they piss off by shutting them out and all of the people that use those widgets. Greed is a hard thing to fight I guess.

        Jina, I’m almost hurt that you forgot we were Myspace friends, but then of course you aren’t in my top 8 so never mind.

      4. says

        This list is alright except most of these sites aren’t anything new. Youtube, myspace, google, yahoo, digg. Everybody knows about these sites so I might suggest some less known web2.0 sites that might be able to compete with youtube or myspace or even google someday.

      5. understudy says

        I think myspace should be disqualified as true Web 2.0. While it is a user-controlled social networking site, it’s strikingly out of place in terms of rich design—especially when compared to others in the list.


      6. says

        I dont know whats yr criteria for rating these sites. I dont agree with yr ranking of sites. It will be good if you can describe how you rated these sites. To me some sites are too young to go that far as compred to others.
        And is not in top ten means this rating is flawed somewhat.

      7. says

        Again if you read the list you will understand that Myspace definitely deserves to be up there due to their success during this era of the web, not because of their “cool” *cough* technology. And the numbers don’t mean anything, it’s just to show you there are 10.

      8. peter says

        NewsVine is a horrible community, their moderation is a prejudiced group of jackbooted brownshirts and all of their most commented articles are exercises in jingoistic hyperbole.

      9. Rob Mowery says

        I still think that the folks at Clipmarks ( have a very strong product. I will be curious to see if it makes the list in the future.

      10. says

        Well said peter. Newsvine is one of the worst communities around. Bigotry is the one word that comes to mind when I think of Newsvine.

      11. Darcy says

        Completely agree about Newsvine.

        I was so excited to hear about it and jumped on the bandwagon early on it. But it deteriorated because of the community. It is not a ‘winner’. It was a great idea and some good tech, but it highlights the weakness of community/social software, and doesn’t show any indications of how to fix it.

      12. Senor says

        To be honest, aside from the ability to create your own “column”, what’s the difference between Slashdot and Newsvine.

        Oh and also the “web 2.0″ interface which seems to put every site miles above the rest.

      13. says

        I also don’t agree with MySpace’s ranking, while netvibes is out of the list.
        I do agree with having 3 video sites in the top ten. There sure is a craze about it.

      14. says

        Don’t worry Jina, you’re in my top 8, and scrivs isn’t, so you win… not that he cares, seeing as we’re not 9rulers…

        Oh, yeah, the list — I love that everyone assumes the order is a ranking. Order may imply a rank, at least in scrivs subconcious, but it doesn’t have to. The teams who run these sites deserve to be patted on the back for what they’ve acheived, period.

      15. Mike Peterson says

        All of these are sites with big $$$ amounts, and some with huge corporations behind them. That’s not the original spirit of Web 2.0 at all – that is about getting rich (not that that ever stopped being the objective). What I admire are sites like SIMPY and FINDORY, both of which are bootstrapped and offer very solid services! That’s Web 2.0 that we all fell in love with.

      16. Mike Peterson says

        To add to what I said above – that is actually what I would like to see – Top 10 bootstrapped/self-funded/independent companies/services that never took any Angel or VC funding.

      17. TheKak says

        Sadly I don’t know how on earth you can give MySpace the win. They are so far from Web 2.0 it’s not even funny… I would disagree that they should take the cake only on the fact that it’s f**king huge. Oh well. Go Fox!

      18. jsaltz says

        This is insane. “Web 2.0″ is something that “nobody even knows what it means” (Tim Berners-Lee). Myspace is an abomination. ’nuff said.

      19. says

        I understand why Myspace is #1 on the list but man does it hurt me to say it. I’m exponentially happier now that Facebook has opened up, yet I’m in a fear that this will do irreparable damage to the user base and the way facebook is used right now. Last thing this world needs is another dating site, i mean myspace.

      20. says

        Hmm there is another split that may offer a more balanced list. Rather than look at companies or sites, how about top 10 APPLICATIONS.

        After all, how useful is MySpace to me? Does it replace anything I already have?

        Where as I rely on Flickr, and for their functionality.

        Ohh and “if you are not on Myspace, you are not on anywhere”? Some people would say that’s a GOOD thing… LOL

      21. FranzFerd says

        Newsvine but not reddit? Have you looked at their traffic growth lately — or is it too hard to believe that a non-VC-funded startup run by a few collegekids in Boston could be so successful?

      22. anonymous says

        The copyright issue will be tough for YouTube to deal with, but *not* impossible.

        It’s not like 99% of the content on YouTube is copyrighted.

        If you spend a good chunk of time there, you’ll see that mabye 40-60% is copyrighted… but it’s not exactly grade-A, HDTV HBO quality stuff.

        It’s stuff that the content owners might not even care about anyway. Chances are, they actually *do* want their stuff to be seen… they just want a tiny kickback. Also, with YouTube doing all the hosting, it’s saving that cost from the content provider. So, YouTube will undoubtedly eventually strike deals with all the major players and the copyright issue won’t be as big of a deal.

        The YouTube naysayers also seem to have the following characteristics:
        – they don’t realize how cheap hosting/bandwidth is these days ( I run three dedicated servers… I can tell you it’s freakin cheap! even at the levels YouTube is doing, it’s not like it’s 1998 when this stuff cost an arm and a leg)

        – they don’t understanding advertising business models. these same people also probably panned MySpace because they didn’t understand how it could make money (*you mean they give away free profiles? how silly*)

        But yeah, once you leverage 100MM views a day, you can pretty much write one phat ticket all the way to the bank.

      23. Phill says

        I’m surprised Instructables isn’t on this, assuming of course, that it was made during this time period.

      24. djeglin says

        Okay, so this list is a little strange, but on the whole I’ll agree with it. As much as I despise it, I have to concede that MySpace is indeed the big daddy at the moment. I find it interesting that they have such a close partnership with Microsoft (even so far as MS having the founders appear in keynotes with them), when Microsoft is still trying to compete in the social web / blogging sphere with MSN Spaces.

        I think that there are some interesting ommissions from the list, though… How is not up there with the best of them? The site embodies all that is “web 2.0″ – Its social, innovative and useful. It has also generated a massive amount of interest on the net, too.

        YouTube may be a winner when you look at visitor figures etc, and the fact they have been bought out, but just look at how much money they lose! The only people I can see having “won” from YouTube are the shareholders! (Oh, and the visitors, although it is certainly a victim of the theory that you cant have a high volume of high quality information/product… There is so much crap on there its not even funny!)

        WordPress really doesnt need to be up there… Sorry, it doesnt even belong up there. Ok, so its a blogging engine – Great. But that alone doesnt make it a “web 2.0″ winner. Blogging doth not make web 2.0. Sorry. The sites that index these blogs, that have a community etc, fine… But WordPress is simply a tool… An enabler for the community driven content that is web 2.0 – Not a web 2.0 “thing” in of itself.

        One more issue I have… Someone up the comments list said “they dont even use web 2.0 technologies”… err… You need a bit of correcting there, mate… xmlhttprequest is not a prerequisite for a web 2.0 site – “Web 2.0″ is all about the web as a social space – a “sphere” if you will. Its about users driving the web forward, and creating the content, as opposed to large corporations. Its the web controlled by the masses. Not about a bunch of flaky technology, which will be replaced before you know it. The themes will still survive long after the echnology is dead.

      25. Hamid says

        MySpace?! are you kidding me?! it’s not even web 2.0
        for a second i thought i’m reading the top losers article.

      26. says

        A 12 year old could design something more interesting than myspace. The only thing that’s borderline web 2.0 is it’s rounded corners. Actually only one or two of these are even web 2.0.

      27. says

        I am a big fan of Facebook and also use twitter. I am just getting started on digg and it seems pretty cool. Many of you may already know much of this info but for us newbies, that are paying attention, this is great stuff.


      1. […] Wisdump completó hoy sus comentarios al artículo de Wired con sus Top 10 Web 2.0 Winners. Y desde el número 1 aparece la contra: MySpace, que parece destinado al amor o al odio.  A propósito: ayer aparecieron las preguntas “¿qué hace Microsoft mientras tanto? ¿qué pasará cuando alguien busque el lugar de MySpace seriamente? Y una podría responder a la otra: hoy Slashdot y MonkeyBites (de Wired) adelantaron el lanzamiento de Wallop, la social network de Microsoft, lanzada como empresa independiente y que apuesta a tres diferencias (o no tanto) de lo ya visto: mucho flash, sólo por invitación y, raro, sólo para mayores de 18 años. La única pregunta que me hago hoy (aunque seguramente podrían ser otras varias) es si, con este esquema, van a poder aprovechar la fuerza del omnipresente MSN Messenger para convocar público. Ya nos vamos a enterar. […]

      2. […] Web 2.0 > Web 1.0 It’s amazing to me how so entrenched in this era of the web we can become that we forget that Web 1.0 sites still dominate the web. Google, MSN, Yahoo, Amazon, eBay and MySpace own a large percentage of the top 10 traffic across the web. Many of them have started to show some Web 2.0 features (people weren’t too pleased to see MySpace on a Web 2.0 list), but they are still Web 1.0 at the heart of things. Today, I wrote about the dominance of Photobucket over Flickr yet nobody seems to notice. However, I bet the owners of Photobucket, who report to be very profitable have no problem with Flickr getting all of the attention. Of course if you believe in Alexa, Flickr is sitting pretty when compared to Photobucket. […]

      3. […] Top 5 Web 2.0 Upstarts Today I finish off my Top Web 2.0 series (see Winners and Losers) with my list of the Top 5 Web 2.0 Upstarts to keep an eye out for. As with the prior two lists, coming up with a clear definition of what constitutes an upstart will be difficult, but for the sake of both simplicity and argument, let’s just say that an upstart is one that is gaining momentum and isn’t necessarily flooded with the attention that the other Web 2.0 darlings seem to achieve. […]

      4. […] Unter der “Web 2.0″-Flagge nimmt das Geschäftsboot im Internet-Wasser wieder an Fahrt auf. Und wenn Milliarden-Beträge für Firmen ohne Geschäftsmodell gezahlt werden wollen, weiß man, das die Zeiten des Hype wieder anbrechen. Und weil auch schon bald Weihnachten ist (die Geschäfte machen uns das ja klar), ist auch die Zeit der Top-Jahreslisten gekommen. Den Reigen eröffnet Wisdump und kürt Gewinner und Verlierer im im Web 2.0 Umfeld für 2006. ( […]

      5. […] It’s 2006 yet you think your 1997 design makes sense. FranzFred wondered why Reddit didn’t make the Top 10 Web 2.0 Winners list and one of the reasons is due to its design. I know the site works similar to Digg and I have read in many places it is superior, but when looking at the site I’m not even sure what is going on. This doesn’t mean it isn’t a great application after you spend time with it, but when you aren’t the only game in town how much time do you think someone is going to invest when there are visually superior (and no worse technically) solutions around? […]

      6. […] After reading the Top 10 Web 2.0 Winners, I realize that I use 8/10 of those services, and the two that I don’t use (Revver and Skype), I’ve been considering giving them a try. Reading that list made try to compare which web apps I used with desktop apps I use. I don’t exactly need to get into the comparison too much, but the only desktop apps I really use day in and day out are Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and iTunes. Since I can’t see web apps that duplicate the functionality of those, I probably will be using them for some time. […]

      7. […] A few, however, have reached the general public and greatly benefited from it: MySpace, Flickr, YouTube, WordPress, and Newsvine. Scrivs already mentioned these 5 as part of his Top 10 Web 2.0 Winners, but I’d like to take a closer look at what made them winners and how they reach for a further audience than a bunch of geeks. […]

      8. […] In the past few months, there have been a hell fo a lot of top ten lists. No joke, thousands have been made. There’s been everything from the top ten most buitiful apps, to the top ten Web 2.0 losers (and winners), to the top ten Pink for October reboots. But thoughout all the top ten lists I’ve seen make the front page of Digg, I have yet to see one for dashboard widgets. So, I now introduce to you my list of the top ten dashboard widgets available for Dashboard. […]

      9. […] January 1, 2007 Posted by iqbalgandham in technology, Internet, Reviews, web2.0, India. trackback At this time of the year, everyone produces top 10 list. Top 10 web 2.0 companies, top 10 webdesigns, top 10 web 2.0 losers But I am yet to come across a top 10 for India. […]

      10. […] Top 10 Web 2.0 Winners | WisdumpHowever, the fact that you can’t manipulate your page like you can with Myspace may show that users want freedom and control if you want their attention.Of course with such a great user interface I may be proven wrong. […]

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