The Top 10 Internet Moments of the Decade

What happens when you combine faster bandwidth, cheaper camcorders and YouTube's video player? According to the Webby Awards, that "perfect storm" in 2006 launched the online video revolution.

From lonelygirl15 to Obama Girl to British singing sensation Susan Boyle, online videos have changed the way we see politics and pop culture and everything in between.

7. Facebook Opens to Noncollege Students and Twitter Takes Off (2006)

Mark Zuckerberg started the popular social network when he was a Harvard student in 2004. Facebook's big moment came in September 2006.

That's when it opened its doors to anyone over 13 who had a valid e-mail address. Now it has about 300 million members around the world, about half of whom check in daily, Davies said.

In the same month, the founders of a little company called Twitter reacquired the struggling Web site from their investors.

Sound like a dry business transaction? Davies said it was a turning point.

"The founders who actually created it realized the potential and brought it back that fall. They recognized what it was, and had they not done that, I don't know if it would have become what it is today."

8. Apple's iPhone Debuts (2007)

On June 29, 2007, Apple's smart phone went on sale, making wireless Internet access accessible to millions of people. In 74 days, Apple sold a million phones. Now more than 40 million users access the Internet from iPhone and iPod touch models. Millions of others go online with BlackBerries and other mobile devices.

"The mobile Internet is becoming a much more important part of the world today," said Davies. "The iPhone debut in 2007 is the beginning of that. You could look at the launch of the iPhone as a precursor of what's to come."

Internet Plays Key Role in Political Events

9. The U.S. Presidential Campaign (2008)

The 2008 election was one for the history books -- and the Internet played a starring role.

Voters were energized through social networks. Political ads migrated from traditional media to YouTube. Candidates funded their campaigns with online fundraising from small donors.

"The Internet altered presidential politicking in 2008 as television had 40 years earlier during the Kennedy-Nixon race," The Webby Awards said in a statement. "Every facet of the way campaigns are run was permanently transformed."

10. Iranian Election Protests (2009)

When hundreds of thousands of Iranians poured into the streets this summer to protest their election results, it was quickly called the Twitter revolution.

Iranians by the thousands Tweeted, Facebooked, blogged, video-streamed and posted on scores of Web sites to share the events with the rest of the world, thwarting government attempts to censor coverage of postelection violence.

Twitter in particular appeared so powerful that the U.S. State Department even asked the micro-blogging service to delay a scheduled network upgrade to ensure Tweeting Iranians wouldn't lose access.

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