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Thu, Nov 10, 2005 - Page 12 News List

Lewinsky, dotcoms lead Web-impact list


The online exposure of the Monica Lewinsky scandal and this year's Live 8 concerts were voted among the most influential Internet moments of the past 10 years on Tuesday by organizers of the annual Webby Awards.

The committee that decides the awards -- the self-proclaimed Oscars of the Internet -- chose the dotcom boom and bust as the most eventful episode over the past decade.

Launched by Netscape's IPO in 1995, the boom spurred billions of dollars in private investment in the Internet, new technologies, marketing and fiber optic cable, and led to the development of such landmark sites as Google.

"Though now often synonymous with failures ... the dotcom boom and bust was critical to fast-tracking the spread and popularity of the Internet," the committee said.

In 1995, there were 16 million people online, compared to the current estimate of 957 million.

The second most influential moment voted by the committee came in 1998 when "The Drudge Report" -- a then little-known, one-man news site -- beat the mainstream media in breaking the scandal of Lewinsky's affair with then US president Bill Clinton online.

The Drudge scoop paved the way for the blogging revolution and foreshadowed future online scoops, the committee said.

The Asian tsunami in December made the top-10 list at number six, for marking the emergence of "citizen journalism" as, with news agencies racing to reach the hardest hit areas, the first accounts were largely provided by ordinary people armed only with digital cameras and Internet access.

The Live 8 series of concerts against global poverty, watched live online by more than 5 million people, was listed in eighth place.

The No. 9 spot was taken by the 175 percent increase in both members and revenue recorded between 2001 and 2002 by the leading US Internet dating site Match.com, which underlined the Web's dominance of the social connections scene.

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