June 25, 2011, 3:50 a.m.
posted by jared
7.1. Hacks 60–66: Introduction
One of the most popular uses for the Internet in the early 1990s was email. Personal email, email-based newsletters, and email-based discussion groups all drove people onto the Internet. It was the killer app: the one feature people couldn't live without.
Then the Web exploded onto the scene, and pundits and self-proclaimed experts declared that the killer app of the Web was interactive TV. And then it was search. And then it was shopping. And then it was interactive TV again. (Somewhere in there was that whole 3D VRML craze that lasted about five minutes. Boy, that was fun…not.)
And here we are, in the year 2005. What's the killer app of the Web? What's the most impressive, most fantastic, most mind-bogglingly useful thing to hit the Web in the past 10 years? Gmail, a web-based email service. God, I love the Internet.