Looking Back: The Year in Web 2.0

A look back at some of the Web 2.0 stories we covered this year:

January. Yahoo bought MyBlogLog. Daylife, a webified newspaper with Jeff Jarvis as an adviser and Craig Newmark as an investor, launched. And browser preview startup Browster bid us good-bye.

February. Yahoo! launched its RSS mashup service Pipes. Facebook rolled out gifts, allowing members to give each other puppies and toilet paper, among other things, in digital form.

March. Clearspring raised $5.5 million for its widget platform. Internet OS Xcerion came out of stealth. Hewlett-Packard bought Tabblo, a photo organizing and printing site with social features.

April. Google released a competitor to social bookmarking discovery service provider StumbleUpon. Microsoft launched Silverlight beta, its answer to the Adobe Flash platform.

May. eBay paid $75 million to buy StumbleUpon. Facebook launched its developer platform. Google released Gears, its open source toolset for taking web apps offline. And MySpace bought photo-hosting site PhotoBucket.


June. Collaborative browsing service Me.dium took $15 million in funding in a second round. Twitter clone Pownce launched, but didn’t get much love from Twitter users.

July. Social network Hi5 received $20 million in its first institutional round of funding. Hyperlocal events site Going.com raised $5 million in fudning. Facebook bought Parakey, Firefox developer Blake Ross’ hybrid web/desktop platform.

August. Dave Sifry resigned from his position as CEO of blog search and ranking service Technorati as layoffs were announced. Contact management service Plaxo launched its social alerts service, Pulse. Disney bought kids’ social network Club Penguin for hundreds of millions of dollars.

September. Personalized news aggregation service Findory announced it would shut down in November. Personal and social finance tool Mint won the TechCrunch40’s $50,000 grand prize. Facebook opened up to public search, hinting at privacy controversies to come. Yahoo bought web-based email and collaboration service Zimbra for $350 million while Adobe purchased Virtual Ubiquity, maker of Buzzword, a web-based word processor.

October. eBay unveiled its foray into social networking, Neighborhoods. Microsoft invested $240 million in Facebook at a valuation of $15 billion and got the rights to sell third-party ads on the Facebook network. Google answered Facebook’s application platform with its announcement of OpenSocial, a common set of APIs for building social networks online.

November. Facebook launched Beacon, its social advertising system, then weakened it after widespread criticism of how it compromised users’ privacy.

December. Blogging software company SixApart sold LiveJournal to a Russian group, SUP. Amazon relaunched Askville, a competitor to Yahoo! Answers. Google announced Knols, a Wikipedia competitor.

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