'The 7 Wonders of the Internet'

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This coming Saturday - 07/07/07 - "The New 7 Wonders of the World" will be anointed in a ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal. Architecture: Could anything be any more 20th Century? Here at Buzzblog, we have enlisted the help of my e-mail list - the Buzzblog Brigade - and taken on a more modern assignment: "The 7 Wonders of the Internet." The only rule I offered our voters was that there would be no rules - and no real vote. The slides that follow are something of a Buzzblog community consensus influenced by my personal biases. Each slide has a link to a string of comments from the participants. And, of course, we want you to leave your thoughts.

7. Get lost

There's just no excuse for getting lost these days what with the likes of MapQuest, MapsOnUs and Google Maps at your fingertips. GPS may be better, but GPS ain't free. Even though I'm the sort who could get lost in a car wash, I found it surprising how many participants in this exercise mentioned maps among their wonders. Here they explain why.

6. Alphabet soup

On DNS, our panel waxes wondrous: "Simple, elegant, yet robust and it still works" ... "No DNS, no Internet." ... There's rhapsody over HTTP: "Has moved the Internet out of the university and into the living room. Can you imagine 'everyman' using Archie, Gopher, and command line FTP?" Let the masses bellyache about acros: Geeks know better. And let's not forget all the cooks who've made these wonders reality. Our panelists explain here.

5. Bad to the backbone

Spammers, scammers, stalkers, script kiddies and evil-doers of every stripe: Given the danger, it's a wonder anyone dares plug their PC into a wall socket, never mind the Internet. Think about it: Every time you log on, you're giving the bad guys the finger. Our panelists explain their thinking here.

4. For sale

Online shopping is the "Alice's Restaurant" of our time: You and your credit card can get anything you want ... from a Zune on Amazon to an abode on Zillow. Apricots to ziti, if you're city folk. Never leave your house. Nirvana. Our panelists explain why here.

3. Cats in sinks

Catsinsinks.com. The site's OK ... if you're into cats. In sinks. But the idea - the idea that no matter what your passion, interest or curiosity - there's a site out there for you and the like-minded? Well, that makes the list. ... And, of course, there's porn. Our panelists discuss the wonder here.

2. Hi

E-mail gets a bad rap. It's become trendy of late to claim a break from the chains that bind us to our inboxes and Crackberries. Too much time, too much spam, too much connectedness. Those who make the claim sound like those who say they don't watch TV: unconvincing, at best, if not pretentious. Our panelists talk about e-mail here.

1. Google

That haystack just keeps growing. There's more to search than Google, granted, but when you've become a verb you've earned the right to represent on this list the single most critical capability available: finding stuff. It's a never-ending wonder how many needles can be found ... or how we settled bar bets before search engines. Our panelists discuss search here.

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