Every nation, every endeavor has its beginnings. We often forget the tough work that was done before us to make our world easier. The long hours, the sweat, tears, and sometimes blood that gives us the freedom to blog, to learn, to read, and to create. Innovation comes from both military and civilian sources and we have both to thank for the Internet and web applications. Here are some early web applications and their developers that have changed my world. Which ones have changed yours?

  • Juno – This email provider allowed me to have early access to email at a time when Compuserve and AOL were the two major online players. This simple web application or desktop application served the purpose of connecting me to others through email.
  • Slashdot – In its early days this strong community of thought on topics of technology and politics allowed me to stay on top of changes and read opinions of others. A feature missing in most media sites at the time.
  • Tucows – This service made finding and locating desktop software applications much easier. For Linux Freshmeat has also been an important reference.
  • Homestead – This free service allowed me to get one of my first websites online through their own online web page generator.
  • IQC – This online application made it easy for me to exchange files and conversations with others online. Its independence from a major ISP enabled communication among a broader audience.

I had a bit of a tough time coming up with list. Something I thought would come easily. Now I take so many programs for granted like Google Docs, Facebook, etc. It is hard to remember the days of early web applications. Many of them with very rough web browser interfaces and much better desktop interfaces.