Best & Worst 2008: The Weird Wide Web
February: Anonymous takes to the streets. A shadowy group of young rabble-rousers was more than a little unhappy at Scientology’s efforts to clean up YouTube. The movement caught on big time, and before long, masked young people were demonstrating outside church locations around the world. (David Sarno / Los Angeles Times)
November: Rickrolling to the top.
The Web is unrivaled in its ability to endow quirky characters with 25 seconds of fame. Just ask Rick Astley, whose career as an 80s pop star was briefly resurrected when Never Gonna Give You Up became re-famous among snickering YouTubers earlier this year. (We’ve got an interview with him here.) Astleys second coming reached its apotheosis when he performed on a float in the Macys
December and beyond...: Connected politics.
Whether or not you agree with the bloviocracy that the Internet got Obama elected, theres no doubt that the Web made its mark on this years election. If there wasnt enough dirt on a candidate, the blogosphere was there with a shovel. New stories broke every 20 minutes; new polls came out every 10. And every word a politician spoke was disputed, dissected, spun, celebrated, mocked and posted on YouTube seemingly before he or she had even finished uttering it. For better and worse, but hopefully mostly better, the Web is now a fixture of politics and public life. (Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images)