Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Bloomberg News introduced a Billionaires Index back in march in anticipation of the Facebook IPO and general interest in Mark Zuckerberg being propelled into the ranks of the world's wealthiest people.

Today's ranking of the world's richest people

I stumbled across this new resource looking for the rise and fall of net worth of David Wetherell, former CEO of internet holding company CMGI. Investments (and divestments for that matter) in companies such as AltaVista, uBid, Lycos and Yahoo! During the “Dot Com” boom placed Mr. Wethrell in the Forbes 400

“Look What Happened The Last Time A Website Had A Real-Time CEO Wealth Meter”

It is interesting to see what was and what could have been. One company that could have been the leader in Social Networking today was SixDegrees.com. SixDegrees was a pioneer that was ahead of its time. It failed to make traction because broadband internet which would allow photographs (headshots etc) to render quickly on a browser was not yet mainstream.

Inspired by the theory of six degrees of separation, sixdegrees is your personal on-line community where you have the ability to interact, communicate and share information and experiences with millions of other members from around the world, all of whom are connected to you.”

Wayback Machine has captured images

The SixDegrees patent, patent # 6,175,831 was filed back in Jan 17, 1997 and granted by the U.S. Patent Office back on Jan 16, 2001

“A networking database containing a plurality of records for different individuals in which individuals are connected to one another in the database by defined relationships. Each individual has the opportunity to define the relationship which may be confirmed or denied. E-mail messaging and interactive communication between individuals and a database service provider provide a method of constructing the database. The method includes having a registered individual identify further individuals and define therewith a relationship. The further individuals then, in turn, establish their own defined relationships with still other individuals. The defined relationships are mutually defined.”

Bloomberg news is reporting that the Facebook “IPO Makes Zuckerberg Richer Than Google Founders”

On the subject of Google there was a little known company Links2Go founded in 1994 (a.k.a Continuum, a.k.a TopicalNet) http://web.archive.org/web/19991104115723/http://www.links2go.com/
which used a technology strikingly similar to Google’s PageRank (“Backrub”) http://infolab.stanford.edu/~backrub/google.html

 The Links2Go test site was well received because it had the ability to automatically organize web content and to provide end users with highly relevant links pertaining to the topic of their query.”

And wasn’t ashamed to let websites  know they made the top of their Search Engine

During the course of our analysis, we  identify which links are most representative of each of the thousands of topics in Links2Go, based on how actual page authors, like yourself, index and organize links on their pages.
http://bit.ly/JlzUCN (November 1998)

“The Google search engine has two important features that help it produce high precision results. First, it makes use of the link structure of the Web to calculate a quality ranking for each web page. This ranking is called PageRank ... Second, Google utilizes link to improve search results.”

With a bit of nostalgia in the air I recall back in the day when there those that claimed they owned an “Internet Patent” also known as the “Freeny patent” which covered most if not all downloadable content over the web… essentially patenting the entire internet.   

“In 1983, in 36 pages of painstaking detail, inventor Charles C. Freeny Jr. sketched out his idea for a network of ``information manufacturing machines'' that could swap encrypted digital information over phone lines. The language of the patent defines this information as the content of ``tapes, videodisks, handheld calculators, handheld electronic games, greeting cards, maps, and sheet music,'' and it also specifies digital payment schemes.”

“"System for Reproducing Information in Material Objects at a Point of Sale Location," U.S. Patent 4,528,643 was invented by Charles C. Freeny, Jr  and granted by the Patent office in 1985 http://www.google.com/patents/US4528643