Hulu, the joint video-streaming venture of NBC and Fox, is one of the great innovations of 2008.
The groundbreaking online video model succeeded in Ad-supported streaming television shows and movies delivering popular programming.
As Web video content flourishes, consumers continue to be drawn to Hulu's professional content (including not only repurposed TV shows but feature films) and top-quality video, which also is distributed via partner sites like Yahoo and MSN.
Google's YouTube, with its much greater audience, remains pretty much the domain player.
The 2008 presidential campaign delivered a bonanza for digital purveyors of news.
The three-year-old newspaper/blog hybrid into the mainstream, forcing every media player to rethink its business model while making celebrity soap boxing cool.
As the race for the White House sizzled, HuffPo's traffic soared by a mind-blowing 474 percent versus a year earlier, to 4.5 million unique users, per comScore. The best news of all for the site: It is terrifically positioned to thrive post-election, having expanded its purview beyond its core political bent.
The Huffington Post has launched sports and green content as well as a local Chicago edition.
Its innovative Big News Pages feature -- whereby editors instantly create news sections around the hot topic of the moment -- runs the gamut, from channels.
Short-messaging service's simple concept, “what you're doing right now” has become synonymous with common talk of the GenNext.
Common-talk bulletins are broadcast daily by the six million registered users of the two-and-a-half-year-old service.
A single update does not in itself mean much but taken with hundreds, even thousands of them, those little messages can come together to paint a rich portrait.
Twitter nailed something that's fundamental to the Web: Keep it simple. Twitter's simple "What are you doing?" query and 140-character message limit are arguably its strengths.
Twitter also proved that the most successful Web applications are flexible and open. Twitter's designers never envisioned that consumers would use the service to communicate with one another, but users refashioned it as such, employing the prefix "@+user name" to direct replies.
Twitter while letting outside developers build apps, further bolstering Twitter's popularity. "Tweeting" may not be for everyone, but it's clearly onto something: The 25-person company recently turned down a $500 million acquisition offer from Facebook
Wal-Mart this year rollout of its in-store digital network, the Wal-Mart Smart Network. Powered by Internet Protocol Television, content, ads and merchandising can be monitored and controlled down to a single screen.
It represented a new paradigm, offering a level of precision targeting never before seen.
The Wal-Mart net creates a dynamic, interactive dialogue between marketer and consumer. The network also is a real throwback in terms of customer service, taking shoppers back to a time when the store clerk knew every item and could help the customer make informed decisions on the spot.
The network is the result of two years and $10 million in research aimed at the optimal content and placement of screens for engaging consumers at the point-of-purchase.