BOSTON -- One of the webmasters of the future is an 18-year-old from California with a knack for losing things.
That's why Ara Anjargolian created Secondsaver (www.secondsaver.com), an online calendar for people who can't seem to remember where they're supposed to be, when they're supposed to be there -- or even where they put their calendar.
The Glendale, Calif., youth's Web site took first place in the annual ArsDigita Foundation contest for teen programmers, winning him $10,000.
''Someday, even your refrigerator is going to be connected to your computer, and will let you know when you're out of milk,'' he said. ''I want to be a part of that.''
Anjargolian was one of 11 teen finalists from around the world honored by ArsDigita on Friday for creating and maintaining useful, unique, nonprofit sites.
Eight finalists each won $1,000. Two who led teams won the grand prize for group efforts, taking home $5,000 each.
''The programming abilities of these kids is just off the charts,'' said Barbara Link, director of the ArsDigita Foundation. ''If this group is any indication of what's to come, the most innovative Web technicians are still yet to be seen.''
ArsDigita, based in Cambridge, is a software company that produces free applications that allows people to navigate the World Wide Web.
To be eligible for the competition, the sites had to be free of advertisements, and include source codes on the site to allow others to learn from what the youths created.
Winners and finalists were flown to Cambridge for lunch with top Internet officials, including Tim Berners-Lee, developer of the World Wide Web Consortium, an Internet standards group.
Emily Boyde, 17, of Newcastle, Australia, was the only female finalist. Her Web site, MatMice (www.matmice.com), allows kids to create their own Web sites and view sites made by their friends.
She taught herself to write HTML, the language used to create Web sites.
''I don't know a lot of other females who do this sort of thing,'' she said. ''But after I saw the Internet, I liked the look of it. So I decided to learn to use it myself.''
Aaron Swartz, 13, of Highland Park, Ill., created the Info Network (www.theinfo.com) with the help of a book on computer programming. His father, who is a computer technician, also helped but ''was very hands-off,'' Swartz said.
The eighth grader's site serves as an online encyclopedia, written by its users. People can log in and submit entries on any topic to add to the database.
Swartz said he created the site to give people a place ''to add things and share what they know.''
Link said the quality of the sites entered in the competition make it clear that the Internet will only continue to grow in usefulness as time goes on.
''These kids will be the ones to create the next killer applications,'' Link said. ''They are the future of the Web.''
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.