Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Internet Archaeology

Do you remember the first time you went on the internet, meaning the www? I was thinking about this the other day, and I came to the rather sad conclusion that I remember it no clearly than the first time I saw TV. Maybe there are people who recall exactly which site it was, and when they did it, and the sense of wow and awe and everything else, but for me it seems to have been something of a non-event. Ditto email. Here, I can only remember impossibly long and unmemorable email addresses composed mainly of digits. It all seemed a dreadful faff compared to picking up a phone.

This must have been mid-90s at some point, although I have no idea whether it was '95 or '96, or even '94. I suspect '95, as I'm pretty sure that by the time I came to Germany, I even had an email address on my business card. Anyway, it was over 20 years ago, that's for sure.

Although I was probably 'early majority' rather than 'early adopter', I do have a pang of nostalgia for those early days. From a design point of view, the last-century websites already have an Olde Worlde charm - just take a look at some of these, including TheFacebook, Ask Jeeves, AT&T and Yahoo!

Even more fascinating are the 'antiquated websites that still exist in their natural state' - for these, have a look at the wonderful collection on 404pagefound  . It's a great name for a great site, started in 2009 by Tim Katlic and dedicated to the survivors of Web 1.0 - news sites, games, graphics, academic sites, all in their blue hyperlink, Comic Sans, black background glory!

The number of websites leapt from around 100,000 in 1996 to around 1m in 1997, and I'm grateful to Mr Katlic for his work in excavating some of those still active.

I do wonder what websites will look like in 20 years, if they still exist. Will we be talking about a post-internet world already?


Barbara Fisher said...

Hi Sue, I don’t remember the first time I went online, but I do remember the first time I encountered eBay – does that count? We were on a return flight from the US to England, flicking through the in-flight magazine I came across a small article about eBay. With no mobile device, I had to wait to get home before I could investigate. I think it was 1995, how times have changed now I don’t go anywhere without a mobile phone and/or tablet. I also remember the first time I saw TV (1953 the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II). It was quite a momentous day in my young life and not one I’m likely to forget. God and Alzheimer’s willing! :-)
I’ve just been over to 404pagefound what a wonderful resource and one I’m bound to visit often. I will be in my late eighties in twenty years time I hope I can still use the Internet if it exists.
I’m going to be taking a blogging break for a couple of weeks but wanted to wish you a Very Happy Christmas and the best New Year. I look forward to more of your interesting posts in 2017. Hugs Barbara

Barbara Fisher said...

Dear Sue, thank you so much for the Christmas card, such a lovely surprise in today’s post!

I hope the trip to the UK went (is going) well. I’ve just been reading about the Dragon School Author’s corner. It sounds like a very prestigious event. I hope it was successful. Good luck with your trumpet playing. I enjoy Christmas Eve and love going to midnight mass, although we will have to give it a miss this year as we will be on the road early on Christmas morning. We are picking up our two grandsons then heading on to Basingstoke where Terry’s parents live. It will be a much smaller party this year as it will just be the six of us. Our Australian family are spending the holiday at home this year. We hope to visit them next Christmas, or we may wait and go in January. Lilly starts school on the 23rd Jan, and it would be nice to be there for her first day. We missed Zoe starting school and have always been sad about that.

You will have to drink one or two extra Gin & tonics on Christmas Day! I will toast your health with a Southern Comfort & lemonade.

Have a wonderful Christmas, thank you again for the card and your friendship.

Love Barbara xx
(sorry to put this on your blog but I can't find your email address - I know I have it somewhere!) xx

Sue Imgrund said...

Thanks for your kind wishes and reminiscences. You were probably ahead of me as far as ebay goes! Glad I got the right address .... have a wonderful Christmas!