The Verge: The World Wide Web Turns 30: Our Favorite Memories From A To Z. “Over the past 30 years, major portions of the web have come and gone. They’ve made us laugh and cringe, let us waste time and find friends, and reshaped the world in the process. For its anniversary, we’re looking back at some of our favorite websites, from A to Z, as well as some key people and technologies. Of course, there was far too much good stuff to include, so we had to note some additional favorites along the way.”
MakeUseOf: You Can Now Try the CERN Web Browser From 1990. “CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) has rebuilt what was essentially the first web browser in the world. This means you can now see what surfing the World Wide Web was like back in 1990, using an application fittingly called WorldWideWeb.”
CNET: MySpace turns 15: Looking back at a pre-Facebook world. “Fifteen years ago, on Aug. 1, 2003, a man named Tom Anderson launched one of the most popular social networking sites of its time. Known as MySpace, it went on to earn $800 million in revenue and generated 4.3 billion daily page views in 2008. Eventually, the site would be usurped by Facebook as the largest social networking platform, but from about 2005 to 2009, MySpace was the place to be on the internet.”
The Boston Diaries: There was a time when search engines were a thing. And it seems they still are. “I was poking around in the deeper parts of my harddrive when I came across the source code for Geofind, a metasearch engine I wrote back in the late 90s. A ‘metasearch engine’ is a website that searches not the Internet, but instead passes the search query to other search engines. Back in the 90s, search engines weren’t quite as good as they are now (although some might contend that they aren’t as good as they were a decade ago), but there were a fair number of them, and the thought at the time was, ‘hey, if we query a bunch of search engines at the same time, maybe one of them will have useful results.’ In fact, quite a number of them. Unlike the … um … two? (Google and Bing). maybe, three? (if you count DuckDuckGo, which I only know about because of the circles I travel in on the Intarwebs) which exist today.” Wow, he doesn’t even look for Ask Jeeves, Northern Light, WWWWorm, Electric Monk, etc. but check out his list and get ready for the nostalgia.
Mashable: Remembering LiveJournal in all its drama-filled glory. “The internet of the mid-aughts seemed softer, somehow. Before Facebook was used by Russian trolls to incite race-based violence, before alt-right goobers created Gab in their own image, and before, well, Twitter became synonymous with Kanye and Trump, there was an entire online world of message boards, Myspace pages, and chat rooms that in retrospect seem impossibly quaint. And shiningly brightly atop it all as the North Star of our heartfelt earnestness was a little thing called LiveJournal.”
Oh man, is this important. From Tim Bray: Google Memory Loss. “I think Google has stopped indexing the older parts of the Web. I think I can prove it. Google’s competition is doing better. Evidence · This isn’t just a proof, it’s a rock-n-roll proof. Back in 2006, I published a review of Lou Reed’s Rock n Roll Animal album. Back in 2008, Brent Simmons published That New Sound, about The Clash’s London Calling. Here’s a challenge: Can you find either of these with Google? Even if you read them first and can carefully conjure up exact-match strings, and then use the ‘site:’ prefix? I can’t.”
JSTOR: The Rise And Fall Of The Blog. “New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof was one of the first to start blogging for one of the most well-known media companies in the world. Yet on December 8th, he declared his blog was being shut down, writing, ‘we’ve decided that the world has moved on from blogs—so this is the last post here.’ The death knell of blogs might seem surprising to anyone who was around during their heyday.” Speaking as someone with a blog… I’m not going anywhere.