Mashable: What Apple, Google, and Amazon’s websites looked like in 1999. “The year was 1999: Cher’s ‘Believe’ was blasting on pop radio stations, Bill Clinton was impeached, Jar Jar Binks hit the Big Screen, and the beep, beep, static of dial-up internet echoed in family rooms across the globe. The World Wide Web was still young then — gawky, awkward, and painfully slow. The dotcom bubble was still growing, on the cusp of bursting. The public had been using the internet for under a decade and those making online content (before we even called it content en masse) were often just throwing stuff at the wall.”
MIT Technology Review: This know-it-all AI learns by reading the entire web nonstop. “To collect its facts, Diffbot’s AI reads the web as a human would—but much faster. Using a super-charged version of the Chrome browser, the AI views the raw pixels of a web page and uses image-recognition algorithms to categorize the page as one of 20 different types, including video, image, article, event, and discussion thread. It then identifies key elements on the page, such as headline, author, product description, or price, and uses NLP to extract facts from any text.” How fortunate that every page on the Internet is 100% true.
Search Engine Journal: 21 Web Directories That Still Have Value. “In the early days of SEO, web directories were the thing. Back then, the Google algorithm was a lot easier to game. If your site was listed on a ton of online directories, it must be pretty dang special – or at least, that’s how the algorithm saw it. The number of directory links you had positively influenced how well your site ranked in the search engines. Online marketers caught on, and schemed to litter the web with directory listings of their website. It was a simpler time.” But thanks to pop-ups, just as annoying.
Digital Inspiration: The Best Online Tools To Know Everything About a Website. “How do I contact the owner of a website? Where is a particular website hosted? What other websites are hosted on that same server? Is the site using WordPress or Gatsby? Which ad networks are they using to monetize a site? Is my site accessible from China? Here are some of the most useful online tools that will help you know every single detail of any website.” Good list, decent annotation.
Library of Congress: In a Web Archives Frame of Mind: Improving Access and Describing the Collections
Library of Congress: In a Web Archives Frame of Mind: Improving Access and Describing the Collections. “In 2018, the Library of Congress Web Archiving Team embarked on a journey to streamline description of the Library’s voluminous web archives. As part of that continuing effort, the Library of Congress Digital Content Management Section is excited to announce the release of 4,258 new web archives across 97 event and thematic collections!”
BetaNews: Sir Tim Berners-Lee launches ‘Contract for the Web’ to stop it descending into a digital dystopia
BetaNews: Sir Tim Berners-Lee launches ‘Contract for the Web’ to stop it descending into a digital dystopia. “The inventor of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has launched a new initiative with the bold aim of transforming the web for the better, avoiding what he sees as the very real risk of it becoming a ‘digital dystopia’.”
Fast Company: A new repository of the web’s best portfolios helps you design yours like a pro. “Humans is like a carefully curated Pinterest board that offers insight into what the best personal websites look like, which services are used to create them, and the technology necessary to build them.”
EurekAlert: New tool makes web browsing easier for the visually impaired. “In a new study, led by University of Waterloo Faculty of Mathematics student, Alexandra Vtyurina, who collaborated with Microsoft researchers and the University of Washington’s Assistant Professor, Leah Findlater, a way was found to merge the best elements of voice assistants with screen readers to create a tool that makes free-form web searches easier. The tool is called Voice Exploration, Retrieval, and Search (VERSE).”
Gizmodo: 11 Incredibly Useful Websites You Might Not Know About. “The internet is a big place, and there’s no shame in not having gotten around to exploring every last corner of it—but just in case you’ve missed out on some of the very best sites the web has to offer, we’re going to pick out a few lesser-known highlights from our travels that are well worth adding to your bookmarks.”
Search Engine Land: More from Google on its indexing issues . “Vincent Courson, Google Search Outreach, has written a blog post about Google’s search indexing problems of late, how it fixed them and lessons it has learned.”