"And all this story can be recreated solely from her search requests?"
June 30, 2016 2:55 PM   Subscribe

 
what the fuck happened to The Awl?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:55 PM on June 30, 2016


I'm not sure if I actually like low-fi websites or if it's just me being grumpy about the fact that my HTML is about a decade and a half out of date.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:14 PM on June 30, 2016 [11 favorites]


I wish I had an anthology of my Myspace themes from high school, 2005-2007. Proof that I'm one of the two genius types or something maybe.
posted by oceanjesse at 3:16 PM on June 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


Does it even matter what a website looks like anymore?

I could do without the scrolling/windowshade thing that the aging Web 2.0 corporate look is turning into
posted by thelonius at 3:20 PM on June 30, 2016 [13 favorites]


I could do without the scrolling/windowshade thing that the aging Web 2.0 corporate look is turning into

I remember seeing that for the first time and instantly deciding that a) I was amazed and couldn't figure out how it was done and b) I hated it immediately.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:29 PM on June 30, 2016 [16 favorites]


Regarding the article from The Awl:

I'm not 100% sure what the author's thesis is, but it seems to be something like: "remember when the web was mostly novelties and personal projects created by random amateurs, instead of being mediated by corporate interests? wouldn't it be nice if we could go back to that?"

And, well – I'm certainly not a fan of the way corporate interests have colonized the web, but there are far more people putting their own amateur creations online today than there were in the halcyon days of the 90s. It just takes different forms: Tumblr instead of Geocities; WordPress instead of Adobe SiteMill; MemeGenerator images instead of stolen animated GIFs.

And, if you want to create your own site, of whatever kind or style, it's never been easier to do it. (So get to it.)

Side note: the whole "people get all their news from Facebook!" thing is a pet peeve of mine. No, they don't. As far as links to news stories are concerned, Facebook is just an aggregator. The articles themselves, like articles throughout the history of mass media, vary widely in quality and accuracy – but they are still being written by journalists and writers of some kind, and are hosted on their publishers' own sites. So it's unclear why using Facebook to aggregate articles from The Washington Post and The Atlantic is a hopeless dumbing-down of American discourse, while going directly to those publications' sites to read them presumably would not be.

Now, if they mean that people get all their news from the type of articles that your old college drinking buddy tends to post on Facebook (clickbait trash like BuzzFeed, blatantly partisan stuff like Breitbart or HuffPo, etc.) – well, yeah, that stuff sucks. But the problem there isn't Facebook; the problem is that you apparently don't know how to filter your dumb college friend's credulous drivel from your Facebook feed.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 3:37 PM on June 30, 2016 [22 favorites]


And, if you want to create your own site, of whatever kind or style, it's never been easier to do it. (So get to it.)

I recall learning HTML back in the early 90s and creating my own website. It was mostly about learning how to code. The actual website itself was a mess. Literally a bunch of "Under Construction" animated .gifs. and my name. My webpage served no purpose, it had no theme, it was just a thing that existed on the web. I really wish I could go back in time and look at it. I'm sure I'd be embarassed.
posted by Fizz at 4:10 PM on June 30, 2016 [8 favorites]


Oh cool the unbelievably embarrassing high school wiccan poetry I did that my ex-girlfriend put up on her Geocities page will never actually die

hooray
posted by jason_steakums at 4:29 PM on June 30, 2016 [25 favorites]


But the problem there isn't Facebook; the problem is that you apparently don't know how to filter your dumb college friend's credulous drivel from your Facebook feed.

As long as the filtering mechanism is provided by Facebook allowing them to implicitly decide what can and cannot be filtered, it is absolutely their fault.

They could decide tomorrow that filtering credulous drivel hurts their media platform and forbid you from doing it.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:40 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


...it’s interesting to use a limiting factor, which can – in my opinion – make such a project even more alive.

I've seen this rationalization for limiting my choices before, I'm just not sure where...
posted by lazycomputerkids at 4:41 PM on June 30, 2016


"a bunch of "Under Construction" animated .gifs. and my name"

This is basically my website now.
posted by kevinbelt at 4:52 PM on June 30, 2016 [7 favorites]


I've followed the tumblr for this for a while. It's fun to see occasional weird bits of nostalgia, or earnest but confused attempts at making sense of what these web page thingies were for.

My absolute favorite thing though is the recurring image of Internet Explorer's Could not connect message that shows up every so often.
posted by sparkletone at 5:07 PM on June 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


I wish I had an archive of my Dragon Ball Z fan page that was part of a DBZ webring :( I must have been 7 or 8 when I created that.
posted by gucci mane at 5:30 PM on June 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm just glad that I had a friend who owned his own web host, so that no one can ever prove me wrong when I say that I never had any presence on the Web prior to, oh, let's say 2006.
posted by teponaztli at 5:31 PM on June 30, 2016


I remember seeing that for the first time and instantly deciding that a) I was amazed and couldn't figure out how it was done and b) I hated it immediately.

Hey! That's most of my life.

I must live in a different world, 90% of my internet time is still spent on actual web sites. The other 9.9% is actual email. The weird thing is I'm pretty sure I'm not missing anything.
posted by bongo_x at 5:46 PM on June 30, 2016




My first website was on Geocities. It was a terrible MST3k Fan site: "Deep Web 13"

I moved it to some other web host once Geocities started adding popup ads and other garbage. The domain was taken over by a Dukes of Hazard fan site.

Somewhere along the line, I lost the MST3k fan site. It has not been archived, as far as I can tell.

On the one hand, good riddance. On the other hand, I'd like a peek at my thirteen-year-old self's idea of good web design again.
posted by SansPoint at 6:00 PM on June 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


And, well – I'm certainly not a fan of the way corporate interests have colonized the web, but there are far more people putting their own amateur creations online today than there were in the halcyon days of the 90s.

While true in the strictest sense, the big difference and problem is that content on the web is no longer about the little wacky personal projects. Money from commercial entetprises has corrupted the visibility of th independent projects and small communities. When I do a search, I will get products for sale, not quirky web pages on said item. Try and find community opinions is difficult as Google devalued forums and similar online communities. I relied on forum discussion for review, for ho two fix car problems, for if there was a number of people experiencing the same problem with a web host. And you can still do that, but it won't happen naturally anymore. It's not just google, either; most if not all search engines seem to have these problems. Duck Duck Go might be a tad better, but it's still mostly commercial web.

And yes, the tools to create are more versitile and easier to use, you run into problems with not having the same assurances of ownership and perpetuity. It used to be that you created a web page, and it was yours. You could back it up and go to another host. Now a days? These social media tools and content sites may just close up shop. Or change the way your info is hosted, or change who can see it. It's just bleak out there.

[/get off my digital lawn!]
posted by [insert clever name here] at 6:01 PM on June 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


It used to be that you created a web page, and it was yours.

You can still do that.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:09 PM on June 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


Fizz: My webpage served no purpose, it had no theme, it was just a thing that existed on the web. I really wish I could go back in time and look at it. I'm sure I'd be embarassed.

My webpage's theme was the fact that it had no purpose.

And yeah, I'm embarrassed—but I'm also really glad this archive exists.
posted by jsnlxndrlv at 7:44 PM on June 30, 2016 [5 favorites]



I wish I had an anthology of my Myspace themes from high school, 2005-2007. Proof that I'm one of the two genius types or something maybe.


I really wish something better than the decaying skeleton of the site that exists now was around as an archive. I wanna grab a snapshot of all of MySpace in like... 2010, right before they ruined it, and just freeze it forever.

There's a huge chunk of "millennial" internet culture that burned down with that site. Every time it gets brought up around my friends or other people who are like 22-32~ everyone goes apeshit talking about it, and all the crap and songs they had on there.

Shit, I'd pay $10 just to read the embarassing PMs I sent and received.
posted by emptythought at 11:23 PM on June 30, 2016


I actually gave a talk at a tech meetup in Sydney last night about the fact that my goofy little independent fan site is still kicking after TWENTY YEARS. I made heavy use of archive.org to grab screenshots from the past two decades, and I got super nostalgic. You can trace my own abilities as a web developer, and almost the development of the medium as a whole. ("Hey, that was when every website had a splash page!" "Hey, that was when we all were in web rings! That's when I fell in love with the spacer gif!") And while I spent the past six months overhauling the whole thing and migrating it to Wordpress, the content is all still there. It's still useful. Nothing else in my entire tech career lasted more than a couple years. I'm pretty proud of that.
posted by web-goddess at 2:01 AM on July 1, 2016 [6 favorites]


I forgot to add - those of you lamenting your own lost internet history, you might be surprised what you find at archive.org. You just have to remember the dang URL (easier said that done sometimes!).
posted by web-goddess at 2:03 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


I only wish archive.org had my 20+ year old stuff. A friend and I created the first website for a university marching band early 1995; it was at http://music1.uoregon.edu/websters/omb but even the root is only archived to 1997. Websters doesn't exist there, much less omb. My personal site started in 1994 was http://gladstone.uoregon.edu/~astev (oh the days of 5-character logins! and tilde notation!) and it does not exist according to archive.org either. I still have copies of it, though. At least my main site starts existing when I bought the domain!

Splash pages and web rings were fun. Connection in the days before Facebook.

Oh geez I forgot I had gone through a purple phase with my France site. Hellooo 1999 stylin'.
posted by fraula at 4:49 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


I miss splash/landing pages.
posted by eclectist at 4:49 AM on July 1, 2016


web-goddess: Yup, my old MST3k site managed to avoid the crawler. The second URL might be there, but it's blocked from showing up due to robots.txt
posted by SansPoint at 6:12 AM on July 1, 2016


This one was scary to me because the website I did for my wife's business in 1999(??) had those colors, including the font colors.
Was that some sort of default 'stupid color' scheme?
Fortunately, I can't find it on the web any more.
posted by MtDewd at 6:38 AM on July 1, 2016


Has someone more astute and engaged than myself come up with an internet law for how discussions of this sort of thing tend to go down on MeFi?
posted by aspersioncast at 12:17 AM on July 4, 2016


Because this thread is flowing along those lines, but I can't for the life of me be arsed to parse it.
posted by aspersioncast at 12:17 AM on July 4, 2016


I just wish I could get my Prestel pages back from 1984...
posted by Devonian at 7:27 AM on July 5, 2016


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