06 Nov 17 - 08:58
Does anyone remember websites? These might be unfamiliar to anyone unexposed to the internet before 2005 or so, and may be all-but-forgotten for many others, obscured by the last 10 years of relentless internet development, but before mass social media platforms and amazing business opportunities on the internet, it was largely a collection of websites made by people who were interested in some subject enough to write about it and put it online. Does anyone remember when you stumbled on a new website written by some guy and read his first article, then clicked back to his homepage and saw he had a list of similar articles that looked like they’d be just as interesting. You could spend a whole day reading just the stuff he wrote on that one website. In general, if you found a webpage with something on it you liked, or a writer you liked, you found that everything else he had on there was also interesting to you, and you could generally say you liked the person behind it. Some bigger websites at the time were like mazes with some of the words on each page hyperlinked to other pages on the site that were about each of those separate topics, and you had to open up multiple links from each page otherwise you’d lose them, and you wanted to read every word.
Another thing was that there was no dross, because everything had to be written and uploaded by a person. There was no standard format, since there were no real platforms that uniformly stylized anything. There was no sharing or commenting, although later that day you could talk to your friends about the amazing things you read. Most websites were written with html, so they were all unique. They were organic, as everything there had been added because the writer “had to add it” in order to complete the information he had to put out there, and it took a lot of time to make the material and the html page itself, and organize it all so that it worked properly for any guests (in a pretty true sense of the word). And usually the information there was available nowhere else. There were few pictures, mostly words, and almost all of it from the person who created the website himself.
Does anyone remember websites? It seems many or most of them have disappeared, since the WayBack machine only started saving sites for posterity in the mid-2000s and before that time, before platforms, websites were hosted by providers who rented space out to people, and after they stopped paying for them (the cost per month was around the equivalent of 2 or 3 hours of minimum wage, I think, through the same company that provided your home phone line and internet connection - sometimes you got some free hosting as part of your internet plan). Lately I’ve gone looking for them, and haven’t found any trace.