610 words = <3 min. reading time
Reason for reading: perhaps to learn more about the Internet
and perhaps learn something about us that you didn’t know
The Web is an interesting entity isn’t it? Don’t YOU find it interesting? I certainly do but then again, that’s where I live, breathe, eat and (almost) sleep.
In 1996 I used to do a daily write-up on a Website; a ‘log entry’ if you will, about that day’s worth of site additions, and other interesting tidbits that happened to pass through my mind. It was on a page with a lovely ‘coiled notebook page’ background image – very folksy :-) As a matter of fact, I think what made it so popular at the time was the familiar chord that coiled notebook page image struck in the minds of people who had their feet firmly planted on terra firma but who were taking the plunge into the unknowns of cyberspace; it made them feel more ‘at home’!
We made a major change to the site in about the year 2000, and the one thing that was dropped was the daily log entry. As the programmer pointed out, I spent a lot of time making that entry and it didn’t seem necessary for, it was fairly obvious through date stamps what had changed on the site and when.
I kind of missed making those entries, and learned later that many of the site visitors really missed reading those thoughts too! (Who knew?)
By and by, people began talking about ‘blogs’. Hmmm… “What’s a blog?” I wondered. Hah! A ‘Web log’ or ‘blog’, for short. So basically I had been keeping a blog but wasn’t anymore. …and then I gave it up because it took up too much time! (So far ahead, it appeared as if I was behind! *sigh*)
I find it interesting that, when I first began using the Internet (really wasn’t called the Web yet as it was only ‘bulletin boards’, usenet newsgroups and listservs) it was all about ‘being social’. It was fun, interesting, and educational and, as I recall, could also be a cumbersome process; with listservs for instance, someone would send out a message, you could read and respond at which point everyone else received the response and so on …but hey, it worked, and it was great! You could share your thoughts with like-minded people (and not so like-minded! …I still have fond memories of ‘flame wars’) from all over the world and it was very social.
I recall being part of that first wave of users that were so horrified when the Web started to go ‘public’. What we ‘had’ seemed special and it began to be lost in a sea of brochure-ware Web advertisements for everything and anything that was out there! I’m sure it was about that time that everyone discovered they could make words on a Web page ‘blink’ (the bane of a Web developer’s creative existence!). The dotcom-boom-bust came along and with it many of those first Websites disappeared (along with their blinking words – yayyy!)
Any of us that were there early on, and knew and understood the value of the social aspect of the Web, understand that the advent of Web 2.0 and all the wonderful social media tools that have been developed means we’re coming full circle back to what we cherished about the Internet to begin with!
I love the Web and am passionate about all the Internet solutions that can be achieved for people, organisations, associations, charities and businesses!
I’ll quit raving now and let you say your piece. If you were one of those people who used to enjoy that coiled notebook page or one of those who enjoyed bulletin boards, usenet groups and listservs, please cater to my nostalgia and leave a comment. Thanks!
President, Pondside Digital Media