I’ve read a bunch of funny, introspective & even annoying articles of late that describe the early internet.
The early internet, ostensibly what the world wide web was in the 90’s, is where I became a digital citizen. I was around 9 or 10 when we first had a connection in my parents house; and the rest is history.
The latest take on the internet back then is this post highlighting 12 horrid examples of the web from back in the day.
Of course, all of these examples are legitimately horrid. The design language, the purpose, the vision… all of it lacking in every conceivable way.
But that wasn’t the only web. Much like the web today isn’t just what you access through your browser.
Today, this normally means apps. The web is more than just what Chrome or Safari render towards your retinas. It’s also co-working, social, gaming and other such apps that use the network to connect. Back in the 90s, this was no difference.
Every machine I ever used from the mid-90’s onwards had mIRC installed. IRC predates Slack, but in essence was the same thing. For me, content accessed via the web browser was a really cool place to do stuff. HTML and Geocities were the right balance of problem solving & instant gratification that lead to me studying Computer Science in college. But IRC was where I learned and did interesting things. On our IRC networks, we “hacked” systems, learned to code communally, downloaded music, waxed lyrical, all behind hashtag prefixed channels with topics ranging from sport to computer languages & everything in-between. For me, that was the internet.
Nothing’s really changed. Systems making use of the web are far more sophisticated & better suited for modern uses of a connected zeitgeist. And one of my most used apps, and almost a default on any machine I use is Slack. Or Limechat.