The old digg.com
Web Rings were amazing, and I think the idea still has merit. Why did everyone stop using them?
My ealiest memories were pre-net, on Prodigy and AOL, long before they were 'net connected and could email each other. I learned what connectivity was at 2400 baud. I didn't discover BBS's until much later, around 1993-4,and was at 14.4k at that point. I never really understood fidonet, but played some of the BBS games and downloaded some warez from a "31337" BBS with a backdoor whose login was "elite". At least the sysop didn't call himself "Crash Override".
...is something I still say out loud to myself occasionally. For example if I hear a good point made on the radio.
Like WTF? What were they thinking?
You mean you don’t enjoy the current -
> With Joe Biden’s campaign in freefall amid concerns about his declining mental health and new sexual assault allegations, remember this: it’s a good time to note that Bernie’s on the ballot.
- front page news Reddit?
I do love HN, but it is still part of YC and allows some commercial activity and I feel at times goes overboard on flagging certain kind of discussions and comments (I'm not referring to obvious trolling and unsavory language).
They've done a really good job of rehabilitating their image. Having grown up at the time, it's hard for me to see Gates and them as different than that. It does make me somewhat sad that we've embraced a future where the bad guys won, that the schoolyard bully that tried to stifle progress is now succeeding by adopting that which they tried to strangle int he cradle.
Yes, the hate for Gates does look a bit naive now. To be fair, at the time there was a huge amount of admiration for him in the mainstream (I still meet people convinced he “invented” this or that software alone in a garage), so the hate was really niche. Hi
I have also seen commentary over the years that his non-profit is arrogant and sometimes harms when it is trying to help. I am less able to assess those stories to know if I agree or disagree. But I do know it is not always universally praised.
I do know that MS company culture was pretty aggressive in the time I was there. Some of that has got to be rooted in his famous personal aggressiveness, setting a poor example for others. Some form of that aggressiveness stayed with the company long after he left it.
But I do think Gates himself has had a personal transformation or re-consideration of his old self. And it is a credit to him that he's done that. His commentary on the coronavirus shows it, for example. Probably his retirement from software, having more money than any one person could know what to do with, his famous friendship with philanthropy-minded Warren Buffet, has given him some perspective about what he can do with the next phase of his life, without the need for profit motive or egotistical drive for competition.
It engrages and disgusts me it isn't a bigger deal.
On the other hand, Bill Gates is not law enforcement, is not the criminal justice system. Speaking abstractly, if someone is convicted of a crime, goes to prison, and is let out... At what point does a prominent individual need to say they'll never talk to that person under any circumstances? In some cases that would be too extreme and in the abstract, repentant ex-convicts may deserve forgiveness.
In hindsight it's easy to say Epstein wasn't that. But we don't know how he may have misrepresented himself to Gates and others. We know from the press that there was some sketchy business involved in his relatively short prison stay, which I presume Gates did not know. My guess is it's not always an easy call to make, whether or not to show forgiveness to an ex-con, whether or not you can trust them as reformed, etc. The article you cite says he regrets making the wrong call.
Ubuntu 20.04 also looks to be an extremely usable desktop that just works.
Then i went to games which was empty and nothing would appear. I closed it and started it again and now games would show up, so i decided to install "WolfeDoom" which sounded interesting. While it was downloading, i went back and decided to also install ZZT (i think) so i pressed Install for that too. That installed fast so i tried to run it and... nothing happened. I tried again, but nothing - the game's name appeared for a bit at the top but then disappeared without any indication about what was wrong. So i uninstalled it and closed the Software app.
At this point i thought to try WolfenDoom but... i couldn't find it anywhere. I opened the Software app to see where it was, went to the installed tab, scrolled down and found it, but instead of "Launch" (or whatever) it had an "Install" button next to it (which is weird since i was in the installed category). I clicked it and an error popped up about some state or whatever. So i restarted the Software app, went directly to the game's page and pressed Install from there - error again. So i googled to figure out what is wrong and i found vague messages about it.
Eventually it fixed itself. Somehow. My guess it was installing at the background but this wasn't shown anywhere and trying to install it again was failing because of that.
Very just works.
It reminds me of Early Mac OS X in someways, around the leopard, lion, mountain lion times. Just seems to work.
With a lot of closed components on every device.
> Bsd powering macos and ios.
There is BSD code in XNU just like there was BSD code in NeXTstep in the 80s but the link and resemblance is pretty tenuous. And it would be a huge stretch to call Darwin an open source project. There were efforts to build free distros out of it, long abandoned. And that is ignoring the vast amounts of closed components.
I'm speaking to the lineage of what linux has been able to impact.
It's not likely that closed components could have existed without a foundation of linux/bsd.
> It's not likely that closed components could have existed without a foundation of linux/bsd.
This is false and I think pretty naive.
On the Apple side, I'll cite that NeXT's equivalent of Cocoa used to run on Windows NT in the 1990s. They didn't need Mach/BSD or any form of Unix to run AppKit. I will also note that today many Apple features depend heavily on the Mach kernel interfaces and less upon the BSD layer.
On the Android side, note that many people are saying Fuschia will replace Linux in that environment.
Linux/BSD source code were part of a lineage that many of today's operating systems, whether you want to package that up as Mach, UMX, whatever.
1. Mac OS X includes oss code in it's foundation.
"Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs once tried to hire Linus Torvalds, the irrepressible Finnish coder who created Linux and gave the thing its name.
But Torvalds said "No," and not long after that, Apple hired Jordan Hubbard, the creator of FreeBSD, a lesser known, but still thriving, open source operating system based on UNIX. It was a better fit: Mac OS X shares conceptual roots with Linux, but it shares honest-to-goodness code with FreeBSD." 
"The code at the heart of Mac OS X was born in the mid-1980s at NeXt Computer, the company Steve Jobs founded after his first stint at Apple. NeXt built a operating system based on two existing UNIX projects: Mach, from Carnegie Melon University, and BSD, created at the University of California at Berkeley. But on this base, they added their own, private code – such as the Cocoa programming framework and a graphical user interface – hoping to provide the sort of slick software environment pioneered by the Apple Macintosh." 
"Darwin, the core of Mac OS X, was open source and included quite a bit of code from FreeBSD." 
"The Linux kernel is an extremely important part of the software on nearly every Android device. This section describes Linux kernel development and release models (below), stable and long-term supported (LTS) kernels (including why all Android devices should use stable releases instead of cherry picking patches), kernel configuration and hardening, requirements for interfaces and the modular kernels (introduced in Android O), kernel debugging and network testing, and SquashFS." 
"Android's history dates to 2003, when a team of California entrepreneurs launched Android, Inc. Their initial goal was to develop software for digital cameras. In 2005 Google acquired the company and put the team of Android, Inc. developers to work building an operating system for phones that was based on the Linux kernel and adaptations of some other open source utilities." 
I appreciate you feel the need to feel better about yourself at the expense of others by calling others names, but there's really no need, nor does it add to advancing any kind of understanding about the topic, except perhaps shining a light on jumping to myopic reactions and judgements of others.
I will not be replying to further messages from you on this thread for the above reason.
You have misread me. I do not feel better than anybody else nor do I feel I need to. I also do not feel that I am calling you or anybody names. I have not met you, I am confident you are a wonderful human being. It is, independent of the thinker, naive to think Mac, iOS, or Android needs Linux or BSD and couldn't be ported to or based upon something else in the start.
I mean, apart from the fact that NeXT's key pieces were also ported to NT as they struggled to find a market for NeXTstep, in Apple's search for a kernel, they also considered BeOS, and they had a short lived project MkLinux which had Linux in the same co-position with Mach as BSD has with XNU ... This reflects the attitude that any modern kernel will do, that they can swap them in and out with little consequence. A similar attitude that people advocate when saying they ought to port Android to Fuschia.
But many people also exaggerate the role of BSD in XNU. In many places there is little resemblance. They continue to diverge over time.
You have also evidently misread me on some other matters in the thread and this brings me to read your reply as a bit of a non sequitur, but it's not worth debating them and you say you're cutting me off. So I do hope you have a good day, fine sir or madam. Best regards, friend.
Where is the data on that? I just googled around, I don't know if this site is reputable but it would indicate mobile didn't overtake PCs until 2016 and even now the gap is not huge:
I know I've read that PC sales went down pretty severely around the 2011 date you cite, however, it could be that sales of new PCs are down much more than actual usage because PCs need to be replaced less frequently.
I really dislike how political/personal everything gets around here, even the tech discussions, and the tech discussions themselves are full of breathless hype and hot takes that don't really make sense, too many people that learned something last week and then rave about how x and y changed their life. I don't know what early Slashdot was like, though, how it compared.
Instead, Clay Shirkys essay on a group being it's own worst enemy appears to be acting out in yet another online forum.
That is a reason I like HN. I am not a startup guy, so that crowd and the resulting discussions on HN are basically an R&D shop for the rest of us. They can go do the bleeding-edge, so we can sit back, see what works, and take that on as leading-edge.
> Web Rings were amazing, and I think the idea still has merit. Why did everyone stop using them?
They stopped having web pages and started having Xangas/Friendsters/Myspaces that had the networking feature built-in.
Dense layout with links to all the new reviews with grades, by section (music, film, etc), no infinite scroll. Quite a few other websites were like that, you could get the gist of all the new things at a glance, now they all feel dumbed down
Digg was cool for its time but it was way overly simplistic. The frontpage was dominated by a really narrow set of power users because of how the system worked and the comments were single threaded. It was kind of a hot mess.
It is both crazy that K Rose missed out on selling it for $250 million and that's all it was worth. Had he played his cards right, it could have been Twitter and valued at tens of billions of dollars.
If you want to get into great sites that I miss, I really miss Reddit from 2005-2010, maybe a little later. Do I get a prize for using Reddit when it had no comments? The programming related discussions were good. HN's too ideological and big for them now, and r/progamming is a clusterfuck of people being assholes to each other and talking about shit we were arguing about 15 years ago.
Those early sites had a feel that I can only imagine the pre-Eternal September net had for older people.
It's funny what you say about Digg because Reddit is that now, the same few powermods control almost everything. It feels more like reading a bunch of press releases than anything authentic nowadays, though there can be good content in smaller subs that have nothing to do with the front page.
Web Rings! That bought back some memories of adding webring code snippets to my website. I agree they are a fantastic idea and I'm sad they seem to have gone away. Wikipedia claims that they were (effectively) killed by Yahoo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webring
Beyond webring sites, most of my early browsing time was spent on web forums (devoted to poetry and conlanging, my key interests). It's sad-interesting to see that of the various software packages used to run those sites, only phpBB seems to be under active development for its original purpose.
We don't talk about Usenet ...
And meta moderation. Some of the smartest discussion was at the +5 Troll level. Very liberal and self governing. When getting meta-mod rights, it felt like a civic duty to do my part.
Plus friend, friend-of-friend, foe, etc traffic lights. It was way ahead of it's time. Then got sold, many moved out including myself - never liked Digg, old or new - and now with potentially an order of magnitude of technology people (hardware, software, other stuff) compared to 2000, a shadow of it's former self.
Also, kuro5hin, which Reddit has captured in theme in niche subs.
You can still play, they brought it back a few years ago, but the community and popularity - as well as the feeling of discovery I used to get while playing - won’t ever come back
I still haven't gotten over suddenly getting banned from PayPal for selling virtual goods when I was 14. The ~$1000 USD I had made, pretty much all the money to my name, was held hostage for 6 months!
I think I should credit my salary to Jagex.
When I had some downtime a year or so ago, it was really interesting to revisit the reverse-engineered clients (a la RuneBot, PowerBot, etc) and taking a look at how that was done then and now. Actually made me somewhat working with Java again.
Very cool to see other folks who found themselves on a similar path thanks to that community!
It's definitely lost some of the nostalgia, but it makes up for it with a load of new content.
I wonder what today's version is. Maybe Fortnite?
Also, hahahaha, nothing better than walking about and seeing the text “selling GF 10k” wave around in raindbow text
Some of the content lives on in the wayback machine under the 'www.searchlores.org' domain, but the period before he launched that site was magical to me. For several years there, he kept his identity deliberately secret (there was a bit of a mystery around it). The sort of reverse engineering techniques he described were fascinating, and frequently applied to real life.
It was fun to load his site, download a bunch of pages, and then hang up the metered dial-up internet connection and spend the next few hours reading...
Let me be real: I loved Geocities and Angelfire. I liked seeing what people could build (and there were some pretty crazy-good personal sites). But I think even more, I liked that everyone was there because they were either really into the web, or really into some particular topic.
I miss the concept of deep dives. Being able to take them myself, and being able to tag along on other people's, and knowing that there were a vast number of topics where I could be pretty confident that I understood about 85-90% of what could be understood about them at the time.
My golden era was the brief period where I could do ALL of the following well:
- Hardware-build a computer
- Fully program said computer to do anything I wanted it to
- Network my various devices however I wanted
- Access the internet
- Build webpages
- Play arcade, desktop and console games that, in theory, I understood well enough that I could have coded them
- And, let me be really honest, engage in some minor phone phreaking because I was a teenager and that seemed REALLY COOL
And I felt like I understood the totality of most of those things. Which, again, maybe was just due to being a teenager and not knowing what I didn't know, but the size of the domain spaces seemed more manageable.
Now, I spend all day building websites. It's a good job. I can't complain. But I can only build websites. A couple of years ago, for fun, I tried to take a Coursera networking course and I about lost my mind because of how complex I realized it had gotten. My wife is about to start the second year of her Master of Software Engineering degree and I have realized watching her learn Java that there's a whole domain there that I will never be able to understand. Forget understanding how my phone works, and forget the idea of taking apart a Nintendo Switch and putting it back together with mods like I did that classic NES. I probably wouldn't even recognize most of the components.
I sound like I'm sitting in my rocking chair getting ready to yell at the whippersnappers to get off my lawn, don't I?
Please tell me I'm not the only person to feel this way at this age?
(Edited to add: I am, at least, reassured that I'm not completely alone in this by the quote attributed to physicist Eugene Wigner: "It is nice to know that the computer understands the problem. But I would like to understand it too." Poor Eugene died in 1995 and I feel like he'd have hated the 2000s.)
If you click on a username, either while searching or while downloading, you could browse everything Napster had indexed. If people didn’t configure Napster right, you could browse their whole C:\ drive. Good times.
Admittedly, what I like about Spotify is how easy it is to share music with other people and discover music from my friends just by looking at their profiles or what they're currently listening to.
There are even certain livestreamers I follow specifically for their taste in the music that they play in the background.
FWIW, someone I met doing random AOL profile searches in the mid-'90s and I are still online friends. We both liked the Dave Matthews Band and played varsity tennis, and this met my minimum chat requirements. Now we are both former journalists working online, dealing with bipolar disorder and the recent death of a parent. The internet might be weird sometimes, but that (and a random story of getting a web development job because someone had the wrong email address for the person they were actually trying to hire) will always go down in my "Internet wins" column.
FWIW, I have a couple friends like that. We bonded over some musical interests of our teens and occasionally check in on each other although most never met in real life. Maybe that’s still happening in game chat? But I can’t imagine something like yahoo chatrooms still exists.
It was a great way to discover new music.
It was truly the Library of Alexandria of music. Cataloging standards were high and you could find even obscure releases in perfect quality in multiple formats (CD rips, multiple vinyl rips). Now I use Spotify and it frustrates me that songs will disappear without notice because their license expired and that I can't find most foreign music I previously listened to. The audio quality isn't comparable, either.
Nowadays Google finds so much noise that I wish I could use boolean operations once again to weed out the spam.
Also liked slashdot.org in its early days.
I also came to love penny arcade and the filthy movie reviews linked off slashdot homepage. Thanks for your effort.
Astalavista and +Fravia's reverse engineering sites were a lot of fun to follow back in the day, when reverse engineering anti-piracy dongles that plugged into your PC's parallel-port.
Google was smarter but seemed less intuitive to me to get at what I wanted.
It's as if they don't care about search result quality as much anymore.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September the whole Internet feels like the Eternal September to me. It all got dumbed down.
comp.misc was brought back to life as part of the slashdot beta exit. Other groups have some traffic as well. Nothing like the heyday's however.
And there is a free, text only, news server named Eternal September:
The Happy Puppy games site.
Not really the web, but the original RealPlayer surfaced some amazing content for the time. I was able to watch Russian news, which while I didn't understand a single word was pretty amazing for a cold war obsessed kid
I bought so many games because I became addicted to the demos, particularly a few Sierra games.
Also, demos /shareware were an important marketing mechanism back then, companies took them seriously.
Though I guess it's not so much the site itself I miss, but the feeling of witnessing magic, for a little while, until I just got used to and expected such good search results.
Contact me if interested.
Ultima Online isn't a website but, for me, is synonymous with the earlier days of the net. I guess it's still around, but I played during the beta and when it first came out. There was something so exciting about it. It was all such a new experience.
I also miss the original Rainbow Six (and Rogue Spear). Loved the gameplay (stealth, planning a mission, etc.) and it brings back memories of LAN parties. I'm not sure if there's a modern game that has a similar style of gameplay? I hardly play any games so am out of the loop.
You ever play Tribes?
UO. Wow. It's really another experience that can't be recreated. So incredibly magical. EverQuest and Asheron's Call were similarly formative experiences. I never could have thought at the time that massively multiplayer games would seem boring and even lame (what, I've gotta play with people?) now.
My parents would make sure I wasn't sneaking on EQ late at night by picking up the phone next to their bed to make sure I wasn't on the phone line.
My mom would threaten to hide my keyboard. I was lucky that we got a DSL line really early (we lived in Silicon Valley and my dad was a software engineer) so taking my keyboard was the only way she knew I would be up still.
From my early days, probably flash portals, like addicting games. Kongregate wasn't the same after GameStop bought them. I know Newgrounds is still alive and I still go there, but it's sad to see the traffic dwindle like it has (especially since Tom Full is one of my internet heros).
On that note, I think Nickelodeon actually owns (or bought) Addicting Games, but I don't think it's the same these days...
It's still there but not the same.
Also I want to give a bit more info about why rec.music.phish was special. Phish, like the Grateful Dead, allow people to record and distribute concert recordings as long as they didn't profit from it. So people would offer free "blanks and postage" deals to other people on rec.music.phish who would mail cassette tapes with return envelopes and get recordings of live concerts back in the mail a month later. That whole process is completely irrelevant now but it was a unifying fan experience that had real meaning to everyone involved. Going on a bittorrent site (bt.etree.org) doesn't compare in the development of meaningful relationships with total strangers even though it is far more efficient.
Stonybrook algorithm repository was a similiar feeling...just going thru and exploring all the different techniques people have come up with.
There are are lot of defunct Gopher holes, but a couple times a year I still get lost browsing through a mix of old and new ones. Install OverbiteWX in Firefox and take it for a spin sometime!
I loaded up the open source app Pocket Gopher (available on F-Droid), and while the formatting of ASCII graphics doesn't translate well to portrait mode, everything works.
One of the most recent such sites I've found is actually someone's Angelfire site, rather than their own domain: http://www.angelfire.com/extreme4/kiddofspeed/cherlinks.html . I went down the rabbit hole of her Chernobyl content way too late at night one day in February. All sorts of interesting content based first-hand experience.
The other thing I miss is desktop-focused instant messaging that focuses on the text experience. I had so many great text conversations on AIM, and GChat when it was new, sometimes over the course of hours. Just this week I had my first AIM conversation in at least a couple years, and it still had the same magic. Probably the closest thing to it we have today is Slack, but the ubiquity of all your friends having AIM (or at least Yahoo! Messenger or MSN) just isn't there.
Up until 2015 Weather Underground was the top weather website, had huge amounts of information density, easy to navigate... fast
I'm not sure what the current incarnation of Weather Underground is, but it is nothing like it's former self. Wunderground was sold off to... IBM? and then later... The Weather Channel? At some point the "classic" website was finally turned off for good. It was a sad day.
Ever since ~2015 there hasn't been a good, "go to" weather website. Dark Sky came out not long after wunderground classic, and it looks like recently Apple bought them. Dark Sky is no Wunderground Classic, but it's a good attempt.
anandtech - now it has such a sterile, corporate feel - back in the day in addition to reviews they'd do write-ups on their own infrastructure - not in the nebulous sense, but actually step by step, detailing what they were running (ColdFusion at the time as I recall)
allaire.com (no longer exists) - before Github or any of the modern package managers were a thing, and before anything conceived of frontend components, ColdFusion's custom tags seem to encompass a lot of great ideas that today seem obvious, but not so much in the late 90s. I'd spend hours browsing through their custom tag directory
Not a website, but I miss the heyday of IRC.
It was a personal wiki of sorts about psychedelics, new age mysticism, anarchy, subversive philosophy, environmentalism, and obscure information.
It was still up until a few years ago. I haven’t found a complete archive. The archive here is fairly outdated: https://jacobsm.com/deoxy/deoxy.org/index.html (click the small links for “hi-res” or “low-res” framesets.)
Before it shut down the amount of content was huge, and everything was personally curated by the creator Dimitry Novus. Supposedly when Google Video shut down and lots of the YouTube links broke he got upset and stopped updating. After a while it disappeared.
Maybe not as good as days of old, but you may enjoy it :)
Completely unrelated but somethingaweful.com was really hilarious back then. back when meme wasn't a thing.
I miss the web then in general. It was full of basically honest information rich stuff.
The thing a directory does well that search doesn't is being able to eliminate the things you don't want to find. Let's say I want to find information about operating a whatchamacallit. While I can ask Google it may tell me that, but I'm also going to see a lot of information by people trying to sell me a whatchamacallit. In a directory I can find the category that covers the information domain I'm interested in then search only within that subtree for what I want to find.
 currently archived at https://www.dmoz-odp.org/
Completely Agree. People use to share honest information, no conflict of interest, and doing so purely because of passion.
Now that got me thinking. Did the introduction of Web Ads in large, generating vast amount of profits leading to SEO, page spam, content farm and generally lower quality of information?
So in good intention, we hope the web to have a sustainable ad business model, has actually lead to the fall on quality of the web?
Or would the web still have been like today even if we had no ads.
I am not sure if this is true, but this could be another example of good intention leads to bad outcome.
Then Twitter happened and it all changed.
But I just tried it, and it's working again.
Hurray! -- "you can do anything at zombo com!" :-D
It's poking fun at how many early "dotcom"-ish type companies promised the world on their landing pages, but in the end they failed to deliver anything of value.
Posting as user 1XXX :)
Metafilter still exists, but the culture changed to the point where most discussions became a meta-discussion about how the discussion should be allowed to be discussed. And it just wore me out.
it kind of sort of still exists, but I haven't had flash installed on any of my devices since about 2015.
I was also around on Slashdot when Rob proposed. I was I think a sophomore or junior in high school, sprinting into the library between periods to refresh the page and see if she'd said yes or not.
Web 2.0: del.icio.us, digg, stumbleupon
You could see a cached version of links.
A search for a technical issue generally brought up the answer on the first page.
Spam and click bait websites were effectively filtered out.
Click the small down-arrow at the right of a link -> Cached.
Then e-commerce and adtech happened and it became a lot more homogenised and a lot less fun.
Usenet was a distillation of the culture and a crucible of madness. Yahoo Groups were (sometimes) a more grown up version.
Oh wait, it's still there. And still the same as 1996.
That answers the “did someone forget to turn off the server?” question.
This was the first social network I ever signed up for. Was in it for 3 years. Google later shut it down in 2014.
2. Yahoo Messenger
Not really a website but yeah this was the de facto messenger app on every PC in India. All browsing centers had Yahoo Messenger installed.
Shortly after it was closed down.
I miss Jyte, which was a weird side project by the company janrain, where you just make random statements and people vote whether or not they agree with the statement, and can post comments.
A million phpbb boards.
Then there was this other site that sold books and CDs called Amazon, they did a similar thing. I really enjoyed browsing suggestions back then.
Finally froogle, superficially similar to google shopping that replaced it, but it actually helped you find things at a good price.
That is the internet I miss, the one where the products provided a better experience than the high street.
The tricky part is that there's a lot of people selling preowned goods as "new", usually they're items they purchased or received as a gift they never used. I think they're trying to emphasize the unused nature of the items, but nowadays they just get lost in the noise of direct-from-the-factory items.
Same with using pricewatch to get cheap computer parts.
It feels like a lot of the competition is gone now.
- GBATemp.net during the height of Wii Homebrew
- [Wii/DS/Nintendo]-Play.com - first online community for Nintendo Friendcodes
*edit one more
- The community surrounding Half-Life 2 and specifically Team Fortress 2 circa 2007-2009
"Well, they grow up. And they spend that time implementing every possible hideous idea in some form or another for someone:" "What's up this time? Another tired 3-D maze game? Maybe a new way to help people share and care and collaborate? A JAVA MCDOODLE? GREAT! HOW MUCH $$$."
"i'll spell it MICRO$LOTH WINBLOWS in a DELICIOUS TWIST"
it helped me get through some low points of my own in high school.
i helped fund it by mailing in cash when i was 16. i received a few branded match boxes in return.
within a year, it went down for good. there are still some archives online, but nothing quite compares. i tried to revive it by building storylog.com.
that 2 year endeavor managed to jumpstart my passion for web development, got me to learn HTML, CSS, and eventually Python, and landed me my first job at a startup.
Edit: Well, a bit of searching and I find Burbs and a few others still alive. Gonna have to check them out
Apart from these websites that still exist, I miss the sense of discovery from the old web, which felt more democratized then today’s web, where it feels most of the online experience is monopolized by a few big platforms. I liked chancing upon some roughly designed personal website and finding the gems therein, which was more special than the manicured template of platforms like Medium.
I don’t have an explanation for what the gap or difference is. I just know it exists. Another example is how AIM away messages felt special and personal, in a way that Facebook statuses have never matched. What changed? Maybe it’s just that we have.