The Atlantic has a great read on the good old days when coolness (or maybe not) ruled the web. Back in the 90’s, when all of this was new, there were some mostly (and mostly thankfully) now-forgotten trends. One of them was publicly shared bookmarks- a list of (allegedly) interesting sites to visit. This evolved into blog rolls, which you still see once in a while. Another was guest books, where visitors could- if they were so inclined- add their names and acknowledge their visit. Sort of a communal “Kilroy was here” sort of thing. Another was were script driven, rotating lists of links where you could add your page’s link to the top. Then return later, after it had rotated off, and add it again. I remember adding the first iteration of Newsome.Org to such a list hosted by (and I’m not even kidding) some teddy bear company.
And there were awards. Everyone had one. The one I bestowed on lucky web masters was called the Rancho DeNada Outpost of the Week. Awesome, right? The graphic above is the original award from the mid-nineties (converted to png).
Here’s a screen cap of the page with the lucky winners, also from the mid-nineties.
Of those, the only one I still visit is IMDB. I can’t even remember most of them.
Of course, the mid-nineties version of Newsome.Org also won some awards. It was hard not to. Here’s a screen cap of the page with some of those approbations, again from the mid-nineties.
Those were fun days. Looking back, a lot of these trends look like the digital equivalent of a bad haircut. But like haircuts, what looks silly today was rocking back in the day. Or was it?