Those of us old enough to remember the birth of the web have seen some things we thought were awesome at first, that later turned awkward and silly with the passage of time, and ultimately got unceremoniously buried in the potter’s field of the Internet Archive.
There was Geocities. It looked bad, even back then. But everyone was there. It was inevitable. Like the Borg, and Sharknado 3. There were web awards. I remember this awesome technology that put current news headlines into your screen saver. I have no idea why that app died- I’d use it now.
And there was Yahoo. Front and center. It was the search engine of choice for a while, but it was originally the directory for the entire internet. Yahoo Directory was the digital equivalent of the boards you look at in building lobbies to see where you need to go.
In other words, it was a very big deal.
There I am. With a link that still works. And only 7 spots away from Wayne Newton!
It seems silly now, but back in the day, we browsed that directory like the newfangled yellow pages it was, looking for whatever we were looking for. It was fast and hip. Or at least it seemed that way.
Now it’s about to go away. At the end of this year, Yahoo Directory will be shuttered. It’s a little sad, given its cultural importance, to the entire internet and inarguably to Yahoo. Yahoo should create a digital museum and move it there. But apparently that’s not the plan.
Which is OK, I guess Wayne and I will absorb the blow, and move on.
Like time, and the web.
A hopeful postscript:
I understand Yahoo’s need to move somewhere, given, you know, Google. And I get that one needs to chop off dead branches for the good of the tree. But I hope Yahoo will keep in mind that technical achievement, even if now outdated, should be remembered. I also hope they don’t start sacrificing cool stuff that still works just because it doesn’t attract enough eyeballs. Yes, I’m talking about Yahoo Pipes. It will bum me out if Yahoo’s ax finds its way to the wonderful and still useful Pipes. Take away everything else Yahoo. But leave Yahoo Pipes alone.
At least for a while.