The Internet is undoubtedly a constantly-evolving medium that goes through changes at almost light speed. As marketers, it is our job to keep up with these changes, stay informed about the latest trends and technologies, create some of our own, and anticipate where our users are going next. If you need proof of this rapid evolution, just take a look at how the Internet was five or ten years ago, or even just last year. I can’t say I’m sorry to see some of these past trends go, but it does make me feel all warm and fuzzy reflecting on the Internet of yesteryear. Take a trip down memory lane with the ghost of Internet past and remember 10 of our favorite bits of Internet nostalgia.
Ah, Geocities, where would we have been without you? Many of us got our start with PageBuilder, crafting stunning sites complete with neon colors, strangely aligned images, and animated gifs. We deeply mourned its passing in October 2009. The world will never be the same again. Be sure to check out what Supercool Creative would have looked like on Geocities thanks to the brilliant Geocities-izer.
The tinny renditions of popular songs, the racing to shut off your speakers when one of them auto-plays on a page. What would websites from the 90s/early 2000s have been without MIDI?
Those obnoxiously blatant view counters to brag to your visitors about the 23 visits you’ve received over the past year, often in a “high-tech” digital style. Ah, Google Analytics, how nicely subtle you are.
- AOL Keywords
“Visit h-t-t-p colon forward slash forward slash w-w-w dot supercool creative dot com, AOL keyword supercool.” Because we couldn’t be bothered to type those few extra characters into the address bar.
- Comic Sans
Clearly, it still exists, but there was a day before people realized just how awful it really is. I’d bet 80% of Geocities websites used it. Shudder.
Webmasters were clearly trying to bring an interactive, social element into their sites years before “social media” became a popular concept, though these little message boards for visitors to leave comments were great targets for trolls and spambots. Still, every Geocities user felt extra cool for having a tagboard on their site.
For those who weren’t quite at the level of Geocities, Expage offered free webhosting for the masses of 12-year-old girls who plastered their tacky personal websites with the other horrors mentioned here. The majority of sites hosted on Expage were the epitome of tacky.
- Using the phrase “world wide web.”
Want to guarantee an image as an out-of-date online marketer? Go around talking about the world wide web (or direct clients to contact you via your Hotmail address.)
- Netscape Navigator
Poor Netscape. R.I.P.
What’s your favorite tacky Internet trend of the past? Which of today’s trends will we be mocking in ten years? Let me know!