I have discovered the Internet Archive Wayback Machine also know as archive.org – it’s great if you want to look back in time for something particular in the realm of digital web.
I always had this thought in the back of my mind, it would be great to trace back and reflect on websites I had created more than 10 years ago that are no longer to their existence – sadly technology is moving at a fast pace erasing the old due to legacy in hardware and software.
Wayback Machine crawls randomly on websites to archive and I was shocked what I could find… my activity since I was a kid let loose on the web!
Back then I had big interests in design and culture, which then led me to designing, crafting, building online social networks. YES way before the boom of social networks (MySpace, Bebo, Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
In fact I was way too young to be even be on the web. Back then the web had full of nastiness and you’ll probably have had to grant adult supervision, now a day there’s software for adults that can restrict time or activity usage for their children.
I used Microsoft MSN Messenger quiet a lot during then to keep in touch with schoolmates and using MSN.com to go on the online Messenger and accessing emails. By then I started using MSN.com like a default homepage.
Having a passion for cars I started reading and tracking MSN Cars, a sub category of topics they published weekly of news and articles. Having a short attention span, I moved into crawling other parts of MSN.com and the same with AOL.com when DSL modems were popular.
Anyone remember MSN Groups? Back then they were chat rooms mainly for the adult dating. I bring this up because it’s somewhere/somewhat where I started to learn quiet a lot of things, the good, the bad – what can I say… I was curious and fascinated what the web can do during that age, I guess I still am in a way – what make the web so popular and the use of programming languages behind it. I guess it’s the same when referring to.. looking for your next car, wanting to know what’s under the hood.
I learnt a bit of programming if you could call it that back then creating basic HTML pages and creating animated, glittery, metal-like, typography .gifs. This was the boom of .gif animations!
I got a lot of attention when I did this, mainly because I was young and had created a very highly hunger for visual graphics that set apart from other groups, by then group members evolved from all ages reaching to 1000 users joining as members in a few years.
Funny enough it was just an experiment based on my own culture and trying to meet other people like myself at the time – pretty niche!
Anyway, today this number is nothing compared to the scale of major social networks we have today.
Slowly I came round and was intrigued by technologies and ever since have been learning, developing and deploying my skills to the web we take for granted.
Going back to Internet Archive Wayback Machine website, here is what I could find – unfortunately the .gifs and images are gone due to discontinued MSN services and that not all pages where archived or cached. Reading the guess book was a little amusing at the time of finding these pages.
I was hoping someone/something/somewhere it would have been cached for history to reveal itself. It just goes to show what is achievable throughout history and that online activity and privacy on the web is not an option. I’ll elaborate further in my next coming post about privacy, as again it’s a can of worms!