πŸ“‘ The Old Internet Died And We Watched And Did Nothing

Bookmarked The Old Internet Died And We Watched And Did Nothing (BuzzFeed News)

Quick: Can you think of a picture of yourself on the internet from before 2010, other than your old Facebook photos? How about something you’ve written? Maybe some old sent emails in Gmail or old Gchats?


But what about anything NOT on Facebook or Google?


Most likely, you have some photos that are lost somewhere, some old posts to a message board or something you wrote on a friend’s wall, some bits of yourself that you put out there on the internet during the previous decade that is simply gone forever.


The internet of the 2010s will be defined by social media’s role in the 2016 election, the rise of extremism, and the fallout from privacy scandals like Cambridge Analytica. But there’s another, more minor theme to the decade: the gradual dismantling and dissolution of an older internet culture.


This purge comes in two forms: sites or services shutting down or transforming their business models. Despite the constant flurries of social startups (Vine! Snapchat! TikTok! Ello! Meerkat! Peach! Path! Yo!), when the dust was blown off the chisel, the 2010s revealed that the content you made β€” your photos, your writing, your texts, emails, and DMs β€” is almost exclusively in the hands of the biggest tech companies: Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, or Apple.


The rest? Who knows? I hate to tell you, but there’s a good chance it’s gone forever.

Katie Notopoulos discusses the sites that came and went during 2010’s. The IndieWeb has a more extensive list of site deaths.

One response on “πŸ“‘ The Old Internet Died And We Watched And Did Nothing”

  1. In 1998 I was posting on discussion boards (like the old HotWired Threads) and on mailing lists (like WWW-Dev) and seen some of these early forums come and go. So I decided that I should copy and preserve these posts on my own website, just in case the boards and lists disappeared. Which, in fact, they did. And that’s how today I ended up with a huge archive of more than 1600 articles on my web site. But most people, as the author of this article suggests, “did nothing”, and so we are now in the situation where a lot of the web’s original content has been lost. Indeed, this article is a relatively recent listing of sites that wen’t down – MySpace, Froendster, Xanga and Webshots. There’s so much more – the venerated (and verifiably ugly) GeoCities, for example, Blip.tv and Google Videos (which between them lost about half my videos), and of course almost all of the aforementioned discussion board and mailing list contents. What can you do? Do what I did – make sure there’s a back-up copy of your own web content. Via Aaron Davis.

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