Wednesday, June 10, 2015
The internet has been around for a long time, and Daniel Rehn, an electronic artist and curator, has been taking a look back at the net before the 1995 commercialisation, mass adoption and multimedia revolution that took the net on the path we know it today.
"Neon2" by Massacre - Own work.
 Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Project WWWTXT, which reposts comments from old BBS's, Usenet and early services such as CompuServe, on Twitter and Tumblr has been running since 2012.

The author of WWWTXT, Rehn explains the project: "1988–94 represent the final years of a much smaller, non-commercial, and text-dominated Internet."

"The users of this era were not only programmers, physicists, and university residents—they were also tinkerers, early-adopters, whiz kids, and nerds. Their conversations and documents—valiantly preserved by digital archivists—are fractured across numerous services, increasingly offline-only, and incredibly voluminous (100GB+).

"WWWTXT digs deep and resurrects the voices of these digital pioneers as unedited, compelling, and insightful 140-character excerpts.

"The project also unearths and reveals the visual culture of the era, including: magazine scans, early digital artwork, and screenshots/screencasts of early software."

Most of the excerpts come from old BBS's, Usenet and early services such as CompuServe, but some also come from "abandoned personal documents"

I've chosen some of my favourites, below:

Predictions that were horribly wrong.

Predictions that were horribly right.

And predictions that were close enough.

This frustration 00's kids won't remember.

This foreshadowing of Vevo.

These pieces of sage advice that are often still ignored.

This BREAKING news.

These early adopters.

This new console hype.

Before people moaned about smartphones ruining the kids, it was gameboys.

This hot rumor that turned out to be caller ID.

A lot of things have changed since then.

But a lot of it is just the same.

Check out WWWTXT on Twitter and Tumblr. And if you want to see what Google might have been like if it was around in the days of BBS's check out GoogleBBS.