Author Topic: What is the difference between the current internet and the late 2000s of it?  (Read 7712 times)

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SeroVich

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It is really interesting how the internet was while I was a little lad. I want to know each era's pro's and con's.

So, tell me please ho was everything before. And thank you in response.
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Tengukami

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This is a really broad question!

But for starters, this very forum is a product of that era. I mean MySpace and Friendster before it existed but most of what I remember being the places people gathered and hung out and talked together online 15 to 20 years ago was:

1. Forums
2. Blogs
3. Sketchy Java-run chat rooms
4. IRC
5. Novelty websites that had their own chat section, either a live chat or some kinda mini-forum
6. Imageboards

Also, I don't know if this is true but it feels like there used to be a lot more hyper-specific specialised websites?

Like any sort of business, enterprise or project had a website prior to social media, yeah, but also people would concoct these whack-ass websites that were more like stand-alone works of art. Bonzai Kitten immediately springs to mind.

A lot of it sucked tbh, but thats the internet as a whole. It was a lot easier to lie online, and video players were atrocious.

Idk, I kinda miss pre-social media internet but what can you do?

"The past days are infinite. That's why it won't have a meaning if we don't have fun now. A thousand years or ten thousand years, there's nothing in them matching this moment."

Felis-Licht

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It is really interesting how the internet was while I was a little lad. I want to know each era's pro's and con's.

So, tell me please ho was everything before. And thank you in response.
Back in the day, the net was like the wild west. There's a lot I could say, but I only vaguely know of some since I was on and off during that time as a kid. Far as I know, people could freely make dark jokes and no one got offended over them because they knew it was a joke, politics was laughed at and didn't turn people into braindead rabid animals, social media and corporate owned stuff wasn't taking over and censoring everything like it does now, majority of people didn't think fictional characters actually represented reality or treated them as if they were real, spam and chain mail everywhere. Basically think of how the net is like now but the opposite.
As fun as old internet was sometimes back in the day, I can't say it's entirely good since stuff like shock sites, gore, and whatever else were prevalent especially in regards to drama or trolling people.
I could give you a few videos that show off some stuff from old internet culture, one by Izzzyzzz (who's got a few here and there) and others by Whang! since he covers a lot of them. Forewarning of the content though.

This mostly how I remembered old internet at the time, thankfully I never saw nor experienced the absolute worst of it.

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Quote
Far as I know, people could freely make dark jokes and no one got offended over them because they knew it was a joke, politics was laughed at and didn't turn people into braindead rabid animals, social media and corporate owned stuff wasn't taking over and censoring everything like it does now, majority of people didn't think fictional characters actually represented reality or treated them as if they were real, spam and chain mail everywhere.

I wouldn't be so rosy about it. Nostalgia could never blind me to how awful a lot of the humor was back in the 2000s, and a lot of people not making a fuss was really people not caring about who they stepped on or being worried about being singled out for raising an objection. For how many problems Internet culture has today, I think things have gotten better in a lot of important ways.

As for the main question, probably one of the biggest things I can say about the old Internet that was far better than what we have now is moderation. On small forums or even large forums with smaller boards like GameFAQs, it was far more possible to both keep the peace and keep out bad elements. After a while on the old MoTK you grew to be aware of what Twitter would now call Characters of the Day, and depending on how bad they were it would be weeks to months before they were banned and business resumed as usual. I think given the state of social media most would agree there comes a point when any meaningful moderation becomes impossible, and I do hope one day there is a renaissance for small forums like these.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2023, 08:25:00 AM by nintendonut888 »

Felis-Licht

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I wouldn't be so rosy about it. Nostalgia could never blind me to how awful a lot of the humor was back in the 2000s, and a lot of people not making a fuss was really people not caring about who they stepped on or being worried about being singled out for raising an objection. For how many problems Internet culture has today, I think things have gotten better in a lot of important ways.
I know that not everything back then was good times, but there was a few good here and there (I actually enjoy some edgy and lol so random humor.)

kurzov

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Never forget the living fossil that is Gamefaqs. These plain text guides are an invaluable cultural treasure.

Well, if Fandom (the company, that is) doesn't step over it any time soon... (they own GameFAQs now, as I recall)
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williewillus

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I can't speak for the old internet, but in there is a frightening amount of information loss going on in the modern internet. Entire fandoms' worth of creative works and output are locked on platforms like Twitter, Discord, pixiv, etc. And as Twitter demonstrates, you're one madman CEO away from the site imploding and taking priceless fanworks, discussion, etc. along with it. There is no guarantee all the discussion happening on Discord today will be there in 10 years or even 7 or 5.

Someday in 50+ or so years, historians will look back today and there will be a massive black hole in the collective knowledge of the internet because so much of it will have been on a platform that died or otherwise imploded. It's kind of depressing.

You can say "well who cares about the pointless discussions or fanworks we shared on Discord?" The point of history and archival is that you never know what will be important in the future, so you should save and archive as much of it as you can. There's a reason why if you publish a book in most countries, you have to send a copy of it to the government (Library of Congress, etc.) that they will then save in archive. That same rigor isn't applied to the internet, where massive amounts of cultural heritage live.

That's why I still try to post here every so often, edit touhouwiki pages, etc. in an attempt to get things up and archived in the internet archive and other places so they have a slim fighting chance of surviving the ephemerality of closed, proprietary platforms. More people should also learn to host their own websites and put their thoughts and fanworks there too.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2023, 04:27:11 AM by williewillus »

Felis-Licht

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More people should also learn to host their own websites and put their thoughts and fanworks there too.
I thought about doing that myself with my works via neocities since DeviantArt's future is uncertain, but it's hard to find the time for it nor do I know much about coding.

There is an advantage that coding has became easier and easier nowadays. If you just want to host a small personal website then Github Pages (and many other free resources) can be a easy way, and there's really NO lots of coding works required compared to the past, many static website generators like Wordpress and Hexo are available and many of them are free. I often write something on my github pages as a dairy or a notebook.

I completely agree that we should archiving things as much as we can, but somehow what we can actually archive is really a little part of what we have and should be archived. Nowadays web services are becoming more and more uncertain and I always feel unsafe recognizing what a large amount of data I've stored in these services.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2023, 04:29:47 PM by InvFish »

williewillus

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Re: What is the difference between the current internet and the late 2000s of it?
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2023, 02:28:35 AM »
nor do I know much about coding.

I think part of what neocities encourages is just the freedom to set your site up the way you want it -- you could write all the html and css by hand too like people in the 90's used to do it (no code required), and no one can judge you. Building sites by hand was how a lot of older programmers got their start.

Like, my first experience with this was editing the HTML for a Neopets guild 18 years ago :P

I miss ASCII art and kaomojis
I still see some really basic ones being used like ^^ but they've basically been replaced with normal emojis.

   __i.\_/!_
  ゝ, "´⌒`ヽ
   ノ.ノノノハノ〉〉
 |\ルリ! ゚ ヮ゚ノ!
  \ k_(つ'i(つ
 ∠ ,く// i ゝ
   `!,ンィン"´
and ASCII I barely see online now (mostly because it's hard to post them with all the weird formatting in newer social media apps.)

Tom

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Static website generators, GitHub pages and CMS like WordPress do make the web more accessible to those who don't code, however their cookie-cutter nature leads to websites that all look/feel the same.  Sure there's themes and palette swaps but the overall navigation, hierarchy and sitemap doesn't change much.  Probably the main difference between the web today and 20 years ago is that it was much more decentralized into smaller communities that all 'felt like home'.  That has certainly survived today, but tends to be gated behind Discord servers and social media communities which aren't index-able by search engines and have to comply with the platform's whims and demands.