When someone says either interweb, internets, or ethernest my mind has a tendency to zoom and flutter about thinking of all of the websites I frequent: Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, FineDiningandBreathing, YouTube, and I am sure all of you are familiar with the likes of Pinterest, StumbleUpon, 4chan if you suck, myriad music blogs, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Sporcle if anyone still does that… But when I think of this, I realize that most of these websites were not around when I was younger, or if they were I simply did not know of their existence. So what the hell did I do with all my time on the erstwhile internet? Because I know when I get tired of all of the aforementioned sites, that’s it, game over, I’m out of internet and it’s time to move on.
But the truth of the matter is that the internet was glorious before all of these things clouded out what was truly important. So I am here to give you a list, in no particular order, of the 9 most important ways I used the internet as a budding sapling in the forest that was the internet.
If you were trying to go check out some hilarious stuff, this was hands down the place to go. As a young’n a bunch of stuff on here was pushing it slightly as to what I should have been exposed to, but man this was hilarious. From The End of Ze World, to Got Rice? all the way back to Star Wars Kid…this was the place to go. (Also some good articles, games, etc) (Sidebar: Anyone still go on this site? No? Me neither)
Wow. This website took up an enormous amount of my time. Who knew games could be so simple yet so, for lack of a better term, addicting. We all remember the classics like Mini-Putt, Helicopter, Driver’s Ed, Curveball, N-Game, and The Idiot Test. But the thing is, there were thousands of games at your disposal and the opportunities were endless. (If you’re reading this and getting your hopes up to go back and check it out, watch out, Nickelodeon owns the site now…yikes)
No, I’m not talking about those sometimes hilarious eCards you see on facebook. I am talking about a good ole fashion movie/card hybrid that aunts, uncles, and Grandparents were all over (at least mine were…) These things were classic, they were cute and adorable, but to my knowledge have since disappeared. A casual gimmick that has run its course, and if I received one in my e-mail today I would be quite underwhelmed.
4) Homestar Runner
Um. If any of you is reading this right now and doesn’t know what this is, you might as well stop reading. That, or just go watch everything on this website. From Strong Bad e-mails to Teen Girl Squad to all sorts of clips and stuff, puppet stuff, and Marzipan’s answering machine. Not to mention Trogdor and the unreal clip that occurs when you click “first time here?” Okay, I am starting to realize that FDAB needs to give at least a whole post dedicated to this website alone. My god. Pure gold.
I feel like this one was pretty underrated, but if you missed this one, you missed out big. It had everything from The Best Football Game Ever (yes that was the actual title, and if you can find this game on the internet for me somewhere, I will give you an honorary mention in the next post), John Elway Slalom, Jet Slalom, and then a bunch of others. Somehow this website went away and we are all worse for it.
6) Kazaa, Morpheus etc.
Remember when torrenting was not frowned upon at all? Remember when my Dad was actually the one to install this on our computer? Remember downloading a ton of music with the utmost of ease and proceeding to create countless 20 track mix cds and putting them in your discman? Because I do. This program was absolute sorcery to my 11 year old mind. I now have come to realize that this is just a torrent, but this was a simpler time and I did not take advantage of it as much as I should have. Though these programs led to the demise of many of my friends’ computers, it never hurt mine so I fully support it still.
Was I the only one who screwed around making free websites all the time? Okay, maybe not all the time, but I certainly made my fair share. Again, something that used to be free, but now the world is making us pay for. It bothers me. Now these were not the most complex websites of all time, but they got the job done, you could post pictures, text, and anything else simple and share them with the world. And by world I mean the two friends I had at the time (Shout out to http://www.krustytable.com)
8) Eskimo Bob
Again, unreal classic that I think went underrated. This was short, brief, and to the point. Tracking a tale of two eskimos who go around clubbing seals and poking walruses, Eskimo Bob was an instant classic. Each clip was only about 30 seconds long so it was perfect for those of us children with short attention spans. If you missed the boat on this one, I won’t be too too upset with you, but you certainly missed a gem.
Did you really think I wasn’t gonna go there? Oh my, was this ever the greatest thing of all time. Screennames, away messages, buddy profiles, warning people just to mess with them, budddy icons, SmarterChild, chatrooms, the unreasonable limit of how quickly you could send messages, and then needing to wait for the red to become green again, the invisible button so you could lie about being online, and so on. I was strongly against facebook chat when it came out, I wanted to hold onto AIM forever. I would still go back and use it if I could, but sadly the world has moved on, and I was forced as well to resign.
Yeah, yeah, okay maybe I missed a couple, like RuneScape or whatever else idiots did on the computer, but this is the list that mattered to me and I stand by it. But I also notice that most of these are shenanigans of the past for me. Even though they once stood tall as the greatest morsels of etherweb there was, other sites came in and took them over. So looking forward I wonder if the sites we love so much today will exist in 5 or 9 years. Only time will truly tell.
Post-script Honorable Mentions: Candystand.com (specifically their mini-golf game which was arguably better than the addictinggames one), Askjeeves.com Penelopetaynt.com, Nobby Nuss, and Netscape Navigator
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