Sunday, May 31, 2009

Clicking it Old School, Part Two

What I Didn't Do Before MySpace...

Going back to my post from the 24th, another feature of the old days of the web some of you might remember is about to be closed down. I recall seeing some Geocities personal pages, but as enthusiastic as I was about the web, I never made one. Why you ask? I'm not sure of the exact reason 10-15 years ago, but there are a few that spring to mind. One is that I didn't just want a page of links I frequently visited my then-current resume; that seemed kind of dull. Another is that such pages seemed dedicated to anime such as Sailor Moon or TV shows such as "The X-Files" or "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," things I was never into. Some pages were random collections of old toys or beer cans or were dedicated to people's pets. These were things I did not have. Such pages were often titled "Welcome to My Home Page," or "Sarah's Sailor Moon Page," or "Bob's Beer Page" and were decorated with animated gifs. A mailbox gif with an envelope flying in and out of the box was often used as an e-mail link. A banner saying "Under Construction" was often displayed on these pages. A visitor counter that looked like pre-digital car odometers were often included as well.

At the time I would not have had any clue how to have made such a page or what to put on it, and I don't just mean the content or dedicated subject of the page, but also which animated gifs to put on the page. Or perhaps the idea of making such a page just didn't occur to me there and then. As i said, there could have been any number or reasons. With all these pages about to disappear (some already have), I'm beginning to feel glad I won't have to worry about seeing a bunch of content disappear.

Should I shame myself on not having had a personal page when I was one of the first users of the Internet or should I be glad I won't be losing information, or didn't lose it already? Any Geocities pages I stumbled onto before the closing was announced was last updated in 2001 or 2002. I'm now wondering f I would have been that slothful at maintaining my page.

And you could say I came late into the game on blogging and social networks. I came across Facebook last summer and signed up, but barely looked at the site for a few months until I started receiving friend requests in my e-mails. Then I started my blogpage last December, and finally after months of trying I got onto MySpace this past January. I sometimes feel like I'm the only person older than 15 who signed up for MySpace in 2009. It seems like everyone signed up in 2005 or 2006. I'd heard about MySpace then, but didn't even bother looking at the site. I guess I wasn't sure then what I would have put on my page then. Somehow I must have known that MySpace pages would like the early homepages made on Geocities. Many have said Myspace is Geocities 2.0.

Tripod and Angelfire were also used in the old days of the web to create home pages and such pages were also dedicated to a single subject, probably the reason I never used those either. Both of these are still around, but I have come across links (in old Google Groups postings) to personal sites on these two services and one such link was not found. While doing a search for Sea Wees, a toy I had a child, I came across this Tripod page.

I'm now beginning to think I didn't miss much not having one of these pages, rather I just skipped ahead to their successor MySpace.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

What Playing Card Are You?

You Are the Ace of Hearts

Youthful and playful, you love life and the world.

You have a kind spirit, and you bring happiness to everyone you know.

Artistic and bold, you see the world in bright colors.

And you certainly aren't afraid to express everything you see and feel.

You are sentimental, and your emotions are very deep.

You are easily swept away and easily hurt.

A gamble you should take: Blackjack

Your friends would describe you as: Unique

Your enemies would describe you as: Weepy

If you lived in Vegas, you would be: An up and coming chef or fashion designer

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Watercolor Test

You Are Highly Colorful

You are intensely alive and very passionate.

You are optimistic about the world and about people.

You feel very connected to others, and you tend to be a harmonizing force.

You are vibrant and receptive. You are ready for whatever the world has to offer you.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Clicking it Old School, Part One

(Note: This will be an ongoing series of posts, though I am not sure how many or how often. Just as often as I come up with something on this subject. I will still be posting other random subjects as I come up with them, as I chose to make this blog about whatever I think to write on)

Finding others online before MySpace, Facebook, Twitter...

It's now been nearly 15 years since the Internet became of wide use to people, and I was in my final year of college in 1996-1997 (I'd had my old Macintosh Performa since Christmas 1995 and would have it for 10 more years) since I actually got into the online world. I can say I've done most of what the Interent had to offer in its original days. E-mail, chat (through chatrooms and AIM), and posting on Usenet first through Deja News then through Google Groups, after Google acquired Deja's Usenet archive in early 2001 (am still posting to some of these groups, especially the one for the group Yes).

One of the first sites I discovered was an e-mail directory called WhoWhere. Remember this? It was immediately one of my most visited sites in the early web days of the late 1990s. I put my then-current e-mail address on the site and would often look for random people, sometimes based on interests. I got a few replies. You were allowed to create a profile containing interests, hobbies, etc, and you could also write a personal message. I remember writing such a message in which I asked anyone I knew from school who finds me to send me an e-mail. Unfortunately, the only time this worked was with someone I never wanted to hear from again--can we please just leave at that? He said "I'm writing as you requested." Ugh, I though when I received this e-mail in 1998. About the only other e-mail I recall receiving from someone through this site was around 2001. I don't remember the subject, but the sender informed that he or she had found me in the "Lycos e-mail directory." Lycos had acquired WhoWhere in 1998. Here's what remains of WhoWhere now. I hadn't viewed the site since about 2002, so when I looked it up sometime ago, I was suprised to see the link above, with the logo that on the site when I first discovered it in 1996.

Another e-mail directory from the early Internet days was, which Yahoo used for its people search before eventually buying Four11, relaunching it as Yahoo People search and discontinuing the original site. I used that one less frequently, but did include myself on this one as well. I managed to find a few people I knew from school on Yahoo, a few more than I found on WhoWhere.

And I discovered Classmates around 1997 and added myself to that one as well. It wasn't unitl 1999 that I started receiving e-mails form classmates who'd seen me on the site. One from a classmate who's been living in Minnesota (I live in the central coast area of California) whom I had not thought much about until then and and another e-mail form another classmate who informed me and this other classmate of our 10-year high school reunion that year (our 20th is this year).

This was how you found people you knew on the Internet in the days before MySpace and Facebook. Unfortunately e-mail directories did not get all the publicity that Facebook and MySpace would eventually get. Thus the chances of finding classmates on e-mail directories were hit and miss. Whereas today, about half the people in your high-school graduating class are likely to be on Facebook or MySpace, perhaps both. Classmates is amazingly still around, but I have never been able to afford a gold membership and almost never visit it anymore--come to think of it, I'm not sure how often I visited it in the beginning.

Monday, May 18, 2009

What Bathroom Product Are You?

You Are a Comb

You are expressive and outgoing. You like to experiment with your personal style.

You are imaginative and very visual. You like to look good, and you're attracted to beauty.

You are creative and design oriented. You redecorate often, and you like to make yourself over.

You are inventive and extremely original. You do things differently just because it feels good.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Almost a whole month with no posting

Only three posts last month and this is barely my first one for May. Is something like this just common, or am I just another blog deserter? Or am I just short on ideas to express--I say this is all I am. I check my blog list each day and don't always see others posting anything new. So I guess I am not alone. I'm the kind of person who likes to write but often has trouble coming up with ideas to write about. But every writer has that trouble. I believe at one point I'd wanted to become a writer, but that never happened and now I envy anyone who has become one and gotten published. I believe it's too late for me. I used to write when I was younger and have no clue what happened to all that I'd written. Only recently did I begin reading more than I once did. Perhaps if I tried, I could begin writing again?