I am writing a blog post every day from December 1st to December 24th, 2021, about a blogger whose writing or site I follow. My aim for this series is to help you discover new blogs and to help get the word out about content creators whose blogs I appreciate. You can read more about this series in the inaugural Day 1 post.
The History of the Web (thehistoryoftheweb.com)
The World Wide Web has been around long enough now for people to start growing up without experiencing some of the earlier innovations that got us to where we are today. It sometimes amazes me that the iPhone is only 10 years old. The World Wide Web is only 30 years old. Because these technologies are so recent, many of us have lived quite a large portion of our lives with these technologies around. This will not be the case in decades to come though. To make sure that people know about the roots of the web—how it got started and how the world moved online—we need people to document its history. The History of the Web is doing a great job at just that: writing and documenting the web in its early days.
The History of the Web is my go-to blog when I want to read about internet history. The blog is story-focused, with each blog post aiming to guide you through a moment in time that had an impact on the web. The History of the Web has covered topics from hot sauce being sold on the internet to the era when browsers were just being developed. For younger readers, or those without a knowledge of the early web, the browsers from the '90s may have names that you have never heard of, or have only heard of ironically. That doesn't mean they were not significant: just that times have changed and the browser industry has evolved.
The web is the ideal channel through which its history should be documented. The History of the Web can hyperlink to different stories, allowing readers to easily explore related concepts. There is even a timeline that paints a chronological picture of certain events that changed the way we collectively think and thought about the web. For example, I just learned that the WorldWideWeb Browser, the first-ever web browser, was released on December 25, 1990.
By focusing on stories, I find History of the Web's blog easy to read. I don't just go there to learn a specific thing about the origin of the web. I go to the site knowing that I'm about to learn something I would maybe never have known about the web. All of the stories on the blog are backed up with citations to other resources you can use to learn more about a topic, if you want to dive deeper.
To begin, I would recommend these articles:
- What Does AJAX Even Stand For?
- Hot Hot Hot Sauce
- Feeling Lonely on the Net
- What Happened to the Webmaster
There are so many articles to explore on this site. As I write, I have bookmarked a few for later reading. The author also does monthly round-ups where you can find links to other interesting web resources. As if the deep repository of content on The History of the Web was not enough to explore, the round-ups will send you deeper into the rabbit hole of internet history.
Documenting the web in long-form writing like the content on The History of the Web helps us preserve stories, moments, and events that changed the web. I love how The History of the Web links to other documents and web pages that tells a narrative further. I have read news articles from over a decade ago that talked about the web thanks to some of those links.
I want to conclude with a quick thank you to all internet historians for the work you do to archive the web, whether you write about the web, archive web pages, or provide assistance to the cause. Archiving web pages big job but an important one too.
Other posts in this series
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