Remember Wayback When Blogging Was Fun(ny)?

It just struck me that the decade is coming to an end. The most incredible decade imaginable by most anyone’s (born before 1985) standards. It’s also marks a decade of netZoo and WOOZradio. The early days look really funny in retrospect.

2001. Ahhh… the wayback machine.

Just for kicks, let’s take a look at some of the hilarity that masqueraded as my nascent web presence:

  1. netzoo comic sansComic Sans — already sick of the limited web-friendly fonts available, I played a silly trick on the world and used the font that never dare say its own name backwards, or, as one friend righteously recently put it: “Comic Sans is the Mark of The Beast. Shit, I even used it back in 2000 when I went with the Message board-blog hybrid approach (or something).
  2. I wanted to have a list of choice links — but I didn’t want to show my hand in the open. Not amid all the other highly SEO’d meta tagged engaging content on my “home page” (joke). After 9/11 I was a bit more willing to lay it all out there, thought not with quite the hyperlinked artistry of some. Basically, to copy and paste, this is how my linkblock –er, brailleroll — looked in July 2001:

    :: :::::: :: :::: :: ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :::: ::: ::: :::

  3. I was already well-rooted as a snobby lo-fi music buff with an emphasis on Chicago indie. BUT clearly inspired from my stint as Smithsonian Folkways webmaster, I decided to profile my then-favorite albums alongside REAL AUDIO clips. Hahahaha. Mind you, before the mp3 renaissance of the late 90’s, Real Audio streams and broadcast.com were the-coolest-things-ever-invented. Surely these songs sounded better in Comic Sans.
    real audio hahhaha
  4. By ’02 I had mellowed a bit. Live365 offered streaming at higher bandwidths and I focused a bit more on WOOZradio (which in its 10+ year existence has yet to break even for a month. I pay to play your music). What I could never do now that I loved doing then was music listings of concerts that I would go to in Chicago (where I lived) if I could clone myself.

still haven't made a WOOZ logo or stickers or nothing. But I did this rainbowy abomination all by myself
contact: e-mail | icq | AolIM: netZoo

Laugh at me now — I hope you had half as much fun as I had looking back into the past. The CRAZY thing is that our Comic Sans’d, hacked-together framed message board history is only a decade old. Come to think of it I should have stuck with the blank slate blogging style (with illustrations) I switched to around New Years Eve 2000. I guess I’ve been blogging for a while (with a few years off in between). We’ll look at those middle-aughts later (the WordPress years). What a decade its been!

What silly blog skeletons are gathering dust in your archive?

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Using Social Media for Positive Reinforcement: #lovetheclimate giveaway

Over the past few weeks of completely ignoring this blog and much else outside the scope of my work with Live Earth I’ve been swirling in social media madness surrounding our #lovetheclimate giveaway. It’s Global Climate week and we wanted to come up with a fun, positive way to get the word through to U.S. Senators that we need to pass a comprehensive climate bill. And soon. Preferably before the UNCCC in Copenhagen this December. Below are segments of my posts on the giveaway — I’d love it if you could share something. Either way, you’re welcome to enter.

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Love, The Climate GiveawayEnter to win great prizes in our “Love, The Climate” Giveaway by Friday, September 25!

We’ve received hundreds of incredible submissions answering the question: “What would the climate have to say if it were happy and healthy and had a voice?” and thanking our senators from a bright and sunny future for creating a world full of green jobs and renewable energy.

Here’s what you can do:

Post to the Facebook Page
lovetheclimate twitter Tweet a message to your friends with the hashtag #lovetheclimate
magnify Upload a video
flickr Add a photo to our Photo pool
Leave a voicemail at 347-422-6392 or click the Google Voice widget, enter your number and our voicemail will call you!

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The Web Was Always Awesome – Even in 1996

It’s 1996.

People still refer to the new medium by its full name—the World Wide Web—and although you sometimes find interesting stuff here, you’re constantly struck by how little there is to do. You rarely linger on the Web…

Reading this article by Slate technology writer Farhad Manjoo, I’m thinking perhaps I’m just a few years older than the author. Perhaps he didn’t start college yet, or didn’t have access to a good Mac or a PC with Windows 95. Because the 1996 in his story sounds more like 1992 or 1993 to me.

In 1996 I was a junior at the University of Iowa and was already hooked. Netscape was great and the speed of the WEB was sweet. No we weren’t still saying “world wide web” it was “web” or “Internet” and we had also cut the hyper from the link. I was fortunate to be at a Big Ten school with state-of-the-art IT infrastructure throughout, including the Information Arcade (still its name), which opened in 1992 (more about that here. It seemed as though the U. of Iowa benefited uniquely from its location between the U. of Minnesota and Illinois-Champaign, home of the NSCA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications), where Telnet was born, Marc Andreesen and friends hatched Mosaic, and all kinds of crazy history U. of Minnesota is the reason behind the name of the Gopher protocol, which was used to archive and distribute mainly text files via the Internet before being overshadowed by the much richer HTTP.

Jennifer Ringley of Jennicam1996 was the year JenniCam started — it wasn’t a stretch to imagine YouTube 10 years down the line, not to mention the years of crap reality TV in between. ’96 was the first year that I listened to live streaming audio over the Internet. I mean, by 1996 we were already at HTML 3.2, and Netscape was in full force. The PC would finally play nice with the Web using Windows ’95. I lurked on the WELL as it moved from BBS access to web. We all started using hotmail. I started getting hooked on IRC games like Acromania which started moving to the web by ’96 (eventually becoming Acrophobia). The message boards were warming up at the Motley Fool in sync with the rising market.

I studied abroad in Brisbane Australia the second half of 1996 where I was also happy to stay connected in one of several computer labs on campus. I specifically remember watching MLB scores update on ESPN.com just as I would today. I remember listening to .ra real audio files and .mp3 was already spreading. If I recall correctly, some major U.S. papers were already publishing the next days version the night before (of course, Australia is about 15 hours ahead of U.S. time, so the Thursday local paper would wrap up Monday’s news in the States). My online experience was arguably better (and definitely cheaper) at Griffith Uni than it was for individuals like Australian blogger Duncan Riley, and he isn’t buyin’ Farhad’s tri-dub putdown either.

It’s safe to say that I was blown away daily by something I came across online since I first set school on campus in 1993 (I was fortunate to have been connecting to BBS during high school and later thru AOL before the thrill of the fat university pipes). Sure the pages loaded slow. But by ’96 you could easily disable images. I could go on and on.

I digress but It’s fun to reminisce and late winter is always a sentimental time. I’m just sayin 1996 wasn’t all Buddy Chat and janky modem sounds. And I expect to continue to be blown away on a daily basis for the next ten years and beyond.

WWW image via Fifth International World Wide Web Conference website. Jenni screenshot via worshiptheglitch.