As this blog post reports, my son Felix started school 10 years ago today. He’s changed a fair bit since this blogs started. So has pretty much everything else. 10 years ago, the blog side of DragonDrop.org was mainly for words and the ‘watchcam’ section was the main event, where I’d painstakingly download via infrared then uploaded via cuteFTP, thousands of tiny images from my WQV-10 watchcam. Back then, a mobile phone with a camera was unheard of and I loved the notion of always having a camera on me. I still do, although it’s in the form of a phone, nowadays. I did do a lot of regular short and snappy blogging – perhaps more frequent than my current average – until I embarqued on my ‘I’m going to blog every day’ mission, at least.
By virtue of the chronologically ordered automation of the blogging systems I’ve used, I’ve got a record of the actual content – but – the web design itself has changed a fair few times. This is akin to re-decorating your house. The rooms are the same shape, but you’ve decorated and bought a new bookcase. The books are still the same – perhaps a few more, but the environment where they live, is different. Sometimes the changes have been subtle, sometimes sweeping, and it’s often gone undocumented – by me that is. That’s where I’m very grateful indeed for a feature of the Internet Archive organisation called ‘The Way Back When Machine’. Since the year 2000, every page on this site has been ‘snap-shotted’ 97 times. It’s not perfect – I largely suspect this is due to a big server crash I had a few years ago -but it’s amazing to see how much it’s moved on (as depicted above).
Of course, it’s not just my site that’s undergone this rigorous scriptoria, pretty much every public site you can think of has been lovingly preserved in virtual formaldehyde for all eternity. Check out MTV, partying like it’s 1999 , or The BBC from 10 years ago this month, where Bush vowed that the “space programme would go on” in the wake of the Columbus disaster.
It’s not just the fabric of the internet that’s been sleeplessly updating all these years, our browsers have as well. Legitimate “I began web surfing in the 90s” card holders will remember things like Netscape Navigator – if you do, you may get a little trip down memory lane kick out of this site : The Evolution of The Web .
Writing this, searching through the sidebars of yesteryear and reviewing the content of years gone by has made me think – if it’s all moved on so much in the last 10 years or so… what’s it all going to look like in another 10?