“Hey, why should I be on the Internet?”

“By the time I am in college, the internet will be our telephone..”


“shopping centers…”

“and workplace.”

“And it’s already got more stuff on it than you can possible imagine.”

Pretty obvious, right? You might be reading this on your phone at work. Gartner already charted this?

This is what some fifth graders said in 1995.

The kids who did this PSA were from Ray Bjork school in Helena, Montana.

They even suggest the prominent role of cats on the internet, is Carolynn’s cat “Bandit” prophetic too?

I squinted to try and pick put the URL of that Feline Information page – it is http://www.best.com/~sirlou/cat.shtml Yes, this is the internet of the 1990s. People’s web pages live in tilde space.

Sadly, Best.com, and it’s collection of personal expressions in ~ spaces, is no more, it’s a domain for sale. It’s lost history.

But because the internet is so big on an unimaginable scale, we have the Internet Archive, which brings that dead Feline Information Page back to life (the page is dead, not the cat).

I’m hardly the first to figure out where to find the Feline Information Page.


Without doing the homework, I suggested a good news story would be to see where those kids are today.

And a few hours later, look what that internet provides; it’s been done!

I’ve been doing some internet archeology for an upcoming talk where I hope to show what the internet of 1995, 1996 was like. There is a lot of stuff like those 1990s kids like some modern teens made fun of reacting to leading me to mash them up and turn it around.

Actually I had not found the one of the 1995 kids. I was actually trying to track down information on what was possible or watching video on the web in the mid 1990s, way way before YouTube. It was right about the time that NetScape introduced plug-ins to the browser, where watching a video meant you did not have to leave the browser for a “helper application”. The Real Time Streaming Protocol was proposed, and Real Networks was out early as a means for watching live video streams. Apple had done live QuickTime streaming of concerts in 1995 and 1996.

Indeed, those kids were right in so many ways.

Here in 2015, the internet has even way way way way more stuff on it than you can possible imagine.

Even as people still regularly, even more regularly put content on the internet and later rip it down, throw it away, without any sense or appreciation for how this moment now will be seen in 20 years.

The Internet Archive deserves our appreciation and support; if there ever was some kind of Nobel Prize for the Internet, it would win. Let’s Lock The Web Open … for the future.

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

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