In 1995, commercialization, a swelling population, and the multimedia revolution began to shape Web 1.0 and the modern Internet. 1988–94 represent the final years of a much smaller, non-commercial, and text-dominated Internet.
The users of this era were not only programmers, physicists, and university residents—they were also tinkerers, early-adopters, whiz kids, and nerds. Their conversations and documents—valiantly preserved by digital archivists—are fractured across numerous services, increasingly offline-only, and incredibly voluminous (100GB+).
wwwtxt digs deep and resurrects the voices of these digital pioneers as unedited, compelling, and insightful 140-character excerpts.
Who are you? And why do this?
There are several reasons I curate these texts, notably:
- to shed light on a moment of great importance experienced by relatively few
- to revisit a place that I knew well in my youth with an analytical mind
- to draw parallels between the (online) society of the past and today
- to trace and document the origins of net culture
What are your sources?
Some messages are modified for length and clarity, but the original author’s intention is always maintained.