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What the Internet looked like in 2000

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By Dillon Wallace

Surfing the web before the millennium


Beep-boop-bop-beep-eeeeekkkkrrr-ding-dang-dong-pshhhhhhhhhhhhhhkkkkhhhhhkkkkkhhhh. 


If you tried getting on the internet around the year 2000, that was the beautiful connection tone of 56k dail-up you were privy to hearing. It was music to the ears for web goers before the new millennium. it was also painstakingly slow with a terrible user interface and horrid design. 


But in 2000, the internet was young. Maybe not in its infancy but still in its toddler years, mastering the crawl and attempting to walk. So let’s take a trip back to the days where boy bands were swooning the hearts of teenie boppers everywhere, where cargo pants were a closet staple and oversized shirts blaring huge clothing brand logos were our fashion flags as we loitered at the local malls. Let’s revisit the World Wide Web as it was in 2000.


What’s a Google?

In 1998, a couple of Stanford students decided to create a search engine company for this relatively new thing called, the Internet (back when it was still capitalized). By 1999, the Google Beta was out for users to “Search the web using Google.” Maybe those two Ph.D. students knew the extent of what they had created. Maybe not. But by 2000, Google was just a baby and people everywhere were asking “what’s a Google?” Oh, how far we’ve come ...


Dancing baby

But, speaking of babies … do you remember the dancing internet baby? Also known as Baby-Cha-Cha, this 3D rendered and diaper cladded dancing baby became one of the internet’s first viral videos. Before there was Youtube, before memes and GIFs, you had that weird little dancing baby.


@yahoo.com  & @hotmail.com

If you were going to surf the web back in 2000, you needed an email address. And chances are you were one of those people who had a ridiculous address like C00LDuD3@yahoo.com or Hawttstuffz@hotmail.com. It’s okay, you weren’t the only one who chose a stupid moniker. Why do you think you had to put a number 16 on the end of it? Because apparently there were 15 other people who had the same dumb name idea you did.


AOL instant messenger (AIM)

For a lot of kids, typing or computer class at school is where they learned proficient keyboard skills. For teenagers in the late 90s/early 2000s, Instant Messenger is where you mastered your keyboard skills. Having to jumble between 6 open IM conversations made your fingers learn the keys real quick. It was like texting your friends before texting was even a thing. Also if your sleek smartphone was replaced by a giant desktop computer.


Terrible websites (flash players and sprites)

If you were to visit your favorite website back in the early internet days, you’d find that most of the web pages were filled with scrunched links, pixelated images and terrible search bars. They looked more like something out of the classifieds section of a newspaper, which makes sense when you think about it since that’s probably how they based a lot of the original design. It also didn’t help that almost any website animation required you to update your flash player, even though you could have sworn you just updated it.


Illegal .MP3 sites

We’ve all become spoiled with how easy it is to access our favorite songs thanks to Spotify and Pandora. In fact, streaming and downloading from those sites is common practice now, for a low subscription per month. Oddly enough, they can probably attribute their success to the likes of Napster and Limewire, two illegal downloading sites that first introduced people to the easy accessibility of mass music file sharing and downloading. BTW, we’re all still mad at you Metallica – sincerely, original Napster users.


 

 

What was once slow, cumbersome and only accessible for a few, has now been replaced by something speedy, sleek and openly accessible to everyone, like the second coming of water. And for some (most) that’s what the internet has become, a necessity. It’s how we brand, market, sell, communicate, share, listen, watch, learn and more.

 

And over the last 20 years, the internet isn’t the only piece of tech to drastically improve.

 

The way we shoot and view photos and video is much different now, too. Which is why it’s the perfect time to bring your old film reels, video tapes and photos into the digital age by digitizing them. Our qualified team of professionals can safely convert them, so, you can share them on that same internet that was once synonymous with a dancing baby and hotmail.com


Don’t believe the list? Go ahead and check out the official website for Space Jam, which still exists untouched in all its 1996 glory.

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