The Internet has changed quite a bit in the last 10-15 years. Nowadays, a computer without Internet access is practically useless. My cellphone has more RAM and a faster Internet connection than the computer I used 13 years ago, but I use my cellphone less than that computer. Computers themselves have gone from being frequently horizontal to regularly vertical. Anyway, here’s my rambled list that I’m sure is missing a lot (and no, these do not apply to every webpage online, just general trends). Feel free to add any changes you’ve seen with a comment:

  • Ugly Geocities pages have become ugly MySpace pages
  • Changes at Excite are not as exciting as those at Google
  • Annoying animating GIFs have become annoying Flash animations
  • Internet rings have been replaced with excessive reciprocal links
  • MUD is once again something that gets on your boots
  • Went from 1% of developers knowing about W3C Standards to 5%
  • Went from 0.2% of developers actually following standards to 1%
  • Java applets are dying; robust JavaScript applications are coming alive
  • Frontpage is nearly dead
  • People who have two phone lines, one dedicated to dialup, were “tech savvy” and are now “behind the times”
  • Email costs have stayed the same but US stamps have gone from $0.29 to $0.41
  • Email is now spammed more than snail mail
  • People who say “AJAX” aloud are now considered knowledgeable about webpages rather than idiots with bad grammar
  • The two most popular browsers changed from IE and Netscape to IE and Firefox
  • The font tag has died, but word has been slow to get around
  • Forums went from mostly useful with some flaming to mostly flaming with some useful posts
  • The majority of webpages looked like haphazard pseudo-HTML; now they’re haphazard pseudo-HTML generated by sloppy PHP
  • HTML discussions went from talking about the pixel-perfect table layouts to fluid, expanding, and customizable CSS layouts
  • Sites were about reading; now sites are about participating
  • Sites appeared stagnant; now sites are always evolving
  • Dynamic, server-side code was rarely shared; now APIs are practically mandatory
  • The question to ask was “Are you connected to the Internet?” and is now “Do you have a blog?”
  • The Internet was millions of computers interconnected through mostly copper wiring; now the Internet is a series of tubes

1 Response to “Summary Of Internet Changes In Fifteen Years”

  1. 1 Bernie Zimmermann

    Haha. Great list! I especially liked the stuff about standards.