The World Wide Web is relatively young but the concept of the internet – the “global system of interconnected computer networks” – dates back to the 1960s. The US government aimed to build better communication via computer networks but due to size and cost, computing was restricted to academia, the government and private corporations. When the World Wide Web was introduced in 1989, consumer-level computing exploded and technological advancement flourished.
Interest in pop culture from the 1990s is as strong as ever. Preserving digital artefacts is important in learning how we arrived here and Internet Archaeology plan to do that. The site’s creators say their main goal is to acknowledge the importance of these aforementioned artefacts and understand “the beginnings and birth of an Internet Culture”. Their focus lies solely on graphics – both JPEG and GIF – with the belief they are “most culturally revealing and immediate”.
The site hasn’t been updated for a while; collecting dust on already dated content. But it’s remarkable how far internet culture has come since those halcyon days of dial-up and online pizza deliveries. Geocities is no longer with us but opened up a new world to children and adults alike to express themselves and their interests. Most of the images on the site are gawky now but serve a clear purpose. You’ll no doubt relive some memories with what’s on offer and maybe gain some inspiration.
You can find further reading on the subject in the list below the video.
Dynamics of Critical Internet Culture:(1994-2001)
Cyberdemocracy: Internet and the public sphere (downloadable document)
Community and identity in the electronic village
An internet culture?: implications for marketing
Affective dimensions of Internet culture