Precursors of the web and social media on Geocities

Wednesday 6th March, 2024 - Bruce Sterling

*It’s like discovering that wax cylinders once held popular music.

*Olia Lialina:

“Those who don’t remember the web before platforms, tend to believe that for 10 years web users stared at their monitors in anticipation. Actually they were made to believe it. First by Web 2.0 proponents, and nowadays by aggressive Web3 campaigns that rewrite the history by stating that Web1 was a dull, passive, read only place.

“Though, the opposite was the truth, the web before platformization was the place where users owned, wrote and also read.

“In this post I collected a lot of screenshots that refute the picture or “read only” web before or outside of social networks and hosting services. The websites they represent were tagged by me during the last 13 years as “before_…”. For example “before_ wikipedia”, “before_ebay”, “before_airbnb”. Not all the tags are mentioned here. Also not all the files that we have for a particular tag are represented. I hope it gives an idea of web users being able to organize their own content and provide services to each other.”

“Let’s start with