I randomly remembered the title of one of the first blogs I read as a kid. (Probably because it mentioned Gameboy Advance programming). I googled the name, and there was exactly one result: An old list of blogs that happened to link to it. The original website is long gone. I had to go to the internet archive and paste in the URL.
So, think about that. How much of the early internet (roughly 1995-2000) is completely unindexed on Google?
You have to: (A) know that something existed (B) find the URL of it (C) hope that the internet archive has a copy.
Oh, and (D) hope that the internet archive doesn’t ever shut down in the future, deleting the only copy in existence.
Actually, D is really interesting. I’m completely convinced that it’ll happen eventually. It’s kinda stupid to be convinced of it, since there’s no basis for the assumption. But putting that possible calamity aside…
Think about what the internet circa 1997 was: A collection of blogs by people who were computer-savvy and/or smart enough to get online and make a blog. Everyone was interesting, to some degree, at the very least for being weird enough to think that making a blog was a good idea.
I’d love to take a cross-section of the internet at a point in time. I’d like to be able to ask questions like “How did bloggers react to the dot-com bubble collapse?” or “How did bloggers react to the 9/11 incident?” But sadly, unless you download the entire internet archive and start scraping pages, it’s impossible to answer.
Anyway, if you’re curious, here’s the original URL to the blog I mentioned: http://foad.org/asd/log/ and here’s the internet archive backup: https://web.archive.org/web/20060411011716/http://foad.org/asd/log/
I like to think that the blog’s author is out there still, fully-transitioned into a modern internet user, only venturing onto the information superhighway to… I dunno… argue about politics on Facebook or something.