Have you noticed how much shit the internet has become now? (2007)

sen_armstrong | 74 points

> > Geocitites

> Oh yes, the 90's was so much better...

Yes they were, because geocities didn't control your search results and did not force you to donate 10 seconds to some creepily targeted ad before serving any multimedia experience.

I'm not going to say technology was better, nobody misses Realmedia, but the internet was more like a street than a mall. You could look at some weird art or look at some interesting offers, it was up to you.

Now you have the illusion of autonomy in a carefully crafted walled garden of ads. Or rather: freedom is more easily found offline.

sigg3 | 4 months ago

“It is said that what is called "the spirit of an age" is something to which one cannot return. That this spirit gradually dissipates is due to the world's coming to an end. For this reason, although one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation.”

Tsunetomo Yamamoto, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai via goodreads

f_allwein | 4 months ago

The purpose of posting this may be to reiterate that old canard about "twenty years ago, people were saying what we're saying now, therefore it isn't true." If not, I apologize for assuming so. In any case, my reading is, it was true in 2007, and it is much worse now. The predictions about centralization were incorrect only in the names of some of the players, and in not having the benefit of knowing about the role of mobile devices in consolidating and controlling attention.

karaterobot | 4 months ago

'07 was the height of Google's cat-and-mouse game with webspammers. It'd degrade to near-uselessness for a month or two, suddenly get a ton better, repeat. This went on though the whole of the middle years of the '00s.

'08 or '09 is when they seemed to surrender that fight, and just give up on indexing the entire Web. Major sites got a huge boost, and a great deal of the Web seemed to just drop off the index entirely. Google's never been really good since.

bamfly | 4 months ago

It is interesting to see that every time there has been another layer of commercialization on the internet everyone thinks it was better before.

Linking a 4chan archive on here is a uuhh bold move, I think its a fun snapshot of the time but still

AnEro | 4 months ago

Kind of like radio (hello, ClearChannel) or TV.

There are still a few holdouts from corporatism. On radio, there's KKUP (online at https://kkup.org/) which has no ads and does all kinds of weird shit.

We need the equivalent of the 88 MHz - 92 MHz band on FM that's reserved for non-profit stations, and you know that in a strange city you can dial around and find something there. Equivalent things do exist on the Web, but it needs to be easier to find them.

Yes, you do get religious stations and NPR, but there are also college radio stations and oddballs like KKUP.

AlbertCory | 4 months ago

Google and search in general is definitely worse than 10 years ago. It seems like I can’t find anything useful now. Years ago a few searches could turn up very arcane and niche data. Nowadays it’s like it never even existed.

mberning | 4 months ago

As someone who came of age in the era the OC waxes nostalgic about, I can't find a lot to recommend about this post, nor do I think it's accurate. From where I sit, the internet today is richer, more diverse, and more accessible than it was in the 90's, the 00's, or the 10's.

Consider that one of the top links on HN is the OpenMW project. What a great project. If I want to go deep on that, there's a forum with a wiki, a discord and an IRC and a public gitlab.

I don't want to go deep on that. But there are literally hundreds of thousands of communities into which I could dive deep, some of which I do. I've been involved in home hydroponics groups, poker forums, online chess study groups, an Everquest emulation community, community-run RTS and fighting game tournaments.

I've dug into sites hosting side-by-side translations of the Tao Te Ching, Soto Zen communities, forums for recovering from addiction.

I've found music and books and events that I never otherwise would have found.

I've learned to read rudimentary Japanese using web apps. I've vastly improved my classical guitar form using YouTube channels.

... and on and on and on. I'm on this wonderful internet every day for much of my day, co-creating communities with other people.

There are deep, rich, giving communities everywhere on the internet today, not gated behind walled gardens. I wouldn't describe these as "shit" (or the homophobic slur the author seems think constitutes peak internet diction).

I'm glad these communities also existed in the 90's. Personally I grew up into things like the Quake 2 modding community and MUDs. Great stuff. I'm glad the internet has continued to grow and thrive and has evolved into what it is today.

edit: correction, by "more accessible" I meant "discoverable." I genuinely don't know whether or not the internet is more or less supportive of visually impaired users, for example (I can imagine it being far worse).

jknoepfler | 4 months ago

He was very right. And if he's around in 2023, things are immensely worse than 2007 too.

coldtea | 4 months ago

Internet, just as cinema, television, books, people, travels, etc needs you to become aware of what you want from it. Honestly, if we consider the Internet[/the Web] as a kind of information utopia, it can definitely be!

I will cite a quote [that I think is] from William Gibson: "The absolute most important skill to master in those days is to find the correct words to type in Google". I will add: "don't let anyone choose them for you !!!"

lolive | 4 months ago

Well "hacker news" is basically a VC promo - does anyone care?

archsurface | 4 months ago