A Beginner’s Internet

Did anyone else chat on wbs.net during its infamy in the 1990s? I don’t expect replies on this, but I recall wbs (WebChat Broadcasting System) being the first major site outside of a search engine (which i think was Lycos, but I’m not sure) I ever visited on the “world wide web”. And the first chat room I ever visited was the Christian room on wbs.net under the handle “purple martin”. Ah, those were the days. I met my first boyfriend through wbs, now that I think of it. I posted the logo of my high school one day (when copyright law, privacy, and safety were obviously not hot issues to 14 year olds—and I suppose not many teens care now anyway) and he messaged me because he recognized the logo. The rest, as they say…

So anyway, I just had a gleeful time on this wiki page. Ah how fun the days of early internet. I’m shocked I haven’t found it before, actually. I wonder if there’s one on NetCentral.net where I met my second and third serious boyfriends (okay wow… that’s a theme… and this is pathetic. Holla CCM boys!).

Alrighty, I just looked for a wiki on it and none exists. So, if any former NetCentral peeps are out there in my small and limited readership… a new wiki can be your claim to fame. PsYcHoPuRpLeGiRl (don’t laugh! I was 14!) says “Do it.”

Speaking of early internet, by the way… I was reading an article on online blogging software and online blog hosts (like blogger.com for instance) and I came across a fact that makes me feel old. The first online blogging agent was pitas.com (and if you go there now you can see essentially the very same layout that was there when it started). Well, believe it or not, I had a blog on pitas.com and then on its contemporary, diaryland (which I called “dairyland” in my head for a few years until I made myself see straight. Don’t blame me! Their flowery layout would make anyone say “moo”!). All journaling included, I’ve used: the aforementioned, angelfire, blogger, movabletype, xanga, myspace, and wordpress. That’s also allowing for overlap, forgotten applications, and blogs self-made without the use of a content management system. So from about 1996-2006 I’ve been writing crap down for public consumption. God knows I hope it’s more digestible now than it was a decade ago!

So when you first got online, what did you do? What do you remember? What was your first social interaction online like and what name did you go by, if any? When did you start being “public” with your thoughts or creativity? What are some of your random memories?


11 thoughts on “A Beginner’s Internet

  1. You were purple martin?? I talked to you all the time!! Hehe… ok, maybe not…

    I started using BBSs in the early/mid 90s… but never really made a name for myself there, was pretty anon. I’m sad to admit that my family used AOL when it first came out (although, I guess that was acceptable back then) and pretty much chatted there all the time. I don’t think I actually made a web page till college though (gave me free web space) so that wasn’t till 98/99 or so. It wasn’t really until I started blogging in 2003 that I felt like I had an actual legit online presence… cause my web pages sucked!

  2. We had Prodigy way back in the early days, and it wasn’t really “the internet”, but you could e-mail people with it. You didn’t even get to choose your screen name. It was automatically generated and made no sense. I didn’t start blogging until a little over a year ago though. :)

  3. Oh my, what a blast from the past! I was at wbs.net but it didn’t feature much in my online life; but Arcadium.com did — it introduced me to chat and online socialization. I’ve been on Geocities (I remember the neighbourhoods with much nostalgia), Angelfire, Tripod, Blogger and Pitas — although I didn’t start blogging (make that journalling, full stop) until 2001.

    I have been on the WWW since 1997, and making websites since c.1998. I can’t say that my knowledge of markup has improved any significantly since those days, though!

    Anyway; maybe I should introduce myself. I’ve known your site 400k.net from (I think?) Forever-Inspired.net boards, quite a few years already! Recently dropped in to see what you were up to, and am now following your journal. I hope that’s alright. I don’t say much, and reckon I’m rather affable.


  4. Mattithyahu: I have a theory. Bad things are called “web pages” and cool nerdiness is called a “website”. so there’s the defining moment. You went from “web page” to “website” :) Bravo!

    Andy: You’re the kind of guy I bet I ran into once in the 90s and we just never connected until 2001. By the way, my mother mentioned you tonight(?!) Don’t you feel special?

    Jennifer: I definitely had Prodigy, but never really used it much. Don’t you love dialup? Okay nevermind. I can’t even fake a love for dialup.

    Vega: hidee ho neighbor! thank you for commenting. How fabulous it is to see someone from forever-inspired. That must’ve been over three years ago now eh? Did you have the same name? I want to make sure I know who I’m talking to *blush*. By the way, I visited your lovely site and I was very blessed by your Adonai subdomain. Scripture is so alive that reading it online is still as powerful as reading it in-hand. That is a great collection of Scripture you’ve collected. Keep it going!

    Matt: I’ll see what I can do for you and your shift key. I’ll check out that page ;)

    Oh yes, Tripod! I had one of those too.

  5. Julia: Yes, Vega was my name at F-I boards. Still is my name anywhere in the WWW, really. I’m glad you were blessed by Adonai! All those verses have made an impact on my life at a specific time and/or place, and are particularly special to me.

  6. Hey there, just wanted to say that we have a few members that used to drop by the Christian room at wbs that are regulars at our place that come and chat. :)Actually we built the site because my husband Mike used to chat in the old Spirituality room and missed it so much that he decided to give it a go himself.(Funny that I’m posting right after another fiery name lol, but I’m not the same one.)

    Everyone’s very welcome and it’s free, no pop up ads or anything. The site’s called The Megaphone , so please feel free to drop by anytime and see if you see any familar names. :)

    take care

Comments are closed.