When I was in school, I studied history. Web development was something I did on the side. But lo and behold, it eventually turned into my full-time gig and career. Still, I’ve always been fascinated by the web’s history. Over the years, I’ve been drawn to these stories, amazed by the leaps and bounds we have taken over the years. A few years ago, I started keeping track of them in a more or less formal way, gathering together as many links as I could.
The web’s history is fairly unique. It is at once extremely ephemeral and still nascent. The web was born as a document based medium. One of the features of this medium was that documents can disappear. And they often do. So even as the web rapidly advances, pieces of it get lost over time. Some moments have crystallized and stayed at the forefront of the web’s development. Others have receded into the background.
The goal of this site is to collect these moments and stories and start to build as complete a timeline as is possible. I’ll be gathering together the areas of the web history I’ve already dived into and starting to explore brand new areas. Along the way, I’ll share stories plucked from this research to start structuring a basic narrative about the moments that have been lost, and the ones that have not.