“Ready to surf the web?”

For the individual study that I am working on at The University Of Mary Washington, I am looking at the way  people talked to each other on the Internet in the 90s. This is a little complicated because most of the chat rooms on the Internet have not been archived, or didn’t really get going until the 2000s. I’ve been using the Way Back Machine to research a few forums that were available back then. I’m probably going to use most of what I find through this search engine to base my replication of forums because the forums are mostly a basic design. To figure out how people on the Internet talked to each other in the 90s, I’m going to do a little research with books and journals that describe how people communicated over the Internet in the 90s.

I’ve been playing around with Alta Vista in the Way Back Machine so here is some of that.


So this is the home page for Alta Vista. There was a lot of exclamation points, so I’m going to take note of that, of course. I decided to click “Contests” because right below the image, it says “Make me Laugh

Who doesn’t love to laugh? So I decided to continue going and clicked the first “funny” in the hypertext links. And I honestly did laugh because the use of exclamation points just makes me giggle. You can view them below.

I’m going to continue to play around with Alta Vista in the Way Back Machine, but I also Google’d my question “How did forums look in the 90s?” And found a few forums about this exacttopic. Most of the posts are people reminicing about the slow dial up and having to take hours to download anything. However, there weren’t very many screen shots or links after the first one that I followed. The link was for the Way Back Machine’s archive of that exact forum, but from 1997!  The statistics are laid out on the top of the page, but most of the images are broken and don’t load correctly.


And we can even continue down the webpage to see how the forum was laid out. Still, we see many exclamation points, but most of the posts are surrounding the topic of the original forum, computer hardware tech.

Most of the links don’t go to any discussion, but I feel as though I can get a bit more information about how people talked to each other on the Internet, especially in the forums. I’m going to keep researching, and I hope to compile everything that I have gathered so far into a research paper that I can use to help create my forum replication.

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