When I crawl into bed at night to go to sleep, I fall into the trap so many of us do, and I bring my laptop, iPad, or phone with me. On my good nights, I just open up my Kobo to check in on the latest Jack Reacher novel I’m reading, but there are many nights I waste time browsing the same crap I browsed earlier in the day like it really changed all that much.
To help me cut down on browsing so much, I’ve been limiting my time online before bed to reading magazines. I head over to Archive.org and browse old scans of magazines and wallow in the nostalgia. Here lately, I’ve been reading Yahoo Magazine, a largely forgotten magazine put out by Yahoo in the late 90’s/early 2000’s.
It’s a tremendous read if you are interested in how perception of the internet has changed, as well as the trends, and optimism that existed when the net first emerged. I love seeing old statistics of the most active newsgroups, most popular websites, or records set in AOL Chats with celebrities like Rosie O’Donnell.
The only thing that is disappointing about reading Yahoo Magazine is there will be write ups and lists of interesting websites. Yep, that’s right, in the early days of the internet, magazines actually printed full URLs to help guide folks to sites worth checking out. Sometimes, these lists or articles will include some really great sounding websites and of course, they almost always are no longer valid. If you’re lucky there might be something on [Archive.org](http://www.archive.org), but odds are you’ll have to just read and dream of what a fun, quirky, weird place the web used to be.
One example would be Backflip.com, a site that would allow you to save bookmarks, which it would crawl and then automatically file into categories. You could then have your own personal search engine for your saved bookmarks, pretty cutting-edge stuff in 1999. Now Backflip.com is a boring business that helps folks sell stuff on eBay.