Saturday, April 3, 2010

How the Internet Has Improved Since the Late '90s

I'm essentially stuck in my room for a little while, so, I'm just writing this post out of boredom. I won't say the reason why I'm stuck, other than that it's not any sort of punishment. If I were being punished, I wouldn't be writing this right now. This is something that I've had on my mind for a while, so, I figured, why not post about it?
Now, for the topic at hand. Most of you know that the Internet as we know it has been around for more than a decade. I still remember when I first started going on there. I found some amazing stuff, most (though not all) of which is now gone. The first two sites I remember going on was Humongous Entertainment's official sites, which was at, and Scholastic's official page for The Magic School Bus at I didn't find either of those pages through a Web search; I just saw the URLs on the covers of their media, and remembered them.
The first thing I remember typing into a search engine was "Scooby-Doo," and I found some great sites then, too. However, back then, search engines weren't what they are now. I remember typing "The Magic School Bus" into some search engine--Lycos, Infoseek, or something like that--and getting several pages of nothing but links to's pages on the MSB computer games. I was just a kid then, but I knew that there was a lot more to that franchise than just computer games. (A modern equivalent would be doing a search for something like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings and finding nothing but sites about the video games.)
Despite later success with typing "Mork and Mindy" into a search engine, which was how I found Mork & Mindy Online, search engines still were somewhat wonky. I remember back in Summer of 1999, when we had just gotten Internet at home, and my mom wanted me to find information about the wren. So, I typed "wren" as well as "North American Birds" into Yahoo!, and didn't find anything close to what she was looking for. I wasn't doing anything different than I had done when I was looking for Scooby-Doo or Mork & Mindy, yet the results were nowhere near as pleasing. My mom claimed that I wasn't trying as hard as I did when I wanted to find stuff that I liked, and, although she was wrong, I can understand why she would have thought that. It was just because they were still working out the kinks of search engines.
Nowadays, you can pretty much find whatever you're looking for with a Google search. I'm thankful for that, because it makes looking up stuff online for other people much easier. Google hasn't always been as good as it is now, but I'm sure they'll continue to improve it for years to come.

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