WWWTXT (2012–)

Revisit the early Internet [1980–94].

In 1995, commercialization, a swelling population, and the multimedia revolution began to shape Web 1.0 and the modern Internet. 1988–94 represent the final years of a much smaller, non-commercial, and text-dominated Internet.

The users of this era were not only programmers, physicists, and university residents—they were also tinkerers, early-adopters, whiz kids, and nerds. Their conversations and documents—valiantly preserved by digital archivists—are fractured across numerous services, increasingly offline-only, and incredibly voluminous (100GB+).

WWWTXT digs deep and resurrects the voices of these digital pioneers as unedited, compelling, and insightful 140-character excerpts.

The project also unearths and reveals the visual culture of the era, including: magazine scans, early digital artwork, and screenshots/screencasts of early software.

Primary sources include: discussion groups on Usenet, BBS-based FidoNet, and the initial online services (CompuServe, GEnie, Prodigy, AOL); both public and private text files; early hypertexts of Gopher/WWW; and abandoned personal documents.