I was talking with some friends recently, and somebody brought up the old web host "Angelfire." Does anyone remember this? For about two years, it seemed liked practically every page you went to was hosted by Angelfire. It was the home, in particular, of celebrity fan sites that seemed as though they were uploaded by somebody one lazy afternoon and then never looked at again. Then, suddenly, Angelfire seemed to disappear. Its been at least five years since I've even heard that word used, let alone gone to a website that they host.
This got me thinking about other Internet words/terms that were huge for a while and they disappeared seemingly overnight, such as:
"The Information Superhighway" - I don't think this has been used in serious context in years. Is it the word "super?" Does it just read too much like science fiction? Regardless, while the term seems decrepit now, it was only ten years ago that it was a pretty common thing to hear the Internet described as.
"Prodigy" - Remember this supposed "rival" to America Online? For some reason, when I was a kid I had this idea that Prodigy was the "cool" Internet service provider, and that I was destined to get worse service (or, at least, worse access to porn) because we used the huge, and thus inherently uncool, AOL. Where did they go? Presumably they died during the broadband boom, but who knows?
"Chat Rooms" - When I first joined the Internet, AOL chat rooms were big. I'm pretty sure it was the first place I went to the first time I logged on. Chat rooms, of course, have been completely and unutterably ruined by creepy old men. Would any parent even let their son or daughter into a chat room anymore? Who needs them, though, we you can join Club Penguin?
"Excite, HotBot, Lycos..." - Basically every search engine but Google. I remember, in the pre-Google days, when I would go to 3 or more search engines if I was looking for something. back then I remember it being something that people would discuss. "You don't use Excite? Oh man, everything else is crap!" Now, though, Google pretty much runs my life.
"Netscape Navigator" - I guess this might still be around, but I don't know anyone that uses it. I kind of miss, though, that little steering wheel icon that would come up when you loaded the page, it was like you were about to go on a maritime adventure!