In the fast-paced, ever-changing online world, many websites are only online for a short time. E-commerce sites close, and blogs shut down due to lack of traffic. Yet, some websites have stood the test of time, remaining alive for decades. This guide offers a fun look at five sites (some famous and some relatively unknown) that have been around since the earliest days of the internet.
This site originally went online in 1995, and it is considered to be one of the first online travel magazines. Although it hasn’t been updated since 1996, readers can still find interesting reviews of airlines, Maine lobsters, and French language CD-ROMs. The site also has contributor’s personal travel stories, including essays about trips along China’s Yangtze River and accounts of climbing Mount Fuji and dining out in Paris. Today, site visitors will smile at TravelASSIST’s links to advice about using personal digital assistants (PDAs) for email access and the importance of phone card fraud prevention.
Launched in 1996, MapQuest was the first commercial map site on the internet. In the beginning, the site provided an interactive atlas and the ability for users to get driving directions. In the mid-2000s, the site expanded and began to offer visitors the ability to add stops along their driving route and find nearby restaurants, ATMs and hotels. The company also worked with OnStar to provide customers with turn-by-turn directions that were displayed through the GPS systems in selected cars. Until 2008, the majority of internet users relied on MapQuest for trip planning; around that time, some users began to switch to the Google Maps website.
While Google Maps has been the more popular mapping site over the past decade, MapQuest is now targeting businesses, promising boosts to local SEO. In fact, today’s MapQuest has had a major overall. The site now includes travel blogs that feature reviews of hotels and other businesses, and the service uses POI data to help users navigate directly to the front door of a particular venue, rather than just providing them with a general street address. Through a partnership with GasBuddy, users can search for the cheapest gas prices in their area, too.
The Webkinz online space was a special part of childhood for many younger millennials, and it launched in 2005. With more than a million active accounts in 2006, the site is a place for users ages six and up. Visitors can build virtual pets and purchase pet food, toys, and clothes. They even get to decorate each room of their pet’s home. Users can chat together as part of the virtual pet world, and American and Canadian customers are able to purchase Webkinz stuffed animals, too. The site was updated in 2015, and it now features arcade games, activities to build thinking skills and imagination, and a chance to win prizes. A mobile app is available, too.
Established in 2003, Myspace is one of the internet’s oldest social media networks. In fact, it was the largest social media site from 2005 until 2008. From the earliest days, users on the site were able to post profiles, blog entries, photos, music, and video. They could also add friends from a list that was created by other users. Today, the site is primarily marketed as a place for the artistic promotion of up-and-coming musicians, filmmakers, photographers and models. Users can hear clips of new songs, watch segments of upcoming films, and read the latest news from the performing arts world.
Space Jam Website
Space Jam is a website that was created in 1996 to celebrate the launch of the movie of the same name. To this day, visitors can go to the site to find behind-the-scenes B-roll footage, information on character development and animation techniques used in the film and technical notes. The movie’s soundtrack is available on the site, and there is a kid’s page with a printable coloring book. Downloadable screensavers, sound clips, and promotional posters are still posted, too. Although many users today still aren’t sure why the site hasn’t gone offline, it remains a fun blast from the past that appeals to individuals who saw the movie when it was released. Thankfully, they can now share the joy with the next generation.
It’s amazing that some of these websites have been around for nearly 30 years! Since they’ve lasted that long, maybe they’ll be around for another three decades. Perhaps they’ll even remain online long after some of the popular websites of today have faded.
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