Timing on the web is an interesting thing. There are many instances of just being there too early, or fading before a true moment of glory. One of the first major attempts at a magazine on the web was called Word magazine, created by Jamie Levy and Marissa Bowe. It was a place with unique graphics, interesting designs, offbeat stories, games, and quizzes all wrapped in a more edgy and relatable tone that's become familiar on the web. This was in 1995, way before anyone was doing anything remotely similar. Yet we hardly ever hear about it. Thankfully, journalist and writer Clare Evans has been writing about it, and featured it in her book Broad Band published a couple of years ago, but there are plenty of others. Kozmo's another great example, and you can find quite a few buried in the gold rush just before the dot-com bubble burst.
I think a lot of great ideas were unfortunately steamrolled by more commercially viable ones. The web held a different kind of promise in the early days, that it would be a great connector and a bridge of ideas and viewpoints imbued with free creative expression. We've largely
failed to deliver on that promise. But if you dig deep enough, and I do plenty of that, you can find some truly great examples of it in action. And hopefully we can find enough examples to use as a jumping off point for the next phase of the web.
As for blogs, I sure hope so! The walled gardens of social media platforms were never, in my opinion, a healthy use case of the web. People are finding that the privacy infringements and lack of protection of these sites just wasn't worth it, so you're seeing more and more web folks turn back to blogs. The next step, I think, is to find a way for that experience to be more accessible to non-technical users. Amazingly, it's about as hard to create a blog or personal website now as it was 10 years ago. Not your average business website or online store, there's plenty of tools for that. But just a simple creative canvas for people to express their ideas and share them with friends, just like they do every day on social media. That doesn't really exist, and that's a real shame, because if we made it easy to do, we'd see a lot more people doing it. Then we could have the truly diverse and decentralized experience we all originally wanted.