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What web site would you create if you had a time machine?

 5:56 am on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

If you had a time machine and could go back to say... 1993 or 1994, somewhere in that time frame, and had the knowledge you have now, what web site(s) would you create?



 6:37 am on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)




 6:44 am on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)


I'll take a stab... I think I'd build Google.

I doubt a Facebook type site would work well back then but who knows? Seems like I didn't get my first digital camera until 1999, so there wouldn't be very many photos shared.

Most people were on dial up so videos would be out of the question.



 10:23 am on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

I would stock up on domains for a start.

That far back, probably not much different but get established earlier as the definitive authority site in my field rather than a purely regional one.


 11:05 am on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

eBay. I had a nice little auction program I wrote for a BBS platform before the web.

If I only know then what I know now...

I also developed a shopping cart script very early on, then gave up development and started using other people's scripts to build other people's ecommerce sites.

I would have focused development time on my own scripts and geared things toward SaaS instead of software "distributions".

In general, I would have never built anyone else a website and instead would have only worked on building things that I own and had the potential for residual income.

I would not have EVER created Farmville or anything where you could throw a chicken or poke someone.


 12:31 pm on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

If I only know then what I know now...

Need more be said.



 1:49 pm on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't create any websites, I would just buy up 100 or so extremely profitable domain names, and then wait for the paydays.


 6:54 pm on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

The only problem with buying domain names is back then they were $100 a pop/year. But... you'd only need a handful of keyword rich domains to be a millionaire.


 9:40 pm on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

back then they were $100 a pop/year

Someone correct me if I'm wrong -- but, if I remember correctly -- for a short time (up to mid-1993?) domain names were free for the asking. To request one you needed to know how to submit a registration using an email template. Again, if my memory is still intact, to get a name you would send the registration template to "domreg@internic.net", (you would submit the same template with different values to change contact info, nameservers, etc). I may have to fire up one of the old 386's to find a copy of the template and see if I have any records of fees paid from back then.


 9:49 pm on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Same one I started out with. All things being the same (I remember those days well, and dial up, too, at 9600baud). The world was not ready for what we do now... and there was no search engine able to spread the love. :)


 4:50 am on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)


I do remember using email forms back in the early days to register domains (I think, but memory is fuzzy)

Now I'm trying to remember how payment was made.... did they send a bill? I do remember the $100/year fee but maybe it was free in the really early days.


 5:05 am on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)


I think I found one of those templates.... ahh the good ol' days!



 1:06 pm on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think I found one of those templates

Nice find!

I noted that was "Domain Version Number: 3.0", (and the number "[10/96]", (possibly indicating it was from October of 1996?), in upper right corner -- plus mention of "fees" and fact it's for a Bermuda registrar.

I still think we (in USA at least) could register domains for free at early on -- hoping we can find a 1994-ish U.S. template or someone can find a definitive answer if domains were in fact free.


 9:41 pm on Jan 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ok, found a 1.0 version! We're getting closer.... ahh the good ol' days.



 10:19 am on Jan 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

found a 1.0 version!

Another nice find!

Brings back memories of making pass-through SLIP and PPP connections and browsing with LYNX.


(I wrote my own "doorway script" and hooked up a TSX box to the back of my TBBS system using a DigiBoard and some serial breakout-boxes I had to wire to get the connection right -- this was before TBBS owner Phil Becker and Bob Hartman created the IPAD -- or "Internet Protocol Adaptive Device" -- their's was the original "IPAD" -- not the new one that company named for a fruit sells now --- and Microsoft still didn't have a TCP/IP product or their own website for some time after I did -- around 1993 1/2 I ran one of the first of the 500 or so public ISPs in existence at the time with 14 dial-up lines and a T1 line installed in my house).

...and I am pretty sure domain names were free at first -- note this version of the template makes no mention of fees.

There must be an earlier version, (or this is revised v 1.0), since this one mentions:

If you regularly submit domain applications, you will note two changes in the registration form. Section 0 has been added to indicate the nature of the registration action, and the Purpose section of the registration has been moved from the end of the form to Section 1.

..and to keep this on topic, I guess if I had a time machine I would have created GoDaddy -- Bob Parsons made a few billion cutting into the sweet deal Verisign/NetSol got from the NSF.


 1:42 pm on Jan 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

its wierd that what you're talking about was only fifteen-or-so years ago.
because it sounds like you're talking about the 1970s, or something as far back as that. it shows how much things have changed in fifteen years.


 6:09 pm on Jan 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

its wierd that what you're talking about was only fifteen-or-so years ago.

"The web" is 21 years old, (Tim Berner-Lee, first web server fired up on Christmas day in 1990 at CERN), he got CERN to release the specification to the public domain on April 30, 1993... so the "public web" is technically just over 18 years old.

To get back to OP's subject -- I also would have liked to have created a "GeoCities" like "build your own online community" portal, (but required that each "community" be associated with an actual geographic place -- oh yeah -- and not let it turn to total crap).


 12:34 am on Jan 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

I would of started a ppc ad tool. I once had an email exchange with Bill Gross who founded goto which became overure which was bought by yahoo. At the time I said that nobody would do ppc ads saying why pay for traffic when it was free. This was in 1998. How wrong was I?


 5:59 am on Jan 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

@alhutch - remember the Link Exchange? I'll trade you 2 impressions for 1 on your site ... or however it worked. ha!


 9:00 pm on Jan 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

In '95 I was going to buy a couple domains, but I decided all the good ones were taken. D'oh!

I'd create a website that collected patents granted for obvious things websites do. Then I swear I'd release them to the public domain. I think.

But really, I'd just enjoy living through the dot-com boom again.

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