The web lost its personality

Emailed on August 16th, 2019 in The Friday Forward

Back in the early 2000's the internet was as diverse as ever. Our blogs illustrated the depths of our personality with tiled versions of today's profile pictures as full-page backgrounds, font colors that seemingly blended with their backdrop, and your "Top friends" listed as if to say, "🖕" to literally everyone else.

Remember how much more fun the internet used to be? 

Jake Underwood does, and takes us back through the internet archives in this awesome post on the evolution of blog designs.

The wild west of the 2000s internet: “It felt like the Wild West. No one really knew what they were doing,” says Jason Kottke, whose blog,, was one of the internet’s first in 1998

 With a new surge of users, unique ideas flourished. Social media sites like Friendster and Myspace allowed us to customize our profiles to showcase who we truly were. Blogs became more common, enabling clever, funny, or insightful voices previously unheard from. 

And things got boring. The flattening of logos (need some references? Check out Humans of Flat Design on Twitter). The shift to minimalism. The reduction of customization on social profiles.

But Kottke is optimistic the personality of web 1.0 will resurge, "People will get tired of what’s going on right now,” he stated. “If it feels like web design is stuck, maybe in two years that won’t be the case. You think society has painted itself into a corner, and then it finds a door.”

And after all, we still have the most important meme of all time:

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Sean Steigerwald