Monday, October 29, 2007

Didn’t Al Gore Invent That?

Today is a pretty big day if you are into commemorating things. And no, I don’t mean commemorative plates like those of Siegfried and Roy, Fernwood Tonight or Welcome Back Kotter. Although if you do have a commemorative plate for Welcome Back Kotter, shoot me an email. Sweat Hogs Rule!!!! Sorry. What we should be commemorating is the birth of the internet in 1969. It is my understanding that Al Gore once took credit for the web’s creation, which is fine with me because I invented TiVo. I just don’t get a whole lot of credit for it because I am so humble and would rather not draw attention to myself, or my exploits. No, really.

Could you just imagine where we would be without the internet (or interweb as they call it on 30 Rock)? Where would we do our shopping, get sports scores or watch entire episodes of our favorite shows? I mean other than the store, ESPN or local newspapers and television. What would we do when we get bored at work or don’t wish to tackle that big job? Where would we get our music, you know instead of oh, I don’t know…BUYING IT??? Yes, the interweb has been a lifesaver. Just ask the folks that invented Amazon or Ebay (and my streak of seamless but pointless product integration is intact).

Does anyone remember the old California gold rush? No, not the one with dungarees, saloons and miners, I mean the dot com boom. Back in the good ole days of the dot com, it seemed like all you had to do was say the word internet and people would start giving you money. Seriously, I was with a small ad agency during that time and in the middle of a meeting with a potential client I whispered the word ‘internet’ followed by ‘www’ and ‘http’ like I was on the $25,000 Pyramid and before I knew it the potential client had handed us a $30,000 check to create a website for them. It was a dirty trick but I worked at an ad agency and other agencies were doing it. The internet was so big at the time and fully understood by so few that this scheme tactic practice was used many times and made us a ton of money. For a while, all the key members of our agency (myself included) were all driving around in company owned Lincoln Continentals and we started smoking $100 cigars every time we signed up a new client instead of the cheapy ones we were smoking before we got on the dot com train.

Ok, yes, I admit, I made all of that up (except for the Cigar part) to illustrate to you just how big the whole internet/dot com thing was. Did it work? It felt like it worked. In fact, I think as far as illustrative story telling goes, I nailed it. TWSS. Almost semi-seriously though, the internet was big, big business. Does anyone remember the Super Bowl Ads of the late 1990s when most of the ads were for website businesses that disappeared quicker than (insert your own clever current event commentary here…such as ‘Britney’s underwear at a dance club, Nicole Richie’s baby bump, a new sitcom on FOX or The Colorado Rockies’ World Series hopes). But we won’t talk about the dot come boom’s bust (which, I must add, was bigger than Dolly’s). The wounds are still fresh for so many. Yeah, I’m illustrative story telling again.

Back in the day, I was actually developing websites. I won’t call it designing because I could not design my way out of a paper bag, although more disconcerting to me would be how I got into the paper bag in the first place, but now I have strayed off topic. My favorite thing to do was to take an image created by one of our graphic artists and hotlink the heck out of different parts of the image. Unfortunately, many of our clients’ customers knew nothing about hot linking and clicking within an image, so the sites I made failed miserably. And no, sadly I am no longer illustrative story telling.

So, the internet is 38 years old today. It has come a long way since its invention and has woven an irreplaceable web into our lives. A web that is world wide, if you will. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to use the internet for some important work projects. My coworker and I need to continue our game of Google Maps where we take turns finding a landmark by using the satellite photography provided by Google. Then I’ll blog and after that maybe instant message, download some hip-swinging tunes or maybe try to make naughty words out of various stock market ticker symbols. Does anyone know if there is a company named Amalgamated Steel Services that is selling stocks?


Open Grove Claudia said...

Hey wait.

Aren't you 38 years old too??

Coincidence? I think not!

kat said...

Happy Birthday to the interweb. The worlds second greatest invention.

What is the first, you wonder? Why deep fryers, of course!

Odat said...

wow...I remember this being invented!!!OMG That's like being around when the automobile was invented....aarrgghhh...I'm old!!
Thanks Michael for reminding me...hehe.

Patti said...

I'm with Odat. Thanks a bunch, Michael, for reminding me of my age.
Could be worse. At least we're still here. And blogging!

meleah rebeccah said...

I love the INTERNET.

And I really love my circle of interweb peeps.

Happy Birthday Web.

Sassy Lucy said...

Totally fabulous post, you have a way with words.
Ya' know my father invented the jet-ski, but he doesn't like to take credit for that much either.
Definitely a reminder of how old you are though with this post. Thanks for the chuckle.

FRIGGA said...

Shhhhh.... It's funny when you talk about work... As I type this I AM NOT (wink wink) at work....

But be careful - even if you aren't actually blogging at work, Big Brother is watching :-0