I remember the early days of the internet, back when the ability to create a personal website was still brand new and you had to put it all together by hand. Oh, there were a few WYSIWYG programs out there, and a couple aggregate sites where you could set up your page without having to also deal with the hassle of registering and hosting your own domain, but for the most part, people were still hand-coding behind the scenes.

I also remember how you could always tell when someone was brand new to the web, so excited about having figured it out that they would slap anything at all on their pages. Eye-bleeding colors. Music that automatically played when anyone came to the page. And of course, animated gifs. The hallmark of an internet newbie was almost always animated gifs. You learned pretty quickly to avoid the sites that felt the need to throw them all over the place, and most of the time, people eventually got over the novelty of ‘look what I can do!’ and moved on to better things.

I find it amusing that here, in Web 3.0 (or whatever number it is that we’re supposedly up to), some things never change. An entirely new generation of people are out there, throwing things up onto the internet, although the world wide web is a lot more cluttered than it was back in the early days. The autoplay midi files aren’t so much an issue anymore, but that’s only because they’ve been replaced by video clips that automatically play (news sites, I’m looking at you specifically – holy crap but I hate those stupid auto-playing videos). And of course, the animated gifs remain constant. Oh, they’re much more sophisticated these days – now instead of some little pixelated thing, the usual animated gif is a clip of a TV show or a movie – but they’re still just as annoying.

I could wistfully wish that eventually people will get over the need to have things flashing around and autoplaying on their websites, but I know better. This is the hallmark of the internet. No matter how sophisticated the tools, I suspect we will never get away from the tedium of autoplay and animated gifs.

Blogging from A to Z in whatever order I feel like. Guaranteed 100% animated-gif-free.

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