Monday, March 20, 2017

Oldest Web Pages at UGA

So, you ask, who was first at UGA on the web? Of course you asked that. I heard you.

First, keep in mind the web, as in the World Wide Web, is a relatively recent advance. The Internet has been around, technically, since 1969. (As an aside, I first went online in 1987. It was January. It was raining). The web was invented in 1989 but it was the mid-1990s before it truly became a factor for most folks. I think I played with it some in 1991 or 1992. Too long ago to remember.

Now, back to my point.

Using the magic of the Way Back Machine, we can see UGA's first page appears in February 1997. Not bad. Not great, mind you, but not bad -- and it beats UF by a couple of months, at least as measured by accessing of the Way Back Machine. I agree this is not a perfect measure, but it's what I have, so here are some of the likeliest UGA colleges. I omitted newer ones because, after all, they weren't around.

Oldest First UGA Pages
  • Grady College (journalism) -- Nov. 6, 1996. First, always, even before UGA itself.
  • Family & Consumer Sciences -- Jan. 19, 1997
  • Terry College (biz) April 8, 1997 (UPDATED, see comments below)
  • Ecology -- June 18, 1997
  • Pharmacy -- June 27, 1997
  • Education college -- July 6, 1997
  • VetMed -- Jan. 30, 1998
  • Forestry (later Warnell) (May 30, 1998)
  • Franklin College (arts & sciences) -- Dec. 12, 1998
  • Law -- July 28, 2001 (sigh, lawyers)
It's possible the names of the URLs changed, so maybe was something else before and I missed it. My initial search for Warnell, as an example, didn't make sense, so I searched for and sure enough they'd been around longer. I tried and for Terry, but nothing popped up. I can't believe they didn't have a site until 2000, but then again, maybe they saw no money to be made in the whole Internet thing. I'm guessing I have the wrong URL somehow before they adopted

Why was Grady a bit ahead of the UGA curve? Credit Scott Shamp and the old "mega-lab" that did some of our early Internet stuff, which later became the Dowden Center, which eventually became the New Media Institute here at Grady. Shamp is now at FSU doing some administrative crud, but when here his students were among the first at UGA to mess with the web.

Corrections or additions welcome. I didn't spend time typing in every possible URL out there, though I suspect at least some had to predate Grady.


Mostly Muppet said...

I was a "mega lab" student in 1996 and our class project was to code the UGA Bulletin - BY HAND - as a set of HTML documents so students could review course offerings online. I believe it was the first site UGA had done that incorporated frames which were, at the time, pretty cutting edge stuff from a web development perspective.

David B. Metcalfe said...

Jared Brown who manages Terry College's website dug in and found that Terry did have a different web address back in the late 90's -

Here's Terry circa '97 -

Hollander said...

Ah, That makes sense. I knew there had to be a reason it was so long. Goes back to April 8, 1997. I will insert that above. Thanks.

Mostly Muppet said...

There's also ARCHES, which I'm not certain UGA uses anymore, which was originally a Yahoo-style "portal" to all the academic resources the university had online at the time.

It was also home to a bunch of student webpages, tied to your email address. I'd link to mine but it's pretty embarrassing.

Looks like it dates from around Spring 1997 as well, or that may just be when the Internet Archive started indexing it.

Sarah Katherine Dolezal said...

In this edition of the AP Stylebook
This edition of the Stylebook contains over 240 new and modified entries.
One of the main changes is internet. We now spell it lowercase, reflecting a growing trend and a change by our official dictionary, Webster's New World College. We have also made web lowercase in all instances, and webpage and webfeed one word.

Hollander said...

It'll always be Internet (not internet) for me.

Sarah Katherine Dolezal said...

You are not alone.