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Dotcom Era Fads 274

prostoalex writes "Nostalgic USA Today looks at the fads of the dotcom boom era. The Dancing Baby, HamsterDance, I Kiss you dot org and the phrase 'All your base are belong to us' made the list."
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Dotcom Era Fads

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 31, 2003 @06:23AM (#6837333)

    Some days they seem like a thing of the past that might never come back [slashdot.org].
    • by dipipanone ( 570849 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @06:55AM (#6837437)

      I think that's because Steve is still about and Apple are going from strength to strength.
    • by RobotWisdom ( 25776 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @08:08AM (#6837592) Homepage
      I tried to put these in cosmic perspective in my logarithmic timeline [robotwisdom.com]:

      1991: gopher

      1992: Linux, Krol's "Whole Internet Guide"

      1993: Apple Newton, Mosaic, Andrea Chen, Doom

      1994: Bill Bixby haiku

      1995: Yahoo, Greencard spam, Netscape IPO, DejaNews, eBay, Altavista

      1996: JenniCam, Palm Pilot, WebTV

      1997: dancing baby, Slashdot, 1st weblog

      1998: Drudge Report, Google, HampsterDance, iMac, DMCA, PayPal

      1999: TiVo, Everquest, Napster, Epinions, Y2K

      2000: AOL-TW, bubble pops, ArsDigita University, All Your Base

      [Lots more] [robotwisdom.com]

      • by Nachtfalke ( 160 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:05AM (#6838047) Homepage
        And for bonus points, make it into an extra verse of "We didn't start the fire" :-)
      • I remember the first time I used the web. It was with an all text browser over a 2400 baud connection back before there really was a Netscape. I didn't really see how it was any different than Gopher. At the time there wasn't all that many websites and there wasn't yet a real index or search engine so it really seemed like a Gopher clone.

        Of course it didn't take long to figure out some interesting uses the web had over Gopher. I had an interesting website that used RIP graphics. It only worked if you were
        • Re:Pre dot-com days. (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Evan ( 2555 )
          I remember my wife telling me about this new web browser thingy. I looked at it, and there were about 200 sites in all, so I shrugged and went back to reading netnews. She never lets me forget that :-)
          • Heh, for this Evan, it was a friend in a lab full of IBM Unix workstations compiling Mosaic 0.8. I looked, and said "Yeah, but gopher is too entrenched. There's just too much information to port over to this new format".


            The references to Canter & Siegal stunned me, as I did not expect it from USAToday. Followed up by a reference to Kibo blew me away. Kibo is the reason for the intentional misspelling of an semi-obscure word to create my handle. (The intercap helps with greps of newsfeeds, but

      • 1998: Drudge Report, Google, HampsterDance, iMac, DMCA, PayPal

        So that's why I keep thinking "hamster" is spelled with a "p". I had always wondered about that. Plus, pipingdesign.com was founded in 1998, an obvious glaring omission.
    • That was the whole point of the dot-bomb! Companies were paying employees to work on a project that merited neither a stock listing or even more than five employees! The value of these companies did not exist so they went under, and took the jobs with them. They should never have existed in the first place and it will be a long time coming before they show their face again.
    • by FuzzyBad-Mofo ( 184327 ) <fuzzybad AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:45AM (#6838266)

      Don't forget the sweating, dancing, and screaming Ballmer videos! I've been trying to, but the images are burned into my brain..

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 31, 2003 @06:23AM (#6837334)
    Seriously... probly the most seen thing on the internet during the dot come boom...
  • It's you! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 31, 2003 @06:23AM (#6837339)
    They set us up the boom...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      They set us up the boom

      In Zero Wing, the preposition comes before the direct object.

      They set up us the boom is more correct.

      Sheesh, me to need publish grammar?
  • Ah but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GregoryD ( 646395 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @06:26AM (#6837346)
    It still surges because of people new to the internet. Everytime a new batch learns the forward button in there email program we get another round of things we seen before.

    How many more times am I going to have to forward this darn "5 cents donation for every forward for the liver transplant" email and end this flower to people you love!!! email. I think I am destined to see the Hampster Dance at least once a year for the rest of my life as every female in the world forwards it to me.

    • by JanMark ( 547992 )
      I think I am destined to see the Hampster Dance at least once a year for the rest of my life as every female in the world forwards it to me.
      You lucky b***rd, all I get form those females is viagra ads and those enlarge your p***s in five simple steps. Which reminds me, is there anyone in the /. croud that knows if these two go together wel? (It's for a friend.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 31, 2003 @06:26AM (#6837348)
    in soviet russia, belong to all bases are you.
  • by G3ckoG33k ( 647276 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @06:30AM (#6837359)
    Grey and orange!

    "All" trendy companies of 1999 had sleek logos in grey and orange (oh, yes, I used to work for one of those...).
  • by B747SP ( 179471 ) <slashdot@selfabusedelephant.com> on Sunday August 31, 2003 @06:30AM (#6837360)
    Does the prank call from the Paki guy accusing some chick of kicking his dog fall into this category? It certainly did at the place where I worked at the time - we roamed the halls shouting "You kicked my dog" and "I am going to sue you". To this day, my friends and I shout "YOU TRY TO CONFUSE" at each other. "Just because I'm Paki does not mean I stink".

    • by hype7 ( 239530 ) <u3295110@@@anu...edu...au> on Sunday August 31, 2003 @07:45AM (#6837551) Journal
      Does the prank call from the Paki guy accusing some chick of kicking his dog fall into this category? It certainly did at the place where I worked at the time - we roamed the halls shouting "You kicked my dog" and "I am going to sue you". To this day, my friends and I shout "YOU TRY TO CONFUSE" at each other. "Just because I'm Paki does not mean I stink".

      I don't remember that one, so I looked it up

      http://www.funnyjunk.com/pages/mydog.htm [funnyjunk.com]

      It's a shockwave file, and it's not bad. Not bad at all :)

      -- james
    • by sevensharpnine ( 231974 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @09:02AM (#6837751)
      Since nobody here seems to know the original source, I'd better chime in. The prank is from a Jerky Boys CD. Despite their stupid movie, those guys produced two (maybe more) hilarious CD's full of these types of calls. Even though the "why you kick my dog!" routine is funny, it isn't their best material. If you like the skit, I suggest you look into the full CD's. (I have no financial interest here; I'm simply a fan.)
  • you forgot slashdot you insensitive clod!
  • by Plug ( 14127 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @06:33AM (#6837368) Homepage
    All Your Base is most definitely post dot.com.

    It was early 2001 (sheesh, that long ago?) and it was picked up by the Google Zeitgeist [google.com] at the time.

    Kibology is probably pre-Dot Com as well. Maybe they meant to talk about lavish parties and venture capital being burnt?

    At least we never really had a Dotcom era to speak of in New Zealand...
  • Dont Forget (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by p-n-wise ( 526587 )
    Goatse, conese and Bathtubgirl. Persuading people to visit random websites has got to have been a dot com pastime. Just look ot the number of people this search [google.co.uk] brings up.
  • We forgot about nostalgia for a little while...

    Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, to live through a boom/bust cycle like that. Kindof a Millenium Burnout Party, I guess.

    And that's one fad they forgot: the Millenium.
  • by atari2600 ( 545988 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @06:39AM (#6837390)

    The theme still lives on popping up on gaming message boards from time to time and providing a good laugh. Also the porn dot cum still lives on. Nostalgic? Yes. Slow Sunday? Yes. Sleepy? Yes. Loser? Yeeeeeeeee (damn 'S' key died on me)

  • by pyrrhonist ( 701154 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @06:42AM (#6837404)
    All those graphics that say, "Powered by SomeFrigginTechnology(tm)". Sheesh, that is so 1997.
  • by GrodinTierce ( 571882 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @06:47AM (#6837420) Journal
    ...but think of all the things that didn't disappear, and should have.

  • by idiotnot ( 302133 ) <sean@757.org> on Sunday August 31, 2003 @06:53AM (#6837431) Homepage Journal
    Aeron Chairs. 'Nuff said.
  • for the first time, i actually think that the slashdot submission said everything that was worth saying; there is no need to read the article if you read the submission text :>

    so; RTFST!"
  • by viol8r_dk ( 600480 ) <viol8r@nos[ ].dk ['pam' in gap]> on Sunday August 31, 2003 @06:57AM (#6837442)
    Toaplan creates the Zero Wing video game.

    Toaplan releases a port for the Sega Genesis console with the addition of an intro scene, which is then translated into english (very poorly) and released in the United States.

    Toaplan goes out of business.

    Someone from a Zany Video Game Quotes website notices the poor translation, and highlights the game.

    Overclocked.org does a humorous voiceover of the Zero Wing intro in a fake Wayne Newton voice.

    Dozens of game-related messageboards begin to post quotes from the parody, and images altered to show the phrase.

    Most of the threads lose interest and die off quickly as the trend is pronounced dead countless times.

    The Flash movie/video is released with images from the threads and music taken from the origional game someone had added the phrase "all your base" to.

    AYB explosively expands to the general (non game messageboard-reading) public.

    The origional site for the video is shut down within hours due to excessive traffic, and moves to PlanetStarsiege.

    Lycos ponders how "All your Base" was transformed from obscurity to a top 50 search practically overnight.

    Mainstream media begin to notice the trend, and stories appear in Time Magazine, USA Today, Fox News, The Los Angeles Times, Tech TV, Wired, and many others.

    As the 'remix' used in the video goes from 58 hits a day to several thousand per day, mp3.com notices the track has been ripped directly from the video game and pulls the music off their site due to copyright violations. It is later returned unchanged.

    The trend continues to grow as it expands into nearly every corner of the web.

    Large websites like Angelfire and Hewlett Packard sneak "all your base" references into their designs.

    "All Your Base" is pronounced dead several times every day, yet it's 15 minutes of fame continue for some reason...
  • AYB didnt fade (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jailbrekr ( 73837 )
    All Your Base Are Belong to Us. This is an example of a saying or idea that rockets across the Net and becomes as familiar as an actual person. (The term spam, when used in reference to junk e-mail, is the most famous and successful of these.) The phrase, derived from a bad Japanese-to-English translation in the game Zero Wing, started showing up in the far corners of the Net in 2000 and shot to Web superstardom the following spring. People picked up the phrase and created a panoply of Web sites using it
  • Dot com? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rde ( 17364 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @06:58AM (#6837448)
    I suppose that the reason they called it a 'dot com' phenomenon is that it was around then that the internet reached critical mass among users; there were enough to make business viable, and - like spam - inane memes had no problem finding an audience.

    Of course, the internet is perfect for memes like 'all your base' to flourish; it takes no effort to forward an url to everyone you know; I'm sure I'm not the only one who knows at least one individual who regularly sent messages where the To: field was longer than the rest of the message combined. A swift (and usually repeated) larting usually took care of these eventually, but in a lot of cases that just meant that their list was transferred to Bcc: instead.

    Two things that I noticed around that time that didn't make the list: The warning about GoodTimes, and the now-legendary one-line email that you had to scroll through eight metres of crap and and a myriad '>>>>>' of variable length in order to read 'Check it out!!!!!!!!!' followed by an asinine url that leaves you wondering why the fuck anyone'd want to send it in the first place, let alone forward it to the universe.

    Of course, /. is no place to talk about the motes in the eyes of others; just consider the linux clusters of natalieportman.cx .

    What the hell is a 'grit' anyway?
    • Re:Dot com? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Galvatron ( 115029 )
      What the hell is a 'grit' anyway?

      It's a kind of coarse cornmeal, and is prepared similarly to oatmeal ("instant grits" exist, as well as the old fashioned kind). The cooked grits can then be used in a variety of different recipes. Grits are generally eaten in the southern regions of the USA, though of course the Native Americans originated the concept (since corn, after all, came from the Americas, not Europe).

      Grits were also featured in My Cousin Vinny. What they have to do with Natalie Portman, I co

    • What the hell is a 'grit' anyway?

      And what does this have to do with Natalie Portman. The slashdot search function fails me.

      While you're at it, what is a "LART"? Is it like a clue stick [wordspy.com]? Which should be applied first, and when?
  • by tgd ( 2822 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @06:59AM (#6837450)
    I would've put this on the list -- not because it faded as a result of the dot com bust, but its fading was indicitive of the craziness of the dot-com boom in general.

    Sadly, most people have never heard of it now...
  • by SoVi3t ( 633947 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @07:13AM (#6837481)
    Hell, l3375p34| was a fad (well, I *wish* it was a fad...won't go the fuck away). Not sure if it would qualify as a dotcom fad. How about things like The Terrible Secret of Space? And yes, we will always get people who are new to the net (or for the most part, female), that will send us links of pictures, articles, or flash movies, that we've seen countless times. I swear, I'll have kids in 20 years, and they'll come up to me and tell me to come see the funny AYB cartoon on the computer...........
  • by Limburgher ( 523006 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @07:15AM (#6837484) Homepage Journal
    Still with us it has no time!

    Use in every post, for great justice!

    What I say!?!?

    Someone set us up the long-running gag!

    All our taste are belong to bad.

  • Slashdotisms (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Trurl's Machine ( 651488 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @07:20AM (#6837499) Journal
    I wonder if anyone traced back the sources of the most popular slashdotisms, like the "Dear Apple" or "I am sitting here with my freelance gig" trollings or the "In Soviet Russia" jokes? Anyone knows when the first "First post!" post was posted?

    In Soviet Russia... jokes trace back you.
  • by TTL0 ( 546351 )
    There was the Exploding Whale [hackstadt.com]
  • Anyone else got this related advertising link at the bottom?
    Talk with a Hamster

    Chat with artificial intelligence bot that specializes in Hamsters.
    Sounds like something else that should have died a long time ago :)
  • Or would that be pre-dot com?
  • as can be clearly seen from this microsoft image:

    http://www.microsoft.com/Office/clippy/images/roll over_4.gif [microsoft.com]
    (official site here [microsoft.com])
  • But like other flashes in the pan, it retreated as quickly as it had appeared.

    Obviously, the autor of the article has NO IDEA what he's talking about.

  • Internet fads (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hackrobat ( 467625 )
    That list is way too incomplete.

    I've been a hardcore netizen since 1998, when I used to dial up from my uncle's home to a text-only shell account with a 1,500 bps modem :-) I remember waiting minutes to download a single JPEG file, then transferring it to my local machine using Kermit [columbia.edu], and opening it up in Internet Explorer 3.0 on Windows 95, only to realise that it's the wrong one! Those were the days when I learnt to use Pine [washington.edu] and Lynx [browser.org], my favourite mail/www combo.

    Those were the days of Internet su

    • Re:Internet fads (Score:2, Insightful)

      by pyrrhonist ( 701154 )
      I've been a hardcore netizen since 1998... Google didn't even exist back then.

      Um, dood, I hate to tell you this, but there's a majority of people here that were netizens when Yahoo [yahoo.com] didn't even exist, so your bragging is quite a bit less than impressive. Now give me back my Geritol...

  • You must be the best of the best, able to command a high rate, and now Java technology inside out, to the kernal (sic.) level. $$competetive.

    Now if you really were a Java Guru you certainly wouldn't need a stupid recruitment agency to get you work. Daft recruitment Ads top my list of tiresome dotcom fads.
  • by Nimrod ( 2809 )
    What about the Big Red Button [pixelscapes.com] that doesn't do anything?

    Truly a timeless classic.
  • Netizens passed along the baby because he represented a geek show as well as a freak show.

    Call me old-fashioned, but more than anything else, I think the above sentence summarizes the tech boom for us.

    In comparison, consider this usage from 1961, as quoted [oed.com] in the OED:-

    Times Lit. Suppl. 27 Jan. 62/2 He picks up waitress, a simple girl, and enslaves a "geek", a dumb sideshow stooge whose daily routine consists of being exhibited in a pit which he has to dig for himself.

    That's right folks; before 1990's,

  • meme (Score:2, Informative)

    various cybercultural oddities (a.k.a. memes) over the years have made a fleeting impact on Net culture

    I didn't think a meme was a cybercultural oddity. I thought it was a (usually false) idea whose character was to spread through human consciousness in a viral manner (e.g. - all small bandages are Band Aids (tm), the SR-71's fuel is the consistency of peanut butter, etc.).

    This brings up a question. Has the idea of a meme become a meme?

    • Re:meme (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Aidos ( 624295 )
      memes are not false ideas. they are the units of cultural inheritence. AYB is as valid a meme as Christianity. The difference is that the AYB meme doesn't organive and influence large groups of people as well. So yes of course the idea of meme is a meme. that is the point
  • "But like other flashes in the pan, it retreated as quickly as it had appeared."

    ohhhh don't i wish! When i don't here this phrase 10 times a day I'll finally be able to take the plugs out of my ears
  • Many (Score:2, Interesting)

    Many of these great things can be found at:
    ebaumsworld [ebaumsworld.com] and maybe many new fads?:)
  • by COredneck ( 598733 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @09:58AM (#6838010)

    The Dot Com days made many changes to the work place which are both positive and negative.

    Many of the positives which have been fading, taken away or restricted

    Very relaxed dress code (shorts, jeans, sandals, hiking boots/sneakers)


    Flex Time ( work longer on Mon/Tue, take Fri off)

    In-house gourmet lunches

    Game room and outdoor games

    Few of the negatives which are now flourishing

    Oursourcing to India

    H1-B Visas

    Corporate executives throwing their weight around by reducing pay, taking away benefits such as flex time, telecommuting, vacations

    One company that epitomizes the positives is Google's Culture [google.com]. They are one of the few Dot Com type companies still around.

    On the dress code, many companies have brought back dress codes especially the legal and finance industry. Where I work at, we are subcontrctors to Boeing on a government contract. Their top manager has a strict dress policy of having to wear a tie, slacks and dress shoes. This means no jeans along with hiking boots/sneakers/tennis shoes. This dress code even applies on trips on weekends and if you come in on a Saturday. Their work hours are strict 8 to 5. Those rules don't apply to us, YET ! There are rumblings in the Boeing group to force us to comply with those rules since they hold the purse strings. I take Thursday and Friday afternoons off just about every week but Monday and Tuesday are long days though. I also wear jeans everyday as well. We are in one of the top outdoor recreational states of Colorado.

    Part of the rumblings in Boeing to force us to comply with their rules caused a few problems for me. Back in June/July, I took 4 weeks vacation to do some traveling, go see family and one of the Managers in Boeing told me to cancel my vacation since my focus should be on working instead of taking time off that I have earned and I told him I did not answer to him and he got irate. He told me I will pay for my attitude. The same person got pissed when I happen to be around on Friday all day that they cannot get any work done because of our flex time policy. One of their computers at 4pm went down and the person who can call in left at 11 am. He was demanded that the computer get fixed this instant. He made the comment that we are lazy since we take Friday afternoon off. He fired off some complaints to their top executives.

    At Oracle which is in Colorado Springs, they started to restrict people from telecommuting who live within 50 miles of the company building. Last I heard, there is talk to take it away. Those who live in different Mountain towns may have to move if they want to keep their job.

    • I guess I've been around too long in software development circles and don't see what the problem is. I've worked for a number of companies and we were always expected to work 5 days a week. Generally most of the companies I worked for had what we called "core hours" which were between the hours of 10AM and 4PM. These were the hours we're expected to be around for meetings etc. This also gives people the flexibility to come in from anywhere from 7:00AM to 10:00AM so long as we're around during core hours. I'
    • Nothing negative about H1B visas. Well, not from my point of view anyway. I had a very enjoyable stay in the United States thanks to a fairly unique skill set and first L1, then a H1 visa. I made some very good friends in the US, and I'm sure I'll visit reasonably often.

  • Wow. 4 whole "Dot.com" fads. Wheeeee. Now that's what I call 'thorough'

    Here's a dot-com fad that hasn't gone away just yet: The Dumbing down of the internet.
  • Despite having Internet access at the time, I never heard of the Dancing Baby until it was mentioned on Ally McBeal (which I do not watch) or included on some crappy cover CD.

    As far as I can tell it was a Windows executable which people sent to each other, and which when run displayed an animation of... a dancing baby.

    Now unquestioningly running executables that people send you is not a good practice. But the Dancing Baby would encourage people to get into this bad habit because otherwise... well, you do
  • Mr.T (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sandman1971 ( 516283 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @11:44AM (#6838595) Homepage Journal
    They forgot one other fad: Mr.T Ate My Balls [istuff.org] (and original site [geocities.com]). I have to admit, I never got that one.
  • Nostalgic (Score:2, Funny)

    by CGP314 ( 672613 )
    I'm not sure Nostalgic is the right word to use for something that happened less than half a decade ago.
  • Yatta! [mit.edu]

    (Hey, it seems appropriate for this story)
  • Does anyone remember this series of shorts? Heck, I'll bet the author reads or has posted on /. before. I remember stumbling on the link and spending an afternoon clicking through the chapters. I believe it became a book at one point, but is still available at Salon at http://archive.salon.com/21st/follies/about/about . html [salon.com] with just a single banner ad, and is not "Salon Premium" content.

    <!--Lifted from the front page -->

    Silicon Follies is a serial comedy about life, work, love and war in Silicon
  • Scooters. I could literally guess the number of IPOs that had gone through the week before by the number of goateed laptop toters who'd get off the CalTrain and whip out a razor scooter to zip off to work. Man I hated those things.

    Whiny Artsy Fartsy tech worker: Seems every company had a few of these sneak in, whether they were .com or not. You know, the people who went clubbing, wore tortise shell glasses, had a couple piercings and the aforementioned goatee and razor scooter (maybe an off shoulder GAP

  • by Cyno ( 85911 )
    the dot in dotcom? If the dot com era was a fad why is Sun still around?

    It was the media that ran the dotcomcrash financial reports, before the market crashed. Remember that the media is owned by about 6 companies. And they don't like competition.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @01:34PM (#6839294) Homepage
    The fortune at the bottom of this page:
    • Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?
  • It's been a long time since I read one of those "I just spent a weekend trying to get on this Information Superhighway thing..." articles. Thank God. My mom made a habit of clipping 'em and sending them to me. Oh, look. Another idiot explaining that the first thing you need is an AOL disk and a modem.

    Unfortunately, now we're starting to see the flipside, such as this idiot [sfgate.com] who thinks the Internet was spawned in 1995 and "frankly, the whole thing is starting to get a bit old anyway." Don't let the door hit

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?