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Remember Webmonkey? "The Web Developer's Resource"? I do.
Back in the end of the 90's, Webmonkey was just about my very favoritest website to visit. Not only was it super friendly with IE3 on my Mac, but it was not really an it. It was a they. Or a them. Or something. Webmonkey writers were just about the coolest folks I could imagine. I wanted to be a Webmonkey dude when I grew up.
At that time in my life the only thing I really understood about the web was that it was most certainly going to become the future of marketing for any business that used any existing form of communication at the time. I had no idea how to do it, but I knew I needed to get on-board. Webmonkey turned out to be my companion as I discovered the way of the web, from design to development, to marketing. They covered it all, and they did it with humor, personality, style and conscience.
It's safe to say that if I hadn't found Webmonkey, I wouldn't have found my life as I know it now. The same could be said for evolt.org, a community that provided not only great articles about web development, but also a fantastic listserv, known as thelist. Thelist was my life for a while, and through it I heard about the fall of the first WTC tower in 2001. It was announced by users via Email that morning, before anyone else within the radio station I was working for at the time had heard. However it is worth noting that I heard about Evolt's thelist through Webmonkey.
Thanks to the awesome and omniscient power, archive.org, aka the Wayback Machine, I was able to take a trip reverse-wise into the early part of my web career, to visit Webmonkey vintage 1999. Don't tell my clients this, but I think I may still be following Squishy's sage advice from July, 1998 when putting together their sites. Truth be told, his advice is worthy of the passing time, holding up very well to the changing face of interface development (in this monkey's opinion).
I learned an awful lot from the writers at Webmonkey. I followed some of their careers beyond - even way beyond - the Hotwired days. Jeff Veen, for example, continues to be one of my GOTO authors when questions about how to make good web come up.
Here's some fun stuff to check out if you're interested in a historical view of web development over time:
- Information Architecture Tutorial (same deal as above, but no "Squishy"), ca. 2008
- The Monkey Bite Archive - WebDev-related news , but like, from 1999!
- Webmonkey Radio - Jeff Veen and Drue Miller talk about information design
Long live the primates of the web.
What about you? I'd love ot hear about folks' favorite webdevver hangouts from the past. It never really hurts to get nostalgic once in a while, does it?