History in the Information Age

One of the things Google does is archive newsgroup posts. Newsgroups were “the thing” in terms of information exchange before the onset of the world wide web, though some would argue they are still a huge source of information. From this vast collection of data, Google has published a 20 Year Archive of usenet.

It’s fascinating for a variety of reasons. First, it shows real-time reactions to major events, such as Tiananmen Square, the birth of the Web, the birth of Linux, the first mention of The Simpsons, and many other things. It strikes me as interesting to not only give a snapshot of mentalities of the time, but also as a new way to “do” history.

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