Online-news past

A while back, I had a conversation with Steve Outing about the old Online-News archives. I wondered if they still existed (the current Poynter-hosted list has archives going back to 2002). I’m interested in recalling what some of us said about our emerging business back in 1995-96. How many predictions have come true? How many good ideas stuck? What ideas were floated ahead of their time? What should never have been floated in the first place?

Outing suspected the old archives were either lost or buried on an old zip disk he no longer has the technology to read (but I do – maybe).

By complete accident tonight, while doing a completely different search, I found this old archive page. One of the posts is the results of a survey about who was using the list back in 1996.

There’s a few interesting posts there (and a lot of chatter), but it’s an incomplete archive. In following the chain of the URL upstream, I found more limited archives. The site appears to belong to Rex Ballard, a former list member and the postings are retrieved from his personal e-mail folders. Some of the messages are organized by topic.

There’s a lot of familiar names in those archives, and quite a few people who seem to have disappeared from the industry.

This little discovery sent me on a further Google quest to find more information related to the old Online-News list, and found this historical link: Important New Media Names, circa 1998. (Included only because it’s interesting to me,
not because it’s directly related to online-news, though a few ON names appear on it.)

More searching: For a while, Steve Outing experimented with Online-News being mirrored in a news group, which is why this limited 1997 era archive exists.

Well, I just killed two hours of my unemployed life on this topic.

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