We’re back! And old.
Welcome to the 23rd of March, year 2000. The new millennium has just started, the Y2K did not actually break stuff and Napster was just sued by the RIAA. The MP3 scene was booming and CD-R drives were the hottest item, soon to be followed by the DVD-R and movies. There was a movement going on combining the Internet to digital media delivery. The corner stones of later streaming services (Spotify, Netfix, etc.) were established during those years, even though it took amazingly long for the businesses to make use of the consumer potential in purely immaterial audio/video delivery.
Actually I’ve had various semi-successful projects since 1996, but at the turn of the millennium I figured it was time to get more serious and get a domain. I made a classic mistake of choosing a domain name that is tied to a certain technology, as my future-colleague-to-be dRD of AfterDawn.com later pointed out. But we had a pretty good run! The W-logo, with CD-RW.ORG stamped over it, represented the old name of the site, Wild Wild Web (I got the idea from a very bad movie…)
Soon we had ties with all the major websites of the scene, were feartured in major print publications and had ties to the industry leading companies. The site received couple of face lifts and added community features via the usage of a proper content management system. However the biggest change was when we agreed a merger with AfterDawn.com in 2002. This gave us the resources of a larger website and their organization.
Under the wings of AfterDawn the site enjoyed a few good years, but then in 2005 they were going corporate and we were not able to come to terms what that would mean for cd-rw.org. As we were unable to get into an agreement our roads parted and it was again time to re-invent the site. All hail the BitBurners.com!
Under the new name the site still had a few good years left, but the world around it started to change. Since the mid 90’s the site was build around AV-compression technologies and the optical media, but there was a momentum shift in technology. The Blu-ray was being popularized by PlayStation 3 but it failed to generate the consumer buzz of the CD or DVD. Desktop computing in general was becoming old fashioned, smart mobile devices were the next big thing, followed by streaming media services.Technologies that the site had been covering for a decade had reached a stable and mature state (read: boring), so that they no longer raised that much of an interest. The old school scene and the community spirit was long gone. And of course us, the people, were spending more time on their business careers, raising families, etc. and less on hacking cool stuff late in the evening.
Slowly the BitBurners.com faded into nothingness and became a ghost ship in the ever growing digital ocean we know as the Internet. Couple of resurrection attempts were made, but they failed miserably due to lack of time and public interest.
But this weekend something totally unexpected happened. Ketola, the old time CTO of AfterDawn, hooked up with me saying that he was in town. Over a cup of latte we had a great talk about the past and the future and it was like sipping a fine vintage wine. Year 2000 to be exact. When I was driving home from our meeting I had an idea: Owning a domain that is 15+ years old is actually pretty cool. I am going to put it back online.
I have no idea what will come out of this. Probably nothing. But I think there is a legacy here that deserves the right to be online. The coolest thing would be if some of the old friends of the scene would drop by to say hi!