Ghost Sites of the Web

Web 1.0 history, forgotten web celebrities, old web sites, commentary, and news by Steve Baldwin. Published erratically since 1996.

March 10, 2005

Remembering March 10, 2000 (The Day the Tech Bubble Burst)

Need I remind you that exactly five years ago, on March 10, 2000, the NASDAQ reached its peak valuation? That on that date, the extraordinary technology bubble began to deflate, a phenomenon whose ultimate culmination erased the hopes, dreams, and retirement plans of many who had bet their livelihood on the New Economy (not to mention about 9 trillion dollars worth of investors' money).

It is not my purpose to depress you with this solemn anniversary. Instead, let's enjoy some wonderful antique banner ads I whacked in the year 2000 - a time when irrational exuberance was still fun, dotcoms were still cool, cyber-jobs were still plentiful, and the world's future still looked bright, or at least brighter than it does today.

No - this ad wasn't lying. Back in 2000, there really were thousands of IT jobs over at, and you didn't have to move to India to find one. still exists, of course, but the pickings are slimmer than an HTML coder hooked on crystal meth.

Here's an ad whose Darwinian headline boldly hints of the career extinction soon to follow for thousands of knowledge workers. Clever, prescient, and attractively ominous!

Ah - Cybersuds - the New York New Media Association's monthly drinkathon for overworked developers, e-marketers, content dweebs, and other social misfits. New York lost something special when NYNMA tanked. This banner - and perhaps a few lingering hangovers - are all that is left of New York's biggest New Media booster.

Alas - the site called "" didn't survive the shakeout, and one is tempted to say that they simply fell victim to the "Webvolution".

Remember Jupiter - the company formed by Pseudo founder Josh Harris whose job was to impartially research the evolution of the New Economy but whose role became chief evangelist of the, er "Webvolution?" Back in 2000, they were still on top. Today, Jupiter is a subdivision of a larger company, and while the site still exists, it's not so clear whether anybody is still listening.

Jupiter, amazingly enough, even went so far as to host forums designed to train kid entrepreneurs in the black art of the Internet business plan.

This 2000 ad harkens clearly back to happier days, when the term "ground zero" was not synonymous with the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Another ad from the same era whose invocation of the word "bootcamp" did not have the same martial connotations it has today.

Back when wallets were fat and waistlines were thin, New Media dating and mating was an industry unto itself. Today, dotcommers are probably the last people anybody wants to date, and HTML doesn't stand for "How to Make Love", but "He's Taking More Lithium".

If you could jump into a time machine, and zip back to this ancient forum, what would you say to "the people driving the content industry?" Might it perhaps be something like the phrase, "slow down?"

Here's one from Microsoft, the most innovative software company in the land. Interesting that way back in 2000 it was already touting its anti-spam technologies. Glad it only took five years to get them to make it work!

I have many more moldy banner ads on my dusty CD-ROMs and plan to post more soon. If you know of any oldies, please send me e-mail.


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