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.

June 28, 2007

Ancient Jackie Chan Pages Haunt

Joel Schlosberg found some ancient, bitrotten pages on the servers of that are true cyber-relics. His words follow:

"Here's one of the oldest and most ghostly book promotion websites I've ever seen: Random House's website for Jackie Chan's autobiography "I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action", published in 1998 -- and sure enough (by both internal evidence of datedness and checking the Wayback Machine), the page hasn't been modified much since 1998:

Note first of all that a lot of it consists of book excerpts, so that's not particularly dated. But moving on....

The first thing that sticks out is the color scheme: yellow and white text on a red -- and I mean screamingly bright, fire truck-red -- background. If one looks a bit more carefully, one notices that the graphics are conspicuously dithered GIFs.

There's also an early use of Java to add interactivity: namely, a simple Concentration game where the cards are Jackie Chan in various poses:

But the real gold is the links page:
There's a page of "Jackie Chan Windows 95 Desktop Themes", and best of all, a bunch of webpages! (The URL's are spelled out on the page, making it easier to find such gems.)

And while the vast majority of links are simply broken links, there are a few still-functioning sites that show signs of ghostliness: -- "This page last updated : 8/16/01"

Even better, some of the pages have a banner ad for the original site!"

Thanks, Joel, for pointing out these mouldering pages. They yield a unique view of Web 1.0 aesthetics and sensibilities.

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