With this week’s 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, there’s been a lot of focus on the spring of 2003. At my age, ten years ago seems like only yesterday–or it did until I visited a site known as the WayBack Machine, which archives older versions of almost any large website, including NCPR.
Here’s the front page at ncpr.org for March 26, 2003. That’s a long time ago in internet years. It’s small, because most computer monitors at the time had a smaller display area (in pixels) than many of today’s smart phones and handheld devices. It has very few images, because more than 90% of the North Country connected via phone modem–really really slow phone modem.
But still, most of what we do now, we did then. String Fever is on the air Thursday from 3-5. And you can subscribe to the Listening Post, which was just starting its second year of weekly publication in 2003, written then as now by yours truly. Karen DeWitt was reporting on the NY state budget–late that year. And we had the top NPR news stories–war news that week. You could listen to our live stream–very low-fi so you could get it over a phone modem. And you could search the site–sort of.
Facebook and twitter didn’t exist. The word blog had just come into common parlance, a worn-down version of the older geeks-only term “weblog.” In 2003 I began using blog software as a means to archive my (then briefer) spiels in the Listening Post.
Reading what I said 10 years ago yesterday…
I was on the way back from Burlington when the war news began to break. I had gone as Connie Meng’s sidekick to the opening of O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music at FlynnSpace. We sat in her car riding the Grand Isle Ferry through ice floes and dark water, listening to the calm voices say the terrible things. How many times in my life I’ve driven through the night, listening to war news on the radio. This war, that war, the next war… the headlights only illuminate the few yards ahead.
…it really does feel like only yesterday, no matter how many years it’s been in internet years.