Help curate The Big Internet Museum

New crowdsourced online museum pays tribute to the pioneers who made the Internet what it is today. Remember Usenet and Numa Numa Guy?

Remember when all your base used to belong to us? Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

You can't visit too many museums at 3 a.m. in your underwear, but The Big Internet Museum welcomes visitors at any hour, in any attire. Appropriately, the new museum dedicated completely to the Internet exists online only.

The newly opened museum houses seven wings, each devoted to a different category spanning past to present.

In the history wing, visitors can take a nostalgic scroll back to early search engine AltaVista and JennyCAM, Jennifer Ringley's 1996 popular personal Webcam site. The technology wing touches on Usenet, HTML, and Lycos, among others, while the meme wing rounds up such classics as Star Wars Kid, Numa Numa Guy, and Rickroll. Other wing topics include social media, peripherals, gaming, and audio-visual (emoticons, Napster, YouTube).

The museum -- created by three employees of Dutch ad agency TBWA\Neboko and executed by digital production agency MediaMonks -- takes a crowdsourced approach to curation. Visitors can submit content, with the public voting on whether a proposed piece can join the museum's permanent collection. As such, the collection is rather paltry at the moment, but it's nonetheless fun to click around and pick up trivia. (Did you know ARPAnet contractor Ray Tomlinson chose the @ sign to attach to e-mail messages?)

It might be fun to take Internet-savvy kids to the museum, point to a device from before they were born, and say, "When I was a kid, I used to dial up on a 56k modem -- barefoot, in the snow!"

The Big Internet Museum has extremely flexible hours. Screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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