Blue Links

…discovering new websites since 1996…

About

Hi, my name is Vitalii Kovalenko and I am the author of this website. You can contact me by email:

email

This website is designed to be a collection of wonderful websites I found on the internet, each with a short and hopefully not very opinionated review. Not a directory, not a search engine, but a small personal and totally non-profit project.

I started doing it back in 1996, when the internet was new to pretty much anyone, there were no Google and no social networks, and there were like five more years before the blogs, bloggers and blogging have emerged.

Internet or website reviews and reviewers were the hottest thing back then. Geocities and Angelfire were full of amazing websites and you could print the entire list of all domain names in your country’s TLD on five sheets of A4 paper and post it on your wall right above your 14” 800 by 600 pixels CRT monitor for a handy reference.

In 1997 I moved my reviews from my ISP’s homepage space (with a tilde in front of my username, as is the Unix tradition) and started a weekly column on a popular website (with its own domain name and no tilde in front of my column’s URI). Till the end of that year I posted website reviews, tech news and what’s later become known as the guest posts every single week. For free. In the year’s end my real life duties at work and university got harder and wiped my free time without a trace. It was good while it lasted.

Fast forward five years: the uni was over, the jobs became closely related to the internet and I was building websites for a living. Google became a verb, and blogging became a thing. I registered this domain, intwebit.com name in the early 00’s (I don’t remember what for, and why I chose this name) and made it my personal blog for a few years.

By the end of the 00’s the mailing lists, RSS feeds, and directories slowly died, and the emerging social networks became how people people discover new websites online. Blogs became all commercial and buried themselves under the tonnes of Google AdSense and affiliate links, so the content just moved to the social networks. For many people Facebook became the whole internet.

In the second decade of the new century internet became even more commercialized (and I, honestly, did my part in making it like this), the idyllic information superhighway was overrun and brought to its knees by the mighty FAANG — a fistful of mega-corporations, just like in the cyberpunk books of the 90’s.

By the end of this decade, however, most of us learned that living in a distopia is not that fun. The term surveillance capitalism was coined, the role of the social networks in the rise of the populist politicians and fringe beliefs became apparent.

The future of the internet and humanity itself is not that bright, but there is hope. The technologies and information are more accessible than ever before. Everyone who wants it can escape the control of the mega-corporations at least partially, and circumventing censorship, imposed by oppressive regimes, is still possible for pretty much everyone. Keeping the spirit of the early internet alive is what we can do. One by one and all together.

This is why I decided to revive the website reviews as they were in the 90’s, this is why I re-registered my old domain, and why I built this website the way it is. Enjoy the classic link colors and underlines, now in HTML5 and best viewed on every modern device.

If you know the website I should review, please use the “Submit you website!” link in the footer.

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