One of the luckiest moments of my professional life was the day in early 1994 that my husband called from his office and said he had downloaded an interesting piece of software that I might be able to write a story about. The software was Mosaic, a beta version of the first Web browser. I spent the afternoon surfing. Most of the 200-odd websites in existence that day were just that–odd. But it was a great story anyway. I spent the next seven years covering the blossoming commercial Internet, and it was exhilarating, even (maybe especially) when the mania finally collapsed. I first wrote for a newsletter called the Internet Business Report (from Sweden, inaugurating my virtual workplace), and then, after moving back to the U.S., for the magazine Internet World. Below are some stories from that period, as well as several from Internet Retailer, a later client that has survived the dot-com bust to prosper in the Internet 2.0 world.
This August 1999 cover story discussed the problems with the .com domain and some proposed solutions. While not all its predictions have come true, some have. You no longer have to say “Amazon.com” to identify the world’s largest bookseller, and Women.com still isn’t a compelling brand identity.
This May 2000 cover story looked at some of the fools who rushed in to healthcare-related Internet start-ups, and what their grandiose schemes were up against. More than a decade later, most have disappeared or scaled back, but the Internet is still transforming health care.
Casual copyright violation seemed like an epidemic when this piece was written, but we hadn’t seen nothin’ yet.
A profile/Q&A with Alex Zoghlin, the first CTO of what later became the online travel giant Orbitz.
How online merchants develop “green cred” with their environmentally aware customers.
How blogs and social media caused a viral spike in Mentos sales, and can do the same for other retailers
A look at why, even in a world of packaged e-commerce software, some retailers build their own.