In 2001, I owned my own domain name. I blogged in a hand-coded html file. I made friends with other people through the Buffy the Vampire Slayer posting board. I made other friends through those friends visiting their blogs and commenting on their posts. We had link lists, blog rolls, fan Listings, and web rings, and that’s how we found new sites to visit. We made fan art and wrote fanfiction.
Some of this is still happening, most especially the fan works part. And some innovations have definitely made the Internet better – I switched to automated blogging software in 2002 and I haven’t regretted it once since. Other pieces inspired by other people working on the IndieWeb, I’m bringing back: my following page is basically a blog roll and I’ve started reading blogs again.