Yahoo! Internet Life, a magazine that often reads a lot like an annotated map to a much smaller (and yet somehow bigger) Internet in a time that never was, ran from 1995 to 2002. As the Internet search engine pioneer Yahoo! was one of the most popular Internet hubs of the late 90s and early 2000s, it makes sense that they would be the face of a newer, mainstream-friendly publication for the rapidly growing numbers of people who had internet at home. Going from the focus on lifestyle and pop culture, the magazine would have had a strong appeal and marketing towards women, which would have set it apart from other tech and internet magazines at the time. What killed it? Well, I feel like 9/11 is too easy of an answer but at the same time, 9/11 changed a lot about how people saw and used the Internet.
What about this cover is still relevant? …stocks? Winter getaways?
If you want to stand out at the Faceless White Men In Cowboy Hats Convention, light up a nondescript Philip Morris-produced cigarette! Try not to light the guy in front of you on fire.
And she does not look happy about it!
More of the “ironic retro” graphic design style that absolutely saturated mainstream magazines around this time. Vintage photographs and kitschy clip art collaged on top of a stock art background with a muted color palette. It seems to exist to reassure baby boomers that they’re still relevant…for now. Generation X artists are coming into the commercial art and illustration scene, and they aren’t afraid to cut up and rearrange the past if it makes a statement. I indelibly associate this style of imagery with stuff that I’d come across in Time, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, and generally any other magazine that you’d find in a waiting room.
*sips tea, eyebrows up, avoids comment*
The HP Jornada Pocket PC – cuz jornada cool guy without eight pounds of clunky electronics and a big cable that you’re expected to carry around in the pocket of your fitted khakis!
Lucky you indeed! That waitress needs to contact the better business bureau and complain that her employer makes her serve scalding-hot coffee in six inch heels and a barely any clothes! It’s a massive lawsuit waiting to happen!
She Put Her Number In My Contacts And Then Didn’t Know What To Do With The Stylus: We Call It A Smartphone: A Year 2000 Love Story
I’m assuming that after about 2003, Don Spade was straight up torn limb from limb by the Internet at large like a pack of hungry wolves. Also, Hi Don Marquardt (so many Dons!), it’s the year two thousand nineteen and I use my phone to pay for my laundry at the laundromat. But I still don’t have anything that will move my wet clothes to the dryer for me, and I complain about it constantly.
“I believe the next Shakespeare will have his own website and write unpublished works of fiction that many people will stop by and enjoy.” Oh, you sweet innocent boy.
Radiohead has 18 webrings! Wow!
I personally never got on the Josh Hartnett teen hottie hype train. He just always looked like he was recovering from being punched in the face. Maybe that appealed to some girls? Where can I send Josh Hartnett this special embroidered and bedazzled cover that I made for his ice packs?
This was like four straight pages of listed links that I’m pretty sure the majority of are long dead by now. This section was slightly heavier paper and had perforations so that you could tear it out and, I guess, go down the list of URLs bit by bit to explore the web in context of this month’s associated Y!IL articles. Which strikes me as kind of adorably innocent, particularly the helpful “try typing www before the url” note at the bottom. You might be like “oh come on, you look at more Instagram profiles than the number of links on this page in an hour”, but remember that this is pre-smartphone age and the average person only spent maybe two or three hours at a desktop computer per day just browsing around for fun back then. Four pages of this would probably be enough to keep you well occupied until next month’s issue.
I would love to know more about the girl who won a million dollars from downloading one of the absolute worst songs of the year 2000 – HOLY HELL SHE WAS 14?! Dexter Holland would probably really like some of that cash these days.
marvelonline.net is one awkward url.
I’ve never heard of Majestic but I’m a sucker for ARGs so it sounds pretty cool in concept. It won some awards for innovation, at least. Apparently it was a massive bomb, which EA seems to have officially blamed on 9/11 ruining everything (which, to be honest, it really did for a while) but also had some glaring issues like expensive subscription prices and also being an EA game.
Ooh so edgy! This is definitely not an ad that would have run in a mainstream magazine by the end of the same year, no matter how tongue in cheek it is.
live365 is still, somehow someway, operating today, so good for them.
Just…just take it all in.
This is also the year and month that “Drops of Jupiter” by Train came out, a foreshadowing that 2001 would be the most tragic year in American history.
“Really? ANOTHER article about The Spirits Within?” you ask me, clearly exasperated. “Yes,” I respond coldly. “You must suffer as I suffered between the years of 1999 and 2001 with non-stop coverage of this shitty movie that went absolutely nowhere and embodies the endless barren landscape of broken nerd dreams across the world.”
Gotta really sex up that Canon PowerShot ad in the most blandly not-actually-sexy way, I get it. Sex sells.
How’d that airline pillow game controller…thing…go for you, Intel?
I wonder if the snowboard peripheral never took off because almost no one wanted to go to a website called thrustmaster.com, and the people who did were looking for something other than buying a fake skateboard for their Playstation.
As someone who can’t go two blocks without pulling out GoogleMaps to orient myself, I can’t even find the words to express how happy I am that I don’t have to spend about $300 in 2001 money for a portable GPS that can only hold a few painstakingly downloaded street maps at a time and in 99 percent of cases straight up doesn’t work.
Hey it’s Monica! Hey lady! Monica’s gotta move some handbags to cover the 1.5 million in legal fees that built up as a side effect of being a very young person who made some very dumb mistakes and many very complicated plots later nearly crashed American Democracy! Here’s a fun Daily Beast article about the Real Monica Inc handbags, 20 years later. I’m glad that someone had the boldness to tell her that she had to make the brand name something a little deliberately vague, because it would be very hard to find a Fred Segal customer in 1999 who would just carry a purse that said MONICA LEWINSKY on the nameplate.
“What makes you buy my bag at 2:30 am?” she wonders. Alcohol, Monica, alcohol. I don’t mean to be mean to her – I feel like she’s finally hit an agreeable maturity in the public eye and “anti cyber-bullying activist” is a great turn for her.
Do most of these photos feel really cheap and exploitative, or is it just me? No one needs to see her pedicure or an implied topless glamour shot, but hey foot fetishists need to buy handbags online at 2:30 in the morning too I guess.
Oh my, look at this $6,000 mobile webcam robot! *kicks it over, resumes burglary*
If you, like me, live on a diet of cheese crackers and schadenfreude, this article will feed you for a good long while. In the wake of Napster declaring bankruptcy in July 2001, The Bertelsmann deal was a flaming mess:
On May 17, 2002, Napster announced that its assets would be acquired by German media firm Bertelsmann for $85 million with the goal of transforming Napster into an online music subscription service. The two companies had been collaborating since the middle of 2000 where Bertelsmann became the first major label to drop its copyright lawsuit against Napster. Pursuant to the terms of the acquisition agreement, on June 3 Napster filed for Chapter 11 protection under United States bankruptcy laws. On September 3, 2002, an American bankruptcy judge blocked the sale to Bertelsmann and forced Napster to liquidate its assets.
I’m going to be honest, I’m mostly sharing this because the Tom Tomorrow illustration was so fun. I don’t have any personal experience with Palm Pilots/PDAs, being too young and unprofessional to care when they were in their very brief heyday. My teenage impression of a Palm Pilot was that it was something that crotchety old dorks with soulless office jobs (you know, 24 year olds with disposable income) cared about and that was not for me. You couldn’t download Sailor Moon fanart to it, so I didn’t want it. But I’m putting up the whole article in hopes that it reaches someone out there who actually gave a damn about them and the much-hyped (but suspected not actually real) cult around them.
This goes on…
*mindlessly scrolls through Instagram*
Hey, did you know that there was a horror movie from 2017 called Killer App? That’s funny.
And on. Wait a minute.
This was written by THAT Larry Smith.
“In tech circles, people whisper ‘wireless’ the way Mr. McQuire whispered ‘plastics’ to Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate…” and then we’ll be listening to so many radio stations on our cellular-phones, it’ll be so cool!
Yes, white rappers totally deserve their own category of pop culture updates! Good lord, 2001.
The Fabio website still exists and was last updated in March of last year. Please visit it. It’s amazing. But try not to crash the site, I think it can handle about three visitors at a time. It is delicate yet elegant, much like ever-flowing locks of Fabio.
OHHH THAT LAST LINE THOUGH
That is the distant smile of a man who is surrounded by technology and global connection and young attractive people in cozy late-spring layers and questionably cuffed pedal pusher jeans, who is fighting with every atom in his body to not start screaming very loudly. He’s also probably an actor who went on to be in something that I am oblivious to but is instantly recognizable by someone else out there. He just has that vibe about him. Terrified, and yet still photogenic.
Oh no, these people got lost on their way to an erectile dysfunction ad! Perhaps an eBook page-flipping software can help them find the path again?
That woman’s hair and dress are literally identical to what my best friend wore to senior prom in 2002. Like I can tell you exactly how long it took for the stylist to do that hairstyle (about 15 minutes) and how much that strapless sage green formal dress cost (about $125 and it is secretly two separate pieces). This is probably not interesting to anyone else but I had to keep it in. Also this is an ad for an online casino and no, that man is neither Nick Lachey nor David Boreanaz.
JESUS YIKES ON A POPSICLE STICK!
I’m guilty of visiting two of these sites pretty frequently around this time – Hot Or Not, which I guess now is something more like a dating website, and Emotion Eric. My friends and I would always dare each other to put our photos up on Hot Or Not but we always chickened out. Emotion Eric was kind of like a proto-Instagram celebrity. Literally people would write him an email asking him to post a photo of himself expressing an emotion like “what’s that smell?” or reacting to a hypothetical scenario, such as “something has gone terribly wrong with the toaster”, and he would post a photo accordingly. We were all delighted. People posting pictures of themselves online was kind of a big deal back then, since few people owned scanners and there were no such thing as cameras on cell phones. Finding a place to upload a picture was also not the easiest thing, since back then the Internet was extremely stingy with file sizes and what was then referred to as “hotlinking” *wheezes, reaches for emergency Werthers* Anyway, Eric Conveys an Emotion was very ahead of its time and I was a fan. As of 2005, Eric updated his site to mention that he now works for Yahoo! of all places.
Back to this final page, I’d also really love to know the thought process that went into “women in American flag bikinis with chunky strappy heels to sell a bespoke coffin-shaped bookshelf”, because if you haven’t recognized that 2001 was a tasteless and god-awful year even before the catastrophic world-changing terrorist attacks by the end of this article, surely you can clue me in on why American flag bikinis and coffin bookshelves was a good idea. What was good about pop culture in 2001? Destiny’s Child? hatsofmeat.com?
That’s it for this one! Thanks for reading, as always, and thank you for all your kind wishes that I passed on to Guest Editor Iggy. He’s fully recovered and back to work:
“I kicked a foot full of kitty litter out of the box for the A E S T H E T I C S”
Next up will be something that has been requested for ages. Omni, July 1985! See you then!