As part of Yahoo’s ongoing mid-life crisis, the company very quietly announced today that it’s killing off the original internet directory that gave the company its name.
Back in 1994, Jerry Yang and David Filo, Stanford Grad students, launched “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”, a categorised, curated list of everything that’s on the internet. Obviously, as time has gone by, the “original” Yahoo has slipped into irrelevant obscurity and the company announced (if burying the message at the bottom of an incredibly boring Tumblr post even counts as an announcement) that they’re ending the directory on 31 December.
Although the only surprising thing here is the fact that Yahoo still actively maintains a telephone directory for THE ENTIRE INTERNET, it’s an interesting look back at how our interaction with the ‘net has changed over the last 20 years. In 1994, hierarchical organisation was one of the best ways of sorting through and discovering the internet; with how things have evolved, though, the idea of thumbing through hundreds of thousands of names to find something (or, even, going to the second page of Google) seems laughably insane. [Yahoo via Ars Technica]