It’s easy to forget, in our world of smartphones and YouTube and Twitter, that the internet hasn’t always been so awesome. Just 15 years ago, back in December of 1998 (when Google was only two months old) Warner Brothers released the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan classic You’ve Got Mail – and a website to go with it. And it’s still there.
If you head over to http://youvegotmail.warnerbros.com/ – yes, we’re all surprised it’s not .geocities or .angelfire, too – it’s like stepping into an internet time capsule, where weird, impossible-to-navigate site maps were still real things. After a kind reminder that you can buy the film on DVD or VHS, you’re taken to the best Flash intro you’ve ever seen:
Then, there’s the home page. My favorite link has to be the “Chat/BBS” button on the bottom of the screen (sadly, now broken, but that must have been a hoppin’ chat back in the day):
Each time you click something on the homepage, you are inexplicably taken to a page of dialogue from the film with a giant, fake cursor over it:
Beyond that, there’s a whole clip-arty world to explore! After all, as the site says, “computers aren’t really the end of Western Civilization as we know it, but they’re full of great ways to waste a little time.” Please enjoy:
Amazing web design!
RealAudio “sounds of New York City!”
You’ve Got Mail downloadable icons!
Read the characters’ e-mails in annoying pop-up form!
Another list of reader-submitted stories about (gasp) meeting people over the internet!
And so, so, so much more. Please waste part of your day in 1998. Now, excuse me – I’m going to watch You’ve Got Mail — on VHS.
- The original Space Jam website is still up, too
- The Pope says the internet is a gift from God
- Anonymity on the internet makes people jerks