Web 1.0 podcast: Porn's sticky fingers are all over the modern internet – The Irish Times

Why is the internet the way it is? In Web 1.0, a six-part podcast series, Irish Times videographer Enda O’Dowd explores the arguments and innovations that were happening back when the web was new, and how they reverberate in today’s online world.

A lot of credit is given to pornography for driving technological change. In reality it’s often an urban myth.

When rival video formats VHS vs Betamax fought a battle for supremacy, pornographers actually hedged their bets and invested in both. VHS’s eventual dominance was as due as much to their sales team as the adult entertainment business.

But online, there were some significant developments. The most important law relating to the internet, Section 230, was created due to an argument around pornography.

And in this episode Lee Noga tells us how pornography also led to familiar features like banner ads, double opt-in messages and webpage analytics. It turns out porn’s sticky fingers are all over modern UX.

We also hear from Gary Kremen, who is often credited with inventing online dating. Kremen was also involved in a convoluted court case over a $65million domain name.

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