Splash Screens, these web pages that announce one is about to enter somewhere with the next click, described and recommended for commercial web sites in David Siegel’s legendary book Creating Killer Web Sites, are today thought to be one of the most annoying things the web of the 90’s had to offer. On Geocities they seem to be not very common, instead most page authors chose to place a “Welcome” message and offer navigation options right there.

Anyway, Prince Etrigan created a very nice splash screen: The metaphor of a state border is used to claim a place on the web, at the same time it “allows” you to move freely. While most splash screens seem to hold travelers up, this one gives a sense of relief. There is a state (a private kingdom in fact), but this state is not like the ones in reality. Knowingly or not, this welcome greeting oscillates between Barlow’s A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, ideas to bring this freedom to the actual world, e.g. as demanded by the noborder network and virtual art states like NSKSTATE.1

We got used to “travel” freely around the internet. For 90’s web users, it was a completely new experience. And at the time a technical challenge. Today became a political challenge to keep it this way, while the web has also grown an oppressive face against real-world travelers.

Original URL: http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/1141/

  1. That one definitely looked better in the 90’s! []

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