Dear Leo Laporte: Gina Smith Has a Question, Seriously

Written by Gina Smith

Gina Smith sends a message to Leo Laporte in video format. She reminds him that 20 years ago they were among the first to see the first five sites on the web. Should they have bought, as they first wondered, all the URLs they could afford? Gina says …

Dear Leo, as reports today, the publicly available web as we know it now is 20 years old this week.

Do you remember how 20 years ago — this week, I believe — that guy gave us a demo in his Vegas hotel room of the first true websites. They were the first publicly visible and, ostensibly from the demo, easily buildable by anyone with HTML knowledge.

And remember how we looked at each other in astonishment? Cripes. Wow. And then we started thinking …

Do you remember our debate over whether it would be wise to buy up cheap domain names then, in 1993, on every conceivable word on the planet, or whether we’d be ruining our journalistic ethics and our then-slim bank accounts in doing so? I do. Like it was yesterday.

Are you sorry? I’m not. My guess is, you’re glad you didn’t do a land grab, too. Better to be head TWiT than be forever known as the early grabber of dirt-cheap dot com sites. But then again …

Have a great tomorrow. See you soon and my best to you and yours,


Disclosure: Gina Smith and Leo Laporte co-wrote 101 Computer Answers You Need to Know (1994) and hosted a national call-in radio show, On Computers with Leo Laporte and Gina Smith throughout the 1990s.