What's your homepage?


I confess I was one of the first web-geeks in the early 1990s. I vividly recall those incipient AOL days, waiting while that blue bar ticked off the graphics' progress as they loaded on my Mac SE30 - waiting, waiting, always waiting. By 1994 I think they got rid of the blue bar and you just waited for the actual graphics to load one by one, allowing you the freedom to move to a chat room, or check sports scores without waiting for every darn graphic. Still, you could have baked banana bread from scratch in the time it took for that homepage to come up. Of course, technically it wasn't really a homepage, because in those days, one never launched a browser. Most of us had no choice: the "homepage" was whatever AOL wanted you to view, and tough beans if you didn't want to see it.

By 1997, I dumped AOL and started using IE for most of my web needs. I think my very first homepage was Yahoo!, followed in quick succession over the next few years by The New York Times and CNN, before switching back to Yahoo!

These days, I use—count "˜em—four different browsers, depending on what I want to do online, and each one has a different homepage. On safari, I have The New York Times, on Firefox, my homepage is the stat tool for my own website, so I can see who's visiting my site. On my Mozilla browser, the mental_floss dashboard fires upon launch, making it easier to blog, and on IE, which I very rarely use, I have the browser point to my webmail access.

Sizing up a person's homepage is like checking out the books they keep on their shelves: you can tell a lot about a person by what they've got on display. So I'd be curious to know what you all look at first when you launch the old browser. Stock quotes? Sports scores? The weather? Where do you start your day?