4 min read

Linktree Team, People

Old (and unpopular) tech trends we’re still thinking about in 2020

Remember when planking was a thing? There are some parts of online culture that are considered very uncool now but were once extremely fashionable. 

We asked some of the professionals in our team to talk about some old fashioned tech trends that might have died out but still leave a lasting legacy in our hearts. It’s not easy to defend the indefensible, but we did our best. 

Defending the Indefensible

The Linktree team comes together to remember tech trends that most would rather forget.

Henry and Facebook Pokes

“Social media back in the late 2000s was the wild west. It’s no longer common to add a bunch of mutuals you barely know, but I distinctly remember doing so. I always thought the Facebook Poke was well-intentioned for that type of behavior. It was a way for introverts like myself to start a conversation with someone new. But it’s also nice to let your friend know that you’re thinking about them. You’d poke a mate, they’d poke you back. Different time. 

And yeah, it’s been widely ridiculed and long forgotten. But we’ve evolved an established cultural etiquette about sliding into DMs that made poking a bit unnecessary. Echos of it still exist though! Like the ‘wave’ on Facebook Messenger or Snapchat streaks. Admittedly ‘poking’ is creepy and weird, but there’s something about giving someone a little nudge that still has a place in social media today. After all social media needs to also work for anti-social people.”

-Henry Clarke, Social Media Manager.

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“Who remembers working in Microsoft Publisher and having this little guy constantly giving you tips on how to optimize your doc or work more efficiently? Some would say annoying, others would say genius. Clippy’s unsolicited offers to help were the humble beginnings of Appcues and UX as a concept. The world just wasn’t ready for him yet.

Now we’ve got Siri and Alexa. Powered by AI, with a simple voice command you can get the answer to anything and everything on the internet. And I’m not even mad about it. Imagine having this at your disposal when doing your homework or that assignment you left to the last minute? Kids these days will never know the struggle.”

-Maddy Cox, Marketing Manager.

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Nicko and WordArt

“When I was 15, while the other boys were discovering Pamela Anderson, I discovered WordArt.

WordArt changed everything. All of a sudden, even the most boring of school assignments now came with a magical 3D heading, set in Impact with a snazzy orange-yellow gradient running through it (WordArt du jour, for moi). Subheadings now existed in a 48pt Arial rainbow, complete with drop shadow (because rainbows cast shadows, right?). And what about that chrome effect?? Ah, such sweet mems. 

To say that WordArt is the number one gateway drug to graphic design might be a bold statement, but it is one I am willing to defend. What else could even come close as a contender? MS Paint? Pfft, please! Photoshop’s Bevel and Emboss?? Not a chance (mostly because this dodgy serial number isn’t working). Steve Jobs’ contribution to the design world has been hugely documented, but I think we should send a shout-out in fancy 3D lettering with a curved and tilted perspective to our boy, Mr WordArt himself, Sir Bill Gates.”

-Nicko Phillips, Senior Creative

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Michael and Flash Player

“Flash should have been called Crash. It embodied all the problems of closed source, insecure, proprietary software; but was hugely popular and that itself carries a legacy.

We run Crash Tests on cars to learn about what happened, why and how to improve. In this case, Crash was a problem that spread everywhere and at one point looked unstoppable. We look back at Flash and see dozens of ways of how not to build, maintain and distribute software.

Flash web games often planted the seed that grew Software Engineers, and ironically those it inspired were those who killed it.

For everything we’ve learned and those who it inspired I ask you to join me in saying Thank you Flash Player for being such a Crash”

-Michael Carter, Engineer

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“I still think this was the best way to demonstrate exclusivity on a social media platform. For anyone who doesn’t remember it, back in the Myspace days you could select a Top 8 of your favorite Friends/Followers to display on your profile. Why would you want to do this? Simple. Most importantly, it allowed you to show the world who your inner circle actually was and demonstrate the strength of your network. It gave a sense of popularity and clout in a way that no other platform has managed to close in on. Your Top 8 was the VIP list of your curated friends, and it showed who you were as much as it showed who you knew. 

Also, a sure-fire way to show your crush you were into them was to make them your #1 in the Top 8. Whether that crush was on your best friend or My Chemical Romance…”

-Joan Westenberg, Content Lead

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