On the internet, testimonials have been flourishing since this morning to evoke this successful social network of the 2000s, the content of which will be kept by the INA and the BnF.
“ It’s the end of an era», «I feel old», « With MSN and MySpace, it was the best network!“. On Twitter, the testimonies ofmillennialsabout blogs from their teenage years are raining down. At the origin of this nostalgia, the announced end of another network, which had its heyday in the 2000s: Skyblog. Indeed, in a tweet published on Friday, Jérôme Aguesse, the Deputy Managing Director of Skyrock announced the deactivation of this site dedicated – as its name suggests – to blogs.
And if this social network means nothing to you, you have to go back to the year 2002 precisely when its founder, Pierre Bellanger, launched Skyblog.com. “I was inspired by the discovery of American webblogs, which allowed retro publishing, clicking on links and above all posting comments, at the time it was a revolution“, explains the latter.
Attached to the skyrock music radio, the site is intended to be a personalized web space to allow Internet users to create pages on music groups and discuss the subject. “ I wanted to adapt this technology for the online and networking of personal diaries “, he continues.
Thus, the Skyblog interface makes it possible to publish texts and photos but also to distribute links (to other blogs in particular) and to comment on the pages. The site quickly met with unexpected success. “When we had 500 blogs created on the platform, I thought it was a success“recalls Pierre Bellanger.
At the peak of its use, however, they will be more than 30 million. “It is emblematic of a way of communicating of a generation at a given time, at the time of the emergence of digital“, reacts Vladimir Tybin, responsible for the legal deposit of the web for the French National Library (BnF).
“We found ourselves in the grip of an exponential phenomenon: overnight, we went from one blog created per hour to three per second”
Pierre Bellanger, founder of Skyrock and the Skyblog site.
Indeed, this ease of use appealed to the young French-speaking audience of the 2000s. In 2009, it was very fashionable, all my girlfriends had one!“recalls Alice, 23 years old. Movies, stars, sports, manga, politics…on the site, there are as many blogs as there are centers of interest. “To collegeI had two skyblogs, one on the wrestler Shawn Michaels and another dedicated to PSG“Laughs Nim, 27 years old. “On mine, I was writing stories about Naruto manga characters», completes Alice.
“My Skyblog fueled my love of writing”
The announcement that the site was going offline also reminded Jade of the existence of her old skyblog, which had been forgotten for almost a decade. “Personally, I spent almost 5 years writing about bands that I loved like One direction“, reacts the 24-year-old lawyer. And if Jade* keeps a good memory of it, other Internet users are relieved to see theirs disappear, “whose pword they had lost for a century“.
Yet, there was a time, fueling “his Skyblogwas part of the daily pastimes of these teenagers. “ I remember holidays spent on my grandfather’s computer where I wrote my fanfictionssmiles Alice. ” VSthere was an exhilarating side to being read by other people, some girls even announced their new texts with the equivalent of newsletters today“, she notes.
Today, this business school student ures us that this social network has largely contributed to fueling her attraction to writing. “ When I entered college, I participated in short story contests for example“. Nim, now an advisor to the president of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council, makes the same observation. “ It gave me a taste for debate and the animation of a community“, continues the young man. “Subsequently, I entered Sciences Po and I think Skyblog contributed a little“.
Build a French digital heritage
The platform will eventually be outdated in the 2010s with the arrival of industry behemoths such as the social network Facebook, made globally accessible in 2006.” Their emergence was the cause of the gradual decline of such textual production“, analyzes Vladimir Tybin, before specifying: “We have moved to microblogging: much shorter texts and limited in terms of characters“.
So, to preserve this piece of French digital heritage represented by Skyblog, the National Audiovisual Institute (INA) and the French National Library (BnF) jointly collect content from the site. In total, there would remain nearly 12 million archived blogs on the platform. ” What we would like is to keep as many of them as possible, in their diversity, even those which have only been consulted once, for example.“, reports the head of legal deposit of the web for the BnF.
To do this, the library usesrobot harvesters”, which record the source codes, texts and images of the blogs in question. “The difficulty is that behind the 12 million blogs that we can archive, there may be several pages and this multiplies the URLs», Details Vladimir Tybin. For its part, the INA has chosen to sort out some of the content available on Skyblog. “ In total, we retained 1.6 million profiles and 200 million posts generated by these same accounts», specifies Jérôme Thièvre, responsible for the legal deposit of the web for the Institute.
A work started in the 2010s and available for consultation in the reading rooms of the INA. “ We are working to ensure that this consultation is interactive and the display of the site as faithful as possible to that of the 2000s.“, he specifies. A carefully preserved recent digital history. Something to plug the wound of Internet users nostalgic for the good times of blogs and other forums.
*Name has been changed