Business Insider let me know this morning that it was Youtube’s 8th birthday. It also happens to be my dad’s birthday. No one had to tell me that, in part because it’s three days before mine and only a few days after my sister’s. (Yes, my mom made three separate birthday cakes and had three separate parties. She’s a trooper!)

My dad passed away five years ago in November. So he didn’t get to see Youtube in all it’s glory.. but he did get to see some of it.

My dad hated computers. He was dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century by my mom and brother-in-law and implemented a computer inventory system finally at the hardware store my family owns. My mom did all his email for him at their shared email address. I can almost hear him say ‘Tell Nicole…’ as I read through some of my mom’s old emails.

What he did enjoy about computers was a specific part of the internet (I heard from my brother-in-law so if I’m wrong, Justin, let me know!) was his my MSNBC homepage.

Now these pages no longer exist but the idea was you logged in and in a dashboard format, it showed you articles you might like, videos, links to partner websites etc.

Lots of websites do this now. Really these were the precursor to the personalized news we have come to expect on social networks.

My dad liked checking it before and after lunch… because it changed during the day.

I smile when I think of this. I have 600 new unread articles in my RSS feed reader just from since 9 am this morning. My Facebook and Twitter feeds update every second.

My dad knew the internet at a simpler time. I did too when Breaking Even was first getting started.

So today, I appreciate that all this access to information is still novel, videos can still be funny, and wonder at how it all can refresh if I just wait a bit.

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