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Older Than the Web tropes were named or invented before the widespread use of the World Wide Web. For the purpose of this page, that means the trope was developed prior to September 1993 but after widespread use of television in the 1940s (see Older Than Television for that).

This period of history saw the rise of mass media, primarily in television but also in Pop Music and radio. Rock and Roll had finally evolved from the Delta Blues, and led to countless variations in genres from Funk to Heavy Metal to Disco to Punk Rap. Television began from a few stations broadcasting a few hours a day of black-and-white signals to tiny screens, but rose to nearly 100 cable channels by the end broadcast to giant projection screens.

Even 20 years later, this sounds like Zeerust with modern flat-panel TVs, hundreds of TV channels, podcasts and Netflix. But for this period, most of the distribution was tightly controlled by the content companies, who decided what you'd watch and when you'd watch it. And then the VCR arrived, a forerunner of the more disruptive inventions to come.

Meanwhile, what we call the Internet was first developed in the 1960s as the ARPANET project, but no most had never heard of the Internet until much later. Even as of 1994, you can find news anchors asking "What is Internet?".

Why choose September 1993 as the dividing line? That month saw the first beta release of the Mosaic web browser -- the first web browser ever developed. Also, this was the month that America Online (AOL) first allowed its "dial-up" subscribers to access UseNet. Previous denizens of the 'Net called it the Eternal September -- the month the newbies never went away. Sadly, we are still subjected to their inane YouTube comments to this day. Anyway, tropes that were developed on the internet but before the Eternal September go on that page. By the next year, we already saw the first interactions of television with the Web, as JMS actively interacted with internet fans about his new show Babylon 5.

Tropes created or named during this time period: