A little more on ATN — inspired by Tom’s link and discussion, I figured I’d float by there again to see what was up. I was never anything like a regular reader — my initial sense of ATN when I read it was not of groundbreaking this and that but suffocating classic rock smugness along with equally suffocating college-rock-that’s-not-quite-commercial-alternative smugness. A deadly combination when it came to 1994, and not much better this time around.

But one thing I found intriguing about the article was how they’ve carefully elided history. It makes it seem that it came out of nowhere, but in fact they received initial hosting, technical support and more from what was far more arguably the first true home of digitized music for all on the web, the Internet Underground Musical Archive (IUMA). A lot of the dreams and goals of the ATN bunch wouldn’t have happened without the IUMA crew, and yet the only clue of their role in the whole thing is the brief mention of Santa Cruz at the start of such a self-congratulatory retrospective.

A minor point? Perhaps, but it says something about how the Internet is perceived and valued that this claim is being made now, a kissing cousin of Al Gore’s claim to have invented the whole thing. Being the first is what is important, it seems — to have been there on the cutting edge, the bleeding edge throughout, to have defined things for upcoming generations, blah blah blah. It makes for a lovely resume item for the writers, as well as making themselves feel like they count for something in the universe. Did it really have an effect? I’m distinctly doubtful. I don’t see Garbage’s sales achievements as resulting from one net feature, for one thing.