Let's not forget Angelfire, where you waited forever for somebody's hundred photos to load onto the page:)
Honestly? I never knew what I was doing technically. I just always had friends who sorta did. I had the BBS in the 80's, even though it sucked and my friends put some "User ADR" shit into my program to spy on me. We were about 12.
I got literally prodded into getting online in '97 by my best friend so he could chat with me. I was still in my 20's and wary of technology and actually quite against it, but I went ahead with it for him and quickly discovered young girls were everywhere and trying to find people to chat with and alleviate their boredom. There was no pedo-fear being distributed to the population yet from on-high. I was quickly hooked, and quickly became a master entertainer of young girls, just out of the desperation to keep them interested and not getting bored (as lolis notoriously do). Nothing vile nor creepy nor sexual. I just wanted them to keep chatting with me by choice. I was too afraid and paranoid to ever ask to meet in person or any of that. It was enough to see how beautiful they were both in images and personality, and that I could actually interact well with them and sometimes get into topics that were more real and personal, to a point that was surprisingly deep, intellectually. It just sorta validated it for me that my love for girls could actually be reciprocated, while I learned some of the struggles they were going through themselves and later tried to speak up for here, at least in my earlier days.
Many years ago. The wild west of the internet. Yes, sad it has not gone the way that it was originally intended, huh.