Natalie's Backseat Traveling Web Show (1996-1997)
You probably didn't watch Natalie's Backseat Traveling Web Show, youth TV network Nickelodeon's first foray into Web content. We don't blame you. You were probably still using a 56K dial-up modem and paying by the hour for AOL.
The "Web show" detailed the adventures of 12-year-old Natalie (we've put out an inquiry to Nickelodeon to see if they still have the name of the actress on file) and her goldfish, Rover, as they endured a cross-country family road trip. The show was created by Creative Labs under the direction of Mark Foster, and the rudimentary Web site (archived here) was developed by Fusebox.
Consisting of short video and audio as well as games and text posts (long before any of us had heard the word "blog") along with three-minute televised episodes, Natalie was an extremely ambitious project for the late 1990s: not only did many Web users not have the bandwidth to handle even occasional video and audio clips, but at the time many families still would not have been comfortable letting their pre-teens use the Web.
Nickelodeon was about a decade too early: now, one of its biggest hits is iCarly, a TV show and accompanying Web site about a 13-year-old online video star played by teen actress Miranda Cosgrove.
August 28, 2008 4:00 AM PDT
Photo by: Nickelodeon
| Caption by: Caroline McCarthy
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