The Atlantic published recently some great historical (as of this writing) essays about two staples of the Internet: pop-up ads and email (aka “cockroach”).

They’ve come with some great quotes as well.

The first, on the beloved pop-up ad:

Along the way, we ended up creating one of the most hated tools in the advertiser’s toolkit: the pop-up ad…Specifically, we came up with it when a major car company freaked out that they’d bought a banner ad on a page that celebrated anal sex. I wrote the code to launch the window and run an ad in it. I’m sorry. Our intentions were good.

– Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT and principal research scientist at MIT’s Media Lab, and formerly a programmer at, where he wrote the code for the first pop-up ad. Read story.

The second, on beloved email, which is not dead:

Email—yes, email—is one way forward for a less commercial, less centralized web, and the best thing is, this beautiful cockroach of a social network is already living in all of our homes.

– Alexis Madrigal, deputy editor of Read story.

Cockroach Photo: Jeremy Page.

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.