Browser Innovations – The Blink Tag

Do you remember when the blink tag appeared on the scene?  I do. I was giving a reference on a great CEO I’ve worked with since 1996.  The VC I was talking to and I took a trip down memory lane to 1994 or so and the blink tag came up.  I wondered if it still worked – let’s see.

I’ve always hated the fucking blink tag. It’s so obnoxious.

Well – that’s interesting – it doesn’t render in Windows Live Writer in either the edit or the preview view.   I just looked the blink tag up on Wikipedia.  I love the quote by its inventor – Lou Montulli: he considers it to be“the worst thing I’ve ever done for the Internet."

Follow Up: Blink works in Firefox but doesn’t seem to work in IE 7 or Chrome or Safari on my iPhone.  What’s up with that?  How can we maintain the integrity of the universe (and subsequently the Internet) if the blink tag vanishes?  Any know the story on Opera?

  • http://twitter.com/greggwitt Gregg Smith

    use to love combining the blink tag + the marquee tag + failing to close it on an old school football message board I loved to frequent in the late 90s/early 00s. It NEVER got old.

  • Dean Fiala

    Opera blinks.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/berislavlopac Berislav Lopac

      Oprah does too.

  • http://iggli.com Tom Higley

    I remember the blink tag vividly, a great illustration of the speed with which bad taste and obnoxious behavior can overtake common sense.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/chipgriffin Chip Griffin

    Ah, the blink tag. That does bring back many (horrible) memories! It also reminds me of a marketing person who used to work for me back in the mid 90's who had just learned PowerPoint and in her presentations she would have a different layout, transition, and sound effect for every slide.

  • http://medioh.tv Bob Boyles

    Oh man, blink… the lazy tag is what we called it back in the day. Devs couldn't be bothered to use a sweet Flash or even an animated GIF, so they just had blinking text. Nothing made me leave a page faster :)

  • http://www.notthatyouasked.org Tom

    StrongBad has some great suggestions for you Brad:

    http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail51.html

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld Brad Feld

      Priceless.  I love StrongBad.

  • http://www.komar.org/ alek

    You can actually implement BLINK using CSS (text-decoration:blink) rather than an HTML tag … like this (yikes!) example – http://www.komar.org/cgi-bin/christmas_webcam (mouse-over the links).

    While this is W3C compliant (and works on Firefox) it also does not work on IE. So you would have to use some Javascript hacks if you must have cross-browser compatibility for <blink>BLINK</blink>… ;-)

    alek

    P.S. And HEY, what about the MARQUE tag – yeah baby!!!

  • Richard

    The blink tag was a Netscape-ism and probably marked the point at which other browser developers stopped seeing Netscape as the definition of HTML. AFAIK it was never implemented in IE. IE's contribution to the mid-90s tasteless web phenomenon was the marquee tag (which in turn was never supported by Netscape).

  • DaveJ

    f/u: the blink shows up in Firefox if I access your website, but the RSS feed into Google does not include it.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bruce2096 Bruce

    Ah, which brings me to one of my favorite Jakob Nielsen comments:

    "Of course, <BLINK> is simply evil. Enough said."

  • http://www.karlkatzke.com Karl Katzke

    > How can we maintain the integrity of the universe (and
    > subsequently the Internet) if the blink tag vanishes?

    I think the phrase you're looking for is "Retroactive Continuity," Brad.

  • http://www.club-penguin.org/ club penguin cheats

    The lazy tag is what we called it back in the day. Devs couldn't be bothered to use a sweet Flash or even an animated GIF, so they just had blinking text. Nothing made me leave a page faster.

  • http://www.increase-pr.com/blog Woodrow Wilson

    Yes,I do remember it.And it works in Opera.

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    The lazy tag is what we called it back in the day. Devs couldn't be bothered to use a sweet Flash or even an animated GIF, so they just had blinking text. Nothing made me leave a page faster.

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  • http://freefarmvillecash.info farmville cash

    The label is a blink of Netscape-ism and probably marked the point where developers another browser, Netscape no longer see the definition of HTML. To my knowledge never been implemented in IE. The contribution of EI to mid 90s web phenomenon was tasteless Marquee label

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    Yes,I do remember it.And it works in Opera. wholesale new era hats

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    ,I do remember it.And it works in Opera

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