Want to see where competitors are heading in their internet strategy? Easy. Visit the Wayback Machine, an online archive of 85 billion web pages that will show you actual old web sites from any company or organization, any time they were updated, going back to 1996. You simply type in the name of the web site you want to research — such as www.mycompetitor.com — and a series of links will show up for the home page at old dates, exactly like it used to look at that point in time. Web designers have used this for years. Business strategists might take a scan to see how competitors have been progressing — No more sign up? Content now free? More video? New social networks? Products in a new area? — and then predict their trend line forward.
Also fun to see really bad examples of Web 1.0.