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Site of the Week: In the 70s, 80s, 90s

Charles Grosvenor has never seen VH1’s I Love the… decades series — he claims the station’s quality is so poor that he hasn’t watched it for at least 10 years — but he certainly understands where the program is coming from. His website, which he started in 1995 as a tribute to the the ’80s and has since expanded to encompass the ’70s and ’90s, is a repository of pop culture trivia. Have you ever wondered who the biggest movie star was in 1980? Or what Ben Affleck was doing before he was famous in the ’90s? Perhaps you’re curious about what restaurant Clark Griswold met Christie Brinkley in National Lampoon’s Vacation . It’s all available on In the 70s, In the 80s, and In the 90s, which provide a wealth of information for those nostalgic for an era not-so-long past.

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Each of the pages is devoted both thematically and visually to its respective decade. The ’70s site’s design is derived from a swatch of earth tones popular in the era. The ’80s is modeled after the pages of rock magazines, with enough neon to shame Las Vegas. And the ’90s, coincidentally, is built to look like a ’90s web page with sparse design and layout. “I might still redesign the 1990s site to resemble offline styles,” Grosvenor says, “but I haven’t been able to make up my mind.”

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You would think that finding and cataloging the minutiae of pop culture from three decades would be time consuming, but one of the most remarkable facets of Grosvenor’s site is that a great majority of the content, minus some of the music trivia that began the site, is contributed by visitors whom he credits with truly shaping the site into what it is today. “I’ve created new categories based on user feedback,” he says. “But now I have a big backlog of submissions. There’s been so much information submitted over the past few years that we’ve gotten behind.” That hasn’t stopped Grosvenor from launching two sister sites: AmIwrong.com is devoted to pop culture trivia quizzes (get ready to match the character names with the actors from AmIright.com focuses on misheard song lyrics for the past 50 years (rock the cat box).

“The biggest goal of the site is to provide a small trigger of ‘Oh yeah, I remember that’,” Grosvenor says. And if the site misses a trigger, you can guarantee a fan will be there ready to offer a new tidbit, or to discuss a favorite movie on the site’s ever-growing message board… In the 00s. “Everything gets discussed, from silly stuff to semi-serious discussions about current pop culture trends and politics.” But at the end of the day, Grosvenor’s site is meant to be more a guilty pleasure than anything else: “We don’t get super in depth, we just try to provide a starting off point for pop culture memories.”

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