back to article Ancient website from 1999: By Mark Zuckerberg aged 15¾

A website that might just have been created by a 15-year-old Mark Zuckerberg way back in 1999 has been uncovered by Hacker News. If the Angelfire site set up by a New York-based teen carrying the handle mez51 does indeed belong to the flame-haired Facebook CEO, then it offers early insights into his concept of stalking people …

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Silver badge

Java applets

Oh god.

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Re: Java applets

Atleast it wasn't ActiveX :P

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Silver badge

Re: Java applets

-Daddy, what's Java?

-Well, son, it is a program that throws up frequent notifications from your task bar demanding to be updated, then tries to install a search bar onto your browser. Beyond that, I don't really know.

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Alert

Hit Counters

1090 hits.. refresh and 1154, then 1192 while writing this ..

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Devil

Re: Hit Counters

Ah Hit Counters - truly were you what every website needed to have in the early days. What became of you oh indicator of how much people did not visit your personal website? Secret stats collected by website traffic analysis professionals? Pah I say, pah!

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Trollface

Vader Fader

Me and my twin brother came up with the idea for the Vader Fader. We were the ones who told Zuck about it.

He's ripped us off god damn it!!! I want 50% of this Angelfire POS

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Re: Hit Counters

1400 odd now, proto-facebook has probably had more traffic this week than in the rest of it's existance. ;)

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Re: Hit Counters

ha! looking at this 4 hours later, it's 150, then 369.... what spanner designed a hit counter that rolls over!?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hit Counters

I think we've broken that hit counter. First time I was on there I was 105. Followed by 2, then 196, then 35.

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Re: Hit Counters

Believe it or not, they still exist. But with teh google's free analytics, who needs 'em?

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Re: Hit Counters

First time I was on there I was 105. Followed by 2, then 196, then 35.

Probably based on the Windows progress bar.

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Joke

Good to see...

...his CSS skills didn't change much over the next 4 years.

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Boffin

Re: Good to see...

FB's only success is due entirely to the fact that MySpace has to be the worst POS of ever designed and FB was just marginally better.

Apparently, the words "intuitive user interface" are either dirty words these days or the words are too complicated.

Don't get me started about bad web design.

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WTF?

Re: Good to see...

Faceparty was the original contender to Myspace...

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Terminator

The Web

'The Web' is freaky when put in context as the seed for Facebook.

Otherwise, this is just the usual late 90s teenage kid website that any one of my group of friends might've created.

Heck I had a few web presences myself, thought mostly devoted to whatever game I was playing at the time.

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Pint

Re: The Web

Personal websites...

In the days before mobile phones were totally ubiquitous (yet WAP was beginning to rear its monochrome head), I was tempted to create a site to let people know what pubs I would be in at various times that evening. Back then, it wasn't uncommon for a group of people to say "We'll be in the Red Lion 7.30 til 8.30, then the Tavern til 11, then the Parrot Club" and stick to it, so the idea had some legs. As it turned out, I was too busy drinking to be bothered.

There must have been thousands of people around the world at the time who had similar 'social networking' concepts, but were too busy socialising to do anything about it.

By the time I had graduated, sites skin to Myspace but for product designers had appeared, so there didn't seem to be much point.

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Re: The Web

MZ's genius though was the inclusion of people who didn't explicitly ask to be part of "The Web" - someone wants to join it so they provide their email address and yours, you get a message saying someone you know has joined you and you provide another link and so on. There's nothing on offer other than being part of it.

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Silver badge

Re: The Web

I would never have guessed that Angelfire still kept websites that were so old. Thinking about it though, we are given several GBs of free storage simply for signing up for an email address. The cost of keeping ancient websites with a size of a few KBs online is probably so low it may as well be non-existent.

I'm tempted to go search for some of the hideous Angelfire and Geociies websites I created in my youth, if only I could remember their names...

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Re: The Web

Angelfire doesn't, archive.org kept it.

I've looked up my old freeserve website. And a cringeworthy blog that one of our circle of friends kept....

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From the website:

"However, it is fairly uncommon for a person to have an effect on the Internet without going through the long and tedious process of creating a website."

Surely he must have heard of Pamela Anderson? She had a bit of an impact on the net in the '90s.

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IT Angle

well yes

Wouldn't you say Pamela Anderson is somewhat of a fairly uncommon person?

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Joke

Re: well yes

From what I've seen of her on TV, I'd say that she's very common. (I don't know which one of the 7 new social classes counts as common)

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Gold badge

Re: well yes

I'm in the emergent alchemist class according to the BBC. But I was only 5% out on my lowbrow culture knowledge - or I could have been in the saucy slappers class. At least I can still aspire to some social mobility! Now where did I leave my copy of Heat...

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I produced some dire websites at the start of my career too

And like Zuckerberg, sometimes I still do.

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Trollface

Re: I produced some dire websites at the start of my career too

OH SNAP!

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FAIL

if it was real...

it wouldnt have 'google-analytics.com' in the code, surely?

a quick whois shows up;

google-analytics.com Creation Date: 18-jul-2005

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: if it was real...

Ah but you see you haven't looked closely enough at the source code.

The fact that the section appears right at the top of the source and the Google Analytics code appears immediately straight after - and the fact that there is also lycos javascript in there - and that fact that when all the javascript is done with the rest of the site is written with html tags in BLOCK CAPITALS - tells me - that Mark is not the one who put the javascript in the code. Angelfire and Geocities and the like were great for hosting free websites - provided you didn't object to the fact that they injected code into your site as it was served that you didn't put there and could not get rid of. This enabled them to always make sure that they slapped advertising and pop-up-windows on your website that could not be removed. The fact that the "CustomVar" is 'member_name', 'ny/mez51' and the domain is angelfire.com is another giveaway - because only the person responsible for the GA account for angelfire.com can see those stats - ie Mark would never see them. Notice how the lycos code follows a similar format - var angelfire_member_name = "ny/mez51";

var angelfire_member_page = "ny/mez51/index.html"; which is most definitely injected code - and finally adMgr.renderHeader(); adMgr.renderFooter();

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Anonymous Coward

See he had security in mind from the outset

LOL.

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Meh

hope this isn't comfortable

Not because of any animosity or schadenfreude, but I sure hope that Zuck feels at least mildly uncomfortable being confronted with his 15 year old self, preserved forever on the web for all the universe to see. The permanence of digital communications is a serious problem and platforms like facebook serve to amplify it by providing ease of access and search. I hope this is a spur for Zuck to think about the problem of creating space for his users to grow and change.

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Trollface

Re: hope this isn't comfortable

A billion dollars says probably not.

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Anonymous Coward

The hype machine is top gear!

Just before Facebook's "new home on Android" event, the hype machine is cranking then?

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Anonymous Coward

This doesn't change the fact that Zuckerberg is an ass.

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Pint

1999

1999?

Pah. Bloody noobie.

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Just remember this about Facebook...

If you don't know what the product they are selling, hold up a mirror, it is YOU!

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Alert

Ripped the site...

For posterity. No doubt Markee Zee will have this yanked in short order...

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Its in the way back machine from 1999

http://web.archive.org/web/20021104225654/http://www.angelfire.com/ny/mez51/

Looks legit? The code is definitely 1999 style and it just looks like a high school kid learning programming using it to show class projects!

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Anonymous Coward

Meanwhile, at Angelfire HQ

A single lonely tech stares at a bandwidth log, scratching his head*.

*Ok, ok, he would have just looked at the referrers.... still.

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