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 …
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.
'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.
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.
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.
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...
Ah but you see you haven't looked closely enough at the source code.
var angelfire_member_page = "ny/mez51/index.html"; which is most definitely injected code - and finally adMgr.renderHeader(); adMgr.renderFooter();
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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