See The First Thing Your Favorite Website Ever Posted

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 09:30 AM

ThisWasFirst.com is a site that shows you the first thing ever posted on a variety of popular websites. 

(Thank you for reading through that VERY dry lede).

Here's why it's interesting. Hunting down various sites' first posts is sort of like a VERY nerdy version of looking up a celebrity's yearbook picture. It's fun to see which sites seemed to have everything they were going to be baked into their very beginnings, and which were still figuring it out. 

Reddit's first post, for instance, is a link to the Downing Street Memo. In case you need a refresher (I sure did) the Downing Street Memo was a leaked note about a secret meeting by US and British intelligence officials which people cited as evidence that the war in Iraq wasn't motivated by WMD's. That feels primordially right -- Reddit does a lot of things, but one of the main things it does is quickly unearth news, gossip, and conspiracy theories. 

eBay's first post is by Pierre Omidyar. He's trying to sell a broken laser pointer for $14.83. That doesn't really reflect how eBay feels now (it's now more like an outlet mall than a yard sale) but it's such a beautifully janky detail. Omidyar has said that he warned the buyer, over email, that the laser pointer was broken, and that the buyer said that they were "a collector of broken laser pointers." 

Buzzfeed's first post is a list of links about waterboarding (?!?!). I'm not really sure why, except maybe that it reflected the internet zeitgeist's interest at the time. 

Maybe most surprisingly, First Post tells us that Yahoo Answers started out as a possibly more meaningful place. Today, people generally use Yahoo Answers to pose poorly spelled questions and get nonsensical advice in return. But the first post there was someone asking why yawns are contagious, which is much more cogent than say, how is babby formed.

TLDR isn't on First Post, but I looked back at ours this morning. I think we sound a little maybe a little bit more self-consciously folksy, and there's an as-yet-undelivered promise of Vines of Bob and Brooke jousting. But otherwise, I think it mostly sounds like us. 

 

 

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman. You can subscribe to our podcast here. You can follow our blog here. We’re also on Twitter, and we play Team Fortress 2 more or less constantly, so find us there if you like to communicate via computer games from six years ago.

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