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Fark turns 10 years old today. Come relive (somewhat) great moments in early Fark history, 1999-2000, as culled from my old emails -Drew
Posted by Drew at 2009-02-12 2:22:44 PM, edited 2009-02-12 2:29:41 PM (549 comments) | Permalink
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Sep 23rd: After a conversation with Mike (Fark's server guy) about how four letter domains are disappearing, I check to see if fark.com is available. It is, I grab it, and put up the infamous pic of a squirrel with large nuts.
Early Feb: at some point I'm deciding between making Fark a news aggregator or a curry recipe database. I decide to go the news aggregator route even though I think the recipe database might be a lot easier to maintain. I was probably right about that.
Feb 12th, 6pm: I email one of my ISP employees asking them to hook my personal web directory up to http://www.fark.com and take down the squirrel
March 15th: An ex-gf of mine sent in the first submits story: "Judge throws out lawsuit against God". A Fark story if there ever was one.
May 20th: my mother in law writes me to say that she went to farq.com and all she got was a picture of an alarm clock
August: Early traffic numbers
Sep 13th: A note from me to other folks "300 hits since 8am!"
Also sent this out
From dcurtisrcdnet Mon Sep 13 15:05:24 1999 -0400
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 1999 15:05:24 -0400 (EDT)
From: Drew Curtis
Subject: stuff for show
Some friends and I have a nifty website with a small following at http://www.fark.com. I started it last January out a desire to share news articles with friends of mine, and it has grown from there. We specialize in mostly humorous articles with a smattering of the interesting. Let me know what you think!
I didn't hear back from them for a few more years. They've since mentioned us prolifically. Marty still works there btw.
Also on Sep 13th - the first recorded instance of a Fark love connection, see below
On Mon, 13 Sep 1999, Andrew Hay wrote:
> Hi Drew,
> After reading fark.com for at least a month, I just read your FAQ. I
> laughed my ass off. You write some funny stuff.
> The reason I am writing you today is that two events happened that
> seemed to indicate a divine purpose behind FARK:
> First, on the news tonight, I heard that there's a rebel/terrorist group
> called "Fark". They actually kidnapped a few people, holding them for
> randsom to raise some money. I'm not sure of the spelling.
> Second, I was reading fark.com during class today. You can tell your
> readers that it's a healthy endevour. Not only did a strange woman
> approach me and start up a conversation (fark.com works better than any
> pickup line?), but she explained to me that fark is Newfoundland slang
> for "crotch". I thought you'd appreciate that. It fits with your
> squirrel picture.
> That's all I have to say. I think that this note is probably less than
> 0.1% of the text on your page, but feel free to offer me 0.1% of that $4
> B when you go public.
> Cheers, Andrew
Oct 7th: "We're up over 500 hits a day"
Jan 13th email from me to a submitter
"Thanks for the submission! Unfortunately we had that story up already (unless another 9lb ball of human excrement almost killed someone)."
Feb 9th: someone writes in to complain that a link of ours tagged [stupid] was wrong because the story was actually valid science. The actual article was about how el nino had been linked to diarrhea
Feb 24th: Leander Kahney from wired contacts me to ask if I know anyone who makes a living solely off blogs. I can't think of anyone. Neither can he.
Late that day I created the first tables for the eventual Fark database to allow for commenting.
Mar 13th: in an email I say to someone that Fark's getting 1500 'hits' a day and that to date Fark has 100k hits, 50k since Jan 1st. The math doesn't really work there, odds are I was exaggerating the daily total.
May 25th: the first of what would eventually become over one million emails arrives asking what PSA stands for
June 14th: 12:05:41pm - 1st comment ever is posted, meaning comments are now live. In the process we accidentally destroyed all links from June 10th-13th. Whoops. Also the 1st comment, posted by me, appears in thread #23. We lost the original 1-22 in testing and repurposed them as forums later.
Comment #3, the first one posted by a reader is posted by Farker Nutdip (Fark ID #7, lowest number of any Farker because we lost 3-6 in testing, and who is still active). The entire comment: 'Yo mama'
Comment #92 - Deerslayer (FarkID #40, who is still active) asks what PSA stands for
So when people ask me how they get traffic to their own websites, I have to say I have no idea. We weren't getting any kind of substantial traffic for literally years. But we kept at it and eventually as of today there are just short of five million of you. All I can tell people is keep working at it and if you don't suck, you'll get there eventually.
Today, Fark is still small from an organizational standpoint. There are 5 full time employees incluing myself, which is why oftentimes I'm the one who responds to general inquiry email. We have talken on no venture capital, and don't intend to do so. We operate out of Lexington Kentucky. We do not have an office. Sometimes I wear pants.
Hardware-wise, Fark serves 64 million monthly impressions to just short of 5 million people using just 5 servers. Regarding the hardware setup, for folks who aren't tech-savvy, most people can't believe that's even possible.
Our small size is what will enable us to survive the current downturn. And the next one.
Thanks everyone, here's to the next 10 years.
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