Ten years ago today The Facebook was born, birthed from the mind of Mark Zuckerberg in his Harvard dorm room. Today, aside from Google, Facebook is the most visited site on the web. For some people, Facebook is the internet. But the internet, and internet culture, were alive and well before The Facebook came along.
Let's set the stage: The year was 2004. Wi-Fi was in its “season of...hope and hype,” said Businessweek, struggling through that no man's land through which every important technology must pass on its way to becoming the Next Big Thing. To get online, dial-up was the way to go: “Fully 48 million adult Americans have broadband connections at home,” said the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Flat panel TVs were struggling in their battle for the living room. On the radio, Usher's Confessions, released in March, would go on to dominate.
In 2004, the iPhone is still three years away. Your techy friends are awaiting the arrival of the super sleek Motorola Razr.
Your PC is probably running Windows XP.
You'll need to wait another year for YouTube. Hilarious videos spread through sites like eBaum's World. Or, if you're bold, LimeWire, or BitTorrent, or the five-month-old The Pirate Bay. Napster is long dead.
If you're the gaming sort, this was a big year: Half-Life 2 is the runner-up for Best Action Game at E3, according to IGN, and World of Warcraft comes out in November. (RIP social life.) It's the era of the XBox, PS2, and GameCube.
Star Wars Kid is old hat. All Your Base Are Belong to Us is a throwback. The Numa Numa guy would go on to win the year.
We still have another year before we have to deal with Chuck Norris facts. Cats do not yet want cheezburgers.
Wikipedia is three.
And into this world comes Facebook.