Nothing on the internet ever goes away, they say, but if you use the legendary Wayback Machine at web.archive.org, you won't find much on us. Not on any of their dates. They think we looked like this:
Well, it was slightly better than that. Yes, we didn't have customized logos for important holidays and events yet, but we had something. I do agree we had not truly arrived until we had a special logo for National Chicken Month:
Why bring this up?
The Telegraph in the UK did their own Wayback Machine article, showing what 20 well-known brands first looked like when they began. It has the usual suspects; Google, Facebook, Drudge Report, and they used the Wayback Machine, but those versions came out a lot better.
Obviously I have backups but it's a lot of work to load them for a blog post. Fortunately, we have sites out there that have preserved our site for us, mostly by violating our copyright, but students and a sense of entitlement are nothing new so we'll let that go for now.
The Information Sciences Institute at USC - you've heard of USC, it's UCLA for rich kids - was kind enough to copy our site because we ran an article on their cool configurable robots - "Real Life Transformers" (though we apparently lost the article in some programming snafu and had to recover it without the comments) and they wanted to use it in their 'in the news' section. It was nifty, though I imagine Associated Press will have a tort field day if they do it to them. So this is what our site looked like in Feb 2007, though they seemed to have kept the feed running for a while after that because some of the articles are from later that summer - then they must have shut it off.
But the logo was from the alpha phase in 2006, not 2007, so not sure how that happened.
They even copied the Google ad we had in place for testing. Back then we were experimenting with the idea of having articles go up and down on the front page by member votes rather than popularity. A module we use again for our university writing contest going on now.
They even were kind of enough to keep intact our rarely seen Cartoon Physics section:
So, thanks USC! Sorry if I sounded snarky, I am actually quite happy you did this. We like you more than we like Harvard, if that helps, though Oregon is going to mop the floor with your football team this year.