Back in 2003, the Internet changed irreversibly, thanks to a funky new website called Friendster. It wasn’t the first social network, but it certainly was the first to achieve significant clout. For a while, it was the only game in town… until MySpace showed up and let people curse, post nudie pictures (yes, you could do that in the beginning), and design their own layouts. By the time Facebook emerged, Friendster was already going the way of the dodo.
Somehow the site has managed to hang in there thanks to a strong user base in Southeast Asia, but most everyone here in the U.S. has abandoned ship. It’s been a long, sad decline for the once buzz-worthy network, and earlier this Spring, news came that Friendster was going to massively overhaul itself. Goodbye social networking, hello gaming. Yes, yesterday was to be the last day our old Friendster profiles would exist as we know them (the deadline has since been extended). Soon, Friendster will erase all photos, messages, testimonials, and other fun, dusty stuff from our profiles, but fear not — account information and friend lists will remain intact.
With the end of days arriving for Friendster, I decided to poke around my profile to see if there was anything worth saving. What I found was an amusing time capsule of messages, including one from a pre-fame celebrity. Who knew?
Join me as we take a brief tour of my Friendster world…
Upon arriving at Friendster, I’m greeted by an activity stream, which has this sole, ironic update.
Here’s the oldest saved message I have. Note the wonder that Meg has over this crazy new social networking concept.
Aw, the good ol days when the idea of connecting to FORTY people seemed crazy.
Here’s another message from 2003. It’s almost quaint seeing how excited we were that seemingly unrelated friends were just “a few degrees away” now.
Back when Friendster (and Ted Casablanca) were all the rage.
And remember when it was IMPERATIVE that one fills out a complete profile? Clearly it weighed on Kim greatly.
Back in the day, friend lists were small enough that they could be judged as a whole — as evidenced by the above exchange between me and IndianJones.
But the most amusing part of all? The messages from strangers. Here’s one I found from a pre-fame Mario Lavandeira, a.k.a. Perez Hilton. It’s a flirty bit of business sent to me after I had posted a pic of me with my new nephew. Wish I still had the original pic of Perez. Needless to say, I never wrote back. (Sorry!!)
Well, it’s been a fun ride, Friendster. Thank you for starting the revolution (and thank you for serving as an oft-overlooked stalking tool in this Facebook era). If you still have a Friendster profile, you can export it with an app. Just go to friendster.com to find it.