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World's second website celebrates 21st birthday
8/8/2012 3:05 PM Matt Rock
On August 6th, the world's first website – a simple directory page that explained what a website actually was – celebrated its 21st birthday. And 21 years ago today, on August 8th of 1991, the world's second website was launched. We sat down with George Rogers, creator of that second website, to ask what inspired his incredible creation... the world's first content-driven website that didn't talk about what a website was.
“Back in '91, Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web, released the world's first website. I saw it that day, and it was incredible,” said Rogers. “It only took me a few seconds of reading what Tim wrote to realize the incredible potential of the Internet. I remember turning to a buddy of mine and saying `dude! Check this out, it's called a web page! We could totally stick up porn on this!'”
And so it was that history was made.
Rogers and two of his friends labored intensely for two days, eventually releasing a website that they had dubbed “Boobnet.” Predating the era of streaming video and instantly-loading imagery, Boobnet relied on crudely-erotic text that described sex, rather than showing it. All twelve of the nerds that had access to the Internet visited Boobnet frequently, some as often as thirty to forty times per day.
“We could barely keep up with the demands of our readers,” Rogers recalled. “There were only a dozen guys reading Boobnet, so we had to come up with new content pretty fast. We didn't even make any money from it for the first six months, but that's when we realized we could charge people via their credit cards and turn some profit.”
Rogers says that Boobnet was eventually crushed as the adult film industry got involved with the Internet. “We were computer nerds. As soon as someone decided to show actual boobs on the web, Boobnet was cooked. But I still read some of those old stories we wrote back then. We paved the way for all the sexual depravity that gobbles the web alive today. I'm proud of that!” - Return to Previous Page
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