We all know Facebook, right? Whether you use it or not, it's pretty much everywhere, making creator Mark Zuckerberg one of the youngest ever billionaires as a result. But it seems that "hackers" have found one of Zuckerberg's early efforts.
Billed as "Mark's Homepage" in an inexplicably messy header, the website dates back to 1999. And amidst all the bells and whistles, such as they are, is a nascent attempt at online social networking, with the adorably convoluted and homegrown methods described by the Zuckster himself:
"If your name is already on The Web because someone else has chosen to be linked to you, then you may choose two additional people to be linked with."
"Otherwise, if you see someone who you know and would like to be linked with but your name is not already on The Web, then you can contact me and I will link that person to you and put you on The Web."
"If you do not know anyone on The Web, contact me anyway and I will put you on it. In order for this applet to work, you must E-Mail me your name and the names of the two people that you would like to be linked with. Thank you!"
At just 15 years old, Zuckerbeg created the sparse site under the internet handle mez51, with each page written in a chatty manner, almost as if young Mark is directly addressing the few friends he might have gotten to look at it. His ambition is clear even here though, as he says: "As of now, the web is pretty small. Hopefully, it will grow into a larger web. This is one of the few applets that require your
participation to work well."
In addition to all this, the site reveals that Young Zuckerberg was an Eminem Fan, introducing himself as Slim Shady in the site's "about me" section. One can only wonder if Zuckerberg is still a fan of Mr. Mathers. Quoting the entire section
"Hi, my name is...Slim Shady. No, really, my name is Slim Shady. Just kidding, my name is Mark (for those of you that don't know me) and I live in a small town near the massive city of New York. I am currently 15 years old and I just finished freshman year in high school. I have remodeled this website in an attempt that perhaps some search engine will recognize it. I am trying to promote my new AOL Program, The Vader Fader, which you can download elsewhere on this site. It is a decent fader. If you have any comments about this website, the java applets on it, or the Vader Fader which I am trying to promote, please contact me. My E-Mail address is at the bottom of this page."
While the site does appear to be geniune, it's all uncomfirmed as of now, so there's every chance we're looking at a website designed by a completely unrelated bloke, who is probably having chills as we speak.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.