One of the most widely read yet least often recognized as a product of the good old Silicon Forest has to be MetaFilter, the quintessential Weblog of random facts and finds. And while we should be proud of MetaFilter as a product of Oregonian ingenuity for any number of reasons, I’ve got one more reason to add to the list: MetaFilter just turned 10 years old.
A blog that’s been around for a decade? (TechCrunch, for example, is four years old.) That’s impressive for any project. Let alone a project that discusses everything from dinosaurs to blasphemy to the truly and completely random site.
MetaFilter has been around longer than many of you have been on the Web. And it’s been a highly influential component of many people’s daily Web existence. That alone would make it indescribably awesome. But when you add in the fact that it’s from Oregon? I don’t know that there’s a way to describe how cool that is.
But don’t take my word for it. Let’s get a more objective third party. Like a Canadian. How about Ivor Tossell? Good? Good.
Here’s what he had to say about MetaFilter’s seemingly indefatigable existence:
It’s all a bit utopian, in its way. In an age where websites are always hunting for the next great trick for keeping unruly commentors in line – voting mechanisms? User scores? Enforced real names? – MetaFilter seems to be held together by the sheer stubbornness of its culture. A crew of four moderators keeps an eye on things, pruning judiciously, but their presence is hardly noticeable.
But what does a decade really mean? Well, I always like to look for context. I mean, what was happening when MetaFilter was born—aside from scanning cats?
Well, when MetaFilter was born…
- Here’s what Google’s hardware looked like
- Microsoft released the first version of MSN Messenger
- Apple released the Power Mac G4
- Gas prices were hovering around $1
- Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France
- Many organizations were paying teams of engineers to feverishly comb through lines and lines of code in hopes of avoiding the Y2K problem
- Speaking of Y2K, Office Space was released to theaters
- A month before MetaFilter was born, a peer-to-peer music sharing service called Napster was released
- And finally, a month after MetaFilter was born, some of the folks who would become Twitter folks in 2006, launched a little service called Blogger
Whoof. That’s a lot of change. And yet MetaFilter keeps keep on.
Happy 10th Birthday, MetaFilter! Here’s to many, many more.
What’s that? You want more celebration than that? Well, your wish is my command. Why not think about attending the MetaFilter 10th Anniversary party at East Burn?
(Hat tip Marshall Kirkpatrick)