Could this yellow blinking eye be Zuckerberg's first Web site?
It is alleged that the Facebook CEO's first Web site still exists out there. Yes, on the Web. What might it tell us about the man himself? Or the boy? Or his AOL address?
Some religions worship relics.
Bones of saints and artifacts of old emerge seemingly from nowhere, with no one ever truly knowing how real they might be.
I therefore bare my skepticism with moves not dissimilar to those in a Haka dance on hearing that Mark Zuckerberg's first ever Web site might have been unearthed.
My inconsistent reading of Motherboard today offered the startling information that Zuckerberg's first site might have included a blinking yellow dinosaur eye.
It's headlined: "Hello and welcome to my page!"
Could it be that even in 1999, Zuckerberg oozed friendship?
I am not so sure, as the words beneath the greeting read: "The only site where a yellow eye blinks at you."
When I think of a lone eye blinking at me, I think of words like "beady," "creepy" and "cyclops." But perhaps, in those days, this might have seemed charming.
Motherboard does a delightful exposition of the forensics as to whether this site might be real. It traces the e-mail address very persuasively to the Zuckerberg family. It discovers the 15-year-old protagonist as trying to pretend, briefly, that his name is Slim Shady.
The Verge even speculates that this fledgling effort might contain the essence of what became -- at least in Zuckerberg's head -- the social graph.
For myself, I am deeply focused on the e-mail address on the site: Themarke51@aol.com.
If this, indeed, was the boy himself, he must have known even then that he would not be just "Mark." Not at all. He was TheMarke -- pronounced, perhaps, "The Markie", as in "Marky Mark?
I have, naturally, contacted Facebook to see if the Mark will admit to being Themarke51@aol.com.
If this site is really his first effort, will the Smithsonian wish to lay claim? Will it be preserved somewhere terribly special, perhaps even on Facebook? Will it spend a little time in the Louvre?
When one looks at one's first work, it often incites a tinge of embarrassment.
"That's who I used to be?"
If this truly is the first Zuckerbergian masterwork, how will he look upon it?