So, as of today, CNET UK ends months of crafting, stitching and coding, and now reflects our overseas sister site CNET.com in an all-black design, spanning the entire Web site. Not only that, but we've made navigation more accessible, overhauled the entire reviews section, adopted a whole new set of fonts and installed a new air freshener in the gents.
The shedding of our traditional yellow skin marks another massive milestone for us as a publication and a business, and we'd like to share a few of those with you, and take you behind the scenes...
CNET UK was initially launched as a blog called Crave -- coined by ex-CNETer Chris Stevens after the blog was referred to internally as Click -- on 23 March 2005. A couple of months later, on 18 May 2005, the full site went live, with Crave remaining as our gadget blog. Crave itself was a CNET UK original product, and over time was replicated by CNET.com.
Crave pelvic-thrusted the Crave Podcast from its excited, well-oiled groin on 27 February 2006, hosted by Guy Cocker, who later moved desks to write for GameSpot. Rory Reid took over as host for the two subsequent years, before leaving it in the capable man-hands of Ian Morris and Nate Lanxon, who promptly changed its name to the CNET UK podcast.
Building a community But Crave is just one part of CNET UK, and has undergone many cosmetic changes along with the rest of the site, while entirely new sections have sprung into existence.
We soft-launched (made public but didn't promote) our new forums on 28 September 2007, which immediately drew in CNET readers from around the country -- and indeed the globe -- to discuss news, stories, and to ask us unfathomably difficult questions. It was fully launched as part of the site on 17 October 2007, and now plays home to a fantastic family of regulars, moderators, tech fans, podcast listeners and people who think Ian is too angry.
Video killed the ratio star After undressing the forums and letting the public climb into its yellowy bed, we overhauled our video section. Video reviews have always been a massive part of what we've tried to achieve, and as the site grew, so too did the demand for higher-quality video.
At the beginning of July 2008, our all-new, all-16:9, complete-with-channels-and-Ajax video section went live, offering widescreen Rory, better-quality Nate, and a more beard-friendly bit rate for Rich, Andrew and Ian. And we then began our journey in car reviews, as Rory took on our Car Tech show.
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a premium content network? And then we got bought by some giant corporate broadcaster in America -- CBS, we believe -- for $1.8bn in May 2008. There was cake.
Actually, there's cake every week, and earlier this month Nate posted 17 revealing and personal details about the inner workings of CNET UK. Since you've got this far down the page, you might want to read that, too.
The here and now Which brings us to the present. Joking aside, CNET UK has undergone some enormous changes in the few years it has been active, with a few redesigns and revampings along the way, not to mention an epic move into a new set of offices in 2007.
So, to commemorate one of the largest moments in our personal history, we'd like to thank you for being a part of it, and offer up some never-before-seen treats, old designs and insider snapshots, in the gallery above.
Original design for the CNET.co.uk launch party, dated Wednesday 6 July 2005. It took place at 9 Conduit Street in West London, at a venue called Sketch.
Ah, the fun that can be had digging up forgotten photographs.
On the left, guests at the launch party get to try out the full version of CNET.co.uk.
On the right, Rory, Andrew and Chris battle it out in one of the first ever episodes of the CNET.co.uk podcast, recorded in some basement hovel that no-one else in the office wanted.
Before CNET.co.uk launched -- in fact, before Crave even launched -- the forthcoming CNET Networks UK consumer technology blog was called Click. It never went public as such, but this is what it looked like internally.
Click became Crave, and Crave became the first and only thing you got at CNET.co.uk in early 2005. And this is what it looked like.
It's the first ever design we published. Memories, memories, memories.
Following the launch of Crave, CNET.co.uk, of course, went live. This is what it looked like. Big chunky green tabs, oodles of yellow, and an old left-hand navigation bar.
The CNET UK forums -- or 'fora', as we call them when chief sub-editor Nick isn't listening -- is the best place to get tech advice, or hook up for an illicit tryst with a CNET journalist.
Back in the day, it looked very different, and was canned. The original forums can be seen in this picture on the right. Behind it is the forum you know and love today.
We mentioned that we moved offices, and we documented the whole thing in photos as we had the entire building ripped apart from the inside, and rebuilt just for us. These photos show the transformation of our main reception area.