Now We Know Why YTMND Went Dark

Now We Know Why YTMND Went Dark

You’re The Man Now Dog, one of the earliest sites associated with web 2.0 internet culture, went dark sometime in the past few days, though exactly when or why was a mystery until just about an hour ago.

Back in 2016 site founder Max Goldberg had told Gizmodo he’d lost interest in YTMND, a site he considered as only “a time capsule” whose present-day visitors were, in his opinion “a little bit crazy.”

Maybe he’d gotten tired of paying the hosting costs and quietly took YTMND off life support. As it turns out, Goldberg learned his site had died at the same time as the rest of the internet.

“Still trying to determine [what happened], but it appears the current database has been completely wiped,” Goldberg told Motherboard, who were able to reach him. He partially blamed the hardware propping the site up, which he said is “roughly eight years old.”

Although he retained some backups of the site — the homepage of which had not seen a meaningful update in around five years — it’s unknown (and unlikely) YTMND will come back. To complicate matters, YTMND was coded over two decades in several languages, and its user-facing end still relies on Flash — which Adobe will end support for next year.

“I’ve wanted to turn it into a more accessible archive with a modern player that doesn’t use flash for a while,” Goldberg told Motherboard, “but every time I sat down to work on it I just couldn’t bring myself to be interested in it.”

Fortunately, last year, the Internet Archive made a copy of the site for the sake of posterity. It’s probably not perfect, but it’ll get the job done.