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The First Posts & Products of the Web's Top Websites

Updated on June 19, 2013

Today, websites like Mashable, Buzzfeed, and Youtube are popular for the way they present information. We absorb news differently, thanks to numerous technological innovations in the past decade, so popular sites have figured out a way to continue to offer up information in a way we can easily digest.

But what about the very first article? How did these leading websites get their start?

A microsite was recently launched that shows the very first post or product on forty major sites across the web. It’s pretty inspiring to see that platforms like twitter, quora, and amazon all started with simple, mundane content and were able to grow into such world-changing innovations.


One of the best first posts can be found on the online retailer site, eBay. Hopeful seller, Pierre Omidyar listed his broken laser pointer for $14.95 in 2005. This might seem unremarkable, but in fact it launched what is now one of the most highly trafficked sites on the web and helped put eBay on the map.


The PostSecret blog is another example of a site with simple roots. When Frank Warren started accepting postcards with secrets from individuals back in 2005, he had no idea what a phenomenon it would become. Today, millions of secrets have been featured on his website and several books have been published with the best of the best. The very first anonymous postcard featured on the site however was just: I want to be an artist…


Today, twitter has hundreds of millions of active users, but back in March or 2006, there was just one. Founder Jack Dorsey tweeted out to the silent twittersphere: “Just setting up my twittr”.

There are plenty of sites that started with a bang and fizzled out soon thereafter but many of today’s most popular websites eased into their success slowly. Though some platforms like Myspace and Livejournal were huge back in the day, these days they have been overshadowed by networks like Facebook and Blogger.

It’s fun to look back at the original content from major online publications and know that even these digital powerhouses had humble beginnings.


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