Guide To The Simpsons On The Net
Created by Eric Wirtanen
Completed and compiled by Adam
Wolf for simpsonsarchive.com
The Simpsons and the Internet literally
grew up together, with the TV show premiering in 1989 and the net taking
off in the early 90's. Thousands of websites dedicated to our favorite family
have been created over the years. Here you can read about the history of
The Simpsons' presence online.
This document was originally hosted at Evergreen Terrace and created by Eric
Wirtanen but hereafter will be maintained by Adam Wolf. If you have any contributions
or questions, don't hesitate to contact me.
THE EARLY YEARS
The year was 1990. George Bush was U.S. President, Super Mario Bros. 3 was thrilling gamers around the world, Milli Vanilli was being exposed as a fraud, and a man by the name of Gary Duzan created the newsgroup alt.tv.simpsons. The World Wide Web at that time was just a grandiose dream of computer programmers, and the focus of the internet was e-mail and Usenet. Created in March, a.t.s. was just your usual newsgroup in the early days. But the heavy hitters soon came up to the plate.
Raymond Chen created the first Simpsons/alt.tv.simpsons FAQ, posting it on the newsgroup. Nick Sayer was the originator of the now common chalkboard and couch scene list. Looking to store the growing amount of information, a college student by the name of Brendan Kehoe offered FTP for the newsgroup and the Simpsons FAQ was transferred to him. At that time, Chen and others started work on the first episode summaries of The Simpsons. Kehoe then stumbled upon the word "capsule", and to this very day websites use the words "episode capsule" to refer to the information they gather for each episode. Other notable "projects" undertaken in the early days include J.D. Baldwin's creation of the Itchy & Scratchy episode guide, Chris Baird's version of the Simpsons floor plan, and Dave Hall beginning work on his many "freeze frame fun" lists. These men made The Simpsons Archive what it is today, and the newsgroup is still as popular as ever.
THE GOLDEN YEARS
In 1991 the World Wide Web was invented and the first internet browsers
were being distributed. Was there ever HTTP without a Simpsons website?
Heh, probably not. Hundreds of tributes were established in the first
year of the web. Here's an excerpt from The Philadelphia Inquirer,
talking about The Simpsons on the net:
In addition to the newsgroup chatter, computer archives of Simpsons
information are accumulating in nooks of corporate, university and personal
computers, and are available for free to anyone with a modem. "No
one organized this," said Gary Goldberg, a Simpsons fan in Bowie,
Md., who, with the on-line help of a 23-year-old physicist in London,
has set up an extensive archive of Simpsonian quotes, pictures and sound
bites on a computer owned by Goldberg in suburban Washington. "No
one said, 'You do this, you do that.' Each of us came together and said,
'We want to do something to help.' "
And in July of 1994, Goldberg and the alt.tv.simpsons crew did just
that, starting work on a massive fan site they named The Simpsons Archive.
Originally hosted by Goldberg at http://www.digimark.net/, the Archive
contained the numerous lists and capsules that were spread about on a.t.s.
as well as hundreds of movies, sounds, and pictures of The Simpsons.
In 1994 it was named one of the top five websites in the world. Today,
http://www.simpsonsarchive.com averages 5.5 million hits each month.
In the mid 90's, over 3,000 Simpsons fan sites were online. Some of
the first sites such as Dave Hall's Simpsons Pages are still available to surf through today, while others such as Linda Clapper's Simpsons Page, and Haynes Lee's Simpsons Page only disappeared from the net very recently. The show itself was at its
creative peak. And In 1995, Jeanette Foshee created hundreds of desktop
icons of Simpsons characters and uploaded them to the internet. She could've
never predicted what would happen next.