Before sharable internet jokes were even called memes, they lived on YTMND—which appears to have met its end.
You’re The Man Now Dog (better know as YTMND) launched back in 2004, and allowed users the ability to upload an image or GIF and a short audio clip, where they’d loop on their own custom page for eternity. Or at least an eternity in internet years, as the site went dark sometime between this morning and last Friday, according to the Internet Archive.
Its fame-averse creator, Max Goldberg, described the site to Gizmodo in a previous profile as an outsized programming project that he “didn’t understand and sometimes hated,” but which nonetheless became a hugely influential force in early internet culture. In part that can be attributed to its voting functionality, which allowed users to boost YTMND’s they enjoyed and bury those they didn’t, much like Reddit and other modern user-generated content sites.
“Besides being a time capsule I don’t really see a reason for it to continue to exist... It seems like the internet has moved on,” Goldberg told Gizmodo almost three years ago. “And I’ve moved on too. I don’t have much interest in the site beyond it being good memories.” Still, the ur-meme repository limped along, its front page largely unchanged since 2014. We’ve reached out to Goldberg to find out why the site has become unreachable.
Update 5/16/19 1:18pm ET: It’s unclear exactly when, but YTMND’s homepage has been replaced with the following message:
YTMND has suffered a catostrophic [sic] failure. Whether or not the site will ever be back is still undecided. I am actively working on data recovery, but who really knows what the future holds. Join the chat to reminisce, or if you have concerns about the direction in which your life is heading, feel free to send an email to support @ ytmnd.com (and expect to be ignored).
The chat link redirects to a Discord server which, presently, is expired.