You might think that my presence on the internet began back in 2002 when I registered this domain, vegard.net. But the adventure started a long time before that.
My first personal web site surfaced way back in 1997 - or maybe it was 1996. That site was eventually converted into a site dedicated to the Korean lingerie/nude model Sung Hi Lee, who is 43 years old now. Time sure flies. The site made it to the top three on the list of most popular web sites hosted by Norway’s largest Internet Service Provider (ISP), mostly thanks to search engine manipulation - and the occasional nudity. Shortly after it made it to the list, the site was was removed by the ISP’s administrators because of its content.
After finishing high school and a enjoying year of mandatory military service, I started college and was hungry for more internet success. I was heavily into strategy games at the time and decided to launch a gaming site dedicated to the genre: The Strategy Shrine became quite popular with over three thousand unique visitors per day, despite its tongue twisting name. Three thousand unique visitors might not sound like much, but it’s not too bad for a pre-2000 site without a marketing budget, maintained in our spare time by myself and a Dutch guy who came on board after a while. We ran on a free host for a couple of months, until the site was picked up by GameReactor and moved to its own domain and server that GameReactor paid for. After about a year of hard work, I got tired of the project and called it quits. The Strategy Shrine lived on for a little while before the Dutch retired as well, leaving the site to rot and eventually disappear off the internet.
While I was running The Strategy Shrine, I also had a personal site, Central Park West. It too was running on a free host, and it was mostly a collection of files, photos, a half-written movie script and a ridiculous amount of Liberty Meadows strips. Somewhere along the way at college, Central Park West was put to sleep and reborn as SnuffCity.com, my first personal domain. The name is taken from a song by a band whose name I can’t remember. Most of the content from Central Park West was moved over to a brand new design, which was a considerable face lift compared to the old site. It also became a little more personal, with the birth of the “weblog” in the late 1990s. SnuffCity.com landed my first job as a paid programmer. We were a group of students doing small jobs for minimum wage (or less), but it was still paid programming work.
When I finished college and moved cities to attend the university in 2001, SnuffCity.com suffered the same fate as my previous sites, and was closed down as well. But shortly after SnuffCity.com closed its doors, I started to work on yet another site; liquid8. I have no idea how I came up with this name, but it looks really cool with that 8 in it, don’t you think? No, perhaps not. After a while, I decided to tell the internet that I was here to stay, and bought this domain, www.vegard.net, a domain you have to tear from my cold, dead hands if you want it.
All this means that I’ve been pushing content to internet surfers for at least 15 years and while browsing through some old CDs earlier this summer I found backups of my old sites. Unfortunately, for reasons that are way beyond me, I never backup up any database data - where most of the actual content were stored - only the site code. This means that most of the content from Central Park West, SnuffCity.com and liquid8 is lost and gone forever. But thanks to the Wayback Machine, I managed to salvage a bit of the content from these three sites. You’ll now find some of what I wrote way back then in the 2001 archive and in the features section.
It’s a shame that so much is lost just because I didn’t think a few years ahead, but nothing that was terribly important for the survival of mankind is probably missing.