My first web site, and I’m talking about my very first web site, was a single-page thing on Angelfire. I remember I told my dad and he got angry about it, which led me to not tell any of my family about any of my web site stuff for a very long time. I don’t even remember what was on it, only that it had a green background and a bunch of links. One of my second websites, a thing called Digimon’s Domain, was created when there were only the virtual pets and the television series hadn’t premiered yet. Despite this, it was initially one of my most popular web sites because Yahoo was the biggest search engine and you had to actually submit your site to them. My stupid little site was accepted, and it was one of the top results for “Digimon” at the time. After this, there were a bunch of other web sites between, oh, 1996 and 2000. During that four year period, I didn’t use my actual name as my screen name like I have for sixteen years. I went by MartianFrog, because I liked Mars and frogs, you see. I tell you all of this so I can show you this…

MartianFroggy’s Domain!

Ah, the days when 800×600 was the recommended resolution.

I had completely forgotten about it until today, when I tried to find that old Angelfire site. I didn’t even think it was mine, for a little while, because obviously my block against putting whatever the heck I wanted to up on the Internet hadn’t developed yet. It may have been tied to the fact that I was using a name that shielded my own. That front page right there is very embarrassing and filled with pre-teen attempts at snark and a lot of references to various amphibians and reptiles. The first link is to a Salamander Chat, which likely had nothing to do with salamanders save for the name. Also, I’m not linking to any of these directly from this post because I am older now and know what mercy is. Anyway, Salamander Chat:

All the images were from Tripod’s collection.

One thing I remember is that I didn’t know how to copy-paste, so for this chat applet to be on here, I had to write down the HTML code by hand and then type it all into the window. It took a very long time, and now it’s gone. I feel like Ozymandias, if Ozymandias was a twelve-year-old trying to make friends on the Internet. I’m just glad I know how to copy-paste now. The second link was to the Teen Forum, for some reason.

Spoiler: No one used any of these things ever.

This, I guess, puts me squarely at thirteen because I couldn’t have made this when I was in high school. Once I got to high school, we gotten a scanner and I had learned enough HTML to produce a site that I’ll show you at some other time. Also, I had learned enough about photo editing to make comics, and won’t that be a treat for everyone. Anyway, here’s the Teen Forum. I’m not sure what my goal was here but it was probably to make friends. It didn’t work. The next thing was Stupid Pet Tricks II.

MY EYES

That is the single ugliest color scheme I have seen in quite some time. I can only guess that it was Stupid Pet Tricks II because of David Letterman’s Stupid Pet Tricks. Obviously, I was worried Letterman would find out and I would get into some kind of trouble. I needn’t have worried. I would like to point out the site counters, none of which actually work anymore. I also put those in by hand. The next page was Snake Stuff.

I was much less detail-oriented than I am now.

This page is like a soothing balm after Stupid Pet Tricks II. The image placement was probably better back in the day, but due to the changing nature of the Internet, things have gotten warped. I was really trying to get into the whole herpetology thing back then, so much so I was using slang like “herps” to refer to them. The poll has several oddities. I can see grouping frogs and toads, turtles and tortoises, and also alligators and crocodiles. While not exactly the same, they’re visually similar enough for my young mind to think, “Eh, close enough.” I know better now. I just don’t know why I grouped snakes in with lizards. I’m also rather ashamed that I spelled crocodiles wrong. That “other” option covers every other kind of reptile and amphibian, I guess. The poll no longer works and I cannot recall who was winning. I can only guess “frog or toad” since that’s what I would have voted. After this one, it was Lizard Links.

More typos. God, I wish I could go back and teach myself a lesson.

I don’t know why I insisted on putting every title in that weird font. I can also only blame my ongoing inability to sync up colors well for so much of what’s going on with this site. I can only take solace in the fact that I’ve gotten a little bit better, and yes, I am stalling because this page? It’s the most painful of all of them. There’s the obvious one for Tripod, and for some reason I put the link back to main page second.

It’s weird that I linked to Marvel’s page and not DC’s. I can only think that this might be because DC didn’t have a page at the time? Other than the Archie incident I mentioned in the Sonic post, I was never a die-hard fan or foe of any comic book company enough to exclude one of the major ones like this. Especially since I have both Nintendo and Sega on here, and for some reason single out the Sega Saturn. I never had a Sega Saturn. I had a Game Gear and a Dreamcast, so I don’t know why I didn’t mention the Game Gear. I don’t think the Dreamcast was out at this point, or at least, hadn’t been out for very long.

All I remember about Acme Pet is that it had a lot of chatrooms that I would peruse, and it was a place of lawlessness. Sometimes there would be some helpful things on it, and I found the site after blue jays singled out my dog as an enemy. He deserved it for non-fatally attacking a young blue jay, but it was still an issue I wanted to resolve peacefully. I am kind of surprised that Godzilla no longer has a site, and that Wizard does. Most of the other links on here are dead links to Geocities, a declaration of my then-hatred for Hanson, and the All Hail Brak! site. They had a chatroom that I would spend almost every waking moment in and now it’s gone, like dust in the wind. I wonder what happened to those people.

The final two links on the page are sites I… “heped” with. Good lord, past me. You were better than this. I think Bubdog3 was a site I made for my brother, and Life in the Ghetto was made for my cousin. None of them really wanted web sites, but I was super into making them.

This one’s not even really worth showing you. I’m doing it anyway.

This is the Gecko Boards, which I decided needed to be run by a different Martian creature that was really just me with the same terrible spelling. No one ever used any of the boards, not even to ask questions about virtual pets. I had very high hopes. Here’s the final page.

The final nail in this coffin.

The Awards page. People had these a lot back then, so I put one on my page. I guess this won some sort of award, but it was probably something given by an Internet friend. I certainly wouldn’t give it any kind of award.

There it is. One of my very first web sites, from back when I was masquerading as a Martian frog. Now that this is up here, I can look at it and think, “Thank god I’m, at the very least, better than this” whenever I need a pick-me-up. A little while after this, I would have a dozen sites dedicated to different topics spread across a number of web site places. Most of them are dead and gone now, but maybe I’ll try to track one down and show it to you and to preserve it here so that those who weren’t around back then will see this and know how much more user-friendly the Internet has become.