YTMND, one of the internet’s earliest meme sites, shuts down forever

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YTMND, one of the internet's earliest and most popular meme websites, has closed its doors.
YTMND, one of the internet’s earliest and most popular meme websites, has closed its doors.
By Matt Binder

One of the internet’s earliest meme pioneers is no more. 

“You’re the Man Now, Dog!,” more commonly known as YTMND has shut down. Twitter users first noticed the site was no longer accessible on Monday and word quickly spread to forums and other corners of the web populated by those who were heavily influenced by the meme site.

YTMND was most well known for its user generated standalone pages filled with a single, tiled image or animated GIF, embedded with large text, and often with a sound or music file playing on loop. 

i just learned that ytmnd is gone, which means one of my greatest creations is lost to time. except not really because i have recreated it here. how bizarre, bulbasaur pic.twitter.com/EGIYDpwZyN

— oh, it’s max (@ohitsmax) May 15, 2019

The domain YTMND.com was first registered by the site’s founder Max Golderberg on April 1, 2004. However, Goldberg had registered Yourethemannowdog.com for the original standalone meme which sparked the idea for the use-generated YTMND way back on July 6, 2001. The site’s name is a reference to a line spoken by Sean Connery’s character in the 2000 film, Finding Forrester

The site was extremely popular in the mid-2000s and, despite advertising troubles that came with hosting offensive content, YTMND turned a profit. During its prime, the site gave birth to an array of popular internet memes of the time, such as Picard Song and Doesn’t Change Facial Expressions.

However, the site’s founder soon became tired of policing the death threats, doxxing, child pornography, and nazis that began populating the platform. Health issues, as well as falling traffic partly due to the rise of social media and declining ad revenue, soon led to a once-bustling internet community becoming an early internet meme museum. 

Goldberg has long alluded to the fact that his website, which he grew to hate, would probably not be around forever. He effectively stopped working on YTMND in 2014 but the site did live on — until this week.

“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 said in a 2016 interview with Gizmodo. “And I’ve moved on too. I don’t have much interest in the site beyond it being good memories.”

YOU’RE THE ARCHIVE NOW, DOG: Archive Team took a full copy of You’re The Man Now Dog (YTMND) last year – should be playable in Wayback Machine now or soonish. https://t.co/v24T96tOXy

— Jason Scott (@textfiles) May 15, 2019

Thankfully, foreshadowing the shutdown of your website years in advance has its benefits. Last year, the Internet Archive preserved a full copy of YTMND and will soon make it available on their website. Goldberg shared the archiving news on Twitter, seemingly confirming the death of his creation.

Sadly, YTMND, you’re dead now, dog. But, thanks for the memories.

Mashable has reached out to Goldberg for comment and will update this post if we hear back.

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