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17 Popular Websites Before They Were Popular

Your favorite gossip blogs, tech news outlets, and online shopping sites haven't always been there. At one point in time, they all just belonged to crappy bands from California.

Posted on March 13, 2013, at 10:57 a.m. ET

1. Today, is a popular sports blog owned by Gawker:

In 1999, belonged to a really bad ass looking rock band:

2. Today, is one of the most popular platforms for watching television and movies online:

In 1999, belonged to a woman named Amy Hung, whose cat was apparently better than Lucy's cat:

3. Today, is an online gossip magazine, responsible for many a celebrity rumor:

In 1998, belonged to three time Robot Wars champions, Team Minus Zero:

4. Today, is a relatively new but immensely popular tech news site:

In 1999, was a one stop destination for all your web design and hosting needs:

5. Today, is a celebrity news site:

In 2000, literally sold radars online:

6. Today, is a popular travel price comparison website:

In 1997, belonged to a web design group called Riverside Technical Services:

7. Today, is a design-oriented daily deals site:

In 1996, was a consulting group that I guess had something to do with selling Chryslers:

8. Today, orbitz is an online service for booking flights and hotel rooms at discounted rates:

In 1998, belonged to some dude who really insisted you look at his website using Netscape Navigator:

(PS - I tried to take "the worthiness test" but his site wouldn't load for me. In his defense, I wasn't using Netscape Navigator.)

9. Today, is a popular image hosting service:

In 2001, belonged to an amateur philosopher/photographer who worked at

10. Today, is a music streaming service with 30 million users a month:

In 2001, did something that required Shockwave Flash. (I'm not sure what, I didn't have the right version of Flash.):

11. Today, is a massive online shopping destination:

In 1999, was a development shop with a sweet embossed charging bull logo on the background of their site:

12. Today, is a culture website, focusing on celebrity news:

In 2004, was somebody's very boring personal blog. Lisa sounds nice though:

13. Today, is an intelligent culture blog:

In 1997, was some sort of "Cyber Community" for people who work in salons:

14. Today, is a popular conservative blog started by Glenn Beck:

In 2000, belonged to a band called Cleared By Customs (formerly Band Aide Smile):

15. Today, is a conservative news site:

In 1996, belonged to a voice-over artist named Greg Gears:

There still seems to be quite a bit of confusion online about Greg's involvement in Some sites still list it as his personal site.

16. Today, is the online edition of the DC newspaper, The Hill:

In 2001, was a personal blog belonging to someone who was excited about their new home (presumably on a hill):

17. Today, is a popular adolescent humor site for "bros":

In 2003, was a portfolio website for a flash designer named Sam McAfee:

(PS - From what I can tell, Sam (wisely) moved his focus away from Flash development.)

Screenshots courtesy of The Wayback Machine.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.