Re: When did Sheldon first go online??? (Score: 1)
posted Sunday, March 22, 2009 - 11:52 AM (#47236
I realize Dave has already heard this in an email I sent him, but I wanted to get this theory out among the other readers.
Archive.org saved two snapshots of Dave's homepage index. The first snapshot it took on August 31, 1999. In it, every date on the calendar is filled, save one on August 30. Archive.org's second snapshot was taken a few months later, and on that one, there is a fairly large gap in the September calendar, with only a single comic posted between September 9 and 20.
Both of these pages are telling. The second one tells us that he moved his comics to davekellett.com sometime around the end of September or the beginning of October. Related, I happened to find an article [suite101.com] linking to davekellett.com as a new comic, dated 9/21/1999, so the gap might have been when he was working on putting together the new site.
The first page tells us that, at least initially, he tried to keep a daily schedule. More useful though, we can put possible published dates with each of the comics labeled 'sheld35' to 'sheld63'.
When you go to these actual pages, you see dates that range from July 19 to August 31. But they tend to be clustered, such that several comics could be all updated the same day, and then be followed by a long gap. And when I try to imagine what would cause that, I envision Dave making these comics on his computer - saving them with a Word timestamp, and then later uploading them on the appropriate date.
And the fact that as the comics progress, they get closer and closer to the date on the calendar, that makes me think he probably tried to keep a cushion of work ahead of him, but it dwindled away as he had trouble keeping up.
Now, Dave probably did first get the idea of giving Sheldon his own online comic back in Fall of 1998, and might have even played around with his college's personal homepage setup to see what a comic would look like online, but I don't think he embarked on his ambitious goal of daily updates until he had a few strips already done. Maybe they were the 30 or so he drew in order to send to various syndicates.
But anyway, once he started, it seems he put a new comic up every single day, until August 30, when he finally didn't get one done in time and had run out of reserves. But working backwards, it would put "Sheld 1" as (not necessarily the first time he placed it online, but first time he promoted it) going up Monday, June 28, 1999.
I could be totally wrong, but since we'll probably never know for sure anyway, I saw no reason not to throw a last suggestion into the mix.