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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On This Day In Lonelygirl15 History: May 12, 2006 - The Birth of an Era

Can you believe it? It was four years ago today, on May 12, 2006, that the Lonelygirl15 account was created on Youtube, and the domain lonelygirl15.com was anonymously registered.

These events are becoming real history now--they aren't last month's gossip anymore.

Yet, the immense impact that Lonelygirl15 had on the internet has never really been written about. At least not in the way that longtime readers of this website know it.

Bree launched a new industry that had sky-high hopes and spawned great experimentation in web video. Whole networks for web video were launched, thousands of webseries were created, talent agencies and web-talent divisions were created. Deals were struck left and right between social media sites, networks, music companies, you name it. Even websites covering web video and web video award shows appeared. Hundreds of panel discussions and conferences have been held about web video, and that's just counting the ones that included someone from the lonelygirl15 team. Vibrant online communities were created that revolved simply around being the audience for web video, and interacting and creating in return.

And hundreds of later-famous vloggers were inspired by Bree, even if many of them wouldn't readily admit it. But the 16-year-olds of today are watching them, and being inspired in turn.

And many millions were made and lost. Even mega-millions: Via KateModern, lonelygirl15 made a so-so website known as Bebo look so cutting edge that a desparate-to-be-relevant AOL spent $850 million in CASH to acquire it.

And sitting here on May 12, 2010, after the Creators mercifully admitted last month that Lonelygirl15 is kaput, we know that making sustained money on a webseries is next to impossible. Any one that tells you different is either wishing, lying, or Felicia Day.

But the original spark of lonelygirl15, before the money got involved (because we all need to eat), was about entertainment, and about interaction and creativity, and about being new and groundbreaking. Which is why, when there is "another lonelygirl15"--it won't look anything like lonelygirl15. But it will generate that same special feeling of excitement and true awe that is, in my experience, very rare.

And if you find it first, please let me know.

One year ago:
Season 3 cast photo

Two years ago:
daniel actually gets the center position

Three years ago:
you mean this picture is two years old?  My god?  Do i die?

Summer 2006:
this shot dates to Aug 22, 2006

probably registered too soon

See all This Day in Lg15 History posts.


  1. Those little badges contain lesser and lesser useful information as time goes by.

    Who knows what would have happened had Bree had an umbrella back then.

  2. Also, had we implemented the new site design, I would have totally clicked the facebook icon and posted it to my account. Alas, we haven't so I didn't.

  3. I wonder if people will still remember LG15 50 years from now?


  4. @ Joe considering it's been in multiple text books I'm going to venture out and say yes.

  5. This is an article to a paper some guy wrote for his college class. Some of the facts are a little iffy, kids today don't understand the value of sound research, but it's still a decent effort.

  6. If we're getting historical, someone should shout props out to the original branded web series which was online a full decade before lonely girl.

    BMW films were big-budget web movies by famous directors, and starred Clive Owen as the Driver in various scripted stories showcasing BMW cars.

    Everyone was on dialup modems back then - no streaming, so an internet-connected Director Shockwave app was created that would download new episodes as they became available as quicktime movies - sometimes taking an hour or more - and archive past episodes for repeated viewing.

  7. @anon - interesting, i never heard of this before, it was called "The Hire" and dates to 2001 per wikipedia.


    i'll read up on it.

    typically the first "web show" is often claimed to be The Spot from 1995, but it was only small snips of video, it was also text and pictures.

  8. Are we talking streaming online? Because fanfilms have been available to download online forever.


    And that's not even close to being the first one.

  9. Notice how with each "login time" on the pictures are gradually getting longer lol


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