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YTMND (abbreviation for “You’re the man now, dog!”) is a popular hubsite that hosts a wide variety of user-generated webpages, typically juxtaposing a still image or an animated slideshow with a looping audio file for comedic effects. YTMNDs can be seen as an early example of single-serving sites.
The line “you’re the man now, dog!” was originally quoted by the Academy Award winning actor Sean Connery in the 2000 drama film Finding Forrester. The phrase can be heard in the movie’s trailer at 1:26 into the video. This is where the founder of YTMND, Max Goldberg, states he first heard the iconic phrase.
A year after seeing the trailer for Finding Forrester, Max Goldberg created a site called Yourethemannowdog.com on July 6, 2001. The original version was composed of white, 3-dimensional ASCII text on a black background reading “YOURE THE MAN NOW DOG DOT COM” (pictured below). Over time, come winter of the same year, it was changed completely into the version you see today.
Since its first introduction onto the web, many spin-off sites would soon come into being the following years, turning this one man’s idea into one of the internet’s most famous and classic memes (soon becoming a memeplex of its own after spawning several sub-memes after YTMND.com was established).
But, since YTMND.com was not up until April 1, 2004, the years between the website’s creation and the creation of Yourethemannowdog.com had internet users modifying preexisting sites and hosting these new sites on their own servers. Word had gotten to Max about these spin-off sites and he was appalled, saving these peoples’ spin-offs into a folder on his own computer called contrib. Since this list “became too large and cumbersome to maintain”, Max thought up of creating YTMND.com so that people can make their own spoofs. The rest is history.
- The site was almost put down late 2004 because Max could not afford to host it. Thankfully, Reflected.net came forward to help Max in his time of need because they personally missed the website.
Excerpt from the YTMND Wikipedia article:
In January 2006, eBaum’s World hosted and watermarked a Lindsay Lohan montage created by YTMND user “SpliceVW” without crediting either SpliceVW or YTMND. In response to their actions, users from YTMND joined users from other Internet communities and launched an attack on the forums on eBaum’s World, using spam posting and denial-of-service attacks to repeatedly crash them.
Goldberg denounced the ongoing attacks, stating that they had “really crossed the line” and were a “vulgar display of power.” He later stated that any YTMND member whose site promoted attacks would have his or her account deleted, and that the conflict had placed both himself and his hosting company in a negative light.
On January 10, eBaum’s World alleged the attacks were a form of cyberterrorism, and on January 11, Neil Bauman, the executive vice president of eBaum’s World, publicly stated that arrests were being made in relation to the attacks. Eventually, Goldberg and Bauman came to an agreement: Bauman removed the montage from his website, while Goldberg removed references to “eBaum” from his. Though the conflict was resolved, both sites experienced DoS attacks on the morning of January 12, 2006.
Church of Scientology
On June 10, 2006, a cease and desist form was sent to Goldberg by lawyers of the Church of Scientology, claiming that several YTMND pages with Scientology-related content had infringed on Scientology copyrights. In response, Goldberg replied to the lawyer that the cease and desist form was “completely groundless” and he would not be deleting any Scientology-related sites. Days later, a Scientology page section appeared on the front page along with a disclaimer on the bottom stating the following: “This website is in no way affiliated, sponsored or owned by the Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, SeaOrg, Dianetics, volcanoes or aliens of any sort. We are, however, sponsored by Citizens for the Release of Xenu, a not-for-sanity organization.” According to Goldberg, there have not been any recent updates regarding the potential lawsuit.
On January 11, 2007, Goldberg revealed that Sega Europe had sent a cease and desist letter concerning the Sonic Says… fad, which features a clip from the Sonic animated series. The letter alleged that consumers “may be confused into believing that the offending pages are in someway linked to or associated with” the company. In its letter, Sega stated that it would take legal action after seven days if ownership of all “that’s no good” web domains were not handed over. After almost two weeks of silence following the original 7-day limit, Goldberg declared the issue had “blown over.”
On July 17, 2007, Goldberg was sent a string of letters and phone calls from lawyers representing Scholastic threatening legal action if sites revealing spoilers for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were not removed, in response to several YTMNDs with scanned pages that Goldberg posted on the front page. As more sites were created with spoilers, additional letters were sent. Goldberg responded to Scholastic by declining to take down Harry Potter-related sites.
In May of 2009, the Pez corporation sent a cease-and-desist letter regarding two YTMNDs depicting a fake Pez dispenser with Adolf Hitler’s head on the container, which they found insulting, and demanded that YTMND refrain from allowing any Pez-related items to be displayed on the site. Goldberg responded by starting a fad contest involving the candy company, with the prize being a possible lawsuit.
Search interest in “YTMND” peaked in mid-2006, and has been steadily decreasing since 2008.