Today is the tenth anniversary of the first post being made on the b3ta.com messageboard. It's as significant an anniversary as any other in the history of the internet. B3ta.com is a legitimate phenomenon... less high profile than many of its rivals or peers, perhaps due to its Britishness, both in terms of the majority of its users and its outlook on life. However, if you see a funny picture on the internet, there's still a very good chance that it originated from b3ta or one of its members.
I signed up for b3ta on 28th October 2003. I am not being sarcastic, or even just glib, to say that it is the best thing I ever did in my life. It opened up a new world of like-minded people and creative stimulation to me. Eight years on, I've made lifelong friends that I met through the site, and pretty much every other positive thing which happens can be traced back to that day in 2003.
That sounds rather pathetic, when it's written down. A hangover from those times where meeting people through the internet was viewed with deep suspicion. Nowadays, everyone is doing it and my friends and I nod sagely, the wisdom of the pioneer. And besides, however sad and pathetic some people might think it is, it has the virtue of being true. The real sad and pathetic thing was the state I was in beforehand. 28th October is my second birthday.
I am sure that Rob, Cal and Denise are enormously proud of the site the created, and rightly so. But I also hope they are aware of the real difference that their site has made to peoples actual lives. It is a wonderful thing, and one for which I will always be grateful.
This post deserved a bit of seriousness. But as it's about b3ta, I couldn't possibly leave it there. B3ta is about laughs. So I'm going to finish up with a selection of some of my favourite ever b3ta pictures, cribbed from my handy "stuff you've liked" page. Brace yourselves.
British ants enter space race
B3ta at its most brilliant and straightforward. Apropos of nothing and designed purely to make you titter.
Does exactly what it says on the tin.
Jack Torrance vs. door
Internet humour 101 - film meme, silly idea, brilliant timing and execution.
Spectacularly offensive, quickly done and brilliant.
Heston makes us some dinners
I think this is amazing.
Go to work on an...
My favourite b3ta picture of all time. It is magnificent beyond the need for words or description.
Gaza and the West Bank
Jokes, as the phrase on the posting page tells us, are better than technique.
Headline writer goes mental
Jokes are better than technique. Both are often on display, however.
Blankety Blank lols
I will never not laugh at this.
Mandrill gets a light
One by someone who is now a close friend of mine. But forget that, just get a load of this.
Well, I couldn't do all of this and not have a cat. This is just lovely.