At the height of the dotcom boom, soon after the turn of the millennium, everyone was desperate to cash in. It seemed as though new websites were being launched every day covering technology, media, telecoms, finance – anything that could help the publisher get a piece of the new gold rush.
Of course some of these were what the jargon of the time might have termed “passion plays”, which, loosely translated, meant things people did because they actually cared. Others were the work of cynical opportunists driven by nothing but naked greed. One such site was the short-lived, money-obsessed financial news outlet called Sharesite.
Why do I feel able to slander Sharesite and its proprietors in this way? The answer is simple – I was one of them. And you want to know something else? In 2014, we’re bringing Sharesite back.
Employees of the Financial Times or the Wall Street Journal need not panic, however, because Sharesite was a spoof website and none of the things it described ever actually happened. I set it up along with another ex-FT employee in late 2000, inspired – obviously – by the Onion, and it enjoyed some modest success for a few years until we forgot to renew the domain name and the project came to a prosaic end.
Sharesite reporters covered such market-moving stories as the physical collapse of an American high-tech stock exchange, Germany’s innovative nocturnal currency, and a PR stunt that backfired on a London trading floor with macabre results. While a lot of the content was very much of its time – especially our coverage of the dotcom crash – some articles were almost eerily prescient. I’d say more but I don’t want to give too much away.
There were no proper archives of Sharesite’s content, so we’ve had to dig through the Wayback Machine and painstakingly extract all of the old articles. Some other material has been recovered from web forums, blogs and other places where it was reposted and shared. This exercise in web archaeology now complete, we’ll soon start bringing Sharesite back online as well as jumping on the social media bandwagon with aplomb – well, as much aplomb as it takes to set up a Twitter account.
As soon as Sharesite is live again I’ll “share” the details here so start preparing to experience financial enlightenment. Just try not to make any investment decisions in the meantime.