- This page refers to the comic named "1999". For comic #1999, see 1999: Selection Effect.
Title text: 'Whoa, twenty-two in two hours!' 'Your site got twenty-two hundred hits in two hours?' 'No. Twenty-two. But still, that's like half the people on the internet!'
This comic is a parody of the movie The Social Network, a movie about the founding of the popular social network site Facebook. Here, scenes from the movie are reimagined to feature Zombo.com instead. Zombo.com, also known as Zombocom, is a website that was created in 1999 and using only Flash animations. The animation consists of a circle of quickly pulsating dots and a friendly deep male voice repeatedly welcoming the visitor to "Zombocom" and explaining that there was no limit to what could be done at the site, or rather, no limit except yourself. The message, a parody of how sites of the time used a flash introduction while the rest of the site loaded, repeats while, ironically, there is absolutely nothing that can be done at the site until the message completes, at which point a link saying "Sign up for our newZletter" appears, linking to a page saying that the selected option is not available yet. If the link is not clicked, the Flash player will reset. Thus, you can still do nothing on the site. The humor of the parody comes in substituting Facebook, a site that, at the time this comic was made, was a useful and popular website; for Zombo.com, a novelty site which gained attention for its complete uselessness.
You can visit the site at zombo.com.
The last four panels are all direct parodies of specific scenes from The Social Network. The second panel is a takeoff of the scene where Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg comes up with the idea for the site, saying that people like checking up on their friends and acquaintances, so why not build a site that lets them do that? Because Zombo.com has no actual function, in this version the founder can't specify what he wants the site to do.
The third panel is taken from a scene where Zuckerberg is seen intensely focused on programming the site, his headphones insulating him from the outside world. His assistant describes his state as "wired in" and demands that he not be disturbed. In the comic, as Zombo.com is a very simple site which does not need much coding, the assistant offers the possibility that the founder is stoned. Indeed, it's one of the few conceivable reasons that one would be this focused on such a useless website. As "the infinite is possible" is a phrase in Zombo.com's audio clip, it is also plausible that the founder is currently recording the clip, and the assistant is telling the others not to bother him for fear of adding background noise to the clip.
The fourth panel is taken from a scene where co-founder Eduardo Saverin tries to push for monetization of Facebook, while investor and consultant Sean Parker argues against. The actual dialogue is "You don't even know what the thing is yet. How big it can get, how far it can go. This is no time to take your chips down. A million dollars isn't cool, you know what's cool? A billion dollars." Here, instead of a billion dollars, the Parker character argues "Circles," playing off Zombo.com's un-lucrative nature and the silliness of the design.
The final panel is taken from a scene where Parker advises Zuckerberg to change the name of the site from TheFacebook to just Facebook, calling it "cleaner." Here, he advises to change the name of Zombo.com to just Zombocom. Why the website is pronounced "Zombocom" rather than the more expected Zombo Dot Com is a mystery known only to its creators; perhaps, like in the movie, they also considered it cleaner.
The title text is a reference to a quote from the movie, specifically a conversation between Zuckerberg and Delpy (Zuckerberg is the first quote). In the actual film, Zuckerberg answers "twenty-two thousand" rather than just "twenty-two". This is a joke to the effect that, back in 1999, there weren't really that many people on the internet, and very few of them would have gone to Zombo.com.
- It's easy to forget, as we heap awards on The Social Network,
- That before there was Facebook, MySpace, or even Friendster...
- One website dreamed bigger than them all.
- [Cueball and another are talking.]
- Cueball: People like doing stuff. So why not build a website that offers that?
- Another: Offers what? What would I do there?
- Cueball: Anything! The only limit is yourself!
- [Another scene. Hacker, wearing headphones and oblivious, working at computer. Cueball runs in to interrupt; Another holds him back.]
- Cueball: Hey, we need more—
- Another: Don't–he's wired in.
- Hacker: The infinite is possible.
- Another: Or baked. It's hard to tell.
- [Cueball and another at table in bar.]
- Cueball: It's time to monetize. We could make millions!
- Another: No way. A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool?
- Cueball: A billio–
- Another: Circles.
- [Long shot in bar. Drinks on table in foreground; dim figures in doorway in background; Cueball, alone, shouting into the distance.]
- Cueball: Hey–a tip: drop the dot.
- Cueball: Just "Zombocom".
- Cueball: It's cleaner.
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