History of Linkatopia
2020 Nov 26 - by Robert Giordano | Blog Index
I started Linkatopia as a personal project in 2006. I was looking for a way to keep all of my bookmarks and favorites in one place. I had a PC at home, and a PC at my office. I also used different browsers on each computer and each one had its own list of bookmarks or "favorites".
I tried a couple of sites like Del.icio.us which, besides being annoying to type, also lacked any kind of privacy features. Yes, I wanted to share SOME of my bookmarks with the world, but I also wanted to keep many of them private. I also found links that I wanted to share with friends or family, but I didn't want them to be public either.
What to do? Well if it doesn't exist, build it!!
So that's how it all started. Here's what happened next...
2006 MAY 09
First public beta of Linkatopia.com is launched. I was still using MySpace and I didn't have a Facebook yet.
2006 JUNE 03
Linkatopia is the first to offer privacy on your tags as well as your links! Even in 2020 I haven't seen anyone offer this. What if I don't want the world to know all of my tags? (In Linkatopia they are just called "tags" instead of "hashtags" because they don't need the #).
2007 JUN 21
One year later, the site is gaining popularity. I added RSS feeds for user profiles as well as each one of your tags. That way, people could subscribe to my "photography" tag if they only wanted to see the links I posted about photography and not all the other completely random things I post.
2007 SEP 12
The popularity of the site was causing some issues with my SQL server. To be honest, some of my queries weren't very efficient. But the complexity of the privacy features made some of it pretty complicated.
2008 APR 29
Due to the increasing popularity of Linkatopia and other copycat bookmarking sites that appeared during the past year, SPAMMERS and black hat SEO hackers began using all bookmarking sites as tools to create "link farms" or to post their spammy web sites selling fake goods. I had to create tools to protect the site against this kind of abuse.
2008 MAY 05
Boca Raton Magazine sent a reporter to my house to interview me about Linkatopia. I had a photo and a short article about me in the magazine. Over the next few months, Linkatopia was mentioned in several publications and dozens of blogs. By the way, I never gave any money to any of these publications. They all found Linkatopia on their own.
2009 JAN 23
Linkatopia suffered its first DOS (Denial of Service) attack by some hackers in India (although the original IPs could have originated anywhere). This lasted for a few days but no actual damage was done.
2009 MAY 21
As hackers and spammers continued to create up to 100 fake accounts daily, I had to temporarily turn off new accounts. All 15,000+ users could keep using Linkatopia but I was working by myself and I needed some time to get this problem sorted.
2011 MAY 09
After implementing some better code and some new tools to identify fake accounts and delete them automatically, Linkatopia ran fairly smoothly for the next 2 years and celebrated its 5 year anniversary on this day.
2012 AUG 31
Linkatopia was down for about 2 weeks, along with my company web site and all of my client web sites! The hosting company I was using went out of business, didn't pay their bill, and the data center in Virginia turned off all the servers! I had a backup server. Unfortunately, I leased it from the same hosting company. No warnings like, "Hey we're going to turn off your server in 24 hours." Nothing. I had to find a new hosting company, set up new servers, configure software, SQL, etc., then restore all of my client sites and Linkatopia from my most recent offline backups. What a nightmare.
2014 AUG 24
Linkatopia's popularity dropped off. Everyone was using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. MySpace had died. Instagram was bought by Facebook. To be honest, I was involved with a number of other projects. I had recently worked as a still photographer on a National Geographic film crew. I kept Linkatopia running and I still used it all the time because it worked. I just didn't have time to manage it or add new features.
2020 Aug 31
Almost exactly 6 years later, COVID is causing havoc all over the world. People are working from home, trying to do anything they can to make some money. Meanwhile Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter have decided to engage in censorship, suspension, or account deletion for any content violating "community standards". No one is allowed to even mention nude or partially nude content, especially if it's for sale. I personally received a 30 day ban for saying, "I sold one of my nudes in a gallery for $1200.00". I was referring to a piece of my artwork, a fine art nude, which won an award and was on display in a public art gallery. I tried to appeal my 30 day ban but was not heard.
I decided to rebuild Linkatopia so people could have a place to post all of their links, then share their Linkatopia page to avoid being censored or banned. I am actively devoting time to this site daily and I'm looking for people I know in real life to help me with beta testing.