Online History

unnamedBurningMan.com came online in 1997. Originally it was just some white text on a black background with a couple images.

1997 version of BurningMan.com on the Internet Archive

1997 Site Description

The OFFICIAL web site for Burning Man ’97. The Burning Man Project is an annual festival held in the high desert wilderness of northern Nevada. Each year, thousands of artists, performers and free spirits converge for a weekend-long celebration that culminates in the ritual burning of an enormous human effigy.

Eric Waterman gave the site its first proper design. The design credits are “David Marr/Haunani Paoquist/Britton Holland and CSS by Tom ‘Spanky’ Kapanka.” The site went through four iterations, with its last major redesign shipping in 2003. It would be 11 years before the launch of BurningMan.org, and a lot would change about the web in that time.

The webmasters were, in chronological order, Jay Bain, Scott Beale, Britton Holland, and David Marr. Marr came onboard in December(-ish) of 1999, participating in the last two design iterations.

1998 version of BurningMan.com on the Internet Archive98bm

1998 Site Credits

Latest Main Menu built by Rusty Hodge: 18.47 7/30/98

Executive Producer & Editor: Marian Goodell
Editorial Production: Scott Beale
Art Director: Erik Waterman
Technical Direction / Internet Stage Manager: Rusty Hodge
Hostmaster: Brian Behlendorf
Bandwidth & Hosting: Hyperreal
Content Management System: Hodge Interactive

Other significant contributors include:
Lissa Shoun
Vagabond Jim

Photo library system (aka Image Gallery):
Jay Bain
Eddie Codel
James Marshall

Staff critic: richard petersen

The Web Team was created during Marr’s tenure as a decentralized approach to both management and growth because we had lost previous webmasters too abruptly. Technically, Marr’s title was Web Team Lead, and his approach was to give a bunch of volunteers a little piece of work on the site. This insured the site would not be crippled if we lost any individual. Several of the early Web Team members were: Monica Laughter, Nicole Maron, Randal Alan Smith.

There were also numerous sysadmins such as Rob Miller, Joe Kewekordes and Chris Brick. Marr’s team got support from many people who supplied apps/technology such as: Felix Baum worked at Adobe and got us Creative Suite, John Mosbaugh worked at Atomz and got us a search engine, James Marshall built the first Image Gallery.

2000 version of BurningMan.com on the Internet Archive

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2000 Site Credits

Executive Producer – Maid Marian
Webmaster – Britton Holland
Hostmaster – Brian Behlendorf, Hyperreal
Bandwidth & Hosting – Hyperreal
Site Design/Art Direction – Erik Waterman
Content Queen – Fiona Essa
Information Architecture – Dave Marr
Project Management – Ben Carlson
Programming – Darin Wilson
QA Manager – Randal Smith

The site was hosted by Brian Behlendorf until Rob Miller moved it to a colo around 2003. Before BurningMan.com existed, Marian communicated Burning Man information via her email news list, Jack Rabbit Speaks.

Marr stepped down in 2004 and was succeeded by Will Chase. Chase had volunteer managers for every section of the site as well as functional teams working across those sections. The team would hold weekly and occasional bi-weekly meetings for both local and remote volunteers. Chase remained webmaster until that job title was universally declared obsolete in 2009, but his expanded duties on the Communications Team include editing and supervision of the content on the website.

2003 version of BurningMan.com on the Internet Archive

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This would remain the site design until November 2014. Yeah.

The BurningMan.org project, codename “Project Phoenix” (Yeah.), involved brave souls from throughout the Burning Man organization and community. The site launched on November 21, 2014. Check out Will Chase’s welcome post on Voices of Burning Man.