As is often the case for me, I forgot a rather important birthday. Two days ago, on December 22, Niners Nation turned 3. Over the past three years, there have been an insane amount of changes both to the site and to the SB Nation network as a whole. How different is the site you're looking at today compared to three years ago? Well thanks to web.archive.org, you can look at old versions of web sites. The oldest picture of NN they have is from January 11, 2007, but it's basically what the website looked like at its inception. Aside from the logo, it looks nothing like that now. You can go to the NN archive there to view pages throughout the past three years.
If you want to take a stroll down memory lane, the archives of this site do hold every story posted, just in the new format. Here's the initial welcome story. The one familiar name from the beginning? Our man howtheyscored, also known as user ID #41. Wanna check out our rather basic initial game threads? Here's the 49ers-Cardinals matchup from Week 16 of 2006. And yes you're looking at it correctly, we only had 4 comments for that game. We jumped to 59 for the next week's overtime thriller with the Broncos. How about a day that I know Florida Danny will never forget or forgive?
Aside from the changes in the site look and format, the biggest change is of course the traffic to the site. Over our first 9 weeks of existence, Niners Nation brought in approximately 16,000 visitors. Now we can bring that in over 2 or 3 days. And on the two days of the draft this past year, we brought in three times that amount on each day. Things have definitely changed for the better here.
I want to thank everybody who has been a part of the site. All of our authors and moderators have been a huge help to keep me from going crazy, and providing fresh ideas to the site. Without guys like Ninjames, Florida Danny, Andrew Davidson, Professor Bigelow, Drew K, urnext and Josh Branco, none of this would be possible. Our graphics man and moderator wjackalope deserves a shoutout for all the help he's provided (along with an old roommate of his!). I want to especially thank my de facto consigliere howtheyscored for his help over the past three years. He doesn't post on the front page as frequently as some of our other authors, but he's provided invaluable advice and assistance for three years and counting.
And of course, (beware the cliche) the site wouldn't be what it is without the contributions of all the commenters that have come through here. While I certainly am an active participant, I consider myself as much a facilitator of the discussion here. While I disagree with plenty of you on occasion, I think for the most part we've been able to maintain a civil and intelligent level of discourse here. The site and SB Nation have grown considerably over the last three years and I'd imagine the best is yet to come.