Memories of a dot com start up: Silicon.com

In the spirit of Tony Hallett’s blog post last Friday here are more memories from life at a late 90s/early Noughties dot com start up. Tony and I were colleagues at Silicon Media Group (previously NMTV) and we worked on the business technology website silicon.com (previously ‘Project X’).

As another former colleague Graham Hayday (now of the Guardian) will remember, when we launched it wasn’t all about the web. In our (my?) rather clumsy pitch of early 1998 to the great and good of the London technology scene we were a “tri-media operation, incorporating another medium: video”. Yep, we were probably half a decade too early into video on the web.

The screenshots below show the perfect melding of two of the media: CD and video (a quarterly print publication was also part of the pre-launch plan). We did a few – okay, maybe just two – of these Silicon Reports.

CD from Silicon.com: Silicon Report ecommerce
The very first Silicon Report CD featuring “up to 50 minutes of high-quality video content”.

Among the Silicon.com alumni on the celebrity squares-style cover are Anna Russell and Sarah Left (appropriately, top left); Sarah Mills (most of the second row); me (with my finger in my ear for some reason); and Ian Jones (second from left, bottom row). Bottom right is regular contributor Rene Carayol but I’m struggling with bottom left. Any ideas?

silicon.com's Silicon Report CD

The back cover features more faces including — middle, bottom row — a young Nick Clegg*. Below the pictures are the contact details which include an ‘0171’ London telephone number which probably helps to date it.

Back on the front, there’s the added enticement of a Silicon Screensaver.

Finally, and for the avoidance of any doubt, that cover price on the top right hand corner is not £2.95.

*Possibly not a young Nick Clegg

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