Internet History

Selfies in the 2000’s: Remembering Daily Mugshot 2009-2012

video via Daily Mugshot YouTube, video made by Mary Miracle using Daily Mugshot

Do you remember It did what apps on our phones can do now. You would use your webcam to take one still photo a day, or less frequently.

Forgotten pieces of the internet like this can show us how our lives have changed but stayed the same.

According to founder Keith Gould’s page, Daily Mugshot was created in 2009. Gould’s LinkedIn describes Daily Mugshot as “a free service which helps you chronicle daily images of yourself and share them as an animated sequence”. This website featured over 1000 mugshots per day and over 600 result pages. This was a lot in 2009.

According to the now-defunct Daily Mugshot About page, Keith Gould was inspired to create the site because “The Daily Mug shot began when I came across a dude who took a picture of himself every day and turned it into a video. He had taken pictures of himself every day for years, and the video was amazing. I thought: I want to do that too! Then I began thinking about what sort of system would make the entire process as easy as possible, and furthermore, what would be the most fun and easy way to show these videos to friends on the net.” 

In 2010, Gould told the Tampa Bay Times that “People are so much more attuned to adjusting how they look in front of a camera,” and that “Now they make precise decisions about every part of their face and angle of their head.” when referring to the use of Daily Mugshot.

In 2009, users could use Daily Mugshot or Daily Booth to perform this service. In addition to taking and posting a photo of yourself, you could add comments to your pictures or share them with others. Functionality was fairly limited. This CNET article makes light of this by comparing the two sites to Twitpic, “Twitpic they ain’t, but they are fun”.

As of 2017, Twitpic is another now-defunct site. Twitpic was used to upload photos that were then shared on Twitter because at that time it was not possible to upload photos directly to Twitter. Twitter took over the domain and archive in 2014. shut down in 2012.

While the URL for Daily Mugshot still exists, it is now bizarrely closer to an actual mugshot website. It says that it can be used to locate mugshots, perform inmate searches, and locate court records. This seems to be for a very limited number of areas and does not seem to be very functional. I recommend sticking with government websites for those types of searches.

The above video is a collection of my webcam selfies taken and then uploaded to Daily Mugshot from July 1, 2009, to January 6, 2012. Yes, between working on this website and ChaCha, I was online a lot during that time.

What are my personal thoughts on my selfies from then? That’s a lot of hats and hairdos. So, it was pretty accurate.

Reminiscing on these sites is nostalgic, but not sad as we now have cameras on smartphones in our pockets and numerous social media apps to share them with each other. However, there was something about the simplicity of sharing a photo just because, not to make a social media website money off our “content”.

How often do you take photos of your everyday life in 2022? Is it daily? What is the purpose? How often do you get them developed into physical photos?