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Ten Past Ten Is a Website Whose Content Is Visible Only When the Time Is 10:10

Rob Walker

Ten Past Ten Is a Website Whose Content Is Visible Only When the Time Is 10:10

As you might expect, the Yahoo Tech day begins with our editors and writers scanning the news horizon, looking for what’s happening now and what’s happening next. Often that means new product releases, or unexpected ways that technology is shaping current events.

But sometimes it means something different.

Like today, when we discovered www.ten-past-ten.com, a site whose content is visible only at 10:10. Here, then, an inside account of our discovery, and coverage of an event-discovery incident, in the form of a tick-tock journal. Which as you will see, is uniquely appropriate to the subject.

9:28 a.m.: “This is exciting,” my editor informs me, sharing a link to ten-past-ten.com. “40 minutes away!”

I visit the site. The site is nothing but an announcement: “Sorry, the content of this website is only visible at 10:10.” And a depiction of a ticking clock.

9:29 a.m. I begin waiting.

9:32 a.m. I ask my editor: “Do you know anything about it?”

“Nothing,” comes the reply.

I think about that. I turn to the Web for answers.

9:34 a.m.: My editor interrupts my research to speculate that it might be the work of a digital artist/designer named Jasper Elings. Among other things, there’s a great app concept on his site — for a tool that would locate a McDonald’s outlet at the appropriate walking distance to burn off the calories you’ll inhale when you get there.

But there’s nothing about ten-past-ten.com. Elings, my editor explains, “is the only person who has ever tweeted a link to it.”

Hmm.

9:38 a.m.: My research has reminded me that 10:10 is famously the time that most watches are set to in ads. I’m now betting this will turn out to be a promotion for a watch maker.

9:39 a.m.: I hope that, whatever it is, it’s up for the full 60 seconds.

9:43 a.m.: My editor starts pestering me about other subjects that I could actually write about this morning. I try to ignore him.

9:53 a.m.: He won’t stop! “Let’s discuss further after 10:11,” I suggest.

10 a.m.: My editor sends a note to the entire Yahoo Tech staff about ten-past-ten.com. It’s becoming a moon-landing moment for us.

“I really hope this isn’t pornographic,” he adds.

The staff offers a variety of amusing reactions and chatter — “Must-see Internet,” and the like — which I ignore, because I’m TRYING TO FOCUS.

10:08 a.m.: I ponder whether I’m really going to get away with writing about this.

10:09 a.m.: “ONE MINUTE,” my editor declares, redundantly.

10:10 a.m.: Pretty cool! And it lasts the whole minute. “Stunning,” says one colleague. “Ha ha,” adds another.

I certainly enjoyed it. You should check it out for yourself.

At 10:10.

Ten Past Ten screenshot

UPDATE: Your Yahoo Tech staff has deduced, and confirmed, that ten-past-ten is the creation of one Alain Barthélémy, an engineering-trained creator whose work “comes and goes between theorical reflexion and experimentations, conceptual productions and formal propositions, using such mediums as video, computer programs, web sites, and installations.” Another amusing time-oriented project of his: Ahead of Time informs you what the time will be ten seconds from now.

"I’m glad you liked it," Mr. Barthélémy tells us, of our exclusive ten-past-ten coverage. “And I also had a lot a fun reading your article!” It’s about time someone said that.

Write to me at rwalkeryn@yahoo.com or find me on Twitter, @notrobwalker. RSS lover? Paste this URL into your reader of choice: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/author/rob-walker/rss.