27 Jul 2022 at 05:32
The website kanikeenkortebroekaan.nl has been helping people decide whether to wear shorts that day for 12 years. “I almost never wear shorts myself,” founder Timo Klok (39) told NU.nl.Door: Rutger Otto
Kanikeenkortebroekaan.nl has changed little over the years. Depending on the weather that day, you will arrive at a page where you will find either a happy man in shorts or a gloomy man in long pants. The question whether you can wear shorts is immediately answered with a firm ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – substantiated by the average temperature in the Netherlands and the chance of rain.
The website continues to attract visitors. Last month there were still 200,000. On Twitter, where a bot answers the same question every day, @Shorts followed by more than 24,000 people. Klok is flattered when his project is called Dutch internet history, but he doesn’t want to make it bigger than it is. “It’s a joke that got out of hand. I certainly don’t take it too seriously.”
Made in a few hours
The site was created during a conversation with a friend. It was preceded by a simple question: wouldn’t it be nice if there was a site where you could see whether you can wear shorts or not? Klok saw it as a fun challenge to find out if he could build such a site with a link to Twitter in a short time.
“Within two or three hours I had the site up and running,” he says. Over the years, the site has only been updated a few times. “Initially, the site looked on a weather site for the rule where the temperature and rain probability were. Now I use a free Weather API that provides the information.” Klok keeps to himself exactly how the computer decides whether it is shorts weather. “It’s funny: until recently I regularly received messages from people who thought I was sticking my head out the window every day to see if it was shorts weather.”
When you can wear shorts is different for everyone. Klok has already heard all the arguments for or against. “People’s criteria change remarkably enough through the seasons. If it is 18 degrees in March, the site says that you can’t wear shorts. Visitors then say that the weather is super nice. But in July people suddenly find 18 degrees too cold for shorts.”
Site has taken on a life of its own
Kanikeenkortebroekaan.nl is reminiscent of earlier times, when the internet was a simpler place, with room for creativity. “The internet was much more of a playground where you could determine the shape yourself,” says Klok. “Major social media platforms have made it easier for everyone to participate in the internet, but they have lost some of the creativity.”
There is also no advertising on Klok’s site – other than on Facebook and Twitter. “In the early years, clothing brands sometimes knocked on the door for collaborations, but I never wanted that. I don’t do promotions, the website has taken on a life of its own. There are even direct copies available online. I think that’s an honor somewhere .”