Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Yahoo is pulling the plug on all those free Geocities web sites - there must be millions of them out there, including three of mine which I'd practically forgotten (and it seems can no longer access, thanks Yahoo!)
It was back in the halcyon days of early internet - Geocities was the place you practised your self taught html skills (or lack of).
Suddenly everyone (teenager or middle-aged geek) with a computer and internet access could realise their dream of becoming a web designer and show the whole world their holiday slides and photos of the cat.
It was the place you found java scripts for cute things that followed your cursor around and made snow and autumn leaves flutter down your pages.
(see here for example if you use Explorer, never could get it to work in Netscape)
It was GRAPHICS personified - gifs that moved, jpgs, flashy backgrounds with Borders on Both Sides, how cool were we!
It was the home of halucinogenic colours and flashing lights and moving things and dreadful wav files of Strawberry Fields Forever.
And every little hobby group suddenly realised they too could become a world renowned force for good.....which is why I'm wasting time downloading ten year old pages and trying to persuade said hobby group that web sites are old old old - get a blog heavens sake! - we could even TEAM blog! (this is one of the sites I lost access to which is why the content is about 10 years out of date)
Back before Yahoo took them over, Geocities had their own little social networking system, our sites were in themed 'neighborhoods' then each neighborhood was divided into suburbs then into blocks and that's where you built your site. We had community leaders and it was all very pally and helpful.
I was trying to remember the name of my original neighborhood and found this old list of names - I was in Heartland/Meadows
Yahoo took over Geocities in 1999 at the height of the dot.com boom and immediately dismantled the neighborhoods.
Some would say that was the beginning of the end, but I think the end was helped along by the static nature of web sites in general, much more direct were the new social networks offered by blogs, facebook, YouTube and photo sites like Flickr
Somewhere I read a note comparing Geocities to an abandoned amusement park - perfect description, the ride is over, just waiting now for the demolishers to move in.