Monday, October 26, 2009

This Site is Under Construction: Geocities Closes Today

keep digging, little guyMaybe its death is for the good of the Greater Internet, but I’ll still be sad to see it go.

Geocities, a free Web hosting provider that peaked in the mid-to-late 1990s, was a place where just about anyone interested in contributing to the early Internet set up shop. This was a time before blogging, before Wikipedia, before Youtube and Facebook and Myspace – Geocities (or one of its copycats, Angelfire, Lycos, Tripod, etc. etc.) was the place where the individual expressed him or herself in Web 1.0.

Geocities was bought by Yahoo! in 1999 on the very brink of the dotcom bubble burst, and it afterward stagnated while others passed it by. Still, some believe that the data stored in Geocities' pages is historically significant, and people like ArchiveTeam (site down as of this writing) are dedicated to downloading and saving as much of the data as possible before Yahoo! closes it all down and erases it forever.

Now, Geocities is best remembered for introducing people to the Comic Sans font and animated .GIF files (see above). But then, it was a Big Deal, and a lot of people still on this Internet of ours today cut their teeth on HTML on Geocities or a site like it.

I myself ran a Mystery Science Theater 3000 fansite and tape trading page, and before that I ran a Legend of Zelda fansite, creatively dubbed ‘AndrewZelda’ and then renamed ‘The Sacred Realm’, complete with many of the crappy design decisions that everyone remembers from the early Internet. This was in 1998 or so, making me all of twelve years old.

Have fond memories of Geocities or Web 1.0? Might I point you to the Comments section?