Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yahoo to End GeoCities

Yahoo has said it will shut down GeoCities, the free website hosting service it purchased ten years ago, this year.

GeoCities was one of the most popular ad-driven hosts where people built their personal web pages back in the days before blog hosts became the easiest way to do so. It also became known as a virtually infinite graveyard of some of the most pointless, ill-looking and dysfunctional pages on the entire internet. Any time I was looking for information online and found a link to a GeoCities page, my hopes of discovering anything relevant on that page sank considerably. Most of the time the link would lead to a page that hadn't been updated in at least three years, and whose images had all vanished because the user's allotted bandwidth had been used up.

Hallmarks of GeoCities websites included random GIF animations, illogical linking, seizure-inducing color schemes and hit counters that looked like this:

(The way I'm describing it, GeoCities sounds an awful lot like MySpace...but trust me, it was totally different.)

Countless internet users, including myself, can truthfully say that GeoCities was their first ever "home on the web." The service GeoCities offered was perfect if you wanted to build a website with basically no content, and you wanted to do so for free. I took advantage of this perfect storm of pointlessness and created my first website, entitled The Hall of Crushes, in 1997. It was, as you can imagine, a high-tech shrine to unrequited love; kind of like the movie High Fidelity, only instead of my lost loves being played by Catherine Zeta Jones and Lili Taylor, they were portrayed in cute little caricatures I drew myself. It was a vigorous exercise in self-indulgence.

Aren't you glad I stopped being self-indulgent?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i hear ya brudda, i hear ya mon.

rasta ray