Geocities, what ever happened, my friend?

There are many webmasters, site hosts, and IM affiliates who started their first sites on Geocities. For those who came later, Geocities was AS popular in the late 90’s as FaceBook is now! And for many of us, it’s where we cut our teeth with our garish late 90’s site design, HTML and guestbooks!

I mean: who uses guestbooks nowadays? It’s all Web 2.0!

Geocities logo

Somehow though Geocities, once it was taken over by Yahoo! fell on hard times as Yahoo! struggled to know what to do with this internet service: imposing service cuts (as Yahoo! is prone to do on its ‘free’ services) esp. on bandwidth, space and FTP access, messing with the TOS and copyright agreements, then the development and subsequent abandoning of premium services on Geocities, the axing of the volunteer arm, and the complete elimination of the notions of community based on ‘areas’ that founded Geocities.

geocities will close

In the end, though, the site just became a victim of the competition on the Internet for ‘free pages’ from Myspace, AOL, Facebook, Squidoo, not to mention the affordability of personal hosting, and increasing sophistication of websites. Like many things with Yahoo!, the site simply didn’t keep up with the developments and it was inevitable that it would be mothballed eventually.

I must say, though, that my first experiments in website design were all at the hands of an HTML design program, notepad, a couple of other programs, and their own tools. And the results were absolutely awful.

But I’m glad because much of what I do online these days was the result of those first faltering steps online in the heady days of 1999. Take a look at what I created: don’t visit it if you don’t want to!

geocities first homepage

It was quite a thrill to see how my pages looked from the WayBack Machine archive. Pretty much the entire site was stored in their archives! So be careful what you put on the websites, including the first attempts at Blogging in 2005!

But times changes, technologies change, audiences change, I still think my website layout was particularly ahead of its time with its stark simplicity, but hey! I ain’t no expert in that field! This changing is a reminder: if you want to keep your site and their pages active, you will need to make sure that you always BACK up your site, somehow, somewhen, somewhere.

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