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Bear [Geocities] like a soldier, to the stage
April 23, 2009 4:17 PM   Subscribe

Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince; And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. Geocities, we hardly knew ye.
posted by awenner (111 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
And thank the gods for that.
posted by Science! at 4:20 PM on April 23, 2009


It's been mostly a graveyard for almost a decade now anyway, but still... end of an era.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:21 PM on April 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


And yet tripod lives.
posted by jquinby at 4:21 PM on April 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


THERE IS A GOD!
posted by jkaczor at 4:23 PM on April 23, 2009


I halfway expected a "user has exceeded its badwidth" page.
posted by Badgermann at 4:23 PM on April 23, 2009 [28 favorites]


Geocities: Seeing user pages exceed it's bandwidth due to links to them on Metafilter since 1999.
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:26 PM on April 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Does Yahoo! offer another free hosting service?

No, Yahoo! does not offer another free hosting service. Instead we recommend our award-winning Yahoo! Web Hosting service, which includes...


Dolla dolla bill, y'all.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:27 PM on April 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


And the sky will be lit with many sparkling "Mail Me" gifs.
posted by sourwookie at 4:28 PM on April 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


This site has exceeded its lifetime bandwidth limit. Do not try again. Ever.
posted by dersins at 4:30 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Something tells me the level of animated gifs (horizontal rules, diamonds and flames in particular) will decrease exponentially the day Geocities goes down.
posted by furtive at 4:31 PM on April 23, 2009


I would be sad at the loss of my webpages, except that geocities deleted them all without warning years ago1, and I'm still a bit sore about that.

1. Apparently useful information ceases to be useful if it's not altered frequently enough.
posted by -harlequin- at 4:32 PM on April 23, 2009 [7 favorites]


They should leave an animated Under Construction on the home page. Forever.
posted by rokusan at 4:33 PM on April 23, 2009 [29 favorites]


This isn't a good thing. This is like closing the maximum security asylum for the criminally insane and letting the residents loose on the streets. All of that bad html and bad animated smilies have to go somewhere.
posted by double block and bleed at 4:33 PM on April 23, 2009 [21 favorites]


Best viewed with Netscape 3.0
[Get Netscape NOW! Button]
posted by ALongDecember at 4:34 PM on April 23, 2009 [7 favorites]


"Apparently useful information ceases to be useful if it's not altered frequently enough."

Make that "Apparently, useful information ceases..."
My sites as they were, were of use to people, but geocities decided they were abandoned because I had completed them.

Perhaps that's why geocities has so many "Site under construction" gifs - if your site ever gets finished, geocities deletes it.
posted by -harlequin- at 4:35 PM on April 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


This disturbs me for a purely selfish reason. I work for a site that could be called "the new geocities" for a few reasons, and I've said for a while "well, even though we're declining in cool factor, I'll always be employed because geocities is STILL around".

Dammit.
posted by flaterik at 4:35 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dolla dolla bill, y'all.

Anyone with a Geocities account will be more than happy at blogger.com or livejournal.com methinks. It's not like there's less free hosting on the web than there was 10 years ago.

Also: they're actually shutting it down because it was running on the last IRIX box in the world. Fueled by pixie dust and shattered dreams.
posted by GuyZero at 4:35 PM on April 23, 2009 [10 favorites]


@flaterik Can I guess the site????
posted by GuyZero at 4:36 PM on April 23, 2009


It's like the end of a long, awkward adolescence. One where you can look back at all the weird things you've done, smile, and hope to whatever deity that it never happens again.
posted by lekvar at 4:37 PM on April 23, 2009


if your site ever gets finished, geocities deletes it.

The Nine Billion Names of Geocities.

"overhead, without any fuss, the stars sites were going out."
posted by GuyZero at 4:38 PM on April 23, 2009 [10 favorites]


Truly the end of web 1.1.2 - what a shitty release that was.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 4:40 PM on April 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm feeling a little old today.
posted by Michael Roberts at 4:41 PM on April 23, 2009 [10 favorites]


Angelfire will remain open for all your I <3> needs.
posted by chiraena at 4:44 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


er, I (heart) Britney.
posted by chiraena at 4:46 PM on April 23, 2009


You can take my WebRing when you wrest in from my cold, dead hands, Yahoo!
posted by dhammond at 4:46 PM on April 23, 2009


Heh, those Angelfire rates aren't so bad.
posted by rokusan at 4:47 PM on April 23, 2009


Tangent: I still maintain that it should be pronounced gee-OSS-it-eez.
posted by The Tensor at 4:48 PM on April 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince; And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. Geocities, we hardly knew ye.

The link is down. j/k
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:49 PM on April 23, 2009


The Nine Billion Names of Geocities.
Make that the 2.87 billion...
posted by PenDevil at 4:49 PM on April 23, 2009


What's an elderly model train enthusiast to do?
posted by kuujjuarapik at 4:50 PM on April 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


So come on, how many people have a Geocities page in the old format, with the "neighborhood" and house number? It took Geocities closing to make me realize how proud I was of that piece of cred.
posted by roll truck roll at 4:50 PM on April 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Whoa, Geocities. I've gone there once or twice lately; it is vaguely comforting, like looking at an old friend you know back in the late 1990s. It's strange how back then it was normal for your average Joe to have a website on Geocities, Angelfire, or Tripod, but now they've all migrated to social networks like Myspace and Facebook. And that's cool, but with that move to a highly structured, newsfeed-styled format I've seen a LOT less pages over the years with peoples' pet projects, essays, bookmarks, papers, and so forth.
posted by crapmatic at 4:51 PM on April 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


I never cared for Angelfire, personally. When I made the decision to go Geocities (now roughly 13 years ago), I can't even remember why. Maybe cause they had premium accounts if you ever wanted to upgrade? I don't know.

What I do know is that Geocities had a great support network, and gave you a lot of freedom for pure hand-coded HTML. Sure, my first site(s) were the usual spinning .gif animations and barely-readable text, but.. I used Geocities as my stomping grounds for trying things out without spending any money (or running my own server) and I suspect others did, too.

I don't even remember the URLs for any of those early Geocities projects and I doubt they're around anymore if what harlequin says is true. But, hey, they gave me some (fairly) unrestricted areas to fuck around and hone my craft and for that... I thank them.
posted by revmitcz at 4:53 PM on April 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


Tangent: I still maintain that it should be pronounced gee-OSS-it-eez.
In other words, it rhymes with "atrocities".
posted by argh at 4:53 PM on April 23, 2009 [7 favorites]


Part of me things 'oh shame'. Part of me also thinks 'wait that site was still around?'
posted by litleozy at 4:54 PM on April 23, 2009


There are some genuinely interesting geocities sites out there. I wonder if Archive Team will step in here?
posted by filthy light thief at 4:54 PM on April 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


Athens represent! The community for 'intellectuals' or whatever I thought I was at age 17.

Aah, 1996. I miss you.
posted by waxbanks at 4:55 PM on April 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


The alien technology of human cloning used in alien operations on Earth.
posted by gman at 4:55 PM on April 23, 2009


Is the overhead on Geocities so much that they can't make a profit?
posted by wcfields at 4:56 PM on April 23, 2009


Tangent: I still maintain that it should be pronounced gee-OSS-it-eez.

And let me guess.... you also pronounce sysop as "SIGH-sop."
posted by Afroblanco at 5:00 PM on April 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


.
posted by Jikido at 5:08 PM on April 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I met one of my all-time best friends online, through her fanfiction, and I can still hum the background midi that used to play on her (awesome but still typical of the era) Geocities page. Being 13 on the internet in the nineties was a great combination, and I'm privileged to have been historically positioned to experience it. That page has been gone for a long time, but I'm still shedding a tear right now.
posted by jinjo at 5:09 PM on April 23, 2009 [10 favorites]


Archive Team GO! (what filthy light thief said)
posted by zsazsa at 5:15 PM on April 23, 2009


Is the overhead on Geocities so much that they can't make a profit?

That seems like a legit question to me. Doesn't it all pretty much fit on a single hard drive at this point? I mean, migrate off the old servers, put it on a bandwidth-throttled connection. This seems like a failure of the Yahoo! ads network more than anything else.
posted by XMLicious at 5:15 PM on April 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


[BAGPIPES.MIDI]
posted by boo_radley at 5:23 PM on April 23, 2009 [17 favorites]


I had forgotten about Geocities completely! Wowzers! Now all these pre-teen dorky-awkward-anti-social middle-school memories are rushing back....

I'm proud/ashamed to say that I was a part of the 'virtual pet' adoption craze, specifically the virtual mice from the now-defunct Vikimouse.com

I had a mouse mansion for my little guys; each room had its own page, loving coded by hand. This was before the days of CSS, bitches! I was hardcore!

Does anyone know what I'm talking about?
And, does anyone know what happened to Vikimouse?
posted by chara at 5:25 PM on April 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I will sort of miss Geocities. Yes, it's crap. Damned if I couldn't find some interesting stuff on there from time to time. And it occasionally served as a fantastic attack vector for various badnesses. Geocities — when you absolutely, positively have to write about a fetish that nobody will pay to read, it was there for us.

Goodbye, Geocities. Off to that great rackspace in the sky. Or the Wayback Machine, whichever comes first.
posted by adipocere at 5:28 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


A Reddit commentbrought up the point that they must be closing it down because of Spam because check out these stats.

Top Social Media Sites (ranked by unique worldwide visitors November, 2008; comScore)
1. Blogger (222 million)
2. Facebook (200 million)
3. MySpace (126 million)
4. Wordpress (114 million)
5. Windows Live Spaces (87 million)
6. Yahoo Geocities (69 million)
7. Flickr (64 million)
8. hi5 (58 million)
9. Orkut (46 million)
10. Six Apart (46 million)
11. Baidu Space (40 million)
12. Friendster (31 million)
13. 56.com (29 million)
14. Webs.com (24 million)
15. Bebo (24 million)
16. Scribd (23 million)
17. Lycos Tripod (23 million)
18. Tagged (22 million)
19. imeem (22 million)
20. Netlog (21 million)
posted by wcfields at 5:28 PM on April 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


"overhead, without any fuss, the stars sites were going out."

Aw, the first non-Wikipedia Google result for that phrase is a Geocities site.

*sniff*
posted by annathea at 5:43 PM on April 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hahaha mine's still there. Wow. I had completely forgotten about that. What a strange kid I was.
posted by little e at 5:48 PM on April 23, 2009


link plz tia, little e.
posted by dersins at 5:48 PM on April 23, 2009


I felt a great disturbance in the web, as if millions of Highlander fan sites suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
posted by brundlefly at 5:52 PM on April 23, 2009 [6 favorites]


PiLgRiM cAMp rOx!!! =)=)=)
posted by gman at 5:59 PM on April 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wow, I have always wondered how long it was going to last. I used to have one of those neighborhood/address combinations.
posted by Xoebe at 6:03 PM on April 23, 2009


:(
posted by acro at 6:04 PM on April 23, 2009


This isn't a good thing. This is like closing the maximum security asylum for the criminally insane and letting the residents loose on the streets. All of that bad html and bad animated smilies have to go somewhere.

That stuff went to MySpace a long time ago.
posted by box at 6:09 PM on April 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


Aw yeah it's so bad it's good. I even fixed the busted links so you can laugh at me for thinking it was a good idea to crimp my hair in the 90s and put it on the internets.
posted by little e at 6:11 PM on April 23, 2009 [9 favorites]


Stop all the downloadin', turn off ICQ,
Prevent the paperclip from offering to help you,
Silence RealPlayer, and with CRT hum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let banner ads flash moaning overhead
popping under messages that It is Dead.
Put black bows round the neck of a dancing hamster,
Sob for "mic in track," share it on Napster.

It was my journal, my rant, my chat and bulletin board
My webring and my Top Website award,
My slashfic, my webshrine, my MIDI song;
I thought my page would last forever: I was wrong.

Our sites are not wanted; delete every 'zine,
Send the data off to the Wayback Machine.
Our time has passed, we're no longer needed,
And our bandwidth now is forever exceeded.
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:13 PM on April 23, 2009 [135 favorites]


Ian A.T., I wish I could favourite that five times.
posted by annathea at 6:19 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, little e, your site made me smile. :)
posted by gemmy at 6:30 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


little e, your bouncy donut is uncannily similar to my dancing sandwiches.
posted by zsazsa at 6:34 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


My band had a page in the Soho neighborhood, but I don't remember the house number.

Well, I thought about it, found it, but it's dead. Makes me sad.

http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Studios/1767
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 6:38 PM on April 23, 2009


Geocities Ate My Balls
posted by sourwookie at 6:39 PM on April 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


And yet tripod lives.
I totally logged into my tripod site this very week.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:39 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Always a good day when a plague on humanity is eradicated.
posted by fusinski at 6:57 PM on April 23, 2009


Lo and behold, my Geocities page from 2002 is still up! I must have been around thirteen at the time, and I cursed like a little pirate (check the "About" page).
posted by theiconoclast31 at 6:58 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


gemmy: "Oh, little e, your site made me smile. :)"

I'm assuming it would have made me smile too... had it not expired from first rays of MeFi interest.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:00 PM on April 23, 2009


little e, your bouncy donut is uncannily similar to my dancing sandwiches.

I'll take a side seizure with that.
posted by gman at 7:02 PM on April 23, 2009


GOOD!
posted by PuppyCat at 7:07 PM on April 23, 2009


How many "fair use" parody logos does it take to piss off a Geocities lawyer?

404 Not Found
posted by netbros at 7:17 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Luckily my site was never finished, so my geocities files are still there.

*looks at old pictures of high school enemies and deceased nephews*

Pretty sad on a sentimental side, but we have 50 webs and freewebs or whatever.
posted by rubah at 7:27 PM on April 23, 2009


http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Battlefield/XXXX

My first website. The numbers are for me and me alone to know. It's long gone anyway and no sign of it in the wayback machine, thank god.
posted by PercussivePaul at 7:31 PM on April 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


That said, you can take a virtual tour of my house circa March 2002.
posted by rubah at 7:31 PM on April 23, 2009


I have been visiting Charlistpic on Geocities for a decade. RIP you talented bastard.
posted by gum at 7:32 PM on April 23, 2009


A long time ago I used Microsoft Publisher (don't ask!) to make a Geocities site. My idea was to start a game of Nethack and take copious screenshots. Most of my games of Nethack got up to about the 12th level point and then I'd die, I figured it'd be entertaining for people to see what the game was like, what the sources of danger were, etc.

It ended up being the first game of Nethack I ever won.

By the end it was nearly 50 pages. I chalk it up to the need to continually alt-printscreen and tab out of the game taking me out of the zone enough that I ended up considering my decisions a lot more carefully. It was a unique little site at the time, and even in the meantime I can't quite put my finger on another site like it.

Of course, Geocities deleted it years ago. They can rot in hell for all I care.
posted by JHarris at 8:13 PM on April 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


One geocities site I've revisited several times is StitchBoy for mens swimwear patterns.
(some of his links may be NSFW)
posted by vespabelle at 8:33 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hmm, I have had my diary on a Geocities site for nearly nine years. I hadn't heard of blogs then and now I'd never want to keep one. Yahoo didn't send emails about this? Because I see nothing in my inbox. Well anyway I have about 100 pages of content and now I don't know what to do with it. I liked just updating my diary every few months or so as the mood would strike.

I just like the look of webpages as opposed to blogs and livejournal. I have no interest in social networking, and am one of the few people with no myspace, twitter, facebook or anything like that. I just like typing my thoughts on poorly designed webpages with no feedback from anyone except a guestbook they can sign or not sign.

The notice says there will be info about saving site data? I'd actually be willing to upgrade to Yahoo's hosting so long as I didn't have to do anything with my content. So long as it could be a relatively seamless process; I pay, site stays. I am way way way too lazy to manually transfer all of my years of blather. And for the one or two people who know where my site is and remember to read it every few years, I'd like if they could find the new one but if Geocities is closing down everything I wonder how that will work.

So yes there are still people out there who regularly use Geocities but maybe this will finally cut my ties to the internet cause lord knows I need it.
posted by Danila at 8:55 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Damn.

The cowboy days are drawing to a close. So sad.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:11 PM on April 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


Nothing says professional like a black background interspersed with stars.
posted by cowbellemoo at 9:13 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh my god, now I'm going to have to pay for hosting! What's that? You say there are other free hosts out there that don't burden you with unkillable popup ads and with a brand that doesn't instantly mark you as "someone on Geocities?" Oh. Well. In that case, fuck 'em.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:42 PM on April 23, 2009


Godspeed. My first several webpages were all on Geocities...at first (this would be late '96 or so) there were just collections of lists of stuff I liked so that people (i.e. girls) I chatted with could go there and see how cool I was*, but eventually it turned into kind of a proto-blog wherein I did a lot of writing (much of which is embarrassing to behold now, but such is life). So I'll always hold a bit of a soft spot in my heart for Geocities.

* this never happened, or if it did, nothing came of it
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:05 PM on April 23, 2009


*rifles through the leftover GIFs, posting them all over the web*

You there, hold still! *slaps yellow construction warning sign featuring a stick figure with a shovel on your forehead*

Perfect! Wait, you'll need this shimmering lake javascript from the waist up, too. Fabulous! Here's a Mozart MIDI! No? Greensleeves, then! Sucker! Here's a hit counter. 100k!? Woah. Slut! *skips away, scattering twinkling background gifs*
posted by loquacious at 10:36 PM on April 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I was somewhere in Heartland/Prairie. I was too intimidated to try for SoHo.
posted by sageleaf at 11:11 PM on April 23, 2009


Nothing is forever. Especially not on the Internet.
posted by flippant at 11:27 PM on April 23, 2009


Shit, this is actually making me nostalgic. Eleven or twelve years ago, Geocities PageBuilder taught me to write HTML.

Like pretty much everyone in the nineties, my first website was on Geocities. geocities.com/sunsetstrip/mezzanine/7266 -- lord knows how I remember that. The site itself's still on my hard drive today, and let me tell you -- it's not even that goddamned bad. I mean, look; Geocities itself was pretty bad, and that was presumably designed by some sort of professional, or at least someone getting paid. I'm talking about an era where even Apple had a shitty site.

What I made, with some friendly guidance and Geocities' built-in PageBuilder -- which let you edit the raw HTML; or, rather, forced you to edit the raw HTML if you didn't want to work within one of their templates -- was a site for a noise "band" I was in, with interviews, photos, and MP3s we'd made in SoundEdit 16.

Turned out I was better at making webpages than I was at making music. So I found a good Hotline server and downloaded a copy of Adobe Pagemill 2. I already had a stolen copy of Photoshop 4. I think younger people do not realize this but people used to sometimes steal software by actually stealing it from somebody. Thusly armed, I taught myself how to make backgrounds that tiled correctly, add header information like keywords, make an imagemap, even do crazy shit like mouseovers. Yeah, I know.

Instead of graduating to better WYSIWYG web development tools, I lost patience with Pagemill's quirks and inflexibility and went back to writing my own HTML. I'd keep the old copy of Pagemill around to bang out a table now and then. If you made webpages in the nineties, you know this: coding tables, especially nested tables, sucks. And I was a glutton for nested tables.

(I'll tell you this, though; I never once embedded a MIDI, never used marquee or blink, never had letters that chased your cursor around. I did use frames once or twice, I think. But that is between me and god.)

Back on my first site, I'd written code right there in my browser window with Geocities PageBuilder "Advanced" mode. But something happened around 1999 that not only got me coding locally, in SimpleText, but got me off Geocities entirely. I graduated high school, moved in with my friend, and Pacific Bell brought DSL to residential customers -- DSL that happened to have a static IP. And that meant I could host websites out of my own house. So I left Geocities, my roommate set up an Apache webserver on his Linux box, and gradually I learned sftp, chmod, and sudo, and eventually, as the internet grew up, things like ?php include(), doctype, link rel="stylesheet", etc, etc.

Now I forget where the hell I was going with this. I think the punchline was today I'm a working print/web designer and I still do everything the dumb hard way. I even forget if I was going to be reverent toward Geocities or just mad at it.

I had not realized that having one of the 'old' Geocities URLs was a source of cred. Maybe we should start a webring.
posted by churl at 1:57 AM on April 24, 2009 [11 favorites]


Nothing is forever. Except on the Internet.
posted by fullerine at 2:13 AM on April 24, 2009


SouthBeach represent.
posted by keli at 2:42 AM on April 24, 2009


.
posted by No-sword at 4:32 AM on April 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Someone above was talking about being proud of having the "neighborhood" and house number format for their Geocities account still. I actually remember mine, and I found my old site that I made when I was 17 years old. Its embarrassing.

All the links on my page were shortened to my customized.domain.ml.org - Who remembers ml.org ?! Good ole Monolith.

Also, I remember the guy who had the "address" above me had a funny Hotmail mock site called HaTeMAIL. This of course looked like Hotmail's site with simply the letters replaced. This was also when Hotmail was their own privately run company using FreeBSD boxes to power their webmail.

*sigh* nostalgia, you always bring me back.
posted by mrzer0 at 4:32 AM on April 24, 2009


Me, I just hope someone mirrors the excellent cdisplay app somewhere, or the developer moves.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:42 AM on April 24, 2009


I looked to see if my old stuff was still there and inadvertently filled the office with the deafening sound of a midi file playing "We wish you a Merry Christmas".
posted by Phanx at 6:05 AM on April 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Now where am I going to find the Top 5% of All Websites?


and I remember when the free hosting service was Volant Turnpike, which then got ate up by geocities. http://metro.turnpike.net/S/spatula, yo.
posted by Spatch at 6:36 AM on April 24, 2009


OH NOES!

This makes me feel so old. So very, very old.

A little piece of web history dies today. Hey! Anyone got a monolithically old meme we can whip out for the occasion. Can we blame Bert for this? How about that dancing baby?
posted by Jilder at 7:02 AM on April 24, 2009


Anyone got a monolithically old meme we can whip out for the occasion.

I KISS YOU!
posted by ALongDecember at 7:20 AM on April 24, 2009


Hello my future girlfriend. This is what I sound like.
posted by Spatch at 7:27 AM on April 24, 2009


Oh, man, so sad. I apparently deleted my site ages ago (I just went to check and it says "you have not started building your page yet!"). My site was in the Paris neighborhood (home of the cultured people!). I remember teaching myself html out of HTML for Dummies in order to put up the site. I remember when I figured out how to do image maps - is that what they're called? - where each part of the image is a clickable link. I was really into formal logic at that point so the front page of the site was an image map of formal logic symbols (and, or, not) leading to the subpages. I think I had my wretched high school poetry on there, and some early round robin fiction that my friends and I did (involving a giant stapler falling from the sky). I have no idea where that stuff is now. The end of an era.
posted by marginaliana at 8:08 AM on April 24, 2009


Eleven or twelve years ago, Geocities PageBuilder taught me to write HTML.

Me, too! I remember choosing fonts and colors and layouts, and then viewing the source to see what code it created. I learned how to make links and insert images, I learned about the font tag, and I learned all about nested tables. Three years later I was making sites with nested tables galore, the source code of which would make your eyes bleed.

I was a little sad when I started to learn CSS layouts. "What am I going to do with all these goddamn nested table skills?"
posted by bluishorange at 8:28 AM on April 24, 2009


I just went looking for my Angelfire site ("Misanthrop's Happy World" and yes, I spelled Misanthrope wrong on purpose so it would stand out!) and thank the Jesus, it's been deleted and no copies seem to exist.

I used to use the library computers to keep it updated, and also hung out on a CGI-BIN "chatroom" that actually had the cyberspace.com (or maybe .net?) URL registered. It was not unlike Metafilter, except there were no FPPs, links, and the conversation got reset every fifteen minutes.
posted by klangklangston at 8:39 AM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Horrible construction aside, some of those Geocities sites were great little nuggets of information put up by really dedicated fans of certain things. A lot of this info is available elsewhere now, but not always done with the same kind of obvious love and charm.
posted by cmgonzalez at 8:59 AM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have no idea where that stuff is now.
If you're like me, it's backed up on zipdisks. If you're like me, you no longer have a zip drive. Probably just as well.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:06 AM on April 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Remember "WebRings"? This and Geocities's Athens / SoHo / etc. concept were interesting: all those early, pre-Facebook experiments in arranging people's Web stuff so that content creators, instead of posting into an isolated void, were somehow neighbors.

I also love how the Geocities concept of street address evokes the '90s "cyberspace" dream, that by putting up an animated "hot links" .GIF of a sausage, you were somehow "homesteading" a plot of land that would become part of an actual virtual city. You could almost imagine back then that it was on the way to morphing into this this 3D Second Life thing where "GeoCities Paris" would have accordions in the air as you walked past VR bistros and crappy Nine Inch Nails fan pages.

I had an Athens spot I never used.
posted by Kirklander at 9:15 AM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, someone already mentioned WebRings. WebRings rule.
posted by Kirklander at 9:15 AM on April 24, 2009


Geocities was romantic. I will miss the backgrunds, the gifs, the '90's photos, and so on...
posted by - at 10:14 AM on April 24, 2009


I feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if a thousand animated gifs cried out at once, and were silenced.
posted by NoraReed at 10:43 AM on April 24, 2009


The most common* comments in this thread relate to animated GIFs or poorly made webpages, but it seems like every FPP I've checked in the last day has linked, directly or indirectly, to a Geocities page. And I'm not talking about 6 degrees of separation, it's a mere 2 to 3 degrees. There was something about this newfound freedom to share your thoughts with the world in a way that was lasting. All the net newbies went on chat forums, but those words didn't stick around. Sure, most of those pages were insubstantial, but with the sheer volume of Geocities pages created, there are some pages that will genuinely be missed, or at least leave people annoyed that their old accumulation of links are significantly less functional.

* I haven't actually tallied the comments
posted by filthy light thief at 11:45 AM on April 24, 2009


bluishorange: I was a little sad when I started to learn CSS layouts. "What am I going to do with all these goddamn nested table skills?"

It turns out you don't need tables for that GeoCities flavor!
posted by nicepersonality at 1:06 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ha!
posted by bluishorange at 1:17 PM on April 24, 2009


Remember "WebRings"?

Funfact: I went to college with the guy that invented webrings. Somehow in that period of time they were a saleable idea and he made a shitton of money selling it.
posted by flaterik at 2:55 PM on April 24, 2009


I set up a GeoCities page back in 1997 (paying for the $5/month service), and I've updated it sporadically since then: it was a handy place to put up static pages. I'm annoyed, because I hate broken links. www.archive.org has archived a lot of the pages, but not all.

I wrote this in 1998:
With a free service, reliability is a potential problem. I had a free web page briefly back in 1995; the company went broke after a few months and my web page disappeared. It's possible that this could happen to GeoCities as well, but with their size, visibility, and customer base, they've got a good shot at survival. According to their press releases, they were ranked the third most visited site on the web among home users as of June 1998, and they received $25 million in venture capital funding in January 1998.
Oh well; 12 years is a pretty good run. I guess it's finally time to get my own domain and sign up with Dreamhost.
posted by russilwvong at 4:48 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's like I had GIF 89a ESP.
posted by wcfields at 5:45 PM on April 24, 2009


Heh. I had a neighborhood & number, which I don't recall. I just found a zip drive as I was cleaning, MrMoonPie: interested? (Kinko's might still have them too.) And furthermore, Archive Team is on the fucking case: "OF COURSE WE ARE!" They can use help, & I look forward to contributing.
posted by Pronoiac at 5:44 AM on April 25, 2009


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