Robert Hampton

Another visitor! Stay a while… stay forever!

27th October 2009

Under Destruction
Posted by at 1.06pm | Web | No responses

So it’s goodbye to GeoCities — Yahoo finally called time on the venerable webspace provider yesterday. The news didn’t really come as a shock — in fact, I was more surprised to discover that GeoCities hadn’t shut down years ago.

I never actually used GeoCities myself. Being the nerd that I am, I taught myself HTML code during the summer of 1997 and made full use of the free web space that my first ISP, Argonet, offered with their dialup package (speeds up to 34k!). I was rather scornful of GeoCities pages, with their vomit-inducing colours, distracting Animated GIFs and annoying JavaScript adverts popping up everywhere.

GeoCities was home to hundreds of thousands of web sites, but I think it’s safe to say that very few of them contributed greatly to the wealth of knowledge and useful data available online. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that most of them were vanity pages created purely for the satisfaction of their owners (nothing wrong with that, of course) or for people to share photos and stay in touch with family and friends. The latter function has been rendered largely obsolete by the advent of Facebook et al — no HTML skills necessary, just an agreement to turn over your personal information to an anonymous datacentre in Silicon Valley. And if you want vomit-inducing colours, just set up a MySpace page with some custom CSS.

Meanwhile, for pure self-aggrandisement, a personal blog does the job nicely, I’ve found. 🙂