or something like that. As of today, Geocities is no more. It was supposed to be turned off on Monday, but I guess somebody forgot to flick the switch, or something. It's gone now, though. All those websites, over all those years. Never was the nostalgic type, but I can't help looking back now with a smile. They were simplistic, they had content of dubious quality, and most of us were very much learning the ropes as we went, but at one time Geocities had a page on just about everything. I think most of them had gone by the time of the switch-off, but back in the nineties, and the early bit of this decade, it was one hell of a community. Every TV show, every pop group, every movie actor - and half the world's pet dog, come to that. There was a page for all of them, usually with a background graphic of questionable taste, and text that wasn't quite laid out right. :D Images that overlapped the text, annoying MIDI files that couldn't be turned off, links that went nowhere... It was all at Geocities, along with the internet's own weight in pop-up advertising. Still, I liked it. Well, when I say "like"...
Seriously, though, there was good stuff at Geocities, back when I first started using the web properly. It was all set up in neighbourhoods, so you would always know which bit of it to look in, to find what you wanted. TelevisionCity for TV; SiliconValley for techy stuff; EnchantedForest for the kiddies. My page was in Area51, probably because I was really quite heavily into Dark Skies
at the time. Then Yahoo bought it, and throttled it and killed it, and it was never quite the same again. Somewhere out there in the ether are the echoes of the original Methos Madness fansite, which was kind enough to host my first published fanfiction; of the Days Of Our Lives
fansite, where we were all swapping video clips in the days before any of us had broadband (it was slow, but it was fun); of a certain Queen fansite, where some lovely bloke in Manchester gave me a bootleg recording of one of the shows on Roger Taylor's 1994 Happiness? tour; and of the hilariously primitive sci-fi site with attached forum, where two dozen of us used to gather to discuss each new episode of Babylon 5
and Dark Skies
, like they were the second coming of Shakespeare or something. Wasn't easy having two dozen of us in there. One sneeze and the whole place would have crashed. :)
All gone now. Probably just as well if we're honest. Still... I do have a slight regret that it had to go. The WayBack Machine
is a wondrous thing, but it can't save every page. Which again is probably just as well. If we're honest.
Ah well. You know, once upon a time people would ask each other where they lived on Geocities, just like asking for a street address. Yahoo killed all that when they took over, and removed the old neighbourhoods in favour of individual URLs, but since it's probably the last time that I shall write it anywhere:http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Dungeon/9594
And yes, it had bad background graphics, and malfunctioning images. But it was home. :)
PS: I think last.fm has developed a sense of humour. ;)