AndFarAway

A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

RIP Geocities (and Hamsterdance)



https://i1.wp.com/cache.gizmodo.com/assets/images/4/2009/04/Picture_11_01.png?resize=549%2C587

Today, at any moment, ten massive terabytes of internet history will be deleted. Whoosh. Deleted. Just like that.

I wonder who will pull the plug. An intern at Yahoo not familiar with all the memories Geocities holds for people like myself? A 70-year old janitor performing a routine procedure? A person whose hand shakes as the deed is done?

Yeah. Whatever.

Some of my first digital memories were created on Geocities: the first time I ever saw animated GIFs, my first online community (a Christopher Pike fan site), my very first website (long since lost), my very second website (also long since lost), my solution to lack of imagery when I started blogging. Geocities represented the net in all its unsophisticated glory.

Quoting from a post written a couple years ago:

“And before there was Flickr… there was Geocities :)

When I first started blogging, Flickr did not yet exist and YouTube was not even something I could have imagined. Blogger did not yet have the photo upload option and no online photosharing services were out yet.

Being the person I am, I could not imagine words without images, and so I googled until I figured out what HTML is, what an HTML tag is, and how to embed an image via HTML. Then I got a Geocities account, uploaded the images to my Geocities homepage, and hotlinked them to my Blogger blog.

Today while cleaning out my email, I found a link I had sent to myself four years ago with my Geocities homepage, and I just couldn’t believe how much change there has been since then. Not just in terms of the death of web safe colors and the rise of Web 2.0 content-sharing websites, but also in regards to the person I am today.”

Alas. Good-bye Geocities. You will always be my first.

Moment of silence.

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9 Comments

  1. hmm, sounds your are going to miss some bytes, you can download WEBZIP to download your website for your personal archiving ..

    Penalty of evolving technologies.. sometimes results in an aging ones that is hard to maintain, ending them in the Byte Bye Hell.

    well, while i was trying to figure it out after downloading the program, seems yahoo done it already.. hopefully you were able to archive it..

  2. zeid

    i dont know geocities but y do they want to delete it? do they even delete old websites? who does that? and why? no more space on their server or what??

    sorry if my questions seem stupid to u

  3. I won’t miss geocities, my page kept running out of bandwidth :(

  4. yanone

    hi roba

    my first website was also on geocities, maybe around ’97. i don’t even remember its name.

  5. Craig

    I was never on Geocites but I feel your pain! I first went “online” on public BBS’s back in the 1980s. Those all went down in the early 1990s. My first “online service” was Prodigy, that went down… I don’t even know when, but I haven’t even heard anyone speak of it in forever. And then I was on Compuserve, which got killed by the advent of widespread internet access. I see you were using a hotmail account on geocites… my first web email account was hotmail. Then Microsft bought it and made everyone sign up for MSN to access it. I declined. I’ll never know how many unread emails are in that email account!

    Anyway, in this day and age when storage is so cheap it seems almost criminal to just pull the plug… on anything, really. So much exists on the internet, and no place else except in human memory.

  6. I had my first website on Geocities as well, I deleted it long ago. I remember how quick the bandwidth went away :-)

    aah, those days… RIP Geocities.

  7. Taher

    Yes.. I just downloaded and backed up my two sites there..
    Such a shame.. tsk*

  8. Mesh, yeah, I already downloaded the files a few days ago. Not really very important links though, I doubt I’m even going to update them on my blog… If you need anything though that you didn’t manage to get, I think the internet archives already have a pretty big collection.

    Zeid, cause it’s 10 terrabytes of data, and in the economic crisis world of today, it’s taking a lot of money to maintain.

    Yaseen, sara7a ma3ak 7a2. The bandwidth thing was soooooooooo annoying!

    Craig, tell me about. I’m hating Yahoo for this business decision. They could have sucked it up and braved the losses for the sake of the greater good. I see the same thing happening to Flickr in a decade or so, with Yahoo.

    Yasmin, indeed :(

    Taher, tell me about it. Yalla, next step, WordPress :P

  9. Yanone, yeah, a lot of us had our first websites on Geocities. I remember it was sooooo hard for me to figure out what the hell to do at first! :)

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