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?
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.