Sunday, October 25, 2009

Is There An Animated .GIF Tombstone?

This Monday, Yahoo shuts down Geocities. Oh God, now where will I go for those "site under construction" signs?

Just google for "Geocities" and click on the "News" tab and be prepared to be surprised at just how much news Geocities made back in 1997 or 1998. Actually, with Google's "Timeline" feature, you can go all the way back to 1990-91 - but that just throws up some archived newspaper pages containing Geocities links, probably ads.

Here's an interesting abstract from an archived article in the LA Times from 1996:
"The site is called Geocities ( It exists solely to make money from our natural human instincts to puff out our chests, announce that we are here and what we say can make a difference.

The Santa Monica-based company offers free access to an Internet tool set and a mapped address book that lets Web "homesteaders" create a page in a "community" of their own choosing.

Then Geocities makes a business out of it by inviting advertisers and commercial vendors to market directly to these specialized neighborhoods, by offering deeper Web services to individuals and through transactions."
Funny, I always thought Geocities pages simply existed to stab us all in the eye with their HTML and occasionally puncture our eardrums with a self-launching MIDI interpretation of the Geocities page owner's favorite '50s tune. (For some reason, it was *always* a '50s tune.)

Can we count on Father Time to make social networking sites go away in 2019?


blackmamba said...


I suppose you saw the tribute over at xkcd.

would love to see social networking crash, burn and die..

Rahul Siddharthan said...

I was about to link xkcd, too.

Before Google, nearly all sites looked like that, or worse. That's the main reason I'm grateful to Brin and Page.

km said...

BM: Just delightful, that XKCD page :)

Rahul: Do you remember Hotbot and Excite? Those were busier than a Geocities page, if such a thing is possible.