Remembering GeoCities

If you haven’t heard, GeoCities is being shut down by Yahoo.  Back in 1998, after a short period of putting updates in a finger file on my mIRC client, I decided to build my own web page.  GeoCities was the leader in free web space, so I signed up with them.  I honestly cannot remember the account name I used or the URL I had.  But I remember the page, and somewhere on a CD I burned a few years back I still have some of the graphics I used, though I’m not 100% sure I could find that CD.

The thing I remember most about GeoCities was in trying to comply with their advertising requirements without making my page design look like garbage.  They had various schemes of watermarking and drop downs and popups and floating toolbars and other things, and each of those could be avoided by putting certain branding on your pages.  If you threw a GeoCities graphic on the page some stuff would go away, if you included links more stuff went away, and if you voluntarily put a static version of their ad panel on a page on your site then most of the rest of it would go away… at least until they changed the rules and the hidden branding you put on your site failed to comply and the annoying elements returned.  But then again, GeoCities wasn’t meant for real professional design, at least not for free.

Ultimately, the branding and the ads and the bandwidth limits drove me off to find my own space on the net, a trail of providers and domains that would eventually lead me here.  As much as I disliked working with GeoCities, if there had not been a GeoCities its possible I might have never started a web page, and I’ve enjoyed the last nearly eleven years of posting junk to the Internet.

So, farewell GeoCities, I may have hated you, but I wouldn’t be who I am today without you.  Thanks.

One comment

  1. My favorite part about the old GeoCities was picking your “address”. When they had neighborhoods and streets and all that. I think I created more than 1 just because I liked the idea of having cool addresses. The only reason I have a Yahoo account is because they bought GeoCities.

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