Advertisement

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Remembering Geocities Pt 3: Archival to Revival

On January 28, 1999, GeoCities was acquired by Yahoo!, at which time it was allegedly the third-most visited website on the World Wide Web. In April 2009, the company announced that it would shut down the United States GeoCities service on October 26, 2009. There were at least 38 million pages on GeoCities before it was shut down, most user-written.

Upon the announcement of the closing of GeoCities, an attempt was made to rescue as much data from GeoCities' destruction as possible. The Internet Archive announced a project to archive GeoCities pages, stating "GeoCities has been an important outlet for personal expression on the Web for almost 15 years." Internet Archive made it their task to ensure the thoroughness and completeness of their archive of GeoCities sites. The website InternetArchaeology.org also archived and is showcasing artifacts from GeoCities. The operators of the website Reocities downloaded as much of the content hosted on GeoCities as they could before it shut down, in an attempt to create a mirror of GeoCities, although an incomplete one.

Another site which is attempting to build an archive of defunct GeoCities websites is GeoCities.ws. There is no formal relationship between GeoCities and geocities.ws, as it is a completely different company. Many sites were automatically duplicated from GeoCities to geocities.ws many months after the closure of GeoCities. Geocities.ws also offers free hosting.

Kyle Drake Founder of NeoCities.
All this has sparked 1990's nostalgia and spurred the longing for a modern-day Geocities. Enter Kyle Drake, who in his own words says he wants to "make the web fun again." In 2013 Drake started NeoCities as a way to recreate not only the aesthetic of the early personal websites, but also the original mission of Geocities: to give anyone with internet access a free place on the web!

NeoCities' mascot, Penelope the Cat.
NeoCities has captured much of what made GeoCities fun... by November 2016 Neocities reported that it had over 101,300 websites on its server! NeoCities also fosters the same sense of community as GeoCities did by allowing users easy access to their "neighbors" and the ability to make comments to each other.

Now you can travel back in time with 1996 Bill and look at his bad ass page! Complete with horrible page design, mangled code, annoying animated gifs, and loads of meaningless site awards! Although the site has only been up for a week or so, in that time I received a warm welcome into the community, had over 1200 unique page views, and gained 17 followers! Upon viewing the page, fellow NeoCitizen, voov exclaimed,"Oh my lawdy... Haven't seen a page like this in a long while! (Yes, even on neocities.)" I feel like I have accomplished a quite wonderful compliment, here!


Are you ready to surf the wave of Web 1.0 nostalgia, shed social media, and make your own personal home page? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

2 comments:

  1. I've been ready for a month, and I've made my own website! What do you think of it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looks like you've made a wonderful start! I especially like the dream journal.

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to post a comment on this article.

Facebook Comments