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back to article Web 0.2 archivists save Geocities from deletion

A group of web preservationists called the Archive Team is trying to save most of Geocities for the ages before Yahoo! erases the beloved old-school web-hosting service from the face of the internet. In honor of the dearly departing web host, we'll continue in a more suitable format: Welcome to my Geocities story!!! …

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Loving the article style

Also, I agree, it is good someone is making an effort to save this monument to Web 0.2... For all its rather obvious failings, there is something about it that is actually more appealing than all these 'Web 2.0' sites like Failbook and Shitter. Probably nostalgia of a time on the internet which is now gone, around the time I started using it, I remember making a fair few Geocities style pages, although I am proud I never did anything really stupid, like text and background colours that are almost impossible to tell apart..

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Happy

Oh that took me right back. Well done.

Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML

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Anyone asked Yahoo?

People should just ask yahoo to make a tar.gz file and send it to internet archive, or post it on the pirate bay...

It should be kept somewhere, even though most content is junk... it's a big part of history now...

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Duuuuude

That was like flashbacks from some freaky acid trip. I remember fledgling geocities web pages back in the day. Even then I thought most of them were hideous. Full points though for bringing back mr. peabody and the wayback machine.

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Dead Vulture

My Geocities....

http://www.geocities.com/tsvondrashekmd/cartoon10.jpg

some people have collect plethora of images. How about Hon Saddam Body, it was blue & mostly wrapped in Sail cloth. Above killed over 1,000 people in World Wide Riots. So Go figure.

Signed:PHYSICIAN THOMAS STEWART von DRASHEK M.D.

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Gates Horns

Netscape icon

It makes be feel a bit sad looking at that Netscape icon and realising that Microsoft killed them. Netscape was a true pioneer and had so much potential, but I guess we have Google who fulfilled the great internet vision that Netscape failed to do.

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Good effort

That's a good effort to replicate the old style, but it would have been much more authentic if you changed the background :)

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Stop

It has already been archived!!!!

These guy's are wasting their time.

Look for your fav geocities complete with a time line, here ... http://www.archive.org/web/web.php

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Unhappy

Efficiency and history

This might have been a great loss, but fortunately MySpace has used Web 2.0 technologies to greatly improve the speed at which visually appalling web pages may be created.

More seriously, I do think Geocities is worth some preservation effort as one of the more accessible hosting providers that encouraged the DIY Internet. More than once I have directed people to Notepad and Geocities as a zero cost pathway to the world of web, especially for folk who have information worth sharing.

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Linux

Poor Emulation

only 3/10 for the Geoshitties impersonation.

After all, for it to be accurate, clicking the story title should bring up nothing but a "geocities page not found".

Gotta wonder how many 404's they've archived.

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Silver badge

Archives.

Probably the only thing worth archiving (aside from personal email & the RFCs, et ali) from the first 30 years of (D)ARPANET wasn't actually run over NCP (later TCP/IP), but rather over UUCP. I'm talking Usenet, the place where we built the tool now know as "The Internet". If I was prone to histrionics, I'd have cried when I heard google bought DejaNews ...

The latecomer WWW was always, and always will be, ephemeral at best. Archiving random personal cob-web pages is a fool's errand ... too much noise, not enough signal

But whatever floats their boats. More power to them.

(Before you say it, yes, I know, modern Usenet has the same problem as the Web. The time frame I'm discussing for Usenet is roughly 1980 to 1995.)

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Ah the netscape icon

I've missed it.

*nostalgia glasses on*

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Happy

<blink>moar

and

<MARQUEE>

LOOK MA NO BRAIN<IMG SRC="/graphics/idiot.gif" HEIGHT=1% WIDTH=1% ALT="Idiots Guide to HTML">

</MARQUEE>

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Very well done

That was a wonderfully presented article and it certainly brought back memories of my early days on the web. The funny thing is that I felt that I could 'trust' web content then, whereas nowadays it's all slick corporations pumping out brain bilge and half a ton of bandwidth eating bullshit

Note: I think that fluffy kittens are brain bilge but at least you could see them coming at you from a distance.

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Happy

But only *one* web-ring?!?

Thanks for the laughs - nice satire :)

However, I don't get the whole nostalgia bit that some people have for Geocities. Geocities was *always* shallow and stupid, just canned plastic stuff with everyone trying to look like everyone else using the same tools and techniques and widgets etc., the same (in a different way) as a lot of today's idiotic fads are. Maybe if a person is under 30 or something, Geocities might be nostalgic, but for the rest of us, Geocities was just another stupid new fad and it *always* sucked. Same as things from other eras such as pet rocks, hula-hoops, go-go boots, and corsets. Oh wait, some people still like those latter two ;)

Anyway, I like the article, it's funny :)

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Love the Geocitiesisation...

...but you missed out an overly colourful and patterned background that makes the text even harder to read, a background MIDI tune and none of your links were underlined in blue!

Still, as someone else said - it did take me back a few years!

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Excellent idea.

It takes me back to the good old days when a basic knowledge of HTML was enough to make you a web guru and if you could put a animated gif together then you were teh God of Interweb.

Seriously though - haven't we lost something now all sites look the same. After all, they wern't all crap were they ?

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Happy

You got the style badly wrong!

Seriously, what's the matter with you? How could you forget Rule #1 of GeoCities web design?

" Thou shalt have no other font but MS Comic Sans "

Also, the links shouldn't have worked. For preference they should point to "C:\Documents And Settings\User\Desktop\some_website.url" or other shortcut on your local hard drive.

*And* you forgot the "Last updated:" footer showing that it hadn't been updated in years. Sheesh! This has to be _the_ worst imitation geocities website I've seen all morning!

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sig

Wouldn't it be quicker...

...if Yahoo just sent the data to the Archive Team directly? Much like organisations and individuals donating their records to a suitable institution or library.

Not as exciting or newsworthy as the mad download frenzy currently underway though.

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In years to come

Will we see Geocities pages on the Antique's Road Show.

Young kid walks in with CD-ROM and an Win 95 Machine to view it.

Presenter: Ahh.... Win95 I remember this. Why don't I go and have a cup of tea while it starts up.

...2 hrs later its running.

Presenter: Show me what you have then.

Kid: My Daddy done a back up of Geocities before Yahoo killed it.

Presenter: What all of it?

Kid: Well as much s he could

Presenter: This has got to be on of the most complete archives of socail history I have ever seen. This is fantastic. Do you have any favorites?

Kid: I espically like the websites about a game called Tombraider.

Ahh Lara Croft. Yes I remember Tombraider.

Presenter: Any other favorites.

Kid: I like this one which is about a ladies cat that died.

Presenter: Yes there was lots of sites just like that one. ..........continues in this vein.

We may think its all crap now but in years to come. Goldmine

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Coat

Content

Never mind the stupid graphic design/layout skills, there is some useful content.

I saved a few myself

wget -r will save all of them :-)

wget -r -np will save one site.

(Linux and Windows versions available)

Mines the one with the "css for Dummies".

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Heart

Wot, no Angelfire?

Fantastic article - it reminded me of being 14 again. Only things missing are a badly tiled eye-watering background image, locked so text scrolls over it and excessive use of blink and marquee tags.

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IPB
Happy

So long, and thanks for all the gifs

The first website I ever built was in 1999 and was on Geocities and now it's my job. It was really quite pleasing to use in a way although I don't think I ever looked under teh hood to see what sort of codeMess it spewed out.

Love the layout of the article. Genius!

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Al
Heart

Farewell, Geocities

I'm sure I have a couple of Geocities accounts from way back when - assuming they've ascaped the purges. Somewhere, they'll be preserved into perpetuity now.

Oh dear.

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Anonymous Coward

Waiting for Google to buy it

Why don't Google add it to their Google Pages empire? Their search service would be poorer without all these Geocities pages, yes pages that might not look great, but at least have some original content!

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Coat

This is a serious task

Well done that man. In 10 years time I want to be able to tell my son that I was there at the beginning of the web. I remember when animated gifs were the coolest thing on the planet; I've seen web pages with 20 frames, none of which quite fitted properly; I remember a time before CSS and DHTML; I remember how the web changed when Netscape 3 was released. I want to be able to show him these pages so he can poor scorn on his old Dad.

All this is after I teach him BASIC on my BBC Master though.

Mines the one with the spinning logo.

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Stop

Turn on animated gifs 4 full effect

It occurred to me to tinker with about:config to see if the story had any of the dreadfully horrid animated gifs. Yup, sure enough. Can't.stand.it.anymore have.to.turn.animated.gifs.off now...

But thanks for the reminder of how truly awful some of those Geocities self-proclaimed 'web designers' were.

Of course now those 'designers' are much more mature and have other, more modern even more-dreadful-in-other-ways websites.

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Max

Thanks!

I havent seen that Netscape gif in ages!

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Umm

Won't archive.org be doing this automatically anyway?

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Asian Cat approves of this

And let's not forget 'Best viewed using Any Browser':

http://www.anybrowser.org/campaign/

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Boffin

AGH MY EYES!

ZE GOGGLES! ZEY DO NOTHING!

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IT Angle

Missing something?

Oi, where's the rotating mailbox?

No self-(respecting/abusing) person would omit the US-style mailbox.

And no embedded MIDI file, either.

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Heart

Nostalgia

Love the article style - this really was the golden age of the web! Sites built by enthusiasts, not corporations... a community feeling... and nothing of any actual use or benefit to mankind. (mind you, that last point is still true)

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Happy

I might be wrong but........

isnt this already archived on the wayback machine (I admit I havent looked, or even to being that bothered)

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Anonymous Coward

Classic.

Yeah, its been years since I have seen those animated gifs. The Best seen in netscape navigator brought back a few memories. :)

To be fair, while a lot of them are crap there is probably more useful websites on web 0.2 than web 2.0!

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Alien

..·◦ֹ°ֹ◦·..◦·ֹ°ֹ·◦.. aWeSoMe aRtIcLe!!! ..·◦ֹ°ֹ◦·..◦·ֹ°ֹ·◦..

..:: More please. ::..

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Aaaaaah! Fecking brilliant

I remember the Geocities page I made for my Quake clan back in 1998! Knocked up from a collection of horrible wordart in MS Frontpage or something.

Gradients! Everything had to have Gradients! And I definitely remember having one of those counters... Ah happy days!

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Memory, turn your face to the moonlight!

The Netscape 1.1n logo! The first browser to support backgrounds! Begone, boring, grey background! Hello "about:mozilla"!

I started creating websites back in 1994 for MCSA mosaic 1.0 and I remember the first time I was able to <CENTER> text and images and things in Netscape 1.0 "Blue! Throbbing! N!". It was incredible, the extra creative freedom you suddenly had! Ahhh, nostalgia. Sepia toned memories of sitting at an AIX terminal writing markup in asedit.

On a more serious note, how come we all applaud Netscape for extending the HTML standard with proprietary tags but pillory MS for doing the same with IE? I mean, IE didn't "kill" Netscape, Netscape deciding to charge for it's previously free browser did that.

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GeoCities and me

Wow, what a project! I love saving things for posterity. I don't have enough disk space for the whole of GeoCities though lol

I became an inhabitent of GeoCities in early 1997. Having just ventured on to the Internet for the first time I wanted to have my own home page online. I got a book from the public library "Learn HTML 3.2 in 24 Hours" and created my first web page. I was hooked. My address was www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Sands/9439 and my site went through umpteen incarations, both framed and non-framed, and Netscape and Internet Explorer viewable designs. Oh, how I used to love it. All hand-coded too.

I'm so glad that someone is preserving GeoCities :)

I've looked and the last incarnation of my GeoCities is available at the wayback machine

http://web.archive.org/web/19991013230808/www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Sands/9439/

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Plus one point eight

The only difference between Geocities and the Blogosphere is that Geocities had eye candy.

Now the wastelands of the Tubewebs are a bland place indeed.

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Heart

love the article formatting :)

"In honor of the dearly departing web host, we'll continue in a more suitable format"

Loved it! Especially the "web ring" and the dated netscape info.

Most amusing and deff brought a smile :0

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Geocities

You can knock it, but back at one point the only way to get "free" website hosting was to be on Geocities. My brother and I started up our first websites on Geocities (actually, we shared one) and eventually it grew so popular that we had to pay Geocities to get rid of the annoying ads, we had our content stolen and mirrored and eventually had to move onto our own hosting (which gets more bandwidth taken up each year). That site now stands proudly at www.scoutingresources.org.uk and stresses the (very kind) host that it's on at regular intervals!

Geocities was a seed. Yeah, there was a lot of crap, but that statement can be applied to the Internet as a whole. What it did, though, was seed the ideas of HTML and putting content online to a whole host of people who couldn't afford hosting, or didn't know if hosting was for them. It greatly simplified things like forums, etc. and I'm not saying they were the first, but they had a good community and if you were just starting out, it allowed you to do *just* HTML without learning FTP, Unix permissions and a ton of other stuff. It was a fantastic intro and testbed.

I don't even know if our original website is still up, (it was mirrored and archive.org'd, though, that's for sure) but I would like to think that some of the stuff in my old bookmarks that happened to be on Geocities would stand a chance of surviving. It's a bit of Internet history, even if only for lessons learned, and one of the first real social networking sites (think about it - webrings, forums, "street names", it had everything needed to be a social networking site, not just a HTML host).

Even today, I'm porting code from a GBA port of a Spectrum game (http://www.geocities.com/quirky_2k1/) - all of which is hosted on Geocities and would be a great loss if it were to disappear.

Not everything useful has to come in a leather bound binder, with top quality paper. Similarly, not every website has to be on www.website-topic.com to be relevant or useful. Things like circuit diagrams, pinouts, obscure information on machine internals - I often run onto Geocities while hunting down this type of vital information and to lose it just because it was Geocities would be stupid.

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Gold badge
Flame

@Chris Adams.

It wasn't just the charging that did for Netscape.

The fact that Netscape 4 shipped as a bloat-laden shitheap that needed a RAM upgrade on our Dell P90s to get off its fat arse and do anything useful, while IE4 shipped as a lean, mean, fighting machine prompted a mass migration where I was at the time. We had the global, paid for license, it's purely that the product stunk like a pile of rotting badgers that forced us off it.

I remember remarking at the time when I compared the two, that if you were to take a guess as to which was the product of the exciting, go-ahead, small, responsive company and which was the product of the bloat-addicted, corporate sales focussed, evil software empire, you'd be wrong.

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J
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Ah, the memories...

Fun to read article, just the nostalgia is worth it... I also had my first site on GeoCities, at the time they had those funny names (I think mine was on CapeCanaveral or the like). Later, when Yahoo bought it, I updated the name, but the look is the same as in 1996 -- when I made it as part of a grad school course in bioinformatics using nothing but Notepad -- as required by the prof, but there wasn't too much choice back then anyway... HotDog anyone? And later, Netscape Composer...

Of course, I did have a couple of animated GIFs, including the "under construction" one from the article, a bad background (amoebas, although I took care to have the text legible at least), and plenty of broken links (by now, for sure). But I decided not to touch the main page anymore, just leave it as a web antique. :-) When I came to the US in 2002, I also added a photo/narrative page for my family and friends back home to see -- something people now do with blogs or the like -- which I updated for a year before getting sick of it.

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Silver badge

@Chris Adams

"IE didn't "kill" Netscape, Netscape deciding to charge for it's previously free browser did that."

Nope. AOL bought Netscape, and then promptly licensed IE to be the under-pinnings of the AOL software. THAT is what put a fork in Netscape.

On the bright side, forks exist ...

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Coat

Re: But only *one* web-ring?!?

One Web Ring to Rule them All...

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Stop

Lest we Forget...

Lets be perfectly honest, geocities should never be forgotten, it means many things to many people; the perfect example of how NOT to do web design or the place where perhaps you had your first website, or perhaps you used to visit geocities sites. Its history and it needs to be preserved.

It was one of the first places where web advertising really kicked off, it was the first real coming of the cowboy copy and paste website maker. It was even the first social networking site thanks to its own templates. Lets remember it for what it was, keep a copy of it and hopefully NEVER employ any of the design styles used therein.

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