Today marked the end of an era, as Yahoo! finally put the classic free host Geocities out of its misery. Although Geocities has become the butt of many an Internet-related joke over the years, I guarantee that the world would be a very different place today had Geocities never existed. First of all, many Web developers and designers got their start with one of the free sites offered by Geocities. In addition, I’m almost certain that sites like MySpace (and, as a result, Facebook) would have never been conceived had the idea not begun with Geocities.
I hopped on the Geocities bandwagon shortly after it began back in 1994 (I might have joined in 95, but I know it was still the early days of the service). They offered a great jumping off point for anyone interested in learning HTML. For the time, they offered fantastic free hosting (complete with the ability to run certain CGI scripts) and had some amazing tutorials and tools available to help put together your own Web site.
It has been many years since I used the service (I actually left around the time they were acquired by Yahoo! – mainly because I had begun using space from some paid accounts I was managing). However, I will always be grateful to Geocities for giving me an avenue to begin learning the trade that now pays my bills.
Now, without further ado, you can view parts of my original Geocities Web site (I stopped maintaining it about ten years ago), complete with a scrolling marquee, big ugly gif bullets and frames by checking it out on the Internet Wayback Machine. You can also check out the terribly inaccessible online literary magazine I maintained for a short time with another Geocities account.
The “good” news for everyone is that, for some reason, Tripod and AngelFire (two of Geocities biggest competitors back in the day) are apparently still up and running; though they’re both provided by Lycos.