Every so often, someone will tell me something that reminds me of how old I am. For instance, did you know that kids who turned 18 this year didn’t see Aladdin in theaters? Today, it’s the passing of Geocities, which is shuttering its doors tonight at 11:59pm.
Finding that out today is just one big mixed bag of nostalgia for me. I’m writing this from a bus wi-fi connection, which has about as much bandwidth at the 14.4k modem I used way back when I made my first Geocities website. Of course I let it fall into neglect shortly thereafter and Geocities, or the current owner Yahoo, cleaned it off their servers.
For those too young to remember geocities, it was one of the first sites to allow used with a basic knowledge of HTML to code their own web pages. Five million fan pages for Jonathan Taylor Thomas later, we had what was the most garish collection of sites that were perpetually under construction displaying blink tags “"perish the thought “" and comic sans headlines. Yahoo purchased Geocities back in 1998 for $3.5bil, which was no small sum of money, and has taken care of it since.
However, now that personalized sites are more likely to be found on Facebook or (the equally garish) Myspace, Geocities has become something of a money bleeder, and Yahoo is pulling the plug. Users are encouraged to port their sites over to Yahoo’s paid service.
So, let us mourn the passing of Geocities as it goes into that good night.