I can’t remember the last time that a website made me smile like this.
Thursday, April 7th, 2022
Wednesday, August 19th, 2015
A wonderful collection of treasures excavated from GeoCities. Explore, enjoy, and remember what a crime it is that Yahoo wiped out so much creativity and expression.
Monday, May 20th, 2013
Ben proposes an alternative to archive.org: changing the fundamental nature of DNS.
Regarding the boo-hooing of how hard companies have it maintaining unprofitable URLs, I think Ben hasn’t considered the possibility of a handover to a cooperative of users—something that might yet happen with MySpace (at least there’s a campaign to that effect; it will probably come to naught). As Ben rightly points on, domain names are leased, not bought, so the idea of handing them over to better caretakers isn’t that crazy.
Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Jason’s rip-roaring presentation from Defcon last year.
Friday, March 16th, 2012
A thoughtful—and beautifully illustrated—piece by Geri on memory and digital preservation, prompted by the shut-down of Gowalla.
Friday, January 27th, 2012
I loved this talk from Travis at New Adventures in Web Design, especially when he talked of the importance of Geocities and MySpace in democratising creative expression on the web.
We may have later bonded over that Ze Frank quote while in the toilet at the after-party …there may have even been hugs.
Sunday, December 4th, 2011
A beautiful reminder that by publishing on the web, we are all historians.
Every color you choose and line of code you write is a reflection of you; not just as a human being in this world, but as a human being in this time and place in human history. Inside each project is a record of the styles and fashions you value, the technological advancements being made in the industry, the tone of your voice, and even the social and economic trends around you.
Monday, September 26th, 2011
This is quite beautiful. An interactive piece that allows you to dig through the ruins of Geocities like an archeologist.
Such wanton destruction! I’ll never forgive those twunts at Yahoo.
Thursday, July 14th, 2011
It’s hard to believe that it’s been half a decade since The Show from Ze Frank graced our tubes with its daily updates. Five years ago to the day, he recorded the greatest three minutes of speech ever committed to video.
In the midst of his challenge to find the ugliest MySpace page ever, he received this comment:
Having an ugly Myspace contest is like having a contest to see who can eat the most cheeseburgers in 24 hours… You’re mocking people who, for the most part, have no taste or artistic training.
Ze’s response is a manifesto to the democratic transformative disruptive power of the web. It is magnificent.
In Myspace, millions of people have opted out of pre-made templates that “work” in exchange for ugly. Ugly when compared to pre-existing notions of taste is a bummer. But ugly as a representation of mass experimentation and learning is pretty damn cool.
Regardless of what you might think, the actions you take to make your Myspace page ugly are pretty sophisticated. Over time as consumer-created media engulfs the other kind, it’s possible that completely new norms develop around the notions of talent and artistic ability.
That’s one of the reasons why I dread the inevitable GeoCities-style shutdown of MySpace. Let’s face it, it’s only a matter of time. And when it does get shut down, we will forever lose a treasure trove of self-expression on a scale never seen before in the history of the planet. That’s so much more important than whether it’s ugly or not. As Phil wrote about the ugly and neglected fragments of Geocities:
GeoCities is an awful, ugly, decrepit mess. And this is why it will be sorely missed. It’s not only a fine example of the amateur web vernacular but much of it is an increasingly rare example of a period web vernacular. GeoCities sites show what normal, non-designer, people will create if given the tools available around the turn of the millennium.
Substitute MySpace for GeoCities and you get an idea of the loss we are facing.
Let’s not make the same mistake twice.
Thursday, April 28th, 2011
A blog devoted to sifting through the gems in the Geocities torrent. This is digital archeology.
Thursday, February 24th, 2011
Everything is worth preserving and protecting.
Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
Brilliant; just brilliant. Connor O’Brien remains skeptical about the abstract permanence of “the cloud.” The observations are sharp and the tone is spot-on.
If your only photo album is Facebook, ask yourself: since when did a gratis web service ever demonstrate giving a flying fuck about holding onto the past?
Monday, October 26th, 2009
Here lies what we could salvage from the ashes of GeoCities.
Tears in the rain
When I first heard that Yahoo were planning to bulldoze Geocities, I was livid. After I blogged in anger, I was taken to task for jumping the gun.
Give ‘em a chance, I was told.
They may yet do something to save all that history.
They did fuck all. They told Archive.org what URLs to spider and left it up to them to do the best they could with preserving internet history. Meanwhile, Jason Scott continued his crusade to save as much as he could:
This is fifteen years and decades of man-hours of work that you’re destroying, blowing away because it looks better on the bottom line.
We are losing a piece of internet history. We are losing the destinations of millions of inbound links. But most importantly we are losing people’s dreams and memories.
Geocities dies today. This is a bad day for the internet. This is a bad day for our collective culture. In my opinion, this is also a bad day for Yahoo. I, for one, will find it a lot harder to trust a company that finds this to be acceptable behaviour …despite the very cool and powerful APIs produced by the very smart and passionate developers within the same company.
I hope that my friends who work at Yahoo understand that when I pour vitriol upon their company, I am not aiming at them. Yahoo has no shortage of clever people. But clearly they are down in the trenches doing development, not in the upper echelons making the decision to butcher Geocities. It’s those people, the decision makers, that I refer to as twunts. Fuckwits. Cockbadgers. Pisstards.
Sunday, September 27th, 2009
An interesting take on the business models of social networking sites.
Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
Archive.org is indexing Geocities sites (as it always has). Yahoo are going to fuck all about their users data/dreams/memories and Yahoo are going to do fuck all about the URLs.
Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
Phil Gyford on why he will miss Geocities. "It’s only thanks to the efforts of people like the Internet Archive and Archive Team that we’ll have a record of what people, rather than companies, published in the past. As companies like Yahoo! switch off swathes of our online universe little fragments of our collective history disappear. They might be ugly and neglected fragments of our history but they’re still what got us where we are today."
The Death and Life of Geocities
They’re trying to keep it quiet but Yahoo are planning to destroy their Geocities property. All those URLs, all that content, all those memories will be lost …like tears in the rain.
Jason Scott is mobilising but he needs help:
I can’t do this alone. I’m going to be pulling data from these twitching, blood-in-mouth websites for weeks, in the background. I could use help, even if we end up being redundant. More is better. We’re in #archiveteam on EFnet. Stop by. Bring bandwidth and disks. Help me save Geocities. Not because we love it. We hate it. But if you only save the things you love, your archive is a very poor reflection indeed.
I’m seething with anger. I hope I can tap into that anger to do something productive. This situation cannot stand. It reinforces my previously-stated opinion that Yahoo is behaving like a
dribbling moronic company.
You may not care about Geocities. Keep in mind that this is the same company that owns Flickr, Upcoming, Delicious and Fire Eagle. It is no longer clear to me why I should entrust my data to silos owned by a company behaving in such an irresponsible, callous, cold-hearted way.
Update: As numerous Yahoo employees are pointing out on Twitter, no data has been destroyed yet; no links have rotted. My toys-from-pram-throwage may yet prove to be completely unfounded. Jim invokes Hanlon’s razor, seeing parallels with amazonfail, so overblown is my moral outrage. Fair point. I should give Yahoo time to prove themselves worthy guardians. As a customer of Yahoo’s other services, and as someone who cares about online history, I’ll be watching to see how Yahoo deals with this situation and I hope they deal with it well (archiving data, redirecting links).
Like I said above, I hope I can turn my anger into something productive. Clearly I’m not doing a very good job of that right now.