Quote: Why we need GeoCities

Phil Gyford:

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.

(Jason Scott is trying to make a backup.)

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  1. Plus, it’s holding the world’s largest known deposit of Blink tags. Can those really be contained if GeoCities is brought offline? Will we have to call in the W3C to run the cleanup? Oh god, the damage to the blogosphere. The Blogosphere!

    — in seriousness: I concur with the above, but I don’t think it needs to be 24/7 on line, eating power.

  2. Doesn’t myspace serve the same god-awful purpose in terms of seeing what crappy work non-designers are able to churn out?

  3. “It’s an amusing piece of Ancient Grecoroman archaeology, but good riddance. Nobody needs it.”

    Archaeology is not necessary, I suppose, for anything except to help us learn from our mistakes (if that’s possible) or correct our hubris.

    Digital archaeology is as valuable as any other, but often times more entertaining.

    Once upon a time I bought an old computer that bore all the data contained in the history of its ownership:
    – first it was used as some sort of data repository: formless numbers without context
    – finally it was bought for a student’s homework machine, and lovingly rigged with a static built-in ASCII menu that had burned its cheery welcome into the phosphors for eternity

    – but in between, it was used by an office worker in a small manufacturing plant

    At first the memos on the internal proto-email system were light and airy — besides the occasional joke, there were discussions of meetings and muffins, reports and rendezvous.

    Soon the tone turned serious, strictly business, with a focus on production and competitors.

    Gradually the business talk turned to gossip about who might be getting fired and the evils of foreign competition.

    The last memo read like the desperate screed it was — He said WHAT about me? I hope they get rid of him soon!

    – GimpWii

  4. Every time I ever saw “geocities” mentioned in a URL I took it to be a strong precurser to total crappiness. I never found anything remotely interesting nor useful on a geocities page. Good riddance.

  5. Why is Jason Scott trying to make a backup, when Wayback Machine already has an archive of everything?

    E.g. A heart of Christmas, Please Help a Brotha Out.

    …although, now that I think about it, you need to know that a site exists in order to find it on archive — you can’t tour it like a museum. So maybe what Scott and other like-minded individuals should be doing is make museum exhibits/tours, which is I guess what they’re doing (I’m having trouble finding the actual archives).

  6. Ah, Geocities. I remember thee well. It was my first httplayground, back in the ’90s. Rest in peace.

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