I was a little shocked when Uzyn twittered that Geocities was closing down towards the end of the year. I dont use Geocities for some while now, but it still has a deep sense of nostalgia to me, being one of the first host for my website.
Ahem. I looked very cute back in school, don’t I? :p
The year was 1997. I was starting out with pre-university then and I was just mucking around with my retro packard bell with the 14.4kbps modem. First it was email, then bbs, then Mirc and then building websites was the in thing to do.
My first website didnt look very good – blinking gifs and midi was very popular back then. There were times when situation like aligning things and missing images confused the heck out of me. But Geocities was what helped me learn and appreciate the codes and the steps to make a workable website.
Today, its so much easier, you don’t need to know HTML, or even need WYSIWYG editors like Dreamweaver for a functional site – its all about click publishing nowadays.
But back in the heydays, before there was facebook, friendster, even eCircles (anyone remember that?) Geocities was totally one of the pioneer in social networking (even before the word social networking came about)
At the time, Geocities had a number of neighbourhoods that you could choose. If you were interested in settling in, you click on an empty plot to settle in. I chose to live in Wellesly. And there was a link where you could explore your neighbour’s webpage and if you liked what you see, you could drop a message on their guestbook.
It was all very web 1.0. Communication wasn’t as sophisticated, the designs was typically rudimentary. Regardless, it brought about fond memories.
It was only when Yahoo aquisited Geocities, and the annoying and obnoxious advertisements began to be too much was when I jumped ship to other hosts.
Its a pity that Geocities was not able to reinvent itself. Personally, I think that there is a lot of potential if they changed their direction instead of just shutting it down like they did for Yahoo Gallery and Yahoo Auctions.
Sidenote : It will be Singapore day soon. I feel torn that I cannot go.