By Caitlin Tadlock
October 26, 2009, marked the last breath of Yahoo’s website maker Geocities. No more “.GIF” roses or stars around banner advertisements and no more polyphonic background music when you visit your favorite boy band fan site.
It is obvious as to why Geocities has closed its doors, since there are so many better webpage builder options out there, but why not keep it around for historical web reasons? That is what groups Archiveteam and Archive.org have been doing since the announcement of Geocities’ demise. The two archival web groups came together to track down as many Geocities web pages as possible to file them away for public viewing records.
My first Geocities experience started with building a fan page dedicated to the Mickey Mouse club in 1997 or 98, and of course my second one was for The Backstreet Boys. The background was black and I had tiny GIF sparkles flashing around the locks of bad hair from the Backstreet Boys. I stopped updating my fan pages when I gained musical taste and when they made me pay to have a certain amount of JPEGs stored on their website.
The following are students’ reflections of Geocities webpages:
“Geocities changed my life. Whether I was browsing music libraries for MIDI versions of my favorite late-90s pop songs or checking my homework assignments on Mr. Nyhuis' 8th Grade Math Webpage, my web-surfing experience was always enriched by the wide variety of resources that Geocities had to offer. I'm appalled at Yahoo's decision to shut down the website, and I urge everyone to pray that they will reconsider their unforgivable action.” - Dav Timm
“I think all my old bands in high school had a Geocities page but no one actually knew how to use it. Sweet stuff.” - Robert Varner
The online archive teams only got a tiny piece of the huge pie when filing away Geocities webpages. Thousands, maybe millions of Arial and Comic Sans fonted pages are lost forever in the World Wide Webular black hole of oblivion.