Say goodbye to GeoCities…

Geocities.com in 1997 (before Yahoo bought it.)

Yahoo will be closing down GeoCities later this year, and I’d like to ask for a moment of silence.

No, really.

It may be hard to fathom now, but back a decade or so ago, when this here internet was still shiny and new, the free web space that GeoCities was as important to fandom as… Well, blogs and forums and wikis and Livejournal are now. It was the place where people were driven by their passion for whatever random bit of… whatever… made sites dedicated to their foci. Sure, it looks goofy now. (To quote Heidi MacDonald: “If you want to see the Web as it existed ten years ago just find any webpage hosted on GeoCities.”) It’s certainly not where fandom – even internet fandom – began, but it’s an important touchstone. And soon it’ll be gone.

Here are a few sites where you can get a feel for the internets of fandom past:

At least we’ll always have the Wayback Archive – not that anyone can actually remember those giant 90’s URLs.

Scour your bookmarks (or take offerings to Google) and drop your old favorites in the comments. (Basic HTML works.)

9 thoughts on “Say goodbye to GeoCities…

  1. Mark Newbold

    Ahhh, good memories. Go to their links page http://www.geocities.com/the_emperorshand/Links.html and check out our link, back when we referred to ourselves as Star Wars-Lightsabre.
    Good times, I miss all those old sites, trying to get rated as highly as possible on Bantha Tracks, getitng menitons on good old Wattos Junkyard, checking out the latest spoilers at Alderaan Online.
    These were all big sites back in the day – where did they nall go? The only ones left nowadays are Lightsabre, Club Jade, TF.N and Star Wars Chicks. All the others have gone.
    Crazy how things change. Maybe I should start workingon a Star Wars online history piece, see what happened to these great sites.

  2. Dunc Post author

    I think the spoiler frenzy of TPM and AOTC killed ‘em. Or at least took the fun out of it. Or maybe the focus just moved from big megasites, and got more niche with blogs and forums.

    The CJ site here is old (older than TFN!) but it was VERY niche – L/M fanfic – until we started blogging in ’04. I think we were first on the block there, at least to be a blog that focused solely on SW.

  3. Mark Newbold

    I agree, the sites dropped like flies after TPM and were at a real low around AOTC but have come back. I think the sites now are pretty good, the stronger ones survived.
    And yeah, remember reading you guys WAY back. Before we named ourselves Lightsabre we had a few other names (Wirezone, FantaWar, Q Continuum) but remember you guys from the very early days. Glad we’ve both managed to stick it out, it’s our 10th anniversary as Lightsabre in June but 13 years since the site actually started. Scary!!

  4. jSarek

    Holy cow, this is a sobering and saddening milestone. GeoCities was *the* place for putting content on the Internet back in the day. Sure, a few people had Tripod or Angelfire or Virtualave sites, but most of us were on Geocities. I signed up for my (now long-defunct) site there on April 1st of 1998.

    When GeoCities went public, they were the first stock I ever purchased of my own volition, which I rode through their purchase by Yahoo! and the Web boom and bust. At the time, I had faith in their product and their future.

    Of course, the advertising on the site soon got out of hand, and when they disallowed off-site linking, I finally bailed and moved my site to Freeservers (also now long gone). Geocities continued its drift downhill, but it never went away, and some sites that I’ve visited for over a decade managed to endure there. It will be a shame to finally see them vanish.

    To GeoCities. The Web won’t be the same without you.

  5. Dunc Post author

    I find my slight nostalgia for GeoCities really weird, because it always seemed just a bit… err… trashy? Of course, I ran my first website off AOL, so it’s not like I have much of a leg to stand on there.

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