Friday, 24 April 2009

Farewell Geocities - a dinosaur of the early Web becomes a fossil. Oh crap...

In case you haven't already read the story, Yahoo have announced that they will be canning Geocities later in the year. This makes me very sad. Yes, I know it is naff and irredeemably uncool to have a free Geocities-hosted website. I know they stick that annoying sidebar down the side of the page. And I know they have tight diskspace and bandwidth limits. But they've been around almost forever, in World Wide Web terms. They have handy features, and have had since day one. They support Server Side Includes. They have good uptime and helpful support on the odd occasion that things go wrong (and I can only count two such occasions for me in over twelve years of using them). In short, they're nice. But that's not enough, anymore. Geocities' strength was that it allowed the world and his wife to get online easily, to have a web presence. But these days, with social networking sites like Bacefook and MyArse, and specialist blogging (and micro-blogging) outfits everywhere you look, not so many people want to take the time to build a site from scratch, not when they can just set up a blog with a couple of mouse clicks. And so Geocities' days are numbered.

Of course I appreciate the irony of writing this from a blog. But it's a blog I write manually and integrate, myself, within my own site on Geocities. I hand-code my RSS feed. This is a labour of love, not some wizard-based, template-driven instant web presence.

In total, I write four websites - this and one other are on Geocities. Yahoo have announced that before the year is out, Geocities will be gone, so I have to move this and the other one somewhere new. On the plus side, this gives me the opportunity to integrate them together in one new site, with more file storage space. On the downside, all the effort I put in to getting these sites to feature prominently in search engine results will be lost, despite the efforts I'll undoubtedly make with redirection pages between now and Yahoo turning out the light.

So farewell then, Geocities - the behemoth of pre-Web 1.0 has had its day... and I have a lot of coding to do.