Web 0.2 archivists save Geocities from deletion
Preserving history one hideous webpage at a time
A group of web preservationists called the Archive Team is trying to save most of Geocities for the ages before Yahoo! erases the beloved old-school web-hosting service from the face of the internet.
In honor of the dearly departing web host, we'll continue in a more suitable format:
Welcome to my Geocities story!!!
This news is under construction!
Archive Team boss Jason Scott recently detailed on his blog about the team's newest project to download Geocities for posterity after Yahoo!'s announcement that it's pulling the plug on the web community "later this year."
The group's stated goal is to save websites or data that's in danger of being lost - and certainly Geocities is a resource worthy of preservation if there ever was one. Nearly two decades worth of blinking text, animated gifs, fanfiction, and broken links are at risk of disappearing with the blink of the eye. This is the personal internet young, raw and blemished - before big blogging services and social networking sites arrived to completely homogenize the space.
From Scott's webpage:
We've been downloading at an enormous rate, probably along the lines of a gigabyte a half-hour of Geocities, through all our different vectors.
Because we're talking literally millions of files with an average size of 1 to 30 kilobytes, it becomes harder and harder to get a "big picture" view of everything we've grabbed, but after 48 hours of work, Archive Team has saved over 200,000 Geocities sites. We're now pulling in new sites at the rate of something like 5 a second. Is that fast enough? We'll see, won't we.
Scott wrote that the team believes that it's sucked up nearly every site on Geocities from 1999 and before - at least those that still exist. Unfortunately, the Archive Team found that Yahoo apparently quietly purged a lot of Geocities "neighborhoods" (subdomains like http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/) completely, including WallStreet and NorthPole. Poor Santa probably never knew what hit him.
Thoroughly archiving Geocities is the team's current priority, Scott wrote. Making the data available takes a back seat.
"People who have been talking about copyright and stuff seem to think I'm going to sell it or take credit or some crap," Scott wrote. He added that there's no plans on releasing the data, but he'll "make sure people can get it, somehow."
Check out the Archive Team here, or even offer some help on their noble project. ®
This page best viewed with Netscape
Lest we Forget...
Lets be perfectly honest, geocities should never be forgotten, it means many things to many people; the perfect example of how NOT to do web design or the place where perhaps you had your first website, or perhaps you used to visit geocities sites. Its history and it needs to be preserved.
It was one of the first places where web advertising really kicked off, it was the first real coming of the cowboy copy and paste website maker. It was even the first social networking site thanks to its own templates. Lets remember it for what it was, keep a copy of it and hopefully NEVER employ any of the design styles used therein.
Ah, the memories...
Fun to read article, just the nostalgia is worth it... I also had my first site on GeoCities, at the time they had those funny names (I think mine was on CapeCanaveral or the like). Later, when Yahoo bought it, I updated the name, but the look is the same as in 1996 -- when I made it as part of a grad school course in bioinformatics using nothing but Notepad -- as required by the prof, but there wasn't too much choice back then anyway... HotDog anyone? And later, Netscape Composer...
Of course, I did have a couple of animated GIFs, including the "under construction" one from the article, a bad background (amoebas, although I took care to have the text legible at least), and plenty of broken links (by now, for sure). But I decided not to touch the main page anymore, just leave it as a web antique. :-) When I came to the US in 2002, I also added a photo/narrative page for my family and friends back home to see -- something people now do with blogs or the like -- which I updated for a year before getting sick of it.
Re: But only *one* web-ring?!?
One Web Ring to Rule them All...