R.I.P. GeoCities

Update – xkcd has redesigned their website today in honor of GeoCities.

I thought this day would never come. Today GeoCities, arguably the golden web child of the ‘90s, is deleted. Not taken down, not discontinued, but completely wiped out. The millions of web pages and terabytes worth of data provided by those without the means to create a legitimate website fifteen years ago will never be obtainable again, unless one takes the time to backup their data.

With web-hosting being as cheap as it is today, and the availability of more and more Javascript and CSS templates, creating a simple, personal website is now far more beneficial and almost as easy as Geocities once was. But before personal hosting became widespread, Geocities was the greatest way to get your opinion out to potentially hundreds of millions of people (though the bandwidth essentially limited your page to having only five users at a time). I had at least four different Pokemon websites as a child.

A moment of silence for what was at one point the greatest thing to exist in the world, ever.


What’s funny is that on the eve of its closure, the home page title still says “Get a web site with easy-to-use site building tools.”

About Colin Scully

Colin Scully (COM '12) is the technology/video game/design front/sophomore writer for the BU Quad and since his main writing focus is open to interpretation, he prefers to operate without a title. On his days off, he enjoys Thievery Corporation, Final Fantasy VIII, West Campus bacon, and re-enactments of the October Revolution. He also asks to be disassociated from all news and articles pertaining to this other Colin Scully - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1148505/Man-strangled-wife-death-called-wrong-sex.html Colin Scully's PR team would also like him to acknowledge that the Colin Scully in the news article is NOT the other Colin Scully that attends BU. In fact, Colin Scully would like to add that him and his BU counterpart actually play croquet regularly on Sundays and are great friends.

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2 Comments on “R.I.P. GeoCities”

  1. This shows the singular threat to human knowledge posed by relying totally upon a digital archive. I applaud BU’s moves toward Open Access and Digital Archives, but consider this a today and tomorrow thing, not forever, or even for a lifetime.

    My uncle just sent me a CD with hundreds of pictures from family and scenes in Minnesota taken by my then-young future grandfather on glass-plate photographs during 1910-1928. I also put them on my home computer. He will archive the original photo plates somewhere, and I’ll bet that they survive longer (barring fires and floods, of course) than CD readers and software that recognizes .jpg files.

    Students! If you have a few precious digital pictures that represent (the better side of) who you are at this stage of your life, print them out on a high quality photo printer and snail mail them to your mother along with a handwritten note. Later when you are more settled, and have to deal with the difficult task of closing down your parent’s home(s), I hope you find them and keep them, long after you have given up finding them on your PetaByte thumb drive.

    Prof. Skocpol, Physics Department, Boston University

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