Thursday, June 20, 2019

GeoCities and MySpace (the good old days? Maybe not)


One glorious Sunday afternoon
I walked through a field of vanilla
so sweet to my senses
as I was humming a heavenly tune.
So I laid beside a flowing brook
and dreamt of angels in the clouds
so peaceful to my soul
as I opened my eyes, to the sky I looked.
A rainbow of colors so bright and gay
appeared all of a sudden up there
so vividly to my eyes
as I stood up and jumped to catch a ray.
I felt as I was in the clouds so high
where a cherub festival was played
so joyful to my mind
as I learned in my dream to fly.                 ~anjelikka
I remember in the old days having a website called Angel News Network on GeoCities, the name ANN was taken later by Oprah herself, taken without asking, but that is another story in itself.
"GeoCities was kind of "Facebook" in those days. GeoCities was an important outlet for personal expression on the Web for almost 15 years but was discontinued on October 26, 2009. GeoCities launched in 1995 (it was originally called Beverly Hills Internet) when there were just a few million people online. Back then, the idea that anyone would want to carve out his own space on this strange new medium—and that you could make money by letting people do so—bordered on crazy. (Two other free hosting companies—Tripod and Angelfire—started up at around the same time, but they proved far less popular than GeoCities.)  In an early press release, David Bohnett, one of GeoCities’ co-founders, hailed the idea this way: “This is the next wave of the net—not just information but habitation.” Look past the tech-biz jargon, and his prediction is startlingly prescient. Today, few of us think of the Web as a simple source for information; it’s also a place for dissemination, the place where we share life’s most intimate details. In other words, it’s for “habitation”—and GeoCities helped start that trend."
"The main difference between GeoCities and MySpace is the social network: Both sites let you indulge your creativity, but MySpace gave people a way to show off their pages to friends. On MySpace, your site was no longer shunted off to some little-traveled corner of the Web. Instead, it was at the center of your friends’ lives—and so there was some small reward to keep hacking away at it. At least, that was true when MySpace was hot, which is no longer the case—just like GeoCities, it lost cultural cachet to newer, better sites that came along after. In this way, too, GeoCities was a trailblazer, the first example of another reality of user-generated sites: They’re extremely susceptible to faddism. You want a page on GeoCities or MySpace or whatever else only if other people are there too. As soon as the place becomes uncool (like, say, if people start calling you “GeoShitties“), everyone leaves in droves."

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