Geocities was arguably where it all began, for me at least. It looks so ugly and ridiculous now – hopeless grammar, frames, silly gifs, pages forever ‘under construction’. So old-fashioned. But the 90s weren’t that long ago, were they? The future dates so fast.
Perhaps a difference between these pages and the blogs and sites of the present day is their lack of professionalism. Or rather, their joy in their amateurism, their spontaneity, their lack of polish.
The web today looks like television, like broadsheets, I can’t tell which is which. It’s all got very boring.
I wish I had kept a record of what I did then, but perhaps this could help. One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age is a Geocities research blog and accompanying tumblr by Olia Lialina and Dragan Espenschied.
Digging through the Geocities Torrent
The free web hosting service Geocities.com was founded by “Beverly Hills Internet” in July 1995 — exactly the time when the web left academia and started to be made by everyone of us.
Soon it became one of the most popular and inhabited places of the WWW and stayed that way through the second part of 1990′s. In January 1999, on the peak of Dot.com mania, it was bought by Yahoo!.
The new millennium proved Geocities to be a bad investment. Having a page on there became a synonym for dilettantism and bad taste. Furthermore, the time of personal home pages was counted, being replaced with profiles on social networks.
Ten years later, in April 2009, Yahoo! announced that they are going to shut down the service.
On the 26th of October 2009 Geocities seized to exist. In between the announcement and the official date of death a group of people calling themselves Archive Team managed to rescue almost a terabyte of Geocities pages. On the 26th of October 2010, the first anniversary of this Digital Holocaust, the Archive Team started to seed geocities.archiveteam.torrent.
On the 1st of November 2010 Olia and Dragan bought a 2 TB disk and started downloading the biggest torrent of all times.