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Myrtonos

GeoCities

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Myrtonos

There is still a GeoCities service in Japan but next month it will come to a close. Founded by David Bohnett and John Rezner in 1994, GeoCities was the first ever free web hosting service. Here is the earliest archived version of GeoCities and here is GeoCities in January 1999, a few days before acquisition by Yahoo. But what is not clear is how anyone contributed, looking at those old webpages, there seems to be no login link. Logins to websites were quite rare or didn't exist at that time, and I'm not sure if browsers of the time included support for web-cookies, let alone whether it was part of the core.

I know that GeoCities did host websites, at least of a certain sort, but what about blogs. And could it host cloud storage services?

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Heather

I remember Geocities! I made a few websites myself.  It was super easy to make your own personal website for free (I am sure they had paid packages too but I was young and only got the free one). They had a "page builder" function where I could make a website without knowing html.  Eventually when I learned more html, I would make a website using html code.  I used a site 'Lissa Explains it all' which was super helpful to grab code to format fonts, make tables, etc... the website that I would say was my most 'successful'  and more recent (though still over 10 years ago now) was my Hobbit Land site.  I put a lot of work into making it look nice and ran a Hobbit Land forums, mostly it was a roleplaying forum. Before the Hobbit Land site, I had other sites, I remember a gerbil theme website because I used to have gerbils, and a 'cloud baby' website based on the cloud people I drew and actually still draw to this day, more like a doodle.  I am pretty sure my first site was some kind of random general "My website!" page where I put pictures and things that I like but no apparent theme.  

It was sad because I didn't realize Geocities closed until way after the fact because I had abandoned my websites before it closed.  So I wasn't able to recover my websites.  I have seen my Hobbit Land one time in one of those archives like the one you posted but I can't remember how I found it.  But it is fun to reminisce.

As for your question, there would have been a log in to geocities.. probably just not on the pages archived. I am sure it was something like going to www.geocities.com and then clicking sign in and putting in the information.  There were definitely user names and passwords since around 2000 or 2001 or whenever I got my first MSN hotmail account and joined neopets and made my first website with geocities.... 

I think some people might have used Geocities as a blog but I am not sure if there was a blog template. I'm not sure when the first actual blogging site came into play.  But websites with logins were around since the very early 2000s at the very least. :) 

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HalfFull

I always actually wondered what exactly GeoCities was since in the 90s web hosting services were a mystery to me and I didn't really understand the internet at the time. I've just remembered that the first thing I ever created on the internet was I think on something called webtrawler. It was a single page which summarised my life so far with AS and it was as far back as 2002. I printed it off and the web address showed in the printout which allowed me to find it online years later. I wonder if that's still out there.

@Heather     did you have many members on your Hobbit Land forum? I don't have a particular interest in the Hobbit but I think its cool that you ran a forum :) 

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Heather

@HalfFull I had a few members on my Hobbit Land forum.  It didn't have many members, enough that at the time I felt it was successful.  I remember at least 2 others who were active at the time and there were probably others. Far less members than Asperclick! haha! A few, maybe even most, of the members were people I knew from other lord of the rings theme forums.  It was a good experience at the time though. :)  

Edited by Heather

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Myrtonos
5 hours ago, Heather said:

I put a lot of work into making it look nice and ran a Hobbit Land forums, mostly it was a roleplaying forum.

So did GeoCities actually host internet forums? Note that GeoCities was founded at a time when nearly all websites were read-only. As far as I can remember, every website I encountered in the 1990s was read-only.

5 hours ago, Heather said:

As for your question, there would have been a log in to geocities.. probably just not on the pages archived. I am sure it was something like going to www.geocities.com and then clicking sign in and putting in the information.  There were definitely user names and passwords since around 2000 or 2001 or whenever I got my first MSN hotmail account and joined neopets and made my first website with geocities.... 

But remember that GeoCities was founded 6 years before then. See below. By the way, you mentioned email, there was apparently a time when all email addresses were I.S.P based or at least non-free, such as University or Work addresses.

This site requires an email address specified for every account. It seems like a good idea for new members who have a non-free email address to sign-up with that, especially if it bears you real name. You can change your email address after activating your account, such as to your personal one.

5 hours ago, Heather said:

I think some people might have used Geocities as a blog but I am not sure if there was a blog template. I'm not sure when the first actual blogging site came into play.  But websites with logins were around since the very early 2000s at the very least. :) 

But were these blogs with comment sections, it does seem that early weblogs did not actually host user content. Yes, websites with logins did exist around the early 2000s. But as far as I know, logins were rare or didn't exist on the web as of 1994.

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Heather

@Myrtonos Okay I guess I was not thinking you were only talking about the early stages of Geocities. I was only talking about Geocities in the post 2000 era.  I'm not sure when they started letting regular people create their own websites but I was just talking about when I was aware of Geocities and joined because I thought you were saying that Geocities never allowed log ins. But I see you were just talking about when it was started.  That does not interest me as much.

For the record, I did not use Geocities for my forum, I believe I used the 'Invision' forums to create a free forum.  When I mentioned blogs, yes I did not mean they would have comments, but people could do whatever they wanted on a website, and that would include a blog. Eventually people could probably add comments sections but I'm not sure when it happened.  

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Myrtonos

GeoCities was a free host right from the beginning, and I do wonder how anyone contributed during the early stages.

EDIT: @Heather mentioned Hotmail, which was founded in 1996, and webmail could not have worked without logins. But nevertheless, it seems web logins were rare at that time.

Edited by Myrtonos
webmail

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Heather

@Myrtonos I think internet was more of a rare commodity before 1999 and 2000. In the early 1990s, it was really only university educated people and tech savvy people who would use it probably.  

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Myrtonos

One of my parents is most definitely a layperson and both my parents had internet as far back as the mid-90s. But do you really mean the internet or the web? Email, for example, is something you send and receive over the internet, but not over the web.

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Heather

My family got our first Microsoft Windows computer in 2000 and it was the first time we connected to the internet and accessed the web.  It was seen as more of a luxury and definitely not a necessity back in the 1990s.  The way I see it, Internet and web access are very linked.  Although, it makes sense if in the early days of the internet people might have been able to send an email but not browse websites. Especially since there would not have been the variety of websites as there are today.

During the early 2000s, more and more people were deciding to get the internet, of course it was dial up and slower in those initial days.  It makes sense as more families got access to the internet and web, that more websites would start catering to the common person and have websites that feature them and hotmail was a big thing because people could get a free email account that was not attached to their internet provider.  Though a lot of people did use the email provided to them from their service provider.

 

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