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Myrtonos

GeoCities

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Myrtonos
26 minutes ago, Heather said:

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.

According to @Nesf and @storm-petrel, "the internet" had a problem to solve. A problem that existed in the 1970s and still existed in the early 2000s. And web access requires a browser, but checking and sending emails does not, I don't know about internet relay chat.

29 minutes ago, Heather said:

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.

While Hotmail could be accessed over the web on any computer with a browser and connected to the internet it did come at a price. Specifying a non-free email address on a site like this is very effective at confirming one's identity, which seems to be one of the reasons why sites like this require all accounts to have a valid email address specified. But webmail allows one to register here and many other forums without confirmation of identity.

For those who (still) have an I.S.P based email address, using this is probably the best default. Webmail is for those who don't have a non-free email address or can't access it while on vacation.

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Max000
10 hours ago, HalfFull said:

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 :) 

Google what ever information you can remember from it.  Also Google whatever email address you used at the time, and the username you used for the web page. If the page is still archived, you should be able to find it. I can't find any of the web pages that I created. However when I Google the first email address I ever had, I find many archived GeoCities and other webpages that I left comments in their guestbooks. My comments are still preserved, and probably will be forever. Not that they contained anything important enough to be. LOL.  

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Max000
8 hours ago, Myrtonos said:

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.

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.

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.

Free web email services have existed since 1996. I believe that websites with logins existed since the very beginning of the web, but I agree that logins were not very common until the 2000s. 

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Max000
19 hours ago, Myrtonos said:

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?

I really can't comprehend how we can have an internet without written webpages. Do people even read anymore? It's seems like even news sites are just slideshows or videos now days. I go to read a news article and when I click on it, it's nothing but a picture slideshow or a video. The internet is getting so dumbed down, that it's just sad.  I really miss the old internet with Geocities and other web pages.

The demise of Geocities certainly can't be due to costs associated with hosting webpages. If people can upload endless gigabytes of videos to YouTube, and Google can still make a profit, it should be possible for a web hosting sites like Geocities to make a profit. I think people are just getting too dumb to read.  The internet is becoming like TV. 

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Myrtonos
1 hour ago, Max000 said:

Free web email services have existed since 1996.

I did note that was when Hotmail was founded.

1 hour ago, Max000 said:

I believe that websites with logins existed since the very beginning of the web, but I agree that logins were not very common until the 2000s. 

I'm not sure if the earliest browsers supported logins. Every browser has to have something called cookies enabled in order to log in to websites. Even today, many blogs still don't have logins, commenters let people know who they are by typing their name in one field and their email address in another. Wasn't this the sort of thing the first websites to host user content had? Not that this could have worked for GeoCities.

1 hour ago, Max000 said:

I really can't comprehend how we can have an internet without written webpages. Do people even read anymore? It's seems like even news sites are just slideshows or videos now days. I go to read a news article and when I click on it, it's nothing but a picture slideshow or a video. The internet is getting so dumbed down, that it's just sad.  I really miss the old internet with Geocities and other web pages.

In those days, as I noted, nearly all webpages were read-only. If you wanted to suggest a change to any page, you would just email the webmaster, and the webmaster might have made the change after a review. It was a great system; The email was only viewable to you and the webmaster and the webmaster didn't need to admit they made the change at your request.

The now classic web didn't last as long as I once hoped. It is still how the web seemed, say back in 2003. The first sign of change I saw was in 2005 when Wikipedia began to appear in my search results.

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Sanctuary

I'm not qualified to talk about the technical aspects of web pages and GeoCities but I did use it from around 2005 to 2010 when it closed. I created two websites devoted to TV programmes I was interested in and greatly enjoyed the process. I wrote lots of pages (the format was easy to use) and was pleased to put them on the web but it's fair to say that scarcely anyone read them (apart from me)! I think this was principally because it was very hard to get them picked up in web searches and the only real way of attracting interest was if a link could be placed on a more popular and established website. This difficulty may still arise for free websites today and it can be disappointing to put a lot of work into something and get very few views. I did try to save the web pages of both sites but made a mistake in some cases so failed to save a few of them. I later pasted the content of the pages into a large Word document and subsequently a PDF which I like to look back on. Ideally I'd put them back online again but without a free option (plus not much time available) that's unlikely to happen.

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HalfFull

I remember in early 1997 a University tutor begging us to gather some info from the Internet. I was terrified as I'd never used it before. In the end, I booked the computer for an hour and after 30 mins decided to be brave and click on the 'Yahoo' programme. I hadn't been told that it was the only way to gain access as pre-1997 Yahoo was just a frivolous word meaning fantastic. Nevertheless it got me in and I was able to start using it. To be honest I'm not even sure if I attempted to research my project that time. I think I was just testing the Internet generally. I didn't even know what information was on the Internet so I tried to think of something that would very likely be on there, so I typed in Buckingham Palace - and the rest is history. Wasn't there a link between GeoCities and Yahoo?

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Heather

@HalfFull I think you are right about Yahoo and Geocities being linked. I totally forgot about that but then when you said it, it sounded familiar and I googled it and found a wikipedia page for Yahoo! Geocities.  

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Myrtonos

As I noted right at the beginning of the thread, Yahoo did buy GeoCities in January 1999.

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Max000
16 hours ago, Sanctuary said:

I'm not qualified to talk about the technical aspects of web pages and GeoCities but I did use it from around 2005 to 2010 when it closed. I created two websites devoted to TV programmes I was interested in and greatly enjoyed the process. I wrote lots of pages (the format was easy to use) and was pleased to put them on the web but it's fair to say that scarcely anyone read them (apart from me)! I think this was principally because it was very hard to get them picked up in web searches and the only real way of attracting interest was if a link could be placed on a more popular and established website. This difficulty may still arise for free websites today and it can be disappointing to put a lot of work into something and get very few views. I did try to save the web pages of both sites but made a mistake in some cases so failed to save a few of them. I later pasted the content of the pages into a large Word document and subsequently a PDF which I like to look back on. Ideally I'd put them back online again but without a free option (plus not much time available) that's unlikely to happen.

Tripod and Angelfire are still around and are still free. Plus many of the GeoCities archive sites will let you upload new webpages for free. You should check to see if they don't already have your page in their archive first. There are options out there, there just doesn't seem to be much interest in them these days. 

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