the god-awful heyday of Geocities…

StumbleUpon found this site for me today, and there’s a particular reason why this gadget resonates with me…

the Geocities-izer

the tagline for the Geocities-izer by the aptly-named Wonder-Tonic (who brought us ShadyURL, a URL shortener/renamer that will make any URL look like it’s trying to scam you out of all your money and infect your computer with horrible pathogens) is: Make any webpage look like it was made by a 13 year old in 1996.  i wasn’t 13 in 1996. (i was already a jaded 18 in 1996, and had moved beyond such atrocities as GeoCities by then, although i did leave the site for Goth: the Corruption — an RPG i co-authored sort of loosely based on Vampire: the Masquerade — on GeoCities, that was mostly because i couldn’t be bothered to do anything else with it.  i did eventually move it to SFGoth.com, where it lives now.)  i did, like thousands of other people, start out on GeoCities, though, and that’s where i cut my teeth on web design.

in fact, in a way, GeoCities is what made me become a web designer, but not because it let you edit the HTML yourself.  GeoCities was responsible for me becoming a web designer because so many of the sites on GeoCities (including my own first few forays at putting together a website) looked like what comes out of the Geocities-izer.  When I finally learned how to build a site that didn’t look atrocious, my first thought was looking back at everyone else’s site and thinking what the hell is wrong with them??

GeoCities was simultaneously liberating (to some of us who learned how to code HTML the hard way through GeoCities) and an eyesore, and it’s no wonder it finally died (long past its’ expiration, in my opinion).  for a while there, GeoCities was then what MySpace is now, just with less direct interaction and more animated GIFs.

so, in some ways, the Geocities-izer fills me with sentimentality, and in other ways it makes me want to throw my computer through a window.  here’s to things that just won’t die…