You won’t believe, but several hours ago, while surfing and looking for something unrelated to Geocities, we found a Geocities page that still exists! on Geocities!
Not a folder with templates by Yahoo. Not an invisible GIF.
But a real profile of a real user!
Namely famous ASCII artist Joan G. Stark.
Last updated in 2001.
We rubbed our eyes, reloaded and Shift-reloaded, but the miracle didn’t disappear. The page is still there. And that’s not all, further research showed that Spunk’s previous account /7373 in SoHo neighborhood is also online. http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/7373/
Last updated in 2001 as well.
Both profiles are almost identical. And there is the 3rd one — http://www.ascii-art.com/.
But it is only an index page –not updated since 2001 and squatted by porn spam — if you click enter you are back at Geocities/SoHo/7373/
What’s going on? How did it happen? Was it forgotten? Protected? Paid? Are there other survivors?
Update: the question about other survivors is answered in comments by Nick and Google http://www.google.ca/search?q=site%3Ageocities.com.
What are all these profiles doing there?
I don’t know how to begin writing about web pages made “In loving memory of -“. They’re too personal and emotionally loaded for a formal analysis. No, writing is already the next issue, I don’t even collect and categorize them, nor do I bookmark or tag them. I don’t take screenshots and can’t even “save the image as”. Which is a trouble because these images and layouts are very strong. Often unique, probably because I’m not the only user who stopped herself from appropriating parts of these tributes.
Pages of web masters in grief are loaded with the belief that through “the network of the networks” you can establish a connection with those who are no longer among us: through links, buttons, forms, applets … These pages are medium specific in the ultimate way — being a system (infrastructure) for communicating with lost ones.
A quote from Scott’s talk at the Personal Digital Archiving conference earlier this year:
“This is a site created by a mother to commemorate her lost son, who died
as an infant. What struck me, if you look at the dates, is that he died
in 1983, a full 15 years before Geocities came along, and her feelings
were still strong in two ways – she wanted to keep his memory alive, and
she saw Geocities as the way to do it.”