Sunday, May 31, 2009

Clicking it Old School, Part Two

What I Didn't Do Before MySpace...

Going back to my post from the 24th, another feature of the old days of the web some of you might remember is about to be closed down. I recall seeing some Geocities personal pages, but as enthusiastic as I was about the web, I never made one. Why you ask? I'm not sure of the exact reason 10-15 years ago, but there are a few that spring to mind. One is that I didn't just want a page of links I frequently visited my then-current resume; that seemed kind of dull. Another is that such pages seemed dedicated to anime such as Sailor Moon or TV shows such as "The X-Files" or "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," things I was never into. Some pages were random collections of old toys or beer cans or were dedicated to people's pets. These were things I did not have. Such pages were often titled "Welcome to My Home Page," or "Sarah's Sailor Moon Page," or "Bob's Beer Page" and were decorated with animated gifs. A mailbox gif with an envelope flying in and out of the box was often used as an e-mail link. A banner saying "Under Construction" was often displayed on these pages. A visitor counter that looked like pre-digital car odometers were often included as well.

At the time I would not have had any clue how to have made such a page or what to put on it, and I don't just mean the content or dedicated subject of the page, but also which animated gifs to put on the page. Or perhaps the idea of making such a page just didn't occur to me there and then. As i said, there could have been any number or reasons. With all these pages about to disappear (some already have), I'm beginning to feel glad I won't have to worry about seeing a bunch of content disappear.

Should I shame myself on not having had a personal page when I was one of the first users of the Internet or should I be glad I won't be losing information, or didn't lose it already? Any Geocities pages I stumbled onto before the closing was announced was last updated in 2001 or 2002. I'm now wondering f I would have been that slothful at maintaining my page.

And you could say I came late into the game on blogging and social networks. I came across Facebook last summer and signed up, but barely looked at the site for a few months until I started receiving friend requests in my e-mails. Then I started my blogpage last December, and finally after months of trying I got onto MySpace this past January. I sometimes feel like I'm the only person older than 15 who signed up for MySpace in 2009. It seems like everyone signed up in 2005 or 2006. I'd heard about MySpace then, but didn't even bother looking at the site. I guess I wasn't sure then what I would have put on my page then. Somehow I must have known that MySpace pages would like the early homepages made on Geocities. Many have said Myspace is Geocities 2.0.

Tripod and Angelfire were also used in the old days of the web to create home pages and such pages were also dedicated to a single subject, probably the reason I never used those either. Both of these are still around, but I have come across links (in old Google Groups postings) to personal sites on these two services and one such link was not found. While doing a search for Sea Wees, a toy I had a child, I came across this Tripod page.

I'm now beginning to think I didn't miss much not having one of these pages, rather I just skipped ahead to their successor MySpace.

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