Note to readers

This is a blog that I'm required to keep that's full of unedited, near stream-of-consciousness reactions to similarly required and related readings in a graduate course in N.C. State University's Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media program. The way these posts are written help me interrogate and understand what's going on in our readings. I'm identifying what's troublesome so that I can give it more thought, but the posts aren't written in a style that's productive for audiences outside of our class to read. That's by design. I start with contestation, then spend heavens only knows how long researching, recutting, and reevaluating so that I can try and see what potentially productive readings I can extract from these source for use in my own work's contributions back to the field. Comments encouraged, but please, you'll likely need a thick skin if your work is quoted here.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Yahoo kills 90s era amatuer websites.

Don't Wait
Please be aware that after October 26, your GeoCities files will be deleted from our servers, and will not be recoverable. If you'd like to save your files, you must download them now or move to Yahoo! Web Hosting. If you need assistance, please visit the help center.

That's from an email I got in my mailbox this morning. This is actually a pretty big deal. It's as if thousands of self-published books were not only going out of print, but being erased from the face of the earth, 1984 style. Many of these pages are likely linked to email addresses that haven't been good for years, some forgotten by their original creators. They sometimes have great mid-90s style web design, with animated gifs, unnecessary use of the <blink> and <center> tags, and background images that make the text of the page nearly impossible to read. has some 36k+ archived, but there are safely many more pages than that at GeoCities.

How does one archive GeoCities?

The worst part is that, in a world where Gmail gives everyone more than seven gigabytes of storage, that Yahoo can't pony up for these relatively incredibly small sites. They're asking $4.99 for the first year of their hosting service as an intro offer, so they're simply monetizing what accounts are still active. Why not simply freeze all the sites and keep hosting until the original owner says otherwise?

I realize much of what's up is likely trash, maybe even serving up viruses years out of date, but I can't help but feel the long-term benefit of finding research materials for Tom Swift scholars, as a nearly random example of my recent googling, outweighs the benefit of getting rid of some virtual space garbage.


Guess I should add this is not without precedent. AOL closed down its hosting not so long ago as well. Is the best way to measure the birth of Web 2.x that 1.x is being wiped?

Dear AOL Hometown user,

We're sorry to inform you that as of Oct. 31, 2008, AOL® Hometown was shut down permanently. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

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