Today marks a sad and entirely sentimental moment for the internet as the DIY website builder GeoCities disappears from the severs of the world. In the early days of the web they were an excellent way to make a corner of the virtual world your very own - no matter how bizarre and niche your passions were - in the mid days they became a frustration when searching with Google results bringing them up as largely useless sources of hard fact and now, they're just quite funny to look at because they're so very basic and remind us all how far we've come.
While you may not like GeoCities any more, while it may no longer have any purpose whatsoever, its removal from our screens is somewhat of a tragedy because were it a building or something of the real world rather than the virtual, it would be taken up and looked after by the National Trust or put in a museum where its cultural significance could be preserved. So, on the one hand this day is a mark of how far the internet has come and on the other of how far it has yet to go, and while we lack an international online body to look after this kind of virtual heritage, at least there are a few good, honest heavy geek fans out there and their tribute pages to this trailblazer that's beaten its last path. All tributes are, of course, under construction.
Homestar Runner Tribute
A little on the merciless side with the "You're the 16th biggest moron ever" visitor counter is this tribute page from those of the Flash animated cartoon persuasion that are Homestar Runner and their GeoCities-style take on a tribute to The Cheat. (A tribute within a tribute; see what they did there?). There's an excellent use of poor quality photos; really bad, pointless and highly teen copy and the odd spelling mistake for good measure too. Very strong overuse of meaningless GIFs and a good few graphical errors for good measure. Also heart-warming to see the use of the "edgey" black background although points have to be deducted for the lack of a pattern on top. Overall, very good though. 4/5
The most publicised and, sadly, short-lived on the web is the reskin of the xkcd website probably just for the day. It may not have quite as much content as the other tributes but some very good work here with pretty much all of the bases covered. Fantastic black starred background with some nicely ill chosen areas of black text on top of it; really good scolling and blinking text and lots of visible html tags. What's most impressive here is the ease of which the GeoCities style has been incorporated with the day to day functional running of the xkcd site. Not sure what that says about their site normall then. 4/5
Andy's virtual GeoCities eTribute
The others were ace but the real heavyweight GeoCities tribute champion of the day has to be this one from FlashPoint Social Media. It represents just about everything that's wonderful and terrible with the 90s web builder in one go while representing just about every single internet meme from the era too. Some of the highlights include the Gangster's Paradise midi track on autoplay, the really big button that doesn't do anything and the fact that the "most awesome site in the world is best viewed with IE 4 at a minimum of 800 x 600 resolution set". Perhaps a slight loss of points for the whole thing being too perfect without any exposed code at all but it's still a seriously impressive piece of work. 5/5