Timeless Thoughts – Geocities

Timeless Thoughts - Click to join the linkup
Timeless Thoughts – Click to join the linkup

Hello, yes I’m still here. Just in time for this months Timeless Thoughts from Georgie and Tara. Click the image above to join in if you have something you want to write about that gives you a little nostalgia.

Recently, I was discussing with a friend the internet of old. It started with a mention of Alta Vista on Google’s 18th Birthday. For those of you that don’t know what Alta Vista is, it was Google’s predecessor. It was Google before there was Google. The very best search engine of its time. In the end Yahoo ended up owning it and, not surprisingly, ruined it. Because that is what Yahoo does it seems.

Our discussion then moved from search engines to webhosts, reminiscing about Geocities, Angelfire and Tripod, to name a few. Geocities is definitely where I got my start. It was the place I found when I realised that “hey, I can make websites too?” and yes, they were very basic and very terrible until I learnt more and technology started improving.

The thing I really enjoyed about Geocities was that they had a bit of fun with choosing your url. You got to choose your address based on the neighbourhood you chose and the number you wanted in that neighbourhood. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any screenshots of this but Geocities had different cities/neighbourhoods with different themes so you could set up your website in Hollywood if your website was entertainment themed, for example.
Once you chose the neighbourhood you wanted you were then presented with little houses and you got to choose one. This also meant you could choose your neighbours! Once you made these decisions you got to move in and start on your website. Geocities did try and make a little community for their budding website builders.

Geocities was so iconic that there are now silly websites where you can ‘geocities-afy’ your website. Here is mine! – That’s a little scary!

In the end Yahoo bought Geocities and, well, ruined.

On my trip down memory lane last week I stumbled upon Neocities whose aim is to make the internet fun again – Geocities obviously also had an effect on them too. They want to make website building accessible and about skill and interest rather than about money making, “pin me” covered websites. This spoke to me as I really do miss the website building of old where the aim wasn’t to be the best (no one was making money anyway so what did it matter?) but to be the best you could be and there was a community around to help you out if your layout just wasn’t doing what you wanted it to do.

So that prompted me to sign up for Neocities and make my own little slice of the internet (away from this slice of the internet) where there is no php or divs or even layout images. It’s just a basic website that I had fun creating. This is very similar to something I would have made back in the day, I always liked using black/charcoal and a bright colour, usually blue or pink. I’ve always been more interested in using colour to create a layout rather than images, something which continues today.. in fact, I realised while writing this post that the colour scheme is the same as All The Me. I guess some things never change!

While I’m not sure I’ll do anything else with the Neocities site, it was fun playing around with everything again. I can’t believe how rusty I was and that a simple table was a stretch of my memory. I used to make sites like this all the time and now I barely remember how, it really shows how tools like WordPress make you a little bit lazy.

Did you ever use sites like Geocities to create websites or other free hosting providers? Did you make websites before the days of wordpress?

Sarah

Timeless Thoughts #2: Music

Timeless Thoughts - Click to join the link up!
Timeless Thoughts – Click to join the link up!

Timeless Thoughts is a monthly blog linkup hosted by Tara and Georgie where each month you discuss something you miss or are feeling nostalgic about.

This month I’m remember my old obsession with music, bands and going to gigs.

Back when I was 16 or 17 my music taste and love of music started to evolve. I no longer had my radio tuned to a generic mainstream station and chose, instead, to listen to Australia’s alternative station: Triple J. This was about the time that I began to learn that music wasn’t all manufactured groups with good looking singers and high production music videos.

I basically used to live and breathe music and in a time before mp3 players (and sometimes mp3s) it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. I remember jumping for the radio when a favourite song came on so I could turn it up and enjoy it while it was on, staying up late to watch (and tape) Rage (especially when one of my favourite bands was hosting – although I found I never much enjoyed their music inspirations as I enjoyed their music) and where possible, downloading mp3’s at the snails pace that was dial up… from Napster! Also, how could I forget CDs… I paid some insane prices so I could order lesser known band EPs or import from other countries. Just so I could listen to 10 – 13 songs whenever I liked.

So Old School - there's a bit of a trend!
So Old School – there’s a bit of a trend!

I miss that feeling of being excited to hear a favourite band and I can’t remember the last time I looked up a gig guide to see who was playing – I wouldn’t even know any of the names these days anyway. I remember the day when I found out my favourite band (Klinger) was going to be touring with another favourite band (Bodyjar) and they were coming to my city! And it was an all ages gig. My first gig.

I thought to myself that if only my OTHER favourite band, MxPx, were playing the gig it would have been perfect however instead it was Unwritten Law and as a 16 year old in her first mosh, I wished it had been MxPx because those Unwritten Law fans were aggressive.. I came out with a bunch of bruises but I didn’t care because I had met 2 of my favourite bands and had the chance to see them live.

They also signed my CD inserts and my friends and I sneakily got one of Klinger’s members phone numbers – which was quite useful in the next Klinger gig I went to because it was an over 18’s gig and I wasn’t.. I was able to get in because I gave them a call on the day (like a weirdo stalker), they came outside to chat with me and one of the members was able to smuggle me inside to this dingy little pub where I got to see Klinger again and another band I was liking called Motorace.

After the gig they were going to a nearby pub and asked if I wanted to go along but, for some reason, I declined and went home because I had school the next day! It was this crazy event and I can’t imagine something like that happening to me these days. I sometimes miss that crazy recklessness that gave me the confidence to give my favourite band a call and get smuggled into a gig.

And now some of the music (because this post isn’t long enough already) that made life worth getting out of bed for back in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, the music that made me the punk rock girl (woman?) I became:

Klinger – Hello Cruel World

.As another popular song at the time claimed “a pop song saved my life” and that was the case with this song for me. I was at a fairly low part of life when this song was released and it got me up and energised about something and made me want to get out of the darkness.

MxPx – Responsibility

The band responsible for making me branch out into more punk music with less pop elements.

Happyland – Chicken

One of the weirdest bands I ever listened to, they were so strange but I loved their songs (especially Chicken) all the same.

Magic Dirt – Dirty Jeans

Because girls can be awesome leads too! I saw Magic Dirt live in 2002 and Adalita (lead) changed her guitar about 5 times and she rocked out and it was awesome!

Lazaro’s Dog – Home Entertainment System

Because why not?

Sarah