Originally posted as a comment in response to the related blog by Arthur Kay -- another Chicago Web developer and former colleague at Imaginary Landscape, LLC – the following is in memory of the long-running and ubiquitous GeoCities, recently discontinued by owner Yahoo!, Inc.
Art,Yours is not the only story to begin like this. My first encounters with the Internet followed a very similar grain – AOL chatrooms, slow-loading images, and GeoCities Web sites. In my case, the transformation from a kid fascinated with dinosaurs to an entrepreneur building Web sites came even earlier – at age 10.
My best friend had stumbled, much as you had, onto GeoCities one day while surfing the net, and when he told me about having the ability to build our own Web sites, we were so excited we didn't know what to do first. The immediate step was to just put something out there. Within a week we had a very crude Atlanta Braves fan site up.The main thing I found was that GeoCities' interface was just not quite what I wanted. A year or so after our first attempts I moved on to AngelFire, the next in the line of big “do it yourself” Web site creators. By the time I was 11 I had read an 800-page book about HTML 4, Java 1.2, and XML from front to back and struck out on the path of becoming a Web developer.
The first “job” I took was in 1997 (age 14), when I put together the first incarnation of an online gallery of my sister's artwork. Several iterations later (and in the process of a major overhaul), it lives on at www.flyngypsyarts.com, and now is a PHP/MySQL database-driven application, complete with administration editors for the pieces.As you so aptly have mentioned, GeoCities has &ndashp; at least for us Web nerds – been a major driving force in the development of our lives and careers. No doubt you are correct also in asserting that the Internet’s growth and identity owe themselves partially to the influences of such amazing tools as it was.
RIP GeoCities, indeed.
posted by Jake Kronika, Owner, Gridline Design at 2:03 PM