December 28, 2009

Geocities is no more

A few weeks back a reader kindly emailed me to say that it seemed like some of the links in the Patch Collectors’ Directory were broken. I immediately looked into it and it turns out the links she was referring to were all Geocities websites. It wasn’t that the links weren’t working so much as that the websites in question no longer existed.

(A once popular and well known personal website hosting provider, Geocities recently closed its doors as a free service.)

In 2009, Yahoo, the company that ran Geocities, shut down the free personal website hosting service after offering it to users for numerous years, citing that they wanted to focus their attention on other sectors of the Yahoo web sphere.
Though it is my understanding that Yahoo gave their Geocities users fair warning in advance of their shutting this service down, its cessation still caught many users – and a substantial number of web viewers the world over off guard (I heard about the matter throw my husband who works in the IT industry). This closure, which you can read more details about in the official Yahoo page on the topic, also means that nearly everywhere a Geocities page was linked to from an external website, said links are now defunct.

Thusly it was time for me to once again prune my way through the Patch Directory, removing all of the “dead” links (be they Geocities or otherwise) and bringing it up-to-date just in time for the New Year. I like to weed out any defunct links on that page at least once a year, and hadn’t done so for several months, so it was actually not a hassle in the least to update the page today.

To those who lost their Geocities websites (be they Guiding, Scouting or otherwise related) as a result of this closure, I’m sincerely sorry. While I realize Geocities was no longer as popular as it once was in the nineties, many people will still utilized its services, and I feel Yahoo should have at least offered to keep hosting any and all existing Geocities pages for free (and simply closed new sign-ups, if they wanted to cap user numbers).

With Geocities gone, there are now far fewer personal Guiding and patch trading related sites on the web, but I hope that at least a portion of those who lost their pages will rebuild them or start new sites elsewhere (if you’re looking for a free personal website hosting service, I’ve heard positive things about, but have not tried this site myself).

If you’ve launched a new Guiding/patch collecting related site (or simply have one that isn’t in the Patch Trading Directory already) please let me know and I will post it in the directory at once.

I sincerely appreciate the reader’s email that reminded me about Geocities shutting its doors, and always welcome correspondence regarding any element of this blog or the Guiding/Scouting realm.