A Musing on Dead Things

No, not people.  I just heard the news that Geocities (or, if you prefer, Geoshitty or Geoshibby) is shutting down in the fall.  It got me thinking of all the things that have died/stopped being a fad since I started abusing the Internet back in 2002.  The major ones that came to mind were AOL, instant messaging (at least via computer) and Myspace.  Xanga could be on that list but that’d be viewed on a more personal level.  That meaning, people still use the site (check out its Alexa ranking sometime), just no one I know.

AOL was the Internet provider giant back in 2002.  Chat rooms had almost a million people total and everyone had it.  Two years later, cable/broadband was more affordable and AOL was a shell of its former self.  It was weird seeing the total number of people in chat rooms barely topping a hundred thousand.  There’s not much to miss about AOL; mainly the dial-up connection and horrible customer service.  A lot of its best qualities could also be downloaded for free (AIM).  I will say I miss creating a chat room, being the moderater (or whatever, I forget the technical term but remember that you had a lightning bolt next to your name) and abusing the power to eject everyone from the room.

Originally, I was going to list AIM amongst the dead fads but instant messaging (in general) is a better term.  Gone are the days of sitting at a computer for hours on end, messaging people whilst web-browsing.  Now, people just use their phones for everything.  I remember giving up AIM for a few months, returning and finding out that out of 70 or so friends, only about 4 of them were still actively using it.  AIM is being singled out because it’s the most popular (and one I used) but any program will do…from Yahoo’s messaging to that one Microsoft program (never used it but remember a few who did…Windows Messenger or something).

Myspace, while not quite dead, is pretty much a ghost town.  It seems that as quickly as Myspace became a popular fad, it died out just as fast.  Three years ago, every high school kid had an account.  Now, people still use it but there’s not much Myspace can do that Facebook (or, God help us all, Twitter) can do better.  It might be popular for music but as social-networking, it’s safe to say Myspace is a ghost town.

Now, add Geocities to the list.  I almost decided on a Geocities site but the bandwidth limit was a major turn-off.  Also, the only site I cared about was revamped.  It had a list of Lord of the Rings role-playing characters, some of whom I was going to incorporate into D&D campaigns a few years ago.  I was looking for the site one day a few years ago and (eventually) found it, but all it had was pictures of Mega Man X.  Farewell, Geocities…all those crappy websites that no one visited will be missed dearly.  Tripod, Angelfire, you’re next!

Oh, come on!  You’re gonna kill me because I had fake sex on graph paper with a girl who barely spoke to you in real life?


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