doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

Whatever happened to …

… Geocities?

The time was well, early in the Internet.  How early?  Here’s a timeline of captures from the Internet Archive.  Is that a blip I see on the right?


A colleague and I were trying to figure it all out.  We both had a sense that this was going to be the future and it was going to be big.  We had bought into the concept of running programs from a school fileserver so running programs from this internet thing was just a logical next step.

At the same time, the computer department didn’t trust the two of us monkeying around with their servers and were doing their best to block us from it.  Mutual trust wasn’t big back then.

So, we turned to this internet thing to see about building stuff there and there was Geocities.  The concept of giving information to some nameless and faceless entity was still new.  We did what any self-respecting paranoid would do and created a disposable email address and some meaningful and yet untrackable (we thought) username and there we were.  Our first internet presence was born.

Try as I might for the purpose of this post, I tried to remember what it was called.  It probably was some permutation of Doug and Grover.  Poking through the Internet Archive, it was easy to see that yesterday’s masterpieces are today’s embarrassments.  I’m positive our early efforts would be in that category.  You might enjoy this.

So, for this week, how about sharing your thoughts in the comments.

  • Did you ever use Geocities?
  • Where was your first internet publishing presence?
  • Have you ever lost track of something that you created and posted?
  • Do you trust free services to host your content these days?  Which one(s) do you current use?
  • Have you ever wandered through the Internet Archive to see your early online self just to embarrass yourself or to feel good about your current level of experience?
  • Does anyone remember Doug and Grover?  We were featured speakers on the concept at ECOO, MACUL, WesternRCAC, and ISTE conferences under the topic of “Doug and Grover Mine the Internet” and “The Internet Across the Curriculum”.

As luck would have it, Andy Forgrave recently sent me this from an old ECOO program.


That was such a long, long time ago!  I’ve never been able to take a good picture.

As always, I’d enjoy reading your thoughts.

This post is a regular Sunday morning appearance around here.  They’re all archived.  (and on the Internet Archive too!)

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If you read it anywhere else, it’s not original.


Please share your thoughts here. I’d enjoy reading them.

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