Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Under Construction" - A trip down Internet Memory Lane

The other day one of my Digg buds, the venerable Amy Vernon, unearthed this page where someone had scraped thousands of "Under Construction" .gif files from GeoCities, the now defunct free website service that was once available to everyone with a Yahoo email account.

She posted the link on Facebook, and I commented "nothing says 1996 like a flashing 'Under Construction' gif."

Been thinking about that ever since. Have you been on the internet long enough to remember GeoCities, or Or those flashing "Under Construction" .gifs? 1996 is almost 15 years ago. I can hardly believe that. The only thing more overused in those days was a spinning globe.

Yahoo itself was still a directory site, with about 370,000 listings. By today's hyper-realistic graphic standards. we can see how primitive it all was, but at the time it was the threshhold of a brave new world.

There were almost no business websites on the web in those days. No Google, and the big "social networking site" was, a "nostalgia" site that started in 1995 as a way for people to reconnect with people they went to school with.

I was one of the first ten people from my school to sign up from any class, and the first person from my high school class.  So I suppose it is appropriate that I am coordinating the website and Facebook page for our 40th class reunion in 2011.

That was also the year, at the behest of my son, I became the -ahem- webmaster of  "Domzilla's Godzilla Page". Talk about primitive!  But along with Mark's Godzilla Page (the original!), Conster's Museum of Godzilla, Barry's Temple of Godzilla, The Euro-Goji Home Page "Goji-World" (there is still a site called GojiWorld that is about Goji berries, or juice or something) and other sites, we were the worldwide web fan base for all things Godzilla.  Incredibly, there is still a page listing all those old Godzilla sites, complete with a scary MIDI file of Godzilla music and multiple flashing gifs.  Those were the days.

Check out the URL! Domain names? What's that? It was several years later before we bought the domain name, which is now a domain hosting site. As for, I can't believe it is still there also. So many others have bitten the dust.

Well, thanks for joining me on my trip down memory lane. What are some of your favorite memories of the internet in the 1990s?


  1. I remember GeoCities and how much time I put into learning all the HTML colour codes for the backgrounds and the text! My friends thought it was so cool that I had my own website, and soon we all had links to each others! We all ended up with music lyrics, pictures and crazy gifs (including the under construction & earth!)
    I wonder if those are still somewhere in cyberspace. Did Geocities just die or were they bought out by someone would be funny to see it now!

  2. Oh wow...what great nostalgia! Makes me want to spend a few hours on! It's so interesting to see how far we've come in such a short period of time. I remember having to use the animated fire flame in between my page titles...that was the best!

    And for the techies, how bout having to use PERL to process your forms!!! UUUUUUUUUUGggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

    Hahaha, fun post!