Friday, April 24, 2009

How will I oppose traffic calming obstructions now?

I read the news yesterday (oh boy) from Duncan Riley at the Inquisitr:

Yahoo has announced that is will be closing Geocities, the web page hosting service it acquired in 1999 for $3.57 billion.

Geocities initially launched in 1994 as BHI, later adopting the Geocities name in December 1995. Geocities wasn’t the first free web hosting service, but for a stretch of time during the first dot com boom, it became the biggest.

Riley questions the timing of the move:

Remarkably perhaps, Geocities still has traffic today. Alexa ranks it as the 150th most popular site online, amazing for a service most people have long forgotten. Why Yahoo then would seek to shut it down is a mystery; it’s not as if we got to this point yesterday, and there’s still some very nice traffic for the site. It’s a shame that Yahoo isn’t trying to offload it instead, because this is a brand that in the right hands could fly again.

Actually, it's not too much of a mystery - when a company is hurting, they will offload all sorts of businesses. (And that's all I'll say about THAT.)

So, how many of you have a Geocities site? It turns out that I have one, which I started in 2003 and maintained until 2007. Its title? "Oppose Traffic Calming Obstructions" - probably my biggest political passion (Korea schmorea).

While the site has a Blogspot component, the majority of the site is hosted on Geocities. The home page carries my passionate political message:

Traffic calming is the new craze that threatens the lives of your family and friends. Oppose it.

The "Why" page goes into greater detail on the opposition, using arguments from the National Motorists Association. Here's a sample:

Traffic obstruction devices:

A. Can increase response time for emergency vehicles. When seconds matter, having to slow to pass over speed bumps and humps or navigate narrow roadways can mean the difference between life and death, or the loss of one's home. The fact that some of these devices can seriously damage emergency vehicles and other vehicles along the roadway is also a concern.

And there are many more. And yes, I know that this is turning into more of a political post than a business post, but permit me to continue - I'm going to lose all of this material, so I'm recording it now.

Another thing that will disappear is my musical contribution to the fight against traffic calming obstructions. As you may know, I was a not-so-famous 20th century musical artist until the itself disappeared a few years ago. One of the last songs that I published on the web was "Non Sequitur 15," the only Ontario Emperor song that included vocals of any kind. The complete lyrics:

Oppose traffic calming in Ontario California

These lyrics were repeated several times over in a 48-second long attempt to galvanize local forces into fierce opposition to traffic calming, yet the obstructions still exist today, which shows you the extent of my political power. (John Lennon could have done it.)

Fortunately for me, and unfortunately for you, this song will not be lost to the masses when Geocities goes away, because I uploaded the song to a few months ago.

Back to Yahoo. What are the options for Geocities users? According to Yahoo, there's only one:

Does Yahoo! offer another free hosting service?

No, Yahoo! does not offer another free hosting service. Instead we recommend our award-winning Yahoo! Web Hosting service, which includes a personalized domain name (such as and matching email, new site building tools, unlimited disk space and bandwidth, premium customer support, and more.

But while I'm sad about the whole thing, there are others, such as Helen Sventitsky, who are ecstatic:

Actually, THANK GOD! This embarrassing site there that I could NOT get rid of for the life of me will be gone!

Helen has not yet revealed the location of this embarrassing site, but if you do find it, I strongly encourage you to post its URL to the comments, before the site is confined to the wayback machine.

P.S. Since I've already talked about politics, I might as well talk about music. Helen is definitely NOT embarrassed about her music; her page is here.
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