Cameron’s World: memories of GeoCities

If you’re new to the Internet, or new to Web design, this Web site will give you an Internet lesson. For people like me who grew up on the Internet, it’s an overdose of nostalgia.

Cameron’s World is “a Web collage of text and image excavated from the buried neighbourhoods of GeoCities.” GeoCities was one of the most popular free hosting sites in the late 1990’s. It was founded in 1994 as Beverly Hills Internet, and was one of the first places where people could upload their site for free.

All that was asked in return was to insert a banner to their Web site. Several people did not, however. It was only a matter of time before GeoCities forced their banners into the Web pages of their members, which caused some controversy.

Yahoo! bought GeoCities in 1999. All traces of the early glory in Web design, with its animated GIFs, rainbow text, MIDI tracks, and blink tags, were wiped away when GeoCities closed almost 10 years later in 2009.

Screen shot of Cameron's World

There are places where some of that historical content was preserved, like OoCities and the Internet Archive. Others today are trying to revive the spirit of GeoCities, like Neocities.

Similarly to Web Designers File reviewed earlier, Cameron’s World feels like a time capsule. A bit like how we used to save anything we liked found online onto our floppy disks, so we wouldn’t have to download those files via our 56k modem again. Then later burned them onto CDs when we bought our first CD burner.

Opening this Web site is liked browsing files on those old CDs. You’re greeted with everything that made the Web of the late 1990’s, coming back to life, letting you relive those memories.