Longing for the days of Geocities

No, I don’t miss the awful design or the unbelievable slowness of the web in those early days, but I do miss the passion, the relative privacy and the freedom. I long for that web that was still mostly in the hands of its users, before governments and businesses came in and claimed it for themselves.

Okay, so maybe that web is is not really dead, if you dig deep enough it’s still there, and there are some major sites, such as wikipedia and other wikis, that still hold on to that original ethos, but the grown ups have definitely not just moved in, they have also taken over, even if it’s not always immediately obvious.

Oh, on the surface there are still free and better alternatives to Geocities, but even there there is no getting away from the marketers, trackers and the dataminers that will turn your content into a Trojan horse to find out all they can not just about you, but also about your readers (to be honest, that trend probably began when Geocities was acquired by Yahoo, but I’m talking about what was the original concept behind Geocities here, so let’s not quibble about it).

What can I say? I like privacy, and I am not to keen on the way in which the web, something that in its early days held such promise when it came to freedom, has been betrayed and turned into a tool that is used by governments and corporations to keep track people’s most private thoughts.

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