Geocities was an online collection of metropolises, each with their own neighborhoods built around shared interests. The city metaphor helped make a whole new group of users understand the world wide web for the first time. At its peak, it was the third most popular destination on the internet, but it quickly fell out of fashion as the web became more commodified and professional. Before it shuttered, a few digital archivists scooped up as much data as possible before all that early internet experimentation could be deleted.
This week’s partial culling of the personal archive is no small challenge. What to keep? Why?
My life’s paper trail was longer than I’d imagined.
It had sat, a perpetual fire hazard I’m sure, in seven or eight boxes in our roof for the past four years during each of which it grew incrementally. Before that it had been in the cellar of our last house for 15 years and for a few more in storage while we lived overseas.
It was time for “the purge”.