Facebook. Flickr. Picasa. Photobucket. Even those who still consider the Internet the work of demons and wizards know the names. And chances are virtually everyone in your posse has used at least one or more of these giants to host and share their personal photos.
But this is no longer the dawn of the digital camera era, and online photo hosting is no longer limited to just a few key players. Today, you can't swing a 500mm lens without hitting a business that wants nothing more than to store your pics.
The question is: Do you dare stray from the familiar entities? We can't give you that answer, but we can tell you that truly excellent sites, perhaps just right for you, do indeed exist in other corners of the Web. And it's our intention here to point you in some of those directions.
Back in September, The Wall Street Journal reported that the world’s premier domain registrar GoDaddy had put itself on the block. The paper seems to enjoy a monopoly over news relating to the possible sale of the privately held domain registrar and web hosting company. It is now reporting that the GoDaddy Group is on the verge of being acquired for as much as a whopping $2.5 billion.
If you need reliable, enterprise-class hosting, Amazon's EC2 servers can't be beat, right? Yesterday we would have said yes, but today things are looking a little grim. Amazon' EC2 cloud crashed overnight, and it still isn't operational as the time of this posting.
Now that Geocities has been shuttered for good by Yahoo, do you find yourself wanting to have just one more look around? Geocities may have been home to some of the ugliest, most poorly designed sites in existence, but it was special to a lot of people. For many, it was their first foray into the internet – the first real hub of content creation we all shared. If you fall into this category, you’re in luck. You can head on over to Reocities and see a sizable chunk of the once great webhost.
Riocities is a one man project started only six days before the shutdown that aimed to save the Silicon Valley “neighborhood” in Geocities. Riocities owner, Jacques, created a script to rescue Geocities pages by copying them to his personal storage space. He eventually expanded his project to grab as many Geocities neighborhoods as possible. All told, he saved about 600,000 pages from extinction.
All this was done on a 10Mb connection. That’s commitment. There may not be anything really worth saving in Geocities, but now we have the time to find out. So feel free to dive into this world of animated GIFs and MIDI background music at Reocities.
If a web 2.0 service goes offline in the middle of the night does it make a sound? Well, if your Yahoo quietly pulling the plug on your free web hosting service, you hope not! As sad as it may be for us nostalgic types, after more than a decade of hosting free community webpages, this once innovative and powerful brand will finally come to a close later this year.
The trademark of the GeoCities service was the neighborhood system which allowed users to assign their page to a specific community of like minded websites. They were also founded during a period when only a handful of developers were publishing content for the web. Neighborhoods such as “Hollywood” and “Silicon Valley” were abandoned shortly after Yahoo took control of the company in 1999. It was purchased at the peek of the dot com bubble for $3.57 billion dollars, and like many other web properties scooped up at this time, it wasn’t worth as much as they’d hoped.
Yahoo is also known for having made several unpopular changes to the service shortly after acquisition which some users blame for its slow downward spiral. One of these changes for example was a modification to the terms of service which allowed Yahoo to lay claim to any content hosted on its service. Many of these decisions were eventually reversed, but with the rapidly falling costs of web hosting, it was only a matter of time before it folded in. Yahoo has stopped accepting new applications, and existing users are being encouraged to upgrade to one of their paid web hosting packages.
Did you ever host a website on Geocities? Share your memories after the jump.
Internet research and security firm Netcraft has released the findings of its June 2008 Web Server Survey. Netcraft pegged the number of websites at a shade over 172 million, an increase of 3.9 million from the preceding month. Although the main objective of this survey wasn’t to perform a headcount of websites but to size up web server usage trends, it still gives a fair idea of the website population.
Click through to find out how accurate Netcraft's census is and whether you need to make a beeline for that proverbial pinch of salt.