The early generation of internet users utilized something called GeoCities to construct their first web pages. GeoCities was a former web hosting service which allowed users to create and then publish their own websites for free. Originally called Beverly Hills Internet, GeoCities was started in November of 1994 by Davin Bohnett and John Rezner. In 1998 it was bought by Yahoo, who at the time was the third most visited website on the World Wide Web. Users could browse other websites by their theme or interest. Web pages were separated into different “cities” which had hyperlinks within them that led to the pages themselves. The different cities were named after actual cuties and or regions according to their content.
After searching GeoCities for a site to analyze I came across the MotorCity, a GeoCity containing all web pages about cars. Being a car enthusiast myself I was instantly drug into this city. After testing out all of the hyperlinks, scrolling through the endless pages, I came to one titled “Tim’s place on the web!”. The creator/owner of the web page, Tim Martin, lived in Milford, Illinois during the time he worked on his page. At the bottom of his page Tim talks about what he used to produce his site, “This page was created using Adobe GoLive 4 on a Macintosh and the photos on these pages were taken with digital cameras (Kodak DC260)”. Finding this information was really surprising and intriguing. It shows how far technology has come since the time of GeoCities and what the early generation of internet goers used to make their first web sites. His page was mainly focused on his hobbies of racing RC cars, owning/modifying his actual cars and airbrushing. The site itself was decorated with pictures of the cars he raced and things he airbrushed, which included his RC cars, T-shirts and other miscellaneous items.
Figure 1:Tim’s car with GeoCities URL on trunk
Tim had been into cars for most of his life. Under the “A little info about me” tab, he talks about a recently purchased ’95 Miata, which is a small car model from the Japanese manufacturer, Mazda. Tim loved the car and planned to add modifications to it, the first being to add a pillar pod and some Auto Meter gauges. He said he was going to make himself put the car away for the winter, so the snow didn’t ruin it and because he had bad luck in the past with snow. Tim’s old car, which had a sticker of his GeoCities URL on the trunk, was in an accident in part due to a bad snowstorm. As Tim recalls, he topped a hill, on his way home from work, and saw a semi in a left turn lane ahead. As Tim got closer to the driver, they must have thought they had enough time, so they turned in front of him. There was obviously not enough time as Tim hit the front end of the rear set of duals on the trailer, totaling his own car.
Figure 2:Tim driving his ’95 Miata and some of the modifications
According to Tim, he had been in the hobby of racing RC cars since the fall of ’85. Under the “My RC Cars” tab, Tim describes the radio he uses for his cars, the Futaba 3pj. “I love my radio. It is one of the best things I have ever bought for my cars. I have one radio for all of my cars, and they all race glitch free. It’s beautiful man.” This description shows Tim’s passion and knowledge about the hobby. At the same time his wordage shows that he wanted to be himself and felt he didn’t have to be “official” or use certain language on his site. Tim only used batteries and motors from Elite Speed Products for his cars and trucks because, “They’re Fast”. Tim preferred to race offroad, even though he wasn’t the best, but his local track, that he frequented, was oval, so he made do. The track he raced at the most was C&R Hobbies, which had an indoor dirt oval track. C&R Hobbies recently announced they would try having an outdoor, offroad track during the nice summer days, which excited Tim because he loves it.
Figure 3:Tim and an RC car that he airbrushed
Another one of Tim’s many hobbies, airbrushing, was prominent on his site. He airbrushed his RC cars, clothing, and even pumpkins. Tim spent copious amounts of time airbrushing his RC cars, painting them so good that it looked like stickers were used. The T-shirts Tim airbrushed were just as impressive. He painted pretty much any design, including car brands and even air Jordan. Although very talented, Tim admitted that his biggest problem airbrushing so far was his lettering, “I need to practice it”. The miscellaneous things that Tim airbrushed included pumpkins, a motorcycle gas tank, and a motorcycle helmet.
After discovering Tim’s web page, I dove straight into his life, his hobbies, and his aspirations. This was only one of mere thousands of unique web pages within thousands of GeoCities. The amount of information is almost overwhelming, and it was an eye-opening experience going back in time and navigating through a small part of Tim’s life.