For decades sports have been both a hobby and a fascination worldwide, and people’s intense love for their favorite players has been immortalized in archived GeoCities sites. Within GeoCities, there are many “neighborhoods” that break down the websites into general categories one of which being the Colleseum, an area dedicated to sports. Within the Colosseum, there are a variety of smaller groups, one of which is named “Midfield” which has a webpage dedicated to one of the most famous soccer players of the 90s and early 2000s, Dennis Bergkamp.
Solely from where this GeoCities site can be accessed, it is evident that it is targeting sports fans of some sort. While any user can access the Colosseum in GeoCities, because the majority of the included webpages were focused on different types of sports, the users tended to be people with that interest. Additionally, by having the website in the “Midfield” area of the Colosseum it was further targeted at soccer fans as opposed to sports fans in general. While these are not strict rules, it reasons that soccer fans are more likely to go to a soccer-titled group as opposed to a group titled “rink” which implies that it is focused on hockey. Even within the intended group of soccer fans, there is a large range of knowledge from soccer fanatics to people who occasionally watch the large promoted matches. Knowing this, the author made the website accessible to all of these groups by including general information for people who were not familiar with Bergkamp as well as those who wanted a more detailed analysis of his career.
While the author’s name and email are included on the site, Henry YuHang Fung, it is challenging to find any details about his life besides what was indicated on this page. In the “Introduction” page, he indicates that this page is experimental for him, showing that he is curious about creating webpages and the new world that services like GeoCities provide. On top of this, it is clear that he is a soccer fanatic as the pages talking about Bergkamp’s career and personal life were incredibly detailed. In combination with this, he provided his email and made a note that he was willing to change any inaccurate information which points to his passion for soccer and his desire to share his hobby with others. When one looks closer at the information included in the “Biography” section, it reveals that the author was likely an Arsenal fan, as a majority of the information provided focuses on his time at the club.
Besides the author’s identity, the site also embeds aspects that help to form an image of the intended reader. To start, it clearly targets a large range of soccer fans as the site offers multiple levels of analysis starting from a general introduction up to live statistics for Berkamp’s performances in games. Additionally, it welcomes people interested in both his club and international career for Ajax, Arsenal, and the Netherlands. In doing this, the author allows any kind of soccer fan from someone who casually supports their country to someone who pays attention to the inner workings of their favorite team. The creator’s intent to bring in a general audience is also shown in the aesthetics of the website. For example, by including multiple images of Bergkamp, the creator draws attention away from the text and makes it more appealing to a general audience. He also includes club logos and country flags to help those who associate with those groups feel enticed to continue reading. On top of this, there is a clear effort to break up the text into smaller color-coordinated groups which makes the information presented more digestible and allows people looking for a specific topic, for example, Bergkamp’s time on the national team, to be quickly located. The inclusion of quick links that allow users to skip between pages and topics is also incredibly useful as it makes the site navigation easy as opposed to scrolling through pages upon pages of text and images. Without this organization strategy, potential users could be pushed away by the swaths of text but they are instead attracted by the ease of use, images, and colors.
While the factors above help the website to associate with those with a more casual soccer-fan identity, there are also features that are intended for those with a stronger interest in Bergkamp. By including a page that had live updates on Bergkamp’s performances in matches as well as providing links to new news articles, he made it possible for soccer fanatics to have all of the resources they could ever want. The author also included a guestbook that could be seen by the users to help inspire a sense of community. Because the website was so detailed, the author had envisioned a possibility that its information would be used elsewhere and included a provision that as long as he was cited he was okay with that indicating his hope that his writing could be consumed outside of his site.
In its entirety, this website is heavily based on soccer and is thus targeted at people who identify with the sport although it can be used by anyone. Within the subset of soccer fans, he uses a variety of techniques from organization, colors, and images to make it easily digestible and understandable to anyone who is interested.
Dennis Bergkamp. Players | Men | Arsenal.com. (n.d.). https://www.arsenal.com/historic/players/dennis-bergkamp
Tribute to Dennis Bergkamp. (n.d.). https://geocities.restorativland.org/Colosseum/Midfield/1028/index.html