A week from today, GeoCities — Yahoo's free website hosting arm — will be no more. Yahoo decided to pull the plug a while ago but on Monday, it's official. (Don't worry. We'll be paying our respects for the rest of the week.)
One of the two and a half things that GeoCities bestowed upon web culture was the idea of “under construction." Just stick an ugly orange warning image on your site, and you have instant license to jack things around without regard for your users!
People are scrambling to save things from GeoCities before they go “poof" and a group called Archiveteam has built a site to save these legendary under construction signs. It’s kind of ironic that they’re saving "under construction" signs from a site that’s about to get demolished. I guess it makes sense though –- people will need them when they start rebuilding after Yahoo bulldozes the place.
Sites are always under construction but when was the last time you actually saw one of these signs? In concept, they don't make much sense — even back then — since websites are almost by definition dynamic entities.
One banner that I saw had flashing sirens surrounding animations of men using pneumatic drills over a hammer being operated by an invisible hand slamming the "C" in a giant "UNDER CONSTRUCTION." Why did they have to make such a big deal out of being under construction in the 90s? “Hey! See this fancy construction GIF? That’s just a preview of how impressive my site is about to be when it’s done.” Sadly, putting up 37 under construction animations is definitely as impressive as your Family Matters fan page ever got.
Why should there be a civil engineering motif to websites that are still being made? Real construction isn't similar to making changes to a website. In real life, construction causes traffic. On the web, it's the opposite.
Plus, by this rationale, computer science geeks are "construction workers." Well then, where are the tans and muscles! Nonsense. Making a website will never be hard manual labor.
But there's one construction GIF that's acceptable to use. How could you pass this up? My Web Developer is the Lord.
[via The Presurfer]