Great Job, Internet!: Here are 4.5 million delightfully bad Geocities GIFs

We like to think that things on the internet live forever, that future scholars will someday write our histories through our pithiest tweets and most insightful Disqus comments. But the truth is it has a surprisingly fragile memory. A shoddy merger or a faltering server can delete entire libraries; it’s believed a single solar flare could erase the entire digital era. For proof, look no further than the sad fate of Geocities, which in 1999 was the third most-visited website on the internet, and a decade later had ceased to exist.

Before going softly into that good night, however, the Internet Archive crawled Geocities to preserve what it could. Many of these sites were created in an era when building a website was an activity not unlike, say, trying yoga: You’d give it a self-conscious shot, then abandon it forever. But now that everyone has a handful of …

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