When I was fifteen, my friends were all older, smarter, and way cooler than me. One day I came into the computer room and found them all excitedly punching in code.
“What are you guys doing?”
“We’re making web pages on Geocities.”
“Can I make one?”
“Fine, we’ll give you an hour of our time to explain this stuff and an index card with the three things you have to remember. After that, you’re on your own.”
That was just after I started seriously writing fiction, and the thought of putting my words out there for people to see was a huge motivator. I’ve made several pages on Geocities over the years, and each one represented important shifts in how I viewed myself as a writer, an artist, and a fan of other people’s work. Even though LJ has taken over a lot of those functions for me, I still think of Geocities as a place that helped me find my voice when I was fighting to be taken seriously and not be dismissed as a child with nothing to say. Even with the years of pop-up ads, the scandals that they might grab copyright to people’s work, and this final, abrupt closing, I’m going to miss it.