End of an Era

Oh, I have so been dreading the day that Yahoo! closes GeoCities. It meant the end of many great websites, not just crafting ones.

sunset for geocitiesI remember the days long before there ever was a Google or blogs for that matter.

Having a GeoCities site was something really special. It was like having a giant wall all of your own to put whatever graffiti you wanted. People could have their own little place on this not-completely understood thing called the Internet.

Today has been the day I finally bit the bullet and am going through the listings on Crafty Tips Arts & Crafts Directory. Way too many great crafting sites have disappeared into the either. Some might be found on Archive.org but most are going to be gone forever.

The bright side is that there will be fewer and fewer broken links on Crafty Tips and some of the Geocities sites have been moved to new homes. So, please if your Geocities website was listed on Crafty Tips and is now missing, please contact me. I would like to either change your URL to your new home or talk to you about a potential new one.

But, the greatest disappointment today was seeing that Dot Matthew’s wonderful crochet pattern site has become abandoned. The Photobucket account she was using for virtually all of her pictures has been disabled due to inactivity and therefore almost all of her great patterns are now without pictures.

Unfortunately, the way her site was designed, even the Archive.org pages no longer have pictures.

One visitor to the site posted that she thinks Dot passed away sometime in the middle of 2006. If you visited Dot’s site when all of the pictures were still working, you would have seen a beautiful, happy, smiling woman who unfortunately required the use of a portable oxygen tank. I had often wondered if she had any plans for the site to continue should she become unable to care for it herself. It’s such a shame that it looks like she never made those sort of arrangements.

I was never fortunate enough to meet Dot but I will miss her just the same. She had to be one of the most prolific and talented crochet designers out there.

Her main site By The Hook is still online and all of her great patterns are still online, just now pictureless. She had a second blog My Year of Crochet 2006 where the last post was dated in July of 2006. According to that second site, it looks like Dot had at least one granddaughter named Gracie (that cutie’s picture is fortunately still online) and two grandsons.

If anyone knows how to contact a member of Dot’s family, please let me know. It would be such a shame to let her work remain in the condition it currently is in.

I can’t imagine that there are more than a few crocheters, myself included, who would be willing to work together to create a more permanent and fully functional home for all of her great work.

We could donate space for a new home for her patterns or even a place to house just her pictures so her site can be fixed. I also suspect there would be someone willing to purchase the patterns outright or work with the family to publish them in book form.

It seems like the way things stand now, her patterns remain for honest crocheters to still enjoy. The problem is that there appears to be no one around to protect Dot’s copyrights. I found at least one accusation that someone has already published a book containing one of Dot’s patterns. Hopefully, the had obtained permission first.

This does serve as a reminder to all of us that we should leave some written instructions somewhere about what to do with our websites.

A few suggestions for further reading...

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