Long before blogs and even Google were household terms, intrepid technofiles created websites through a free service called Geocities. When the web was relatively new and search engine technology was in its infancy people posted information about their hobbies and passions along with sometimes gigantic lists of their favorite websites, projects and patterns.
These earliest of websites vary in quality from nothing more than a single, disorganized, graffiti-like page to elaborate websites on a whole host of topics. To me what makes these old sites truly unique is that they were built to share information and were not bogged down with the issues of SEO, page rank or even monetization. Sure, some of these sites are totally useless but I have found when searching for informative websites to add to both Crafty Tips Arts & Crafts Directory and Pet Site Guides the old Geocities websites often had the most interesting information and were created out of a desire to share their passion for the topic.
Four of the most popular craft websites listed on Crafty Tips are hosted on Geocities. One of them is dual-hosted and will probably be able to take the switch in stride. Of course, Yahoo! has only announced the service is going away at the end of the year and makes mention of their paid service but does not fully explain what will happen to the old sites. (They promise more information “this summer”.)
These old Geocities websites had tons of advertising but Yahoo! was the only one to receive revenue from them. While it does seem predictable in this economy that Yahoo! might want to discontinue providing a free hosting service it does make one wonder in the big scheme of things if this also means that the advertising on these old sites are no longer providing the dividends that they once did. (Guess, that thought might be worth exploring further but not in this particular entry.)
Many of these wonderful old crafting websites have been abandoned with time. Their creators have moved on to other interests and some, at least in my experience, do not appear to even read their email anymore.
I have often thought about trying to chase down some of these folks and see if they would give or sell me the rights to the content on these old sites but I have just never seemed to get around to doing so. Perhaps, Yahoo!, in discontinuing their service has finally given me a reason to pursue this idea further. For now, I thought I might make an offer to those folks who have crafting-related Geocities websites that they do not have the funds or the desire to migrate to another webhost….
If you have a crafting-related Geocities website (active or not) that contains projects or patterns, I would like to hear from you. What I propose is move your information to my site The Crafty Tipster. You will be fully identified as the designer and you will maintain all copyrights to the project and associated instructions. In turn, you will be granting me the right to display your projects on my site. If you take a moment and visit the site, you will see that each pattern includes a full reference to the original source and designer.
The Crafty Tipster is a smallish website now and depending upon the response, I might change from the current structure to a more blog-like structure or some other set-up where each designer can have their own section with their own look and feel. Major changes will obviously depend on the level of response.
I would also institute some form of revenue sharing (something that was not made available on the Geocities sites) option available or offer to purchase content outright. Even if I end up purchasing your site, I will still list you as the original designer. Proof of ownership will be required and would simply be in the form of sending an email from the associated account or editing one of the pages in some way.