Sunday, August 29, 2010

Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave!

The title of this post doesn't refer to its usual meaning concerning the results of lying, but rather, the tangled (World Wide) web that has resulted from all the broken links for various reasons -- including people not maintaining their web sites till they are suspended by the web host (which I was even temporarily guilty of for a few months), and web hosts changing hands and then sometimes disappearing, the biggest example of which was GeoCities. I miss GeoCities! When the Internet was young in the late 90's, they were extremely popular, and with good reason. Thousands of us truly enjoyed the concept of picking out a "house number" on a cyber street for the "neighborhood" that suited the theme of our site. Yes, the URLs were ridiculously long as a result, but I don't think anyone really cared.

When Yahoo took over GeoCities a couple of years ago, the cyber streets went away and were replaced by the site owner's Yahoo name. I thought that was kind of sad even though the URLs were much shorter. Then Yahoo closed GeoCities with little warning late last year. Thousands of people who still had their web sites on GeoCities never saw this coming and didn't know how or just didn't want to bother moving their sites. I realize this now more than ever, now that I have finally been trying to update my info on several web rings my site has belonged to (web rings, of course, being groupings of like-minded sites). Many of these web ring pages were on GeoCities and no longer exist; I click on them and get an error message. It's really sad; I hate to think how much worthwhile web content was lost. I don't know why Yahoo even bothered to buy GeoCities in the first place. Yahoo has some good points, like their YahooGroups lists, but it's really a shame that they killed GeoCities and left countless broken links and disheartened former site owners.

Another bad thing Yahoo did was to buy I believe they no longer own that site, which seems to still be the largest web ring provider. But for me and many others, part of the fun of joining or creating rings is the pretty, unique graphics used for each ring. When Yahoo bought, those graphics became plain generic boxes, and that's how they remain. Ringsurf, the provider of the three rings I still own and most of those I joined, has also gone downhill. They give zero response to questions or comments E-mailed to them and now request a 1,000 character minimum description for each ring you join, which is ridiculous and explained why no new members have joined my rings. I'll leave the three rings I own there for now, but may eventually close them, with web rings seeming to be fading from the Net. Bravenet and JLYM (a Christian ring provider) appear to be the best providers remaining, but they too have a dwindling number of rings that seem to still be active (ans many with broken links where ring home pages once were, that more often than not were GeoCities pages).

I'm doing some very overdue general updating this weekend on my site, The Evergreen Refuge -- this updating being so overdue that I didn't even realize my beautiful site was offline for a few months when I totally forgot to renew my account with my web host (having changed my E-mail address so I didn't receive the bill, and circumstances such as my precious dog Heidi's sudden death numbing my brain late last year). A lady on one of my online lists asked me this week if I'd considered designing web sites for other people to earn extra money. I told her I have considered that, and used to often mention my willingness to do so, but didn't get customers. But it also occurs to me that a lot of people are not longer seeking to create multi-section sites such as mine. Blogs seem to be the method of choice now for the majority of those who want a web site. They are simpler and pretty much accomplish the same purpose. I hope the day won't come when I decide to close The Evergreen Refuge and replace it with this blog. But I may eventually remove sections such as the web rings, awards and banners, which used to generate interest and traffic but probably don't any more.

I had actually started researching the web rings, and the updating I needed to do, a couple of weeks ago. But I really didn't have a chance to tear myself away from the DVR till this weekend, and it's the fault of Dianne's dear mom, Margaret. When she came on a drive with us to the Chehalis area several weeks ago, we were talking about tv shows and she asked if I watched NCIS. I told her I never had but after we continued to talk awhile, I told her I would check it out, and I did. Well......I''ll just say that though I do still really like Criminal Minds, NCIS makes it (and any other crime show) pale by comparison. I can't say enough about the cast and their interaction, the plots, the humor....I never imagined a forensic scientist who is a goth and a crusty elderly British medical examiner could be so endearing! So I "only" had about 150 episodes to catch up on. I guess I've seen most of them now since there are no "new to me" episodes for a few days (going through withdrawal here). I'm even going to try to download the theme song as the ringtone for my phone (though it takes forever to download anything to the little dinosaur of a phone I currently have....).

As far as crocheting is concerned, I haven't started another Barbie yet since having completed the multi-train violet and rose concoction. I want to make a Ken doll's outfit next; he'll be a companion to the Barbie in the sage and peach gown, and I need some brown crochet thread for his slacks. In the meantime, I made a couple of outfits for the darling 5" Itty Bitty Babies -- a "Sunday Meeting" dress, panties, shoes and hat in dark rose with pink trim, and a boy's baseball uniform in light blue with dark blue. I used #10 Opera thread for both. Dianne got me two more of the little baby dolls as part of my early birthday present, so I'll likely be making outfits for them next. I've also made a few more baby items with Red Heart Baby Soft (in the pretty pastel Angel Print) and in Bernat Cottontots, including a diagonal brick stitch multicolored baby ghan for which I used most of my small amounts of remaining Cottontots. Then it occured to me that Cottontots would work beautifully for baby bibs. I found a few bib patterns online that look nice, so that will be another small project I will try soon. Part of next weekend will be spent photographing my latest crochet projects, since I certainly have enough now for a 6th crochet page, maybe even a 7th!