[UPDATE: TechCrunch has updated the post I link to below to clarify that it’s Lycos Europe, a separate company, that’s shutting down Tripod. Lycos and Tripod in the U.S. are separate entities and presumably not affected–but I’m still feeling nostalgic…]
Most of the scads of Web services that are dying lately have met their end at an early age, and usually before they’d accomplished much of anything. But over at TechCrunch, Michael Arrington has reported that Lycos is shutting down its Tripod site-publishing service (as well as Lycos Mail). That’s like hearing that a celebrity from way back when–one who you weren’t ever sure was still with us–is dying in poverty.
Back in the mid 1990s, Tripod and its archrival, GeoCities, were extremely easy, extremely popular ways to put together extremely basic Web sites for free. (Both paid your way by putting ads on your site.) Here’s what Tripod looked like in 1996, courtesy of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine:
During the original Web acquisition frenzy, Tripod was bought by Lycos and GeoCities was bought by Yahoo…and over the years, bot were rendered largely superfluous by blogs, social networks, services like Yahoo Groups, and other methods of getting on the Web without a lot of work. I guess that the fact that Tripod is still extant means that there are folks who still find it useful–and those people will apparently have to find new homes for their homepages.
I was never a Tripod user and hadn’t given it a millisecond of thought in eons, but it’s still kind of sad to see it go. Another Web page builder from back in the day, AOL’s Hometown, died a few months ago. GeoCities lives on, though. And I’m not sure what’s happening to Tripod’s longtime sister service Angelfire, which I was even more startled to find was still in business.