For those who are new to this debate, let me briefly explain what this page is about.
A few weeks ago Geocities began placing watermarks on all member pages. The watermark is the single word "Geocities" as you see in the title of this page and on the bottom right hand corner of your screen when in Geocities. At first the watermark rested on the bottom right hand corner of our pages. This was fine with me and most others I have spoken with. Then it was changed. The watermark began floating along the right side of the screen, remaining in the lower right hand corner of every Geocities screen.
It floats up or down as the page is scrolled. It often covers the text and graphics it comes into contact with making them virtually illegible. A great many members have complained about this insertion, thus far to no avail, and this is my "Loyal Opposition" to the watermark information page.
I've been warned that my participation in this growing anti watermark movement may result in
my being removed from my CL position and could even result in my site being dropped from
Geocities all together. I sincerely hope neither will happen. Being a volunteer Community Leader
should not censor my freedom of speech. It is because I love Geocities so much that I exert the time
and energy to protest this obnoxious insertion. If I am removed from Geocities, this Tripod site will
become the Roam'n Church in Exile. Isn't this bazaar? Cyber intrigue! So anyway, that's the context
for what follows.
The stated purpose of the watermark is to make sure people know they at a Geocities site (which is already obvious from the URL) and to offer web surfers easy access to Geocities information and to increase traffic to our sites. I as at least hundreds of other members, believe it is having the exact opposite effect. As it distracts those reading our pages, interferes with our page layouts and designs, and quite literally at times makes it impossible to read what is written, we believe the watermark is a bad idea all around. Over a five hundred homesteaders that I know of have left Geocities due the watermark alone thus far. This does not include the hundreds who have left over the pop-ups.
Many others left when Geocities, like Tripod, introduced the pop-up ads. I don't like pop-ups either, but at least you can get rid of them by clicking a box! I'm in the process of again removing the watermarks from my Roam'n Church and Lavender Chapel sites, however doing so is a violation of the Geocities Content Guidelines and could result in my being banished. Again, I hope Geocities will honor the tradition of member protests, freedom of opinion and freedom of speech. If they do, I will not be censored.
The other stated purpose of the watermark is that since many people failed to place a link back to Geocities on every page, the watermark makes sure that every page is linked. Again, this would be fine with me if it stayed in one place.
Personally, I've always provided a link back to Geocities on every page and a Geoguide on all the main ones, even though as a Geoplus member it isn't required. The way I look at it, Geocities gives web space to millions of people for free. Considering the price, a link, or a tastefully placed watermark, seems more than reasonable to me. This hideous floating watermark another matter however.
In defense of the watermark Geocities points out that most television stations also include watermarks. This is true, however they generally only stay on for couple of minutes an hour, plus they are stationary. Besides, is this the goal Geocities sets for itself? To copy television? I certainly hope not!
2. You could also notify Geocities' advertisers that you are boycotting their products until this is resolved. If the advertisers realize that the watermark (and pop-ups) are producing negative results you can be sure that their voices will be heard by the Geo officials.
3. Join the No Watermark Web Ring.
|This GeoCities No Watermark Site
owned by Jagannath
Prakash || |
If you would like to register your opinion with Geocities, whether you have a site in Geocities or visit those of geocitizens, please sign the GAAC (Geocities Anti-Advertising Campaign) petition to do away with the watermark and the pop-up. Just click on the above banner (then return to continue your visit with the Roam'n Church!).
If enough of us voice our opposition, Geocities will surely return to the user friendly site it once was. Thanks for your support!
Please note: A while ago there was a "disgruntled" former Geocities member who repeatedly spammed all the CLs with protest letters and created an "I Hate Geocities" site and web ring. I want to make it abundantly clear that I do not hate Geocities, nor am I in anyway associated with that individual. If I hated Geocities, I'd just leave and go elsewhere.
In my opinion, Geocities remains the best Free Home Page Host on the Net and I'm honored to be a member and a CL (hopefully I can remain both!). If they'll get rid of the floating watermark (and the pop-ups) Geocities will surely remain the number one Cyber Community. However if they continue to hoist these unwanted sales gimmicks on the member's sites more and more of us will leave, and in time, Geocities will become just another Free Page Host.