I thought of a new drinking game.

You know those college drinking games, where anytime the word “conspiracy” was said in the X-files, everybody had to take a drink?

Well, I think that every time Yahoo asks you for your password, you have to take a shot.

For some silly reason, I’ve signed up for way too many YahooGroups. (I guess I like getting mail.) The annoying thing is, though, any time I click on a yahoo link from one of those emails, I get asked for a password. And, know what? It’s damned annoying.

That’s not the only thing that annoys me about Yahoo. Any time they acquire a new property, they’re very quick to brand it into their domain, like they did with groups.yahoo.com when they snatched up egroups.com. (It’s kind of humourous – some of the older groups still refer to egroups.com in their subscribe/unsubscribe info).

Now this got me to thinking…. (Uhoh..)

Remember when Geocities was the big thing? Oooh, free web pages. Every yokel on the Internet wanted one. And they could have it, too. Easily. Want a Web page? Just fill out a template. Publish your page instantly! (funny – almost like the technology that gave us blogs! My good friend wyzaz, whom I have known longer than either of us will admit, perfectly summed up the origin of “blogs” – “If you call them ‘diaries,’ men won’t do them.”)

Unfortunately, the design of almost all geocities pages quickly took on a universal theme. It quickly turned into the Trailer Park of the Net. Just follow the easy steps:

First, you come up with the most god-awful background image you can find. Hopefully one with a lot of squiggly lines that make text absolutely impossible to read. (“But it looks so PRETTY!”)

Second. Format your text so it’s bolded, and centered, in the largest type available. (What was the logic in that, anyway? Font size envy?)

Third, you choose the most god-awful colour for the text that you can find, one that almost matches the ugly background image you chose in step 1. Why should anybody be able to READ your page? We all know they’re only there to look at the things from step four…

Step Four. Plaster the page in flashing animated gifs, thereby creating poor, embarrassed, and ashamed electrons everywhere. Not to mention all the wincing visitors.

Isn’t it funny that when Yahoo bought it, they didn’t change it to a yahoo subdomain? Geocities, my friend, is Yahoo’s dirty little secret. Almost like they’re ashamed to own it.

Now why is that?