Is Bravenet going the way of Geocities?
Bravenet, a public web hosting site, appears to be set to follow Geocities into oblivion.
Someone asked me for a reference to an academic article I had written and put on the web, but on trying to find it, found a message to say that the site had “expired”. As he quipped, it “gave up the ghost in the machine.”
I checked, and yes, our web site at http://hayesfam.bravehost.com had indeed disappeared. There was a note saying that one could contact “technical support”, but there is in fact absolutely no way to contact “technical support”. Though the Bravenet company is still taking money for websites, and still apparently offering new free web sites, technical support is non-existent, and it seems that many other web sites they had hosted have also “expired”.
I started my first web page on Geocities back in 1986, and gradually added material, mainly academic and other articles, but then Geocities was taken over by Yahoo, which was the kiss of death for it. It gradually deteriorated and became increasingly unreliable. When it disappeared for two months in 2006, I transferred most of the material on it to Bravenet.
The Geocities site came back, but after the hiatus I stopped maintaining it, and maintained the Bravenet site instead. Finally, a couple of years ago, Yahoo! pulled the plug on Geocities altogether. But, unlike Bravenet, they did give some warning, and some public-spirited people stepped in to rescue much of the material on Geocities.
The main problem is that, especially in the case of academic articles, there are links from other sites to those articles, and the links are now broken — see here, for example. See also Vanishing Articles.
You can find some of our material in the following places:
One of the articles someone asked about, that was shown as “expired” was Christian responses to witchcraft and sorcery. Well, you can find it on some of those sites.
Meanwhile, I’ll try to transfer the material that was on Bravenet — Bravehost — Bravesites to another site, but that will take some time, and of course it won’t fix the broken links.