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As you may have recently learned, Yahoo and GeoCities are no longer separate entities. The undisputed king of the search engines has swallowed the growing fiefdom of free web hosting.
A year ago, Kimberly and I chose GeoCities to host a web site dedicated to our daughter Madalyn and our lives dealing with Cornelia deLange Syndrome (CdLS). We weren't looking to change the world or to dazzle the internet community with an array of amazing graphics. We simply wanted to reach out to other families - to offer support, hope and love to parents and children regardless of their situation. We have accomplished just that.
Even though we are amateurs swimming in a sea crowded with professional computer graphics artists, we are immensely proud of our little corner of cyberspace. Assistance from dear friends and guidance from knowledgeable peers has helped make Maddy's Farm an extension of our immeasurable love for our little girl.
GeoCities' sole requirement to host our web site was advertising, whether they be banner ads or pop-up ads. That was all - free web space provided one could tolerate the advertisements. A small price to pay indeed.
The rules changed when our once friendly, community-oriented web host was acquired by a company so hungry and so busy that they only had space for one listing for CdLS. For all of Yahoo's vast archives of Internet information, the site they chose to represent a rare and often debilitating genetic disorder like CdLS wasn't even the international foundation's site (http://www.cdlsoutreach.org) or the much acclaimed online support group's site (http://www.cdls-support.org). We performed all manner of chants and incantations, submitting Maddy's Farm for Yahoo's approval at least a dozen times, hoping to get listed on The Master Search Engine. Not only were we not considered, but we were never even informed that we were not considered.
Now we're not so vain to think that Maddy's Farm is on the cutting edge of computer graphics, or that our text is rich enough to be compared to the likes of other great sites, or that the site makes money hand over fist. None of those points are at issue, however. What's at stake is the freedom we had with GeoCities...knowing that our hard work would remain ours until we granted permission for another to use it. Yahoo took away that most basic freedom by forcing us to adopt a Terms of Service Agreement before we could even access Maddy's Farm for design changes. We HAD to allow Yahoo full and total unrestricted access to our site and its content...they offered no other options. We signed (bitterly, of course) so we could download our content and move it. Along with thousands of other discontented Homesteaders, we erected this boycott page.
Shortly after we joined the Boycott of GeoCities/Yahoo, a revised Terms of Service agreement was activated. Power to the people! Our content is now protected, as it should be, by the copyright we place on it...not by any nonsensical ownership clause made by Yahoo/GeoCities. The web worked...just the way it is supposed to...when the Powers That Be listened to us.
By the way, our main page has moved. Please visit us at our new home and please pay our new host and web site sponsor a visit here. This page will remain open for a short while as a reminder of what happened to GeoCities when they got too big for their collective britches. Shortly, I will pull this page and replace it with new content...watch this space! *g* Thanks for reading this far...we appreciate it more than you can know.
Tom and Kimberly
August 28, 1999
I hereby revoke any and all claims laid by Yahoo or Geocities as to the ownership of my original graphics and content.