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Geocities Change Forces Voting to Stop
(2/9/2001) In an unopportune time, service changes taking place in Geocities force voting for the 2001 QB Gaming Golds to end early. An angry and frustrated V Planet editor explains.
Before finding our new residence at Hulla-Balloo.com, V Planet has had only one other host, Fortunecity. While offering a great amount of space for its users and having a pretty loose site content policy, Fortunecity had its fair share of flaws. Common criticisms include having banners required for every page, a slow connection speed, and random incidents of site downtime. Nevertheless, Fortunecity was V Planet's first home, and although times were occasionally rough, their service was good enough and we could always count on them. Fortunecity has left us a satisfied customer.
That being said, it's very difficult to make V Planet angry. Nevertheless, the site-hosting service at Geocities did just that. For the last two years, Geocities has been the proud host of the QB Gaming Gold Awards site, as well as the QB Gaming Gold Awards ballot. The ballot used in Geocities operates by using a special CGI service that Geocities provides its users.
However, on February 6, 2001, Geocities changed it's CGI policy, and moved Geocities' various guestbook and form services to the Geocities Plus package. This annoying package of a deal not only forces you to pay a monthly fee via credit card to Geocities for using their CGI bins for guestbooks and forms, it also forces you to use their forms and their special features for your site, making it impossible for the ballot designed for the 2001 QB Gaming Gold Awards site to work under any circumstance in Geocities. Not only did this unexpected and unannounced change disable the QB Gaming Golds ballot, but I'm sure that there are CGI-powered Geocities sites throughout the Internet that are no longer working properly.
After talking to V Planet web technician Jeremy Hammond about the situation and trying some venues myself, it is conclusive that there is nothing in V Planet's power that it can do under such a limited time space to restore or re-create the Gaming Gold ballot. Also, because it's so important to ensure that there is no cheating involved in the voting process, the only alternative left is to stop the Gaming Gold ballot process altogether and begin the final tally of the votes.
What has me infruriated about this situation is that it's unpredictable how much additional votes could affect the final tally. There are probably still a number of people who have never voted for the QB Gaming Gold awards and are interested in voting for the event. I apologize to these people for what has happened, but because of the unique circumstances forced to us by Geocities, it is impossible for V Planet to continue the voting process.
As a bright side to this, approximately five and a half days worth of voting were completed before Geocities changed it's CGI policy. More votes were tallied this year than last year despite the shortened timespan for voting. Because so many votes have been received so quickly, there can be no doubt as to who the the winners of the 2001 QB Gaming Golds are when it is finally tallied. To this end, we thank you, the voters, for being so prompt =)
However, there is no excuse for what Geocities pulled on it's user base. As soon as the 2001 QB Gaming Gold Awards are over, V Planet will move all of it's Geocities-affiliated sites to another service, probably Fortunecity. There is no absolutely no-excuse to pull an unannounced service change like this to its users and customers, other than to exploit its users and scam their trust.
Article by Vance Velez, Editor