Geocities Closing

I saw the end of an Internet era in the email I received last June that told me:
We're writing to remind you that Yahoo! GeoCities, our free web site building service and community, is closing on October 26, 2009. On October 26, 2009, your GeoCities site will no longer appear on the Web, and you will no longer be able to access your GeoCities account and files.
I have had sites there since 1996, though I didn't keep the two sites that still existed there updated or pay much attention to them. I suspect that was true of many such sites.

GeoCities was a web hosting service that started (before it's Yahoo connection) back in 1994. It was the first free hosting service that I ever used to create a site when my knowledge of HTML was almost zero.

Back then, you selected a "city" where you wanted to "homestead" your web pages (Computer-related sites in  "SiliconValley" and entertainment in "Hollywood" - my writing site was in Athens.)  In mid-1997, GeoCities was the fifth most popular site on the Web, and had signed up its millionth Homesteader.

A post on ZDNet also sees the closure of GeoCities as an end of an era. Rupert Goodwins said that GeoCities was "the first proof that you could have something really popular and still not make any money on the internet." It may be that Yahoo's management of GeoCities is another example of their inability to turn a popular Net property into a moneymaker. But, I also think that in a time where there are lots of places to host free content, GeoCities and other similar services like Tripod.Lycos seem old-fashioned, less dynamic and much harder to use than something like a blog site.

Actually, my sites, which I will just allow to be deleted, will not really be gone forever. The Internet Archive announced a project to archive GeoCities pages, stating "GeoCities has been an important outlet for personal expression on the Web for almost 15 years" and their vast Internet Archive will be contain as much of GeoCities sites as possible.


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