Friday, October 9, 2009

Wait - GeoCities Still Exists?

October 26, 2009 marks the end of an era. GeoCities, the much-maligned free hosting service offered since way back in the early days of the web, is closing down. Like Abe Vigoda, there are many who already thought it had long since fizzled out.

Dating back to 1995, GeoCities provided users with free web hosting accounts using their "neighborhoods" model and was getting over six million monthly page views. In 1997, GeoCities introduced the now infamous ads on its pages and still became the 5th most popular site on the web. At its peak as the 3rd top spot on the web in 1999 (behind AOL and Yahoo), Yahoo paid $3.65 (3.57 according to Wikipedia) billion for GeoCities. That's in billions. Some of us may remember the furor that took place when Yahoo laid claim to all rights over content (copy, images, etc.), which Yahoo eventually reversed. And then there was the dot-com bust. Over time GeoCities became synonymous with terrible, tacky web pages made up of animated graphics, under construction icons, background music, and browser download badges, among other horrors of the bygone days of the web.

Given Yahoo's recent cost-cutting measures it makes sense that the free service would be one of their offerings to go. Yahoo announced the closure on April 23 of this year, but yesterday Yahoo sent out a final notice warning to users explaining that they can move their sites to Yahoo's $4.99/month hosting service and to also warning users that on October 26 they are flat out deleting Geocities. All of it. With no chance of recovery. Period. So there.

Sadly, I don't know what I'll do without some of these GeoCities standbys, which haven't been updated in nearly a decade. That's 10 years. I carry on conversations with IRC bots younger than that.

At least we still have Angelfire to deride...

2 comments:

  1. The Abe Vigoda allusion was brilliant! And very apt. :-D

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  2. Thanks. I just hope Abe doesn't read this and take offense...

    ReplyDelete