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As we bring in the new, out must go the old. And the old is GeoCities which, with about 15 years of life, the last ten under the benign neglect of Yahoo, has finally been pushed out the door. Today is GeoCities last day, may it rest in peace.
GeoCities seems old school by today’s standards, but at the time of its introduction in late 1994, the ability for individuals to quickly and easily post a web page was visionary. Thousands took advantage of the opportunity to post pictures, poems, tributes, opinions, likes, and dislikes. Created by David Bohnett and John Rezner GeoCities became the place to be on the web.
And like many early Internet ventures it made quite a splash while making little or no money, despite determined efforts to do so. GeoCities did make its founders rich, both when GeoCities went public in 1998, and later when Yahoo, looking to expand its Internet presence, bought GeoCities at the peak of the dot.com bubble for a cool $3.57 billion in Yahoo stock. Yahoo’s heavy-handed management drove away a good number of subscribers, leaving GeoCities bordering on becoming a ghost-town rather than a thriving metropolis, and, for some, marked the beginning of the end of a vibrant experiment in social networking.
In April Yahoo announced plans to close GeoCities down, and stopped accepting new registrations. GeoCities inhabitants were helped to move their web content to their hard drives, and offered the opportunity to move to Yahoo’s pay web hosting service. While all of those web sites, that intimately portrayed the lives of millions of subscribers, are now on their way to the ash heap of history, they won’t much be missed. We’ve still got Facebook, Myspace, Ning and Twitter to keep us occupied.
Image Credit: Yahoo