Tag Archives | GeoCities

Curtain Call for GeoCities

geocities-logoSometime today, the servers for what once was one of the most popular sites on the web will be shut off. As earlier announced, Yahoo will be shutting down the once very popular GeoCities web hosting service for good. The company says it will not be archiving the content, so if you have an old webpage there you better act quickly to do it yourself.

The company did say the Internet Archive was archiving content from the GeoCities servers, however there’s no guarantee it would have every page.

Yahoo announced its plans to do away with the service back in April of this year. The company said at the time that “we have decided to focus on helping our customers explore and build relationships online in other ways,” and suggested those that would like to continue hosting with Yahoo migrate their websites to one of the company’s paid hosting plans.

Either way, its sad to see GeoCities go, even though the service now is a far cry from its heyday in the late 1990s-early 2000s. Chances are if you were an Internet geek at that point, you at least had one website on the service. I know personally I either created or lended a hand in creating at least three.

I wonder if it’s still there? I’ll have to search. Would be a nice trip down memory lane…

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Yahoo Winds Down GeoCities. (Waitaminnit, GeoCities Still Exists?)

GeoCities LogoBack in the mid-to-late 1990s, build-your-own-Website services like GeoCities were the easiest way for folks without much technical expertise to get content onto the Web. So it wasn’t an utter act of insanity when Yahoo spent $3.57 billion to acquire GeoCities in 1999. Well, okay, the $3.57 billion part was irrational, but the world needed GeoCities.

By the turn of the millennium, though, GeoCities and its rivals started to be overshadowed by blogging–and today, it’s blogging services such as WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, and others that serve the purpose that GeoCities once did. I hadn’t given GeoCities much thought in years–until today, when I read on TechCrunch that Yahoo has stopped signing up new GeoCities members and will close the service altogether at some unspecified date later this year. Let’s hope that Yahoo does a better job of helping GeoCities users migrate to other options than AOL did when it shuttered its similar, similarly venerable AOL Hometown service last year–it gave users only a month’s warning, then purged their data and redirected their URLs to a terse blog post saying that Hometown was no more.

Yahoo’s GeoCities FAQ on the closure says that the service is going away “as we focus on helping our customers explore and build new relationships online in other ways.” Which is a vague way of saying “GeoCities is no longer a priority for us.” Presumably it’s part of Yahoo’s ongoing housecleaning, elimination of redundant services (it also offers Yahoo Web Hosting), and focus on core offerings with a high potential for profit.

There’s probably some alternate universe where GeoCities changed with the times and stayed popular, but it felt a tad dinosaurish even back when Yahoo bought it, thanks to a weird “homesteading” system that forced users to choose a neighborhood and street for their site, and annoyances such as a GeoCities logo that stayed on the screen even when you scrolled down on the page. On the other hand, a bunch of its 1990s competitors have managed to stick around–Homestead (now owned by Intuit and focused on small businesses), Tripod, and FortuneCity. Wonder if any of them will make a concerted effort to welcome the GeoCities residents who Yahoo is evicting?


tRIPod: Lycos (Europe) Shuts Down a Pioneering Web Service

Tripod Logo[UPDATE: TechCrunch has updated the post I link to below to clarify that it’s Lycos Europe, a separate company, that’s shutting down Tripod. Lycos and Tripod in the U.S. are separate entities and presumably not affected–but I’m still feeling nostalgic…]

Most of the scads of Web services that are dying lately have met their end at an early age, and usually before they’d accomplished much of anything. But over at TechCrunch, Michael Arrington has reported that Lycos is shutting down its Tripod site-publishing service (as well as Lycos Mail). That’s like hearing that a celebrity from way back when–one who you weren’t ever sure was still with us–is dying in poverty.

Back in the mid 1990s, Tripod and its archrival, GeoCities, were extremely easy, extremely popular ways to put together extremely basic Web sites for free. (Both paid your way by putting ads on your site.) Here’s what Tripod looked like in 1996, courtesy of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine:

Tripod in 1996

During the original Web acquisition frenzy, Tripod was bought by Lycos and GeoCities was bought by Yahoo…and over the years, bot were rendered largely superfluous by blogs, social networks, services like Yahoo Groups, and other methods of getting on the Web without a lot of work. I guess that the fact that Tripod is still extant means that there are folks who still find it useful–and those people will apparently have to find new homes for their homepages.

I was never a Tripod user and hadn’t given it a millisecond of thought in eons, but it’s still kind of sad to see it go. Another Web page builder from back in the day, AOL’s Hometown, died a few months ago. GeoCities lives on, though. And I’m not sure what’s happening to Tripod’s longtime sister service Angelfire, which I was even more startled to find was still in business.