GeoCities Is No More

Well not quite yet, but almost.

Earlier this year I had talked about the death of the fansite and free web hosting in a world full of up and coming “Web 2.0” technology and applications. While it’s to be expected that another free web hosting service would close due to the popularity of such things like blogs, I was very surprised when I heard Yahoo GeoCities would be shutting down in October 2009.

Yes, it’s a super old service. But it was long standing and popular for many years and triumphed over other free web hosting companies that died out years ago, due to being easy to set up and maintain. I never thought Yahoo would close GeoCities; but it again goes to show that in an ever progressing online environment that things never stay the same forever, and “Web 1.0” as we used to know it years ago is gone forever as this decade comes to a close. Websites are a dying breed, and if you want to express yourself you can use Blogger or one of the many social networking sites out there.

The thing I liked about GeoCities was even after a site died and the webmaster abandoned it, it still remained online many years after or never went offline at all. There are still websites ten years old on GeoCities that will now be gone. Better start saving old URL’s if you ever want to visit sites via The Wayback Machine, or copy and paste important information to your computer. My gripe with Yahoo doing this is because they are wiping out an entire catalogue of older information and media that people will no longer have access to. When you stop and really think about it, there are millions of old GeoCities sites still online. When I Google for certain things a fair bit of the results come from old sites on GeoCities. It was because the service was so popular and that several of their sites stayed online many years after they had died – it was one of the reasons people made them there in the first place.

Websites almost and above a decade old, dead, but still fun to look at and gain information and media from, will vanish. Once GeoCities goes a huge chunk of Internet will disappear forever. Now what will Google hit if I’m searching for something? A blog post and a Wikipedia entry? That sucks. GeoCities sites always got picked up well on Google search results. They were key to looking up older information Wikipedia articles may or may not have. Too bad Yahoo just can’t keep the service online as a library of sorts to reference things. It’s a shame we have to say goodbye to GeoCities, but it did last the public a great 15 years.

No comments: