Yahoo has recently updated their Geocities page with the following statement:
After careful consideration, we have decided to close GeoCities later this year. We’ll share more details this summer. For now, please sign in or visit the help center for more information.
As the web grew by leaps and bounds during the nineties, GeoCities stood out as one of the many promising icons of the dot-com bubble that made checkbooks salivate at the thought of where it could take their dividends on Wall Street. This was before the ‘net became a new paradise for porn and the term “net neutrality” inspired cable ISPs to advertise against the perceived evil that it might bring.
Yahoo eventually bought into the dream at a cool $3.6 billion and promptly began annoying its own users by implementing forced ads. And if you think MySpace pioneered obnoxious applets driving someone’s idea of music into your speakers and then blinding your eyes with gangsta wallpaper, then you haven’t seen what GeoCities had allowed into the wild during those early years.
To be fair, not all of it was bad and, most importantly, it was free and open to anyone that wanted to stake out their own piece of digital real estate. But I couldn’t help but dread whenever a link would take me there and wonder if that Quake II map was worth going the extra distance.
Unfortunately, with the explosion of popular social sites available to ‘net savvy tourists today, GeoCities’ limited appeal has apparently dwindled to the point where even Yahoo has decided to finally pull the plug, closing another chapter from the early days of the web.