Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Goodbye, Geocities

Ah, Geocities. Back in 1995 when I started really getting involved with the Internet as we currently know it, I had a set of Web pages on my school's server. I had a site devoted to music, and my friend Jeff had a site devoted to Beavis and Butthead, and that was okay back in those days. However, there was some stuff we made available that we didn't want associated with us - for example, in 1997 or so, myself and a few of my friends put up a teacher ratings page for our college (pre-dating www.ratemyprofessor.com), because there used to be a printed list that went around, and we wanted to make it more accessible. In order to do so, we went with one of the free hosts out there, Geocities.

At that time, Geocities was not owned by Yahoo! - they were a separate entity that Yahoo! purchased in 1999 or so. They, along with Tripod and Angelfire, were some of the largest free hosting sites on the Internet.

Yahoo! went through a few stages with Geocities - limiting traffic, adding advertising, and now they've announced they are closing it as of October 2009. I've had a small personal Web site on Geocities for about 10 years now, and I am sad to take it down, but perhaps it is time. All people with Geocities sites were, in the email I received, welcome to move their pages over to the Yahoo! Small Business and "take advantage of terrific features like a personalized domain name and email, even redirect your GeoCities web address to your new site — all for only $4.99 a month for a full year." Blah blah blah.

My other options were to manually download every single page I had, or just let everything disappear and not be recoverable. I cursed Yahoo! as I saved the 40 or so Web pages and files I had up on Geocities. I mean, come on, you can't give me a "download all" option? Really? (And no, it was not an option, the email even told me "To quickly download your published files, visit your GeoCities web site, right-click on each page, and choose Save Page As... from the menu that appears. Choose a location on your computer to save your files, then click OK or Save.")

Yahoo! is obviously hoping to get people to convert over to Yahoo! Small Business, but I've got no real interest in doing so. Between Facebook and this blog, I have enough outlets for my personal and professional lives. Goodbye Geocities, and thanks for a good 15 years.

Link to CNET article

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