Yahoo killed GeoCities, and our memory


Yahoo pulled the plug on Geocities on October 26, 2009, and I am writing this 3 weeks too late, only because the Yahoo corporate monster didn’t have the decency to notify me and million other users about the eventual killing of this once-great webhosting machine – Now I am angry, because Yahoo had essentially obliterated a good portion of Web history, a lot of which Web 2.0 was based upon. This was where most of us started – our first homepage made with Notepad and Paint Shop Pro.

If media is the message and Television being the medium that defined the 20th century, then Internet will (and has already) revolutionize the world in the new millenium. Geocities was the finest of Web 1.0 – Internet communities and webrings linked through rich user content. The websites hosted by Geocities were mostly raw and unprofessional, filled with Under Construction banners, homemade graphics, MIDIs, and personal comments on anything we actually cared about. But that’s how Internet started back in the 90’s, and should therefore be preserved so. It’s a server of our collective memory, as well as the early memory of the Web. Whoever made this decision be damned.


The Achive Team is actually doing something about it, by attempting to save all the data ever hosted on Geocities. They’ve even created an Under Construction Page as well as an Email Me Page, a small number of Under Construction and Email Me graphics scavenged from the servers before their deletion. The crammed pixel page reminded me of The Million Dollar Page, but where every pixel there was sold for a dollar, every Under Construction banner on Geocities represented someone’s desire to create. Geocities was a testimony of our existence on the web, now wiped out by the corporate monster that is Yahoo.


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