RIP, Geocities

geocities

Geocities, Yahoo’s free hosting service that divided (mostly tacky) homepages into (perplexing) neighborhoods, was officially put to today. Computerworld (via Gizmodo) has more:

The shuttering of GeoCities has both historical and contemporary importance. In the latter category, GeoCities is currently the 195th most browsed domain, and a highly referenced one, with two million incoming links — a popularity most other hosts could only dream of. More important, GeoCities (which popularized the notion of webrings) currently serves as a vast archive of information. Digital archivist Jason Scott eloquently explained:

… for hundreds of thousands of people, this was their first website. This was where you went to get the chance to publish your ideas to the largest audience you might ever have dreamed of having. Your pet subject or conspiracy theory or collection of writings left the safe confines of your Windows 3.1 box and became something you could walk up to any internet-connected user, hand them the URL, and know they would be able to see your stuff. In full color. Right now.

Scott and his Archive Team are working to rescue GeoCities by downloading as much of its content as possible — which they estimate to be around ten terabytes. These historians recognize GeoCities as having played a critical role in the development of the Internet. Rather than protesting Yahoo’s financially motivated decision, doing fundraising to “Save GeoCities!”, or signing online petitions, these data hoarders have taken an active role not in preventing the inevitable but in mitigating its damage by preserving GeoCities in a format protected from further corporate terminations.

More.