Geocities, In Memoriam

On October 26, Yahoo will pull the plug on the online community web hosting site Geocities. Though it is mostly remembered as a hideous, antiquated, pre-internet boom startup, it was one of the most popular websites of the 1990s. The community-policed “cities” allowed users to create individualized web pages, and was, in some ways, a precursor to the more modern corporate-owned online communities like MySpace, Facebook, and Blogger. “The demise of GeoCities is not just the disappearance of a gif-riddled online ghost town,” Phoebe Connelly writes for the American Prospect, “it’s the death of a pioneering online community.”

Now that the website is shutting down, groups like the Internet Archive are scrambling to preserve the information that GeoCities once held. The struggle reminds users, according to Connelly, “that just because something is published on the Internet doesn’t mean it will last forever.” And when the information is published on a corporate-owned website, the choice isn’t really up to you.

Source: The American Prospect

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