Monday, October 26, 2009

RIP: GeoCities

A pioneer in the digital age but ultimately a casualty of progress, GeoCities died today in its sleep, surrounded by 12 remaining users, at its home in southern California. It was 15.

Via ComputerWorld: Founded in 1994 as Beverly Hills Internet, what is now Yahoo GeoCities was one of the first services to offer an easy way for early Internet surfers to publish their own Web pages. Whereas most hosting options of the 1990s were expensive, thus limiting their use to more entrepreneurial pursuits, GeoCities' free hosting space became the home for thousands of sites built around thematically oriented "neighborhoods": conservation, fashion, military, sports, finance, travel, and more.

And even though we hear over and over again that anything we put on the web out there forever, it’s not quite the case with GeoCities. It’s simply being deleted. So this leads me to wonder if this is a possibility with all cloud computing properties? Could Gmail simply be deleted?

In April, when the impeding closure was announced, there were only 12 active users of the site. Since then, the Internet Archive has been working to save GeoCities pages for posterity.

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