GeoCities.com, acquired by Yahoo! Inc. ten years ago for over three billion is being shut down. It is one of the oldest – and at one time, most popular – free website hosting communities online.
GeoCities.com hosts, – what I would call, “a living archive of Internet’s past” - thousands of pages created by Internet users in the 90′s. These pages, files, pictures, and designs are – what some to believe – historical and valuable. I am one to agree. Many times I search Google and find myself delivered to an old GeoCities.com hosted page that contains the information I desire. All that will come to an end, however, on October 26th, 2009.
Yahoo! is shutting down GeoCities.com (#1, #2, #3, #4) and have warned users that all data will be erased from their servers on October 26th, 2009. As a solution, they suggest to sign up for their paid web hosting services. Additionally, they provide some documentation on how to migrate data over from GeoCities to their new servers.
There is an organization called The Archive Team that was developed to help preserve the data in GeoCities. They feel that even though much of the data consists of low quality pages, there is a large amount of data worth saving. So far they have successfully downloaded hundreds of gigabytes of data and will continue to pull data for as long as they can. Just in case they miss something, the team has a special submission form for people who would like to request to have old GeoCities.com pages indexed. Full details about GeoCities closing is available for those who would like to learn more.
What do you think? Is it worth the energy to try to preserve the data on GeoCities.com? Could Yahoo! have made different decisions to keep GeoCities.com successful? Or, did Yahoo! make a poor decision to purchase GeoCities.com ten years ago? Share your thoughts in the comments below.