Today marks the end of an era, with Yahoo finally shutting the doors of its popular GeoCities web hosting service for good and ending its fifteen year run.
As reported over on ComputerWorld
, the popular free webhost - founded back in 1994 - was one of the most common destinations in the early days of the Web, with records showing it was the third most visited domain in the world.
For many the service represented their first attempts at actually creating
a piece of the Web rather than just consuming it passively, and while the appearance of many of the sites - often featuring looped MIDI tracks as background music and a plethora of animated GIFs - would seem crude now, it was an important milestone in the history of self publishing on the Internet.
Yahoo, having struggled to turn a profit with the service and not wishing to compete with the massive quantity of alternative services that either offer simpler webhosting or a far more powerful content management system, closed the site's doors to new users in April this year - but has now made the decision to completely shut the service down and delete all content.
That means that all data currently stored on GeoCities - that's thought to be around ten terabytes - will disappear permanently today. While third parties such as the Archive Team
have run projects to rescue as much of the data as possible, it's quite likely that a lot of sites will be gone for good.
Did you ever host a site on GeoCities, or are you glad to see the service go? Does the thought of a historical snapshot of old sites fill you with nostalgia, or should the Archive Team be concentrating their efforts elsewhere? Share your thoughts over in the forums