Quietly, on April 23, 2009, Yahoo announced that it was closing new registration for GeoCities and encouraged its members to move their pages, preferably to the Yahoo paid hosting service. Yahoo plans to close the site permanently by mid-year. Back in the ‘90’s during the Wild West period of the Internet before MYspace and Facebook allowed anyone who could fill out a profile to create a “website” GeoCities’ site was a very popular choice for those looking to build their first website.
GeoCities was a rapidly growing company when it started in 1995. Sections were grouped around a central theme and named for various cities: for instance, Hollywood for entertainment sites or Silicon Valley for computer related sites. The company provided its homesteaders with various tools to build their sites including message boards, chat rooms, etc. The company went public in 1998 and was subsequently purchased by Yahoo for over 4.5 billion dollars.
I imagine somewhere out there, a lone web user, whose page has a purple background and a half dozen instances of the command is quietly packing up his animated gifs and preparing to move to a new home. Geocities legacy of being many people’s first website will live on, long after the cats those sites were dedicated to, have passed on.