Yahoo quietly shut down Geocities, one of the oldest consumer web hosting services in the world which the search portal acquired back in January 1999, five years after it was originally launched by David Bohnett and John Rezner.
In a statement published on Geocities' homepage, Yahoo said that "Beginning on 26 October 2009, you will no longer be able to use GeoCities to maintain a free presence online - but we're excited about the other services we have designed to help you connect with friends and family and share your activities and interests".
So rather than try and salvage part of the $3.57 billion that Yahoo invested in the web hosting service a decade ago, Yahoo preferred to kill it altogether. Probably one of the dumber decisions of the year. Geocities still gets decent traffic coming visiting it.
According to Alexa, Geocities (opens in new tab) is ranked in the top 200 websites worldwide and enjoys the same level of popularity as a website like The Huffington Post or IGN. Yahoo now suggests users to migrate their accounts to Yahoo! web hosting at the cost of $60 for the first year or else, go elsewhere.
Geocities will be remembered fondly by many as the place where they created their first website and dabbled into the arcanes of HTML. According to the BBC, the site was once the third most popular website on the net, a place that is now occupied by Youtube.
Geocities, Lycos, Fortunecity, eGroups.. So many websites have disappeared. Geocities demise is closely linked to the rise of blogs and social networking as well. Witness how Blogger and Wordpress as well have made it so much easier to put content online.