For those who grew up in the Internet during the 1990’s, Geocities would certainly ring a bell. Back then, Geocities was the closest thing you can get to have an online presence and a social community. I’m feeling a bit nostalgic right now as I remember the several Geocities account I created which died a natural death. Speaking of death, that is where Geocities is heading as Yahoo is quietly announcing that it will be shutting down the service soon. Quite interestingly, just as Geocities has become a dormant service, Yahoo is also quietly disclosing its plan to discontinue Geocities. In fact if you’re not going to visit the Geocities landing page at geocities.yahoo.com, you wouldn’t know that it is going to the dead pool this year.
For those who may not be aware, Geocities was acquired by Yahoo in 1999 for $2.87 billion. It was a great deal back then. Geocities was at its peak and everybody seems to be getting on it just like what’s happening right now. But as soon as Geocities was integrated into the Yahoo service, that’s when its popularity started to suffer. And with the advent of web 2.0 particularly the popularity of free blogging platforms (blogspot, livejournal, etc.) and social networking sites, suddenly Geocities has become so quiet.
But of course, this would not have happen if only Geocities adapted to the changes that happened to the Internet in the past couple of years. Unfortunately it did not. It refused to change.
Geocities would have been a useful service for Yahoo if it was given proper attention and manage carefully. It would have been a great avenue for online advertising, if it was consistently updated and re-engineered. But it’s too late now. The verdict has been passed on.
And we could only weep for the death of one of the Internet’s earliest manifestation of what we currently know as social media.