Geocities is closing today!
Time is up for Yahoo Inc.'s scheduled closing of perhaps the most significant virtual museum in recent history. Years ago a central meeting place for a massive chunk of American Web surfers, GeoCities will lock its doors and take millions of pages offline.
GeoCities allowed anyone to build a custom Web page for free and reserved a small amount of virtual storage to keep pictures and documents. It was perhaps the first mainstream example of an open, participatory and personal Internet.
At the turn of the century, GeoCities was nearly ubiquitous. Fathers created websites about their families; kids created sites about Pokemon; teenage girls created sites about the Backstreet Boys. Practically every facet of culture was documented and thanks to search engines, easily accessible.
All of those documents are about to disappear.
I remember the 90s, when you couldn't search for song lyrics or game cheats or even a restaurant's menu without running into one of those attrocious orange and green neon pages. I never worked with it myself, but respected those (few, very few) who could actually produce a readable page.
Maybe Yahoo should offer to cache some or all of the old pages somewhere. I mean, apart from what is available in the Wayback Machine. We need an internet museum.