Founded by David Bohnett and John Rezner Geocities offered users the opportunity to build and host webpages, chat boards and discussion forums, essentially social media before anyone knew what that meant. Yahoo bought Geocities for $2.9 billion in 1999 and announced Friday it would be shuttering the service by the end of the year. Tech writer Steven Shankland, posting at cnet News noted that while what Geocities offered is now a mainstay of the web – with sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter – “GeoCities turned out to be a backwater, not the mainstream. “
Geocities is no longer taking new sign-ups and is promising for now to continue to host existing sites until the end of the year, though there is no clear answer what will happen to users’ sites after that.
Users of the service may want to consider migrating to Google Sites, a far more robust and highly collaborative offering that is integrated with Google Apps. Coincidentally, Google has announced that it is rolling up it’s own page creation/hosting service – Google Page Creator – into Google Sites, offering users many additional features and much richer functionality.