GeoCities (on wikipedia) is a free webhosting service founded by David Bohnett and John Rezner in late 1994 as Beverly Hills Internet. (Go to this Yahoo! page).

In its original form, site users selected a “city” in which to place their webpages; the “cities” being named after cities or regions according to their content — for example, computer-related sites were placed in “SiliconValley” and those dealing with entertainment were assigned to “Hollywood” — hence the name of the site; now, however, this feature has since been abandoned.

Geocities Highlights.
Get a free website on geocities yahoo.
Geocities Membership.

Overview in english.
same in portugues.
same in spanish.

Find interesting pages created by members.

Find special Indian sites:

Indian Human,

Human Rights Movement in India,

Citizen Forum on Human Rights, LN. S.K.BHATTACHARJEE – National President, CELL NO. 09426215334, HOTLINE FAX NO. 02836-232308 (ROUND THE CLOCK),  TEL. OFFICE: 02836-220213 POSTAL ADD: P.O.BOX NO: 51, GANDHIDHAM -37020. Then go to this e-mail, or this e-mail, or this e-mail.

GeoCities began as BHI which stood for “Beverly Hills Internet“, a small Web hosting and development company in Southern California. The company also created their own Web directory, organized thematically in six “neighborhoods” such as “SiliconValley” (for technology) and “SunsetStrip” (for nightlife and music).

Live web camera feeds were placed in several neighborhoods to strengthen the geographic context. In mid-1995, the company decided to offer users of this website (thereafter known as “Homesteaders”) the ability to develop free home pages within those neighborhoods. Chat, bulletin boards, and other elements of “community” were added soon after, helping foster rapid growth, and by December of 1995, the company, which now had a total of 14 neighborhoods, was signing up thousands of Homesteaders a day and getting over six million monthly page views. The company decided to focus on building membership and community, and on December 15, 1995, BHI became known as GeoCities after having also been called Geopages.

Over time, many companies, including Yahoo!, invested extensively in GeoCities and the site continued to grow, with the introduction of paid premium services. In May of 1997, GeoCities introduced advertisements on its pages. Despite negative reaction from users, GeoCities continued to grow. By June of 1997, GeoCities was the fifth most popular site on the Web, and by October of that year the company had signed up its one-millionth Homesteader.

In June of 1998, in an effort to increase brand awareness, Geocities introduced a watermark to user webpages. The watermark, much like a television bug, is a transparent floating gif which used javascript to stay on the bottom right side of the browser screen. Many users felt the watermark interfered with the design of their webpage and threatened to move their webpages elsewhere. The watermark also had cross-browser issues and clashed with the markup of some pages. Geocities said in a press release that the company had received upbeat feedback regarding the watermark.

In August of 1998, the company went public, listing on the NASDAQ exchange with the code GCTY. The IPO price was $17, rising rapidly after launch to a peak of over $100. However, in January 1999, it was purchased by Yahoo! for $3.57 billion with Yahoo! taking control on May 28.

Yahoo!’s acquisition of GeoCities proved extremely unpopular and users soon began to leave en masse in protest at the new Terms of Service put out by Yahoo! for GeoCities. The terms stated that the company owned all rights and content, including media such as pictures. Yahoo! quickly reversed its decision. In July of 1999, Yahoo! eliminated neighborhoods and street addresses from homesteader URLs. Geocities never enforced neighborhood specific content, for example a “Hollywood” homesteader could be nothing but a college student’s blog which would be more appropriate for another neighborhood. The neighborhoods were replaced by “vanity” URLs consisting of member names. Soon after a lawsuit was filed against Yahoo by its volunteer group of community managers, GeoCities’ volunteer program (Community Leaders) was terminated.

In 2001, amidst speculation by analysts that GeoCities was not yet profitable (it having declared an $8 million loss for the final quarter of 1998), Yahoo! introduced a for-fee premium hosting service at GeoCities. (Read the whole long on wikipedia).

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