Yahoo! GeoCities was a web hosting service. It was founded in November 1994 by David Bohnett and John Rezner, and was called Beverly Hills Internet (BHI) for a very short time before being named GeoCities.On January 28, 1999, GeoCities was acquired by Yahoo!, at which time it was allegedly the third-most visited website on the World Wide Web. In its original form, site users selected a "city" in which to place their web pages. The "cities" were named after real 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. Shortly after its acquisition by Yahoo!, this practice was abandoned in favour of using the Yahoo! member names in the URLs.
It’s been more than a decade since GeoCities closed for good and two decades since Yahoo! bought the company despite having no idea on how to make it profitable. Over the past ten years, people have waxed poetic about the importance of what was at one time the third most popular website in the world. That’s great but it ignores one simple fact. GeoCities sucked.
For all the talk about how it was the entry point for countless people and the internet, we forget that GeoCities sucked. In some ways it was the precursor for Twitter. Every useful thing found on GeoCities was surrounded by 10,000 pieces of non-sense.
I mean, did the world really need this quasi-Ron Hextall fan page that barely mentions the Flyers goalie? What about this page from a guy calling himself Phoenix and using flames as a background? And here we have a GeoCities site paying tribute to those “young Southern men who bravely went off to war to defend their homeland” or them Confederate soldiers as most people call them. GeoCities sucked because 98 percent of the pages were just random people creating a site out of sheer boredom and then forgetting about it almost immediately. And let’s not pretend like the content on GeoCities was good back in 1999."