Yahoo's Axe Falls On Pioneering GeoCities Site Service Will Close by mmcsx

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									Yahoo's Axe Falls On Pioneering GeoCities Site: Service Will Close Down

Written by Jitesh Pillai
Friday, 24 April 2009 11:58




Sunnyvale, California -- Yahoo Inc., on Thursday announced that it is closing down its free Ge
oCities
site, one of the pioneering web services that hosted personal home pages for consumers, which
it acquired at the height of the dot-com boom for more than $4 billion 10 years ago, ending an
era of self-expression on the Web that has largely been replaced by social networks and blogs.




A posting on Yahoo's Help Page for GeoCities stated that the service was no longer accepting
new customers and that it will be closing down later this year, with more details about how
individuals can save their data coming this summer.




The move comes just a few days after Yahoo said it would reduce nearly 700 workers , or 5
percent of its workforce.




In addition, comments by Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz suggests that GeoCities had inadequate
economic value. GeoCities employees are likely to be among the layoffs Bartz announced.




“GeoCities will close later this year.” That is the stark announcement at the top of Yahoo's
GeoCities Help page.




“We have decided to discontinue the process of allowing new customers to sign up for
GeoCities accounts as we focus on helping our customers explore and build new relationships
online in other ways,” Yahoo said in a statement.




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Yahoo's Axe Falls On Pioneering GeoCities Site: Service Will Close Down

Written by Jitesh Pillai
Friday, 24 April 2009 11:58




The shutting down of GeoCities is part of an attempting to streamline operations at Yahoo, a
plan that chief executive Bartz outlined in more detail during the company's Tuesday earnings
call.




“We are amplifying our investment in some areas while cutting down in others,” according to a
spokeswoman. “For example, after careful consideration, we recently discontinued products
such as Yahoo Briefcase, Farechase, My Web, Yahoo Audio Search, RSS ads, Yahoo Pets,
Yahoo Live, Kickstart and Yahoo For Teachers, and outsourced Launchcast radio to CBS. We
continue to evaluate our portfolio of products and services on a regular basis, and plan to share
details of further changes with our consumers and partners in the months ahead.”




GeoCities scaled the peak during an era when publishing on the Internet meant setting up your
own Web site. GeoCities was among the first companies to build online communities, made the
process easier by helping people sidestep the complications of registering a domain and
learning how to program HTML, the language that describes Web pages, and accounted for
more than 3.5 million websites hosted on its service in the late 1990s.




The announcement marks a disgraceful end for one of the pioneering Web-hosting services.
Originally founded in 1994 as Beverly Hills Internet, but GeoCities wilted out of favor in recent
years, as a generation of social network sites such as Facebook and News Corp.'s Myspace
have become popular among Web users.




However, people with existing Geocities Web sites can continue to access and add content to
their sites, but they will be shut down by the end of the year. “You do not need to change a thing
right now -- we just wanted to notify you about the closure as soon as possible,” Yahoo said in a
 FAQ on the Geocities site. “We will provide more details about closing GeoCities and how to
save your site data this summer, and we will update the help center with more details at that
time.”




Ever since Chief Executive Carol Bartz took the reins in January, Yahoo has pruned various
products and properties to cut costs and focus on fundamentals, as it seeks to revive growth in
a tough economy and fierce competition from Google Inc.




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Yahoo's Axe Falls On Pioneering GeoCities Site: Service Will Close Down

Written by Jitesh Pillai
Friday, 24 April 2009 11:58

Bartz told reporters that her conversations as a new CEO convinced her that the most important
step for Yahoo is to create “a 'wow' experience for all of our users around the world.” What that
means, Bartz said, will differ across the company.




Last week, Yahoo said it was shutting down Jumpcut , an online service for editing videos.




Yahoo acquired GeoCities in January 1999 in a stock deal valued at roughly $4.6 billion,
Reuters reported at the time.




The company urged users to upgrade to Yahoo Web Hosting service.




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