Before Facebook and Myspace, GeoCities housed the web’s largest online community. Started in 1994 as Beverly Hills Internet, the site’s tens of millions of "homesteaders" created personal pages in theme-based neighborhoods of their choice. Those neighborhoods started out as webcams in real places in Los Angeles—one in the gay mecca of West Hollywood, another in Beverly Hills for high-end shopping. But when GeoCities invited users to add their own pages on those themes, a virtual land rush began. After a spectacular IPO, GeoCities was bought by Yahoo! in 1999 for over $3 billion.
Yahoo! eventually decided GeoCities was obsolete. All 38 million pages of the main English-language site were to be erased in October 2009 until hacker preservationists from The Internet Archive, Archive Team, and other volunteers stepped in. To showcase the tens of millions of pages they preserved, artist Richard Vijgen created an interactive visualization of the 650-gigabyte backup of GeoCities, titled "Deleted City," now on display at the Computer History Museum.
Join us as GeoCities co-founder David Bohnett sits down with Museum CEO John Hollar to share the story of the social media and web-hosting site from its founding to its preservation. The program will include a brief introduction from artist Richard Vijgen.
Artist Richard Vijgen will be available to answer questions near the Deleted City exhibit located in the Museum lobby.
Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Boulevard
Mountain View, CA, 94043