What ever happened to GeoCities?

Once upon a time there was a thriving online network of (pretty ugly) web pages called GeoCities and this network was linked together through some pretty crude – by today’s standards – “social” mechanisms.  People were grouped together in communities and interacted with one another through the means of the day.  In 1998 GeoCities went public on the NASDAQ for $17 per share and rose to an atmospheric $100 per share before being acquired by Yahoo! in 1999 for a tidy $3.5 billion.  At this point GeoCities was the third most visited destination on the Internet behind Yahoo! and America Online (AOL).  Fast forward ten years and on October 26, 2009 Yahoo! pulled the plug on the once-great online community.

A year after its closure the team at Yahoo! released 900 GB (uncompressed) of GeoCities data in torrent file format (i.e., metadata – or data about data – of GeoCities).  Now in 2011 the information designer Richard Vijgen has turned this data into a stunning visualization appropriately titled “The Deleted City.”

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