From Academic Kids

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GeoCities is a free webhosting service founded by David Bohnett and John Rezner in late 1994 as Beverly Hills Internet.

In its original form, people's pages on the site were assigned to different "cities", 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 began as BHI, 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 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.

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 August 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, on May 28, 1999, it was purchased by Yahoo!.

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. These were replaced by "vanity" URLs consisting of Soon after, in response to a lawsuit filed against AOL by its own community managers, GeoCities' Community Leaders were fired or transferred to other departments.

GeoCities neighborhoods

According to a February 1999 archive of the site [1] (, the forty-one "neighborhoods" were (in alphabetical order):

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