Today marked the end of an era, as Yahoo! finally put the classic free host Geocities out of its misery. Although Geocities has become the butt of many an Internet-related joke over the years, I guarantee that the world would be a very different place today had Geocities never existed. First of all, many Web developers and designers got their start with one of the free sites offered by Geocities. In addition, I’m almost certain that sites like MySpace (and, as a result, Facebook) would have never been conceived had the idea not begun with Geocities.
I hopped on the Geocities bandwagon shortly after it began back in 1994 (I might have joined in 95, but I know it was still the early days of the service). They offered a great jumping off point for anyone interested in learning HTML. For the time, they offered fantastic free hosting (complete with the ability to run certain CGI scripts) and had some amazing tutorials and tools available to help put together your own Web site.