About

The free web hosting service Geocities.com was founded by “Beverly Hills Internet” in July 1995 — exactly the time when the web left academia and started to be made by everyone of us.

Soon it became one of the most popular and inhabited places of the WWW and stayed that way through the second part of 1990’s. In January 1999, on the peak of Dot.com mania, it was bought by Yahoo!.

The new millennium proved Geocities to be a bad investment. Having a page on there became a synonym for dilettantism and bad taste. Furthermore, the time of personal home pages was counted, being replaced with profiles on social networks.

Ten years later, in April 2009, Yahoo! announced that they are going to shut down the service.

On the 26th of October 2009 Geocities seized to exist. In between the announcement and the official date of death a group of people calling themselves Archive Team managed to rescue almost a terabyte of Geocities pages. On the 26th of October 2010, the first anniversary of this Digital Holocaust, the Archive Team started to seed geocities.archiveteam.torrent.

On the 1st of November 2010 Olia and Dragan bought a 2 TB disk and started downloading the biggest torrent of all times.

On the 17th of January 2011 we are still at 53,54%. Since three weeks nobody is seeding.

Being inpatient we started to unzip the first packages and dig into the treasures of Web 1.0. This blog is the first inventory of our findings.

For more on early web culture read Vernacular Web, Vernacular Web 2Prof.Dr. Style and our book Digital Folklore.

Update 2011-04-25

The download is complete.

Update 2011-08-10

In the meantime we released a modified version of the torrent. The original contained some errors, a separate patch was later offered by the Archive Team as an HTTP download. The modified torrent includes this patch. If you started to download the original torrent, the modified one can continue from there.

2012

During 2012, Dragan’s work was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, via a project located at the Bern Universiy of the Arts.

2013

The Photographers’ Gallery in London not only hosted a great exhibition of 16’000 Geocities home page videos, but also sponsored a hardware RAID to quicken our research.


16 Responses to About

  • # Tiago 2011-01-26 02:50

    it’s a 2 tb disk .. not gb ..

    love the effort ! congrats !

  • # olia 2011-01-26 08:34

    thanx, tiago, fixed.
    not used to these numbers yet.

  • # Alon 2011-01-31 08:02

    Back then i had a geocities site called “meyutar” (redundant in Hebrew).
    I’ll realy appreciate it if you could find it.

    thank u
    Alon Bar

  • # E-mannen 2011-06-15 17:36

    Amazing cultural effort. Keep up the work!

  • # Monica 2013-08-01 02:23

    This is incredible work! Thanks for protecting the history of our generation.

  • # Alexandra 2013-12-13 00:06

    There’s something oddly beautiful about this website; kind of like urban exploration but not. Thanks for sharing it!

  • # Sean Palmer 2014-02-26 16:14

    None of the trackers in the _PATCHED_ torrent are working anymore. That means it’s very hard to start downloading, since you have to wait for DHT to find some peers. I left a download running all night and found 0 peers. You might want to point people to the archive.org site to download the archive now, instead of using the torrents. https://archive.org/details/archiveteam-geocities

  • # despens 2014-03-07 08:04

    Yes Sean, the torrent dried out a long time ago.
    Here is a comfy script I wrote to complete it via the Internet Archive:
    http://contemporary-home-computing.org/1tb/archives/3209

  • # Sean Palmer 2014-03-07 12:36

    Sweet, thanks despens!

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  • # Gary Herreman 2014-10-09 04:04
  • # Julia Furlan 2016-03-21 15:04

    Hi Olia,

    My name is Julia and I produce a podcast about the internet for BuzzFeed. We are doing a retrospective about the years that changed the internet, and we’d love to have you as a guest!

    If you wouldn’t mind getting in touch as soon as possible I’d be very grateful. My email is julia.furlan@buzzfeed.com but calling on the phone would be even better – 646.823.6027

    Thank you!! I look forward to speaking with you.

    Julia

  • # AJ 2016-11-12 11:52

    seized to exist should be ceased to exist. Love the site and project!!!! Glad I could sign your guestbook ;)

  • # Tihana Sare 2017-01-29 23:26

    Hi!

    great work! I’m doing an essay on the Urgency of Archiving Digital Ephemera with Royal College of Art that will be published in a book “Radical Archives and Documents (title may vary)”, produced and edited in its entirety by students.

    I was hoping I could use Geocities images as daily featured on your Tumblr site as supporting visuals for the essay. Would that be alright?

  • # Miguel 2017-07-05 13:05

    I made a geocities site when I was 15 y/o. how can I find it?

  • # despens 2017-08-19 13:58

    Do you by any chance remember the URL or neighborhood?


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