GeoCities, one of the most popular free web-hosting portals since the concept was created, was shut down over a year ago by Yahoo to save costs. Now it has been exhumed from its shallow grave, and is available for download. Yes, you heard that right – the entire portal is now available as a massive 900GB torrent file, giving you an overdose of nostalgia, and a heck of lot of content you never asked for or even knew existed.
[RELATED_ARTICLE]Created by The Archive Team, the torrent doesn’t contain every single site hosted on GeoCities, but they almost got all, a veritable feat in itself. Like many of you users or visitors of GeoCities pages, The Archive Team felt the death of GeoCities signalled a significant milestone in the development of the internet and online content. For them, it was not just a matter of preserving the content that users so lovingly compiled and displayed on their GeoCities webpages, but also a matter of preserving a landmark in digital culture that stood for freedom for online content. Check out an excerpt of their blog post below:
What we were facing, you see, was the wholesale destruction of the still-rare combination of words digital heritage, the erasing and silencing of hundreds of thousands of voices, voices that representing the dawn of what one might call "regular people" joining the World Wide Web. A unique moment in human history, preserved for many years and spontaneously combusting due to a few marks in a ledger, the decision of who-knows for who-knows-what.
While it's quite clear this sort of cavalier attitude to digital history will continue, the hope is that this torrent will bring some attention to both the worth of these archives and the ease at which it can be lost – and found again.
Read The Archive Team’s full blog post here for their rather inspiring reasons, and, if you have the bandwidth or the love for what now seems like digital arcania, then download the torrent (652GB compressed), here.