Break the Chain Don't know nothin' about Geocities

Created 5/31/2001 (10/11/2002) In a world where "dotcoms" burst onto the scene, only to fold faster than a cheap tent in a windstorm, it's easy to see why people get nervous when one of the services they've come to love and rely upon appears to be in jeopardy.

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

As you all know, my hubby is a Community Leader for Geocities. He just got this in his email today.

Geocities WILL BE CLOSING! All the websites will be DELETED and CLOSED! They will be NO WARNING as usual, that's just the way Yahoo works. So, if any of you want to keep your website, you will have to back it up and save it, and move it to a new web hosting place.

This is not a internet hoax, my husband got this from his boss, it could happen in a week, it could happen in about a month.

My hubby said to tell as many people as I can, so that you will not lose your site, and so you can be ready to move it to another place.

:o(
Linda

Below is part of the memo he received:

"Yahoo executives declined to specify which areas of its service will be affected by the cutbacks. In general, however, the company said the only areas spared would be those that directly produced revenue advertising, services to businesses and its new fee-based services for consumers." "Big areas of its site like the Geocities service, which lets users build personal home pages are NOT part of this new, narrower focus, even though they contain some advertising. They will be closed."

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

The story is an old one now: A fledgling company offers a great new service on the net for free. Millions of people take advantage of it, fall in love with it, and come to depend on it. It's popularity turned the company into a multi-million-dollar powerhouse. But, then the economy took a turn for the worse, and in order to protect it's interests, the now faceless corporate giant decides to save money by cutting the very service that made them popular in the first place, thumbing it's collective nose at those who made it what it is.

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Geocities was one of the first and most popular "online communities" that allowed netizens to create their own web sites for sharing with friends and family. The popularity of Geocities attracted Yahoo! who was looking for a way to compete in the exploding free web-host market. Yahoo! acquired Geocities in 1999 and has worked hard to expand the already successful service. It's hard to believe that they would willingly anger millions of subscribers by discontinuing the service suddenly and without warning.

But, thankfully, we don't have to believe it. Geocities, like most free web hosts, supports its services by forcing members to display advertising on their sites. In recent years, however, web advertising revenues have shrunk dramatically, leading many companies to devise other ways to make money or shut down. More and more people are rushing to get their own piece of the web, and their requirements from a host are getting more and more sophisticated. Rather than shut down, most (including Geocities) have begun encouraging customers of their free services to convert to "premium hosting" that offers many more features, more space, more traffic and no advertising.

This rumor began circulating in April, 2001, after Yahoo! made several important (and controversial) announcements about its revenue-generating plans for the future. Part of the "memo" quoted in the chain letter above came from a New York Times article. However the "they will be closed" line was added by an over-zealous forwarder who perhaps misunderstood the meaning of the quote or wished to exaggerate its significance. Yahoo! spokespeople firmly deny this rumor. Think about it... An overnight cancellation of thousands of member accounts would create much negative reaction and would probably end up costing more than it saved - not a good idea in the highly competitive web hosting industry. Break this Chain!

What Do You Think?

Category: General Junk
References: Snopes.com

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