Dating back to 1994, GeoCities was free web-hosting service and can easily be considered a big part of the Internet’s history. Yahoo! bought the service only five years after its creation, but then shut it down in 2009.
In an effort to preserve digital history, the Archive Team has compiled and will release a 900-gigabyte torrent of as much of GeoCities as it can.
A post by the Archive Team explains the mindset behind collecting and releasing GeoCities:
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.
A little further into the post:
But you see, websites and hosting services should not be “fads” any more than forests and cities should be fads – they represent countless hours of writing, of editing, of thinking, of creating. They represent their time, and they represent the thoughts and dreams of people now much older, or gone completely. There’s history here. Real, honest, true history.
What do you think: Crude webpages from an archaic digital era or important, monumental digital history?