Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I've had Geocities account for years. I had the account long before Yahoo took them over. Recently I saw a notice that stated that Yahoo was shutting down Geocities, so I went and logged it to try to get my files off their servers.

I realize that I am probably going to get flamed for using Geocities and for not having a backup of my files. I needed a free service to host a bunch of autogenerated HTML genealogy files and it was the only free service I found that would let me push html files and not use some online editor to create pages.

When I tried to log in I couldn't get in. I had just logged in a few weeks before. I emailed Geocities support. A day or so later they stated that my account had been fixed and I should be able to login. Sure enough, it was fixed and I logged it, only to find that all of my files were gone.

I emailed support back and got a canned message about dormant accounts being deleted. They said that if you don't log in for six months and you have less than so many visitors then your account gets locked and your files get deleted.

As I said previously I had logged into the account fairly recently and the files were fine then. Their dormancy algorithm is either messed up or someone got overly aggressive with closing accounts.

I have emailed to them several times and each time it takes about 24 hours for them to respond and the response is some variation on the canned message about Geocities closing down and account dormancy.

I think Yahoo is done. I don't think they are capable of getting back to being competitive. For years when they have given out a service they give you intrusive and uncompromising advertising. They also have given hobbled free services, trying to muscle you into getting a pay service. To make things worse, their services, for the most part, have antiquated interfaces.

The same support representative sent me the same canned message of "A dormant account is one which has not been signed-in to for more than six months and has received less than ten visitors in the last 3 months" twice to justify deleting my files. Today they sent and said, "Yahoo! GeoCities Free automatically removes sites is has determined
meets any one of the following criteria:

- The site has not been updated for the last 6 months.
- The site has received less than 10 hits in the last 6 months.
- The YID associated with the account has not been used for 30 days."

Apparently they have conflicting documentation internally.

They want me to move my site to their pay service and yet have deleted the files I need to do that. They did this deletion without warning me that they would be doing so. Then they set up a bunch of support people, who appear to be in India, to composed form letter emails to respond to the people they messed over.