Visible Vienna

Welcome Vienna Residents and Visitors

Announcing the rebuilding of Vienna from the ashes of Geocities


When I joined Geocities back in 1998, a homesteader would pick a neighborhood based on the neighborhood's specific interest. For instance, the Vienna neighborhood and its suburbs were devoted to Classical Music, Ballet, Opera, and other concerns relating to the philosophy, composition, performance, and presentation of 'Art' Music. The homesteader would then apply for a site within that neighborhood. Each neighborhood had its own homepage with links to community bulletin boards and other pages helpful to homesteaders. There was even a directory organized by neighborhood showing available addresses, and sites under construction or recently updated.

Each neighborhood had 'community leaders' to guide the community and help newbie homesteaders build the best sites possible. We had our own E-zine, Vienna Online, and our own 'awards', given to those homesteaders who applied and qualified. I was invited by the Vienna community leaders to help judge and present the Vienna Award and had my own column in Vienna Online where I gave website building advice. It was loads of fun.

Then Yahoo! took over Geocities.

Early in the year 2000, Yahoo!/Geocities decided that its member sites would be given URLs that corresponded to usernames.

For example,
http://www.geocities.com/neighborhood/suburb/streetaddress
would become
http://www.geocities.com/username.

Although that undoubtably made it easier for some to remember and type, it had the effect of eliminating the neighborhood name from the URL.

When homesteaders joined up with Yahoo!/Geocities they would obtain a site without belonging to or participating in a neighborhood.

Then Yahoo!/Geocities took down the neighborhood homepages and directories. They also did away with community leaders.

In order to preserve the character of the neighborhood and to participate in the community experience, the visibility of the neighborhood as such required active promoting from the homesteaders.

A core group of former community leaders set about to try and maintain some continuity in the neighborhood. We put up pages on our sites recreating some of the common neighborhood pages formerly offered by Geocities. We established some groups at Yahoo! for homesteaders to share their efforts and concerns. We kept Vienna Online going and I continued to confer the Vienna Award.

Then in 2009, with very little warning, Yahoo! decided to close down Geocities. Thousands of websites, representing hundreds of thousands of hours of work, would be lost. Fortunately, several concerned people and organizations felt that the loss of Geocities would be too tragic to contemplate. They put together archives, databases, and all the necessary scripting to automatically download as much of Geocities as possible in the limited time available. Although everything was not saved, a truly amazing amount was.

I got into the habit of 'googling' my website (The PinWiz Page) and Geocities just to see what was happening and now and then I would find a new archive that had gone online with what they had managed to recover. The archives I know about are: The Internet Archive, ReoCities, Oocities, and Geocities.ws - You are here now. This host is the only one that will let you reclaim your site that I know of. They can also copy your pages (if they have them) into a new directory with a different username if you wish to keep your original pages as an archive. That's what I have done here.

Even if Geocities.ws doesn't have your pages, chances are good that one of the other ones does. Geocities.ws is an ongoing Web host, you can start a free site there, and copy your pages from one of the other archives.

Join (or rejoin) Geocities Vienna

In the latter days of the old Geocities, as Yahoo! was breaking down the walls, the Virtual Vienna Neighborhood elected to open its doors to the world and accept any relevant site to the community. In that spirit, if you have a website that reflects our community's special interests, we invite you to declare yourself a member. Download and display the graphic at the left on your site. It is suggested that you add a paragraph or two describing your reasons for joining Geocities Vienna. A link through the graphic or a simple text link back to this page would be appreciated. The URL of this page is: http://www.geocities.ws/pinwiz/visiblevienna.html. Let me know your URL and I'll add you to our roster.

Send email to 'pinwiz.geo(at)yahoo.com. Change (at) to @, put 'Vienna resident' in subject line.

Please put 'Vienna Resident' in the subject line.

The rebirth of virtual Vienna is underway.


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