Should we target GeoCities users?

zen-r

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An interesting point got brought up briefly on another thread. I thought it important enough to warrant its own thread, so that other people could throw in their own opinions & suggestions on the subject.

It is to do with the fact that GeoCities announced last month that they were going to close down all their free web-hosting by the end of this year. Given their size, that means an awful lot of people are going to be looking for a new web-host in the coming months. Judging by the posts in Introductions here, clearly a few have already started arriving.

So my point is this : Shouldn't x10 now make a clear policy decision about whether it wants to try & capitalise on the situation?

X10 could really stand to gain if the right moves are made as soon as possible. These could include targeted advertising towards GeoCities members, with perhaps some sort of deal with Geocities to allow advertising plugs for x10 on their site. Also vital would be extra publicity via the media with articles pointing out how x10 can facilitate an easy web-hosting transfer from GeoCities for its current members. And so on.

What are your thoughts on this? Is now the time to grow our numbers. Is x10 ready & equipped for this? And would it be a real benefit to us to see our numbers & hopefully income grow, or could it be more of a disadvantage right now?



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garrettroyce

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I don't know about ads. I never listen to them ;)

I think we'll end up with a lot of them anyways because we rank very highly on the "best free hosts" list. I also think that Corey will be done with the CPanel modifications soon, so we'll be ready.

I could see Corey adding some more servers soon :drool:
 

Smith6612

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It would be cool to see a bunch of GeoSites users move to x10Hosting. What makes me wonder though is, how many more servers would Corey need to buy in order to take the load though? :biggrin:
 

Russ

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Umm, one thing.. Geocities is owned by Yahoo, so they would not go for any advertising of another host, they have (I believe) a couple of other freehosts they own
 

garrettroyce

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There has to be thousands of free accounts per server, by my estimation. I see Russ is looking at the thread, maybe he'll correct me :)

I would think one or two would suffice, if we get a large percent of the old geocities users. FYI, there are 1.8 million geocities users.

By the way, the next server should be "Effen"
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Wow, just had one of those "idea" things!

If some clever person came up with a migration tool for geocities to come to X10, that would be a huge benefit to geocities users and get more of them here! Maybe transfer all the files via FTP?
 
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Russ

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I will talk to corey, I want to correct myself.. Yahoo does not offer another free hosting service. I had to go check it out, because back in the day, I worked for GeoCities, before yahoo bought them out.. When yahoo bought them, alot of 'us' left, and then yahoo destroyed it from there. the other community leaders who stayed, ended up suing them, and then yahoo did away with the community leaders program all together. It was fun. ;) I often find myself wondering what if it had stayed. BTW, guess it wont hurt how, here is one of the staff sites we used:

http://www.geocities.com/southbeach/2000/sbcl/ ;-)
 

farscapeone

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In my opinion, that only depend on infrastructure.
 

zen-r

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Russ : I agree that getting advertising on GeoCities/ Yahoo's own site would be tricky to achieve - though sometimes a tie-in is possible if it is suitably negotiated. After all, they are getting rid of their own free hosting, so it might make them look better if they are able to offer X10 as an option to their members (who won't go to Paid) rather than leaving them stranded.

garrettroyce Yes, Corey's latest post http://forums.x10hosting.com/news-announcements/98132-update.html would certainly indicate that x10 is making great moves in the right direction with new servers, more disk space, & a fix for cPanel now being resolved.

We shouldn't rely on any ranking X10 may have as Best Free Hosts. Unless x10 gets pro-active about targeting GeoCities refugees, a free hosting competitor will most probably catch us napping, & recruit everyone themselves.

I had tried to find out how many GeoCities members there are, & all I could find quickly was a story in 1999 stating 4 million. If they now have less than 2 million, it indicates they have let the standard of the service degrade there. Good news for X10, who provide an Xellent service! And if we were to see just a small proportion of that 2 million come here, that could still be an awfully big number, & will have a large impact on X10. Hence my point about trying to get us prepared by thinking about it now. (Just 10% of 2 million is 200,000 new accounts!)

I was thinking along the same lines as garrettroyce about his migration tool idea. I don't know how easy this would be to implement though. Does anyone here with an understanding of the set-up of X10's back-end think it would be viable? Or even have the time to do it?

At the very least, I would suggest someone here write a Step-by-step guide for GeoCities members on how to transfer to X10. It would also save a lot of time in the long run by not having to reply to endless support requests. The guide should be available both here, & ideally also posted over at GeoCities for its members to read. That way they can see an easy solution to their free-hosting dilemma, & can also see that X10 cares enough to have provided good support for them.

An interesting insight by the way, Russ, into your old GeoCities affiliations. Your inside knowledge may be of help here in making things happen!


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garrettroyce

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I wish I could sign up for a geocities account or get my hands on one that someone owns. I would write a tutorial/script to do it. I don't know if they have FTP, or any sort of databases, if they use Apache or IIS, or anything else. I thought they were strictly HTML only, no databases, no FTP, but I didn't even know they were accepting new accounts after about 2001, to be quite honest.
 

Anna

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hmm... I might still have access an account on there... remember using that a looong time ago, could look it up. Though I suspect they have terminated it for being unused by now

EDIT: can't figure what username/pass I had, but surely it wasn't a yahoo ID :( guess it has been too long since
 
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garrettroyce

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From the massive amount of geocities accounts I've accidentally stumbled into looking for things, I have a feeling they don't ban people too often ;)

If you have any info on how geocities works, I think we can at least get a "third party" geocities to X10 migration tool that Corey can evaluate and choose to deploy. I don't think we can expect him to do anything right now because he's so busy with the CPanel issue. But, if we put it in his lap, maybe we can make it happen :)
 

zen-r

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I like your style garrettroyce!

And if LadyAnna's account is dead, I'm sure someone else here may still have one. You could try Searching this forum & contacting one of the ex-GeoCity-ers I have seen who have introduced themselves here. They may be willing to help, & could also relate their own experiences on what the migration process involved.
 

Anna

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bare in mind it was probably somewhere around 9 yrs ago I was involved in using geocities, don't remember that much. Not even 100% sure it was geocities, but it sure does ring a bell
 

Russ

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Geocities was basic, they had a file manager which allowed up to 5 html pages at a time.. Yahoo might have opened ftp, but they did not support databases, php, or anything else. It was for the basic html site only.
 

zen-r

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Excellent. If that's the case, that should make migration a lot easier. No PHP etc to back-up then. The tutorial is looking more attainable now. :)
 
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garrettroyce

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It also eliminates the possibility of an automated script. Without FTP access, I don't know how we can transfer the files, other than the user typing in the name of all 5 of their HTML files and using something like file_get_contents() (which I think will fail as X10 blocks requests like this)
 

zen-r

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I think it's probably best that we confirm what featues GeoCities definitely does have, before speculating too much on the problems/ possibilities.
 

garrettroyce

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I tried to trick Geocities into letting me register a new account using wayback machine, but it didn't work. I guess they did more than delete the links to the registration page :(
 
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