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GEOCITIES BR A ND GUIDELINES


GEOCITIES BR A ND GUIDELINES


“We are developing new media to endow GeoCities with a rich sense of community, place and interactivity... This is the next wave of the net—not just information but habitation.” David Bohnett, 1995 GeoCities Founder


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CONTENTS

LET TER FROM OU R C EO

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O U R PAT H

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W H E R E W E C O M E F R O M

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W H AT W E H AV E B EC O M E

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O U R COMPE TITORS

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AU DIENCE PERSON AS

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OUR BRAND

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O U R NE W LOGO

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HOW TO USE O U R LOGO

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G R A P H I C S YS T E M

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O U R P R O G R A M S

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ACHIE VING OU R MISSION

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COMMUNIT Y E V EN TS

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D I G I TA L N E W S PA P E R

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YO U N G E N T R E P R E N E U R S

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R E V I E W S A N D R EC O M M E N D AT I O N S

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L ENDING H A NDS

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COMMUNIT Y CH A L L ENGES

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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE


L e t t e r f ro m O u r C E O

Hello, and Welcome. As Chief Executive Officer of GeoCities, I would like to be the first to welcome you to the new GeoCities community. GeoCities, founded in 1994, was a pioneer in the development of virtual communities and personal websites on the Internet, and at one time was the third-most visited website in the world. Over the course of 15 years, however, the Internet changed drastically and GeoCities recognized the need to change with it. In 2009 our parent company, Yahoo!, temporarily closed GeoCities in order to better reposition it in the now-saturated realm of social networks. The large community outcry at the closing of GeoCities emphasized what had always been our strengths: a strong sense of community and a high level of audience engagement. In choosing a new direction for GeoCities we considered not only these unique strengths, but also the new advances in the technological capabilities of the Internet. Combining those together with our focus on community engagement, GeoCities now has a new and exciting vision. GeoCities, which originally connected people on opposite sides of the world, will now focus on reconnecting people on opposite sides of the street. With the goal of strengthening local communities and reconnecting neighbors, GeoCities will use virtual social networking tools to bring people together in the physical world, creating stronger, more engaged communities and neighborhoods. We are very excited to be embarking on our new mission that may forever change how you engage with your neighborhood and your world. Welcome to GeoCities 2.0!

JILL DRAPER CEO, GeoCities

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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE


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1 OUR PATH

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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE

WHERE WE COME FROM

T H E G E O C I T I E S L E G AC Y

GeoCities began in 1994, at the dawn of the Internet as we know it today. Created by two guys in Southern California, David Bohnett and John Rezner, the company was originally called Beverly Hills Internet. The website was imagined as a place where communities could come together in virtual “GeoCities” focused on specific topics of interest to the user, who would join by creating their own “GeoPage” in that community. The name Beverly Hills Internet, or BHI (our original website was

are developing new media to endow GeoCities with a rich sense of

www.bhi90210.com) was reflected in the fact that most of our

community, place and interactivity, and also originating new ways

first six neighborhoods were named after neighborhoods in Los

to measure our audiences for advertisers. This is the next wave of

Angeles: Hollywood, RodeoDrive, SunsetStrip, WestHollywood,

the net—not just information but habitation.”

WallStreet and the Colosseum. On July 5, 1995, five weeks after launching our first six neighborhoods, we introduced four additional “cyber cities”: SiliconValley, CapitolHill, Paris and Tokyo.

At that point in time, he could not have known how right he was. There was no such thing as “social media” back then. The use of the Internet as a public, non-governmental entity was just beginning.

These ten neighborhoods, inhabited by users referred to as “homesteaders” in the GeoCities parlance, brought together communities around various interests and topics. The first

T H E E VO L U T I O N O F T H E I N T E R N E T

six neighborhoods created communities for the topics of

Since the mid-1990s the Internet has had a tremendous impact

films and actors (Hollywood), shopping and upscale lifestyles

on culture and commerce, including the rise of near instantaneous

(RodeoDrive), music of various genres (SunsetStrip), gay lesbian

communication by email, instant messaging, two-way interactive

and transgender topics (WestHollywood), business and finance

video calls, and the World Wide Web with its discussion forums,

(WallStreet) and athletics and sports (Colosseum). The four

blogs, social networking and online shopping sites. Can you imag-

neighborhoods that followed quickly afterwards added com-

ine your life today without all of these technological capabilities?

munities for computers and technology (SiliconValley), politics and government (CapitolHill), poetry and the arts (Paris, later renamed LeftBank), and Far-East related topics (Tokyo).

Increasing amounts of data are transmitted at higher and higher speeds as the Internet continues to grow, driven by ever greater amounts of online information and knowledge, commerce, enter-

Our founder David Bohnett was interviewed at the time for an

tainment and social networking. During the late 1990s, it was esti-

article on this expansion to ten neighborhoods, and described

mated that traffic on the public Internet grew by 100% per year,

his fledgling company this way: “The homesteading program

while the mean annual growth in the number of Internet users was

enables anyone with access to the Internet to have a free Personal

thought to be between 20% and 50%. This explosive growth is

Home Page, or GeoPage, within our cityscapes. Because GeoCities

often attributed to the lack of central administration, which allows

are nurtured by communication and sustained by commerce, we

organic growth of the network, as well as the non-proprietary open


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“Before Twitter, before Facebook, before MySpace—heck, even before Friendster, there was a service known as GeoCities. For those who grew up on the Net in the 90s, it was about as close as you get to what we know today as social networks.”1

nature of the Internet protocols, which prevents any one company

Members felt empowered to create their own space, to decorate it

from exerting too much control over the network. As of March 31,

and design it as they pleased.

2011, the estimated total number of Internet users was just over two billion, which is roughly 30% of world population.

An enthusiastic user base was quickly established. By December of 1995, six months after we opened our first neighborhoods,

It is estimated that in 1993 the Internet carried only 1% of the

GeoCities was signing up thousands of Homesteaders a day and

information flowing through two-way telecommunication. That

getting over six million monthly page views. We continued to grow

rose to 51% in 2000 and by 2007 more than 97% of telecommu-

rapidly, and in 1997, two years later, GeoCities was the fifth most

nicated information was carried over the Internet. Since GeoCities’

popular website on the Internet and had signed up one million users.

founding, the Internet went from carrying 1% of telecommunica-

We reached our peak of popularity in 1999, when we became the

tion to 97%, completely taking over the way we communicate.

third most popular website on the Internet, after AOL and Yahoo!. The freedom and independence of GeoCities allowed for the rapid,

THE FIRST SOCIAL NET WORK While others may not have realized how prescient David Bohnett‘s claims about the social future of the internet were, the explosive growth of GeoCities soon provided his proof. In the first five weeks after launch, BHI recorded more than 600,000 hits on its website. In Bohnett’s words, this reflected “the intense interest people have in creating cyber communities all their own, linked to places they know, understand and have a strong affinity for.” The individual pages allowed users a high level of freedom, and fostered an atmosphere of individuality and creativity. This was pur-

organic growth of the communities. There was very little regulation, and the only real community organization came from a system of volunteers referred to as the Community Leader program. The volunteer system was just one aspect of a community system that required users to be proactive in many ways, including the creation of their site. Many of our Homesteaders credited GeoCities with being the first place they learned HTML, and introducing a population of enthusiastic young users to the new world of web design.

AQ U I S I T I O N B Y YA H O O !

posefully and carefully fostered by GeoCities. “Our goal in bridging

GeoCities went public in 1998, and was bought for $3.57 billion in

cyberspace and reality is to attract netters who want to colonize

1999 by Yahoo!, which had previously invested heavily in the com-

the web—to put down roots in a GeoCity they feel comfortable and

pany. While GeoCities remained immensely popular over the follow-

familiar with to call home, where they can express themselves, cre-

ing years, Yahoo! struggled to achieve financial success. Attempts

ate their own content, build their own neighborhoods,” Bohnett said.

at a universal branding, such as introducing a floating watermark on

A sense of geography and physical place was emphasized, not only with the idea of a neighborhood and the individual addresses each user was given, but also by displaying realtime video feeds of the actual landmark streets each neighborhood was named after.

every page, or introducing revenue streams with premium hosting, sparked negative reactions from our user base. Many of the favorite aspects of GeoCities, including the neighborhood names, were removed after the aquisition by Yahoo!, and GeoCities slowly sank in popularity as other, new social network sites took the spotlight.

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WHO WE WERE

The original GeoCities was a collection of highly individual websites in the early days of the Internet that embraced creativity and freedom. However, the result of this creative freedom in the hands of enthusiastic but not very experienced users resulted in a lot of bad web design. Content and design were solely user generated, with no standard-

was an experience done by a single person sitting in front of a com-

ization or branding. While that was a reflection of some positive

puter screen. The community was built completely around interact-

qualities of the GeoCities community, including the enthusiasm,

ing via a computer screen.

individuality, and creativity of our members, it did result in a sub-par experience in terms of design, branding, interface, and user interactions. In fact, GeoCities was so strongly associated with poor design decisions that spoofs such as the so called “Geocitiesizer” were created that emulated the poor web design decisions that were prevalant among our users, from loud busy backgrounds to animated gifs. Taking a closer look of the viewer’s experience of the original GeoCities, several key characteristics come to mind. First off, a main aspect of the experience that may seem so obvious as to be overlooked, and yet one that is probably the most important: GeoCities was originally a website. Viewing or participating in it

Other characteristics of the original GeoCities include the flare and crazy creativity encountered on the wide range of user sites. While this made the experience interesting and perhaps more exciting than a run-of-the-mill website, it also made it chaotic and confusing to navigate, especially since there was no regulation or requirement to keep websites within the community theme. This gave the sense that the websites, while fun, had no practical purpose, much like a sugary breakfast cereal. With our redirection, we will bring the same level of community enthusiasm but with a much higher level of design and beautiful, intuitive interfaces for all of our virtual products.


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M AY: Advertisements are put on every user page; despite a strong negative reaction, GeoCities continues to grow. J U N E: GeoCities becomes the 5th most popular website in the world. OC TOB ER : GeoCities reaches one million users.

Analysts speculate that GeoCities is not yet profitable, after its posted $8 million loss in the final quarter of 1998. Yahoo! introduces a premium hosting service at GeoCities available for a fee, and limits the data transfer rate for free accounts. DECEM B ER: David Bohnett and John Rezner found the company that will eventually become GeoCities, and they call it

J U N E: A floating gif watermark image is

Beverly Hills Internet, or BHI for short.

introduced on users’ pages to increase GeoCities branding. There are problems with cross-browser implementation, and another strong negative user reaction. AUGUS T: GeoCities goes public with an IPO price of $17, which rapidly rises to a peak of over $100.

1994

1995

1997

1998

1999

2001

J U N E: The original GeoCities website is first released, with the six topic-themed neighborhoods (Hollywood, SunsetStrip, RodeoDrive, WestHollywood, WallStreet, and Colosseum) where users, referred to as “Homesteaders,” can build pages. J U LY: Four additional GeoCities neigh-

GeoCities becomes the 3rd most popular

borhoods are introduced: SiliconValley,

website on the internet, following Yahoo!

CapitolHill, Paris, and Tokyo.

and AOL.

DECEMBER: Thousands of new users are

JA N UA RY: At the height of the dot-com

signing up every day, monthly page views

bubble GeoCities is bought by Yahoo! for

are up to six million, and four additional

$3.57 billion in stock.

themed neighborhoods are introduced to GeoCities, bringing the total to 14. The company name is changed to GeoCities, after a brief stint as “GeoPages.”

M AY: Yahoo! takes control of GeoCities. A change to the terms of service results in users leaving en masse in protest, but the changes are quickly reversed. J U LY: GeoCities URLs are changed from the neighborhoods to so-called “vanity” URLs using Yahoo! usernames.


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JUNE: GeoCities is relaunched after having spent two years reexamining its role and finding a new nichĂŠ in the over-saturated realm of social networks.

GeoCities is attracting 177 million visitors annually, with 15.1 million unique U.S. visitors.

MARCH: With a 11.5 million unique U.S. visitors, GeoCities had experienced a 24% decline from March 2008. A PRIL : Yahoo! announces the imminent closing of GeoCities, and stops activating any new accounts. Internet Archive announces their project to archive every GeoCities page, stating OC TOB ER : Yahoo! closes all GeoCities services, except in Japan.

2008

2009

2010

2012

OC TOB ER : On the one year anniversary of the temporary closing of GeoCities, Archive Team releases a 641 GB file of archived GeoCities pages.

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G E O C I T I E S H A S A LWAY S B E E N A B O U T

Community Engagement “GeoCities was where I honed my HTML skills. Before WYSIWYG, I had “type in the HTML, hit preview, realize it was all f’d up, try again.” Boy, those were the days. Even though I haven’t updated my GeoCities page in years (www.geocities.com/ foxfire_83) it will always be where I learned that I was in love with the web. It will be missed. :( ” —Adena DeMonte

“My page was dedicated to the Atlanta Braves, complete with animate gif of the tomahawk chop, lol.” —Adam Ostrow

“In middle/high school of course I had a GeoCities page! I even wrote a blog there until the rise of LiveJournal made posting so much easier. Mine disappeared somewhere around there, too; I went looking for it a while later and it was nowhere to be found. The end of GeoCities is definitely nostalgic; that’s where I first learned all the HTML I know (I designed the page from scratch)!” —Sarah Fowler


A COMMUNIT Y OUTCRY While the popularity of GeoCities seemed to be declining in 2009, there was a large community outcry when Yahoo! announced the closure. These responses and fond reminiscences from GeoCities users in 2009 reflect what attachment and brand loyalty GeoCities had inspired in its community members. That outcry helped convince Yahoo! executives that GeoCities was worth the resources necessary to reposition it among today’s social networking megasites.


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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE


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“GeoCities has been an important outlet for personal expression on the Web for almost fifteen years.”2 “The first site I ever made was on GeoCities too. It was in ForrestVines and was a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fansite called Realm of a Slayer. It had a purple velvet background and stupid gothic horizontal rules. And of course animated gifs. I remember I was so proud when I made an imagemap for my navigation. But I didnt actually know how to do them so I just painted over the one at Lycos.com in MS Paint.” —Jon

“GeoCities was host to my first website, an awesomely bad HTML student project, circa 1994. I think it was a site about X-MEN, lol. Terribad design and animated GIFs galore.” —shezcrafti

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“I was a Community Leader around that time in SiliconValley. I was pretty excited to be apart of that program. Gave me something important to do during my teens.” —Brad B


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“I remember my first GeoCities page

“I remember GeoCities vividly. I had a

too, it lived in TheTropics. GeoCities

personal page devoted to my personal

has probably outlived its usefulness,

interests (including one that spoke

but it’s still sad to see one of the web’s

in the voice of my dog in the pets’

true originals calling it a career.”

section), and then later, a page devoted

—UnsatisfiedMind

to the movie Titanic! It was a purple “watery-looking” page with a repeating background of the movie poster. It had

“Aw dang—first somewhat real site I

flashing headlines in big, bold Times

had was on GeoCities back in the day

New Roman font, horizontal rules,

(when I was like 9… hah). Sad to see

and blinking “Under Construction”

it go.”

signs. And then when I got rollovers to —Jeremy Steele

work…damn…it was revolutionary!” —Sheryl

“Sad. My first website and The Mafia Page was there. I was on /SiliconValley/1424.” —webjay

“My first website was on GeoCities (the address still works) and I learned basic HTML code (which made me money in those early days) from playing around on it. I had forgotten about the old community organization system!” —xericwit

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WHAT WE HAVE BECOME

A C O M PA N Y I N T R A N S I T I O N

In 1994, GeoCities was a brilliant idea that quickly became an incredibly popular website and successful business. However, 15 years later in 2009, the Internet had changed dramatically and other companies now had competitive social networking products for consumers who wanted a personal presence on the web. The range of successful competitors such as Myspace, Facebook and Twitter, paired with GeoCities’ failure to adapt to fifteen years worth of developments in Internet technology and culture, meant that GeoCities was no longer a leader in the field. In 2009, we decided that the time had come to reposition GeoCities.

most important feature. The Internet has become a much more

Yahoo! announced our closure in October, and over the course of

subtle and well-designed experience, as companies have explored

the next year a team of industry experts closely examined what

the finer points of what a highly interactive, universal technology

strengths the GeoCities brand brought to the table, and explored

can do for their business.

what niché opportunities there were in the realm of social networks.

In fact, the universality of the Internet, which is now taken almost

While GeoCities could have potentially moved into a different

for granted, has started creating social problems. The ubiquity

industry altogether, our team decided to remain in social network-

of the laptop, tablet, and smart phone, and of everyone having a

ing because of our two key brand strengths: a strong sense of com-

screen in front of them at all times, has given rise to complaints that

munity and high audience engagement. The challenge, therefore,

technology is cutting us off from each other. Instead of spending

was to find a unique niché in this saturated field. The solution we

time together, we spend more and more time looking at a screen.

came up with is a game changer in the world of virtual communities,

Whether or not there is proof to back up this claim is perhaps less

and will once again make GeoCities a trail blazing company.

important than the fact that many people complain of feeling an

The solution came from thinking about what role Internet technology plays in our world today, and how it has changed since it was first introduced. When the Internet was new and still in many ways under development, users and business developers were still enthralled with its almost magic ability to connect us with people

increased sense of isolation, and are annoyed by the rudeness of those who choose to pay attention to their devices rather than the people around them. It is ironic that in an age in which we have more methods of connection and communication than ever before, there is a greater feeling of disconnection with the people around us.

anywhere at anytime. GeoCities used this ability for global connection to create virtual communities that brought people together based on personal interests rather than geographic location. It reexamined what it meant to be a community in this new digital age.

RECONNECTING WITH OUR COMMUNIT Y It is this feeling of a lack of interpersonal connection that GeoCities is going to now address. While the original GeoCities focused on

In 2012, however, the Internet no longer carries this sense of being

connecting people on opposite sides of the world, GeoCities will

a magical portal whose ability to connect over long distances is its

now focus on reconnecting people on opposite sides of the street.


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GeoCities will bring the tools of the digital, virtual world to bear on the problem of bringing people together who have so much in common, and have a huge capacity to benefit one another, and yet so often rarely speak to each other. GeoCities will do this by focusing on four goals that will help us achieve our mission: encouraging community activity, aiding economic development, increasing communication and developing relationships. A wide range of both virtual and physical services, listed in chapter three, will help us achieve these goals. GeoCities will continue to work with technology, focusing on bringing the virtual world into the physical space and using digital communications to bring communities together. Many GeoCities services target entire communities, with the goal of enabling communication and creating stronger relationships and more accessible information. However, several of our services will focus specifically on two of GeoCities’ key audience groups: small businesses and children. Helping local small businesses thrive is an important part of strengthening communities, and is a great example of how neighbors can help each other. In today’s global world it is easy for multinational corporations to squash mom-and-pop stores, and GeoCities aims to help level the playing field. The other target audience, children, is in someways merely an extension of what the original GeoCities did. When GeoCities was founded, a large percentage of users were young adults and teenagers who were eager to socialize, learn this exciting, new technology, and create something themselves. GeoCities will continue to foster that youthful sense of community engagement, providing educational experiences and encouraging young entrepreneurs. By increasing communication, enabling more interaction between community members, encouraging activity and aiding small businesses, we look forward to fulfilling the new GeoCities mission.


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T H E N E W G E O C I T I E S M I S S I O N S TAT E M E N T:

“Enabling communities and reconnecting neighbors.”


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W H O W E A R E T O DAY

The new GeoCities will provide a range of services aimed at bringing communities together. New communication technologies will easily and seemlessly put event information at the fingertips of everyone in the community, and organize the community with intuitive and deceptively simple digital interfaces. Those interfaces may range from the small, portable screen of a smart phone to the large touch screen of an interactive billboard, but whatever the size or context, all will have a branded and cohesive user experience. GeoCities will now be characterized by this ease of use, high level of organization and beautiful, intuitive, modern design. The proprietary digital communications technology developed by GeoCities will be inherently social, and will be engaging and welcoming for the user. Digital technologies will no longer be limited to the experience of a single person sitting alone in front of the screen, as was the case for the original GeoCities. Instead, this sense of cutting edge technology from GeoCities will be coupled with the friendly, neighborhood feel of a freshly baked pie brought over for new neighbors. Our previous celebration of individuality, both in terms of what makes each person great as well as what makes each separate community great, will continue to be a core part of GeoCities. While creativity will also continue to be encouraged, it will no longer be one of the most important characteristics of GeoCities.


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COMMUNAL

Ye l l o w P a g e s

N e w Yo r k T i m e s 7x7 New GeoCities

Palo Alto Monthly

T he Bold Italic Ye l p

Square

Facebook NPR Foursquare Craigslist

Skype

BORING

E N G AG I N G

Wo r d p r e s s

Myspace

Old GeoCities Apple

INDIVIDUAL

OUR BR AND COMPETITORS: E N G AG I N G C O M M U N I T I E S With our new mission of enabling communities and reconnecting neighbors, GeoCities will have an influence in a wide range of fields. Competitors will include Internet companies and social networking power houses such as Facebook, but will also include a range of businesses that have traditionally been involved in community life. GeoCities will take a close look at the role played by newspapers like the New York Times, as well as what type of presence they are creating for themselves in the virtual world. From Wordpress to Craigslist to Apple, we are competing with companies that foster digital communities, enable community interaction, and put innovative technology in homes, small businesses and communities.


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CUSTOMIZED

Old GeoCities

Wo r d p r e s s

Myspace

NPR

Apple Facebook

USELESS

I N F O R M AT I V E

7x7

T he Bold Italic

Craigslist

New GeoCities

Skype Foursquare Palo Alto Monthly

Square Ye l l o w P a g e s

UNIFORM

OUR BR AND COMPETITORS: C U S T O M I Z E D I N F O R M AT I O N One of the most important roles of GeoCities will be to present information, making it available to the people who would benefit from it. A company can be built around simply presenting all information to everybody, such as the New York Times, or filtering what information each person sees, such as the individual experience each user has when visiting Facebook. This task of presenting more targeted, customized information requires both knowing what information is pertinent, and knowing who it is pertinent for. Many companies and businesses have approached this task differently, and the new GeoCities will approach it much differently from the original GeoCities. Instead of allowing users to provide, design and organize all content, GeoCities will now take a major role in organizing the content and present more information, tailored to each community, in a clearer way.

Ye l p N e w Yo r k T i m e s

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AUDIENCE PERSONAS

GeoCities services and programs are designed for the whole community, creating a target audience of a wide demographic range. From young teenagers to retirees, GeoCities will try to inform community members of activities of interest to them and offer services to connect and engage them with the rest of their community. Our audience personas help us focus on the specific needs of more individualized segments of our audience, so that we can deliver a better product for each of them. Each community member brings their own

and so our challenge and our privilege is

needs and preferences to the table. The

to meet the needs of as many community

GeoCities team of researchers and com-

members as possible.

munity managers helps us anticipate and meet our users’ needs, oftentimes before they are even aware of them.

Our audience’s range of skills, abilities and desires strongly affects our end product. With our goal of using technology to bring

Our audience personas include a wide

the virtual into the physical world in order

range of people. They range from tech

to help enable the communities around us,

saavy to technologically ignorant, from

we can only be successful if we make com-

socially active and physically energetic to

plex interactions and interfaces decep-

laid back with quiet social lives. All are part

tively and utterly simple, so that everyone

of the communities that we engage with,

in the community can use them easily.


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SAR AH CAN OF TEN BE FOUND GET TING ICE CREAM

SAR AH, QUIET HIGH SCHOOLER

++She is a member of her high school chess team as well as the track and field team.

++After school, she and her two best friends wander around the stores on mainstreet. Their usual stops are Sephora, where they try on makeup samples, and Apple, where they play each other on the iPad apps.

++She studies a reasonable amount and tends to get As and Bs. Her parents put a little bit of pressure on her to do well, but mostly let her do her own thing.

++She is on the yearbook staff, so she brings a camera to school

M

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SAM CAN OF TEN BE FOUND P L AY I N G C H E S S I N T H E PA R K

S A M , C R O S S W O R D S O LV E R

++Every morning he drinks a cup of green tea, sitting on the park bench or in the quiet cafĂŠ when it rains, doing the crossword puzzle. A couple of his friends usually stop by at some point in the morning to join him, read the paper, or play a game of chess.

++He checks his email daily for notes from his two children, who live in different cities, hoping that they sent photographs of his grandkids. If there are photographs he always goes to get them printed immediately at Walgreens, where the woman at the photo counter knows his name.

++His wife died four years ago. He misses her, but has no desire for a girlfriend. He stays active and social in the elderly commu-

events. She would have skipped many of these events, which

nity instead, and often goes to nearby retirement homes, where

she has little interest in, except for yearbook.

many of his friends now live, to join them for various events.

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The GeoCities team of researchers and community managers helps us anticipate and meet our users’ needs before they are aware of them.


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MIHAIL CAN OF TEN BE FOUND M A N AGING HIS CA FÉ

F

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JULIE CAN OF TEN BE FOUND AT T E N D I N G H E R W E E K LY YO G A C L A S S

MIH AIL , CA FÉ OWNER

J U L I E , O N -T H E - B A L L M O T H E R

++He has tried several apps for frequent customers or store cou-

++She has three “my kid is honor student of the month” bumper

pons, and regularly checks the Yelp reviews for his café.

stickers on her Prius.

++He spends most of his time at his café, making sure everything

++She takes time off of work Tuesday mornings to help out in her

is running smoothly and greeting his customers. He occas-

children’s classrooms, and always bakes low-fat lemon bars for

sionally works at the cash register and loves to throw in a free

the annual school bakesale.

cookie or give the customer an extra large serving.

++One of his sons is a sophomore in college and the other is in law school. He wishes one of them had been interested in running the café with him, but he still brags about them to everyone who will listen.

++For special occassions, he takes his wife out for a nice dinner and an evening at the Greek Theater.

++She has a weeknight walking partner, and three friends she goes to yoga classes with on Sundays. She also plays sometimes at the local tennis club, where they have a family membership.

++She shops sales at Gap and Old Navy. ++Most years, she has all of her Christmas shopping done by the end of October.

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OLIVIA CAN OF TEN BE FOUND

M

AT T E N D I N G W I N E TA S T I N G S

23

JOSÉ CAN OF TEN BE FOUND P L AY I N G F O O S B A L L AT T H E B A R

O L I V I A , F I N A N C I A L H O T- S H O T

JOSÉ , RECENT COLLEGE GR AD

++Her

favorite shops are Bloomingdales, Nike, and Lululemon.

++His cupboard is stocked with instant ramen, two cases of Bud

Expensive shoes are her big indulgence, and she spends a lot

Light, a nice bottle of wine, chips, pasta and a couple jars of

of money every year at the after Christmas sales on her favorite

tomato sauce.

designer brands.

++Her vacations, on the rare occassion that she takes them, are usually weekend trips to Napa Valley, Tahoe, or Baja Mexico.

++She is never without her BlackBerry. ++She is currently single and would love to find someone, but does not spend a lot of time going on dates. Her friends convinced her to sign up for OkCupid, but she never uses her account.

++She is part of a women-in-business running group and has run over 30 half marathons together with them.

++He

bought his furniture at Ikea, and got a 54” television at a

Labor Day sale at Costco.

++He and his friends are regulars at Trivia Night at the pub, where they occasionally win, and during football season they also meet at the sports bar on Sunday mornings for a Bloody Mary followed at half time by extra-hot buffalo wings.

++He spends at least three nights a week eating at home by himself. He usually makes an easy meal for himself and puts on the television or goes on OkCupid to message girls and work on perfecting his profile.

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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE


O u r B r a nd

2 OUR BRAND

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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE


O u r B r a nd

T H E I M P O R TA N C E O F B R A N D I N G A new logo and visual identity have been developed to represent GeoCities’ new, exciting direction. The mark and visual standards for our corporate identity are discussed in this chapter, with guidelines for how they should be used in our materials. It is important for any brand, but especially in our efforts to establish a new presence, that our brand and our logo are used in a consistent fashion. It is this mark that will help foster brand recognition in our audience, and our success will be directly tied to the levels of audience engagement that we can create and turn into active, regular participation.

QUESTIONS? If any questions arise about proper use of our logo and our brand, or if additional materials or files are needed for a project, please contact our design department with your request. They can be reached at any time at designdept@geocities.com.

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O u r B r a nd

PRESENTING OUR NEW LOGO

With the purpose of the new GeoCities in mind, our team of designers spent months researching and creating a distinctive logo to represent the GeoCities brand. Also referred to as our signature, our logo is made up of a new wordmark and new symbol.

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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE

OUR SIGNATURE

O U R S I G N AT U R E Our wordmark and symbol combine to form our complete signature. Their colors are coordinated, and are arranged in an asymmetrical composition The exact measurements for proportion, spacing and alignment are shown on the following pages.


O u r B r a nd

OUR SYMBOL Our symbol is in the shape of a hexagon with rounded corners. The hexagon references beehives, which as a community-made home is an appropriate reference for our brand, as well as other organic structures that make up our world. The hexagon is made up of five pieces that appear to be, rather abstractly, a ribbon or single shape folded over at each corner. They alternate colors, stone gray and sky blue, which correspond with the two colors in the wordmark. The negative space inside the hexagon forms the shape of a house, defined by the eaves that cut into the ribbon shape, and the door that cuts into the negative space.

OUR WORDMARK Our wordmark, placed below the symbol, is all in lowercase, which gives a friendly feeling. The name is split in half between “geo” and “cities” by a change in color and in font. “Cities,” in sky blue, is in the typeface Sentinel, a friendly slab serif with ball drop terminals. “Geo,” in stone gray is in custom letterforms that are a blend of

geo

Sentinel and Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk, which results in a modern looking sans-serif that visually matches with letterforms in “Cities.”

“Geo” is in custom letterforms that are a blend between Sentinel and Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk.

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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE

B R A N D E X T E N S I O N S I G N AT U R E S

GeoCities provides a complex system of products and services, and the company logo will need to have the flexibility to support them all. A number of variations will be required of the GeoCities logo, and a system has been devised so that they remain strong, consistent representations of the GeoCities brand. There are two types of variations: one for

underneath the wordmark in a similar man-

products that GeoCities offers, and one for

ner as the product name. The design has

the towns that GeoCities has a presence in.

been set up for universal application, and

Logo variations for individual product will be designated by a change in color. The dark gray of the main logo will remain the same, but the sky blue will be switched out for other colors in the official GeoCities color palette. A stone gray bar will be added beneath the wordmark, and

can accomodate town names of roughly twenty-five characters in length. However, should there not be enough room, the tracking can be tightened, the state abreviation left off of the design, or as a last resort the point size of the type can be reduced.

have

The two variations can also be combined,

the name of the product or service knocked

with the geographic location being added

out in white and right aligned.

below the product variation logo. The spac-

Geographic variations will make no changes to the main signature, keeping it’s sky blue and stone gray colors. A simple light gray bar with the town name will be added

ing between the two bars is the same as the spacing between the GeoCities wordmark and symbol.


O u r B r a nd

1. 5 X

1. 5 X

1. 5 X 3.5X

3X

.2X X .3X

C O M M U N IT Y C H A L L E N G E

.5X .2X

P O R T WAS HIN GTO N , N Y

.5X

1. 5 X

CARDIFF BY THE SEA , CA

COMMUNIT Y CHALLENGE

COMMUNIT Y CHALLENGE

YO U N G E N T R E P R E N EU R S

P O R T WA S H I N G T O N , N Y

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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE

HOW TO USE OUR LOGO

FILES AND SIZES G C- S Y M B O L . E P S

The GeoCities logo will be used in a many different places, on different materials, and produced with a variety of manufacturing methods. To this end, the GeoCities design department has provided a range of logo files for use in different circumstances. Most files are available for download at brand.geocities.com.

G C- W O R D M A R K . E P S

The complete GeoCities signature in full color will be the main file used, and separate files for the symbol and wordmark on their own are available, as well as a one-color version. Other specific logo files (such as a one-color symbol-only file) and files for brand variations are also available, although not pictured here. If a specific file is not provided or a new variation is needed, please contact the design department.

G C- S I G N AT U R E . E P S

Please note, our wordmark is never to be typed in or recreated in anyway. Care has been taken in the precise alignment and kerning of each letterform, and the letterforms themselves have been altered so that they are not the letterforms found in the original font. Whenever the wordmark is needed, please use GC-wordmark.eps. There are times when a logo is not used, such as in this paragraph or other regular text, when a simple, typeset “GeoCities” is what is required, but when a logo is desired, typing “GeoCities” in is an unacceptable replacement for the official wordmark.

G C- S I G N AT U R E - O N EC O L O R . E P S

The GeoCities signature should never be reproduced at less than 1/2 inch high, and the symbol by itself should never be reproduced at less than 1/4 inch high. These numbers vary depending on how the signature is being produced; if it is embroidered on a badge it will have less definition than if it is printed on a business card. Please be aware of the reproduction quality and adjust the size of the logo accordingly.


O u r B r a nd

O U R S I G N AT U R E 1 " H I G H :

O U R S I G N AT U R E 3 /4" H I G H :

O U R S I G N AT U R E 1 / 2 " H I G H :

O U R S Y M B O L 1 /4" H I G H :

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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE

DOS AND DON’ TS

It is important to use the new logo properly, so that it carries the same impact and is not diminished by the circumstances in which it is found. With the many different places that it will be seen and used in GeoCities branding, there are a few rules to follow to ensure that it is always seen as it is meant to be. Most of these rules boil down to one simple idea: do not alter the logo in any way. There are many different ways that it could be unintentionally changed or tweaked, some of which seem more innocuous than others, but none of them should be done. In some ways the logo can be thought of as a piece of artwork. It was designed as a whole, carefully and thoughtfully, and cannot be substituted or altered without damaging it and the impact it makes. Some specific examples of how not to use the logo are given on the right. Do not stretch or distort the logo, do not change the placement of the wordmark and symbol in relationship to each other, do not typeset “GeoCities” instead of using the wordmark with the symbol, and do not combine different versions of the symbol and wordmark. The goal is a consistent visual mark that is always the same. There are also some usage guidelines to ensure that the logo has the impact and the place of significance it should have as the mark of our company. The symbol should not be used as a decorative element and used in a tile layout like a regular hexagon. It should also not be faded out or reduced in opacity, which changes its colors and its impact.


O u r B r a nd

DO NOT

DO NOT

STRETCH OR DISTORT

C H A N G E W O R D M A R K- S Y M B O L A L I G N M E N T

DO NOT

DO NOT

COMBINE T WO - A ND ONE- COLOR

T YPESET THE WORDMARK

geocities DO NOT

DO NOT

TILE THE SYMBOL

FA D E O U T

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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE

B AC KG R O U N D S

The GeoCities signature will be used in many places, not all of which will be crisp white backgrounds. Since there is a lot of open space in the signature, and because the negative space is a key part of the logo design, what lies behind the signature has a high visual impact and is an essential consideration. The default signature is the two-color, stone gray and sky blue symbol and wordmark. This is to be used whenever permitted by the reproduction method, cost, and surroundings. If the background is white or pastel, in a color that is complementary to the gray and blue, then continue to use the two-color logo. If the background is bright, colorful or dark, then the one-color logo should be used. The logo color does not have to be white, but it should be one of the colors in the GeoCities color palette. Do not put the logo on any patterned background or image, either in two-color or one-color. Do not use the two-color logo on any background that is brighter than a pastel color. As a general guideline, try to celebrate our logo: bold bright colors and the simple elegance of positive and negative shapes. Do not use it in such a way that would interfere or clash with either of those qualities.


Celebrate our logo: bold bright colors and the simple elegance of positive and negative shapes.


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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE

DO NOT U S E T H E T W O - C O L O R S I G N AT U R E O N A B R I G H T, C O L O R F U L , O R D A R K B A C KG R O U N D


O u r B r a nd

DO NOT P U T A N I M A G E O F A N Y K I N D B E H I N D T H E S I G N AT U R E IN ANY OF ITS FORMS

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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE

OUR GRAPHIC SYSTEM

T YPOGR APHY

The proper use of typography and other graphic elements (which follow in more detail) are just as important as the company logo in representing the GeoCities brand. Two main typefaces are used in a variety of ways in the GeoCities brand visual system: Galaxie Polaris and Serifa. Galaxie Polaris is a modern sans serif that features clean and open letteforms with a high x-height which makes it easy to read at small sizes. It has many similarities to the widely popular Helvetica but with enough differences, such as slightly larger counters, squarer curves, and simpler overall forms, to have a unique character. Serifa is an elegant and timeless slab serif, that is highly legible

TITLE SUBHEADER

and pleasing to look at in both small and large sizes. While there is no set of rules for exactly how these typefaces must be used, we do have some suggested design considerations. Serifa, with its slab serifs and friendly, approachable character is best used to draw attention to text. Suggested uses include main

L ABEL OR CAPTION

This is an example of an introductory paragraph style, that will begin a longer body of

titles (here in 55 Roman, all caps, 26pt, dark gray only) and pull

text. The style is used for the first paragraph

quotes (here in 75 Bold, 11pt / 19pt, black) with attribution (here

only and then switches to the regular style.

in 55 Roman, 9pt). Galaxie Polaris is well suited to the body text (here in Book, 6.5pt / 13.2 pt, black only), and when juxtaposed with Serifa can add some variation for subheaders. The main level of subheader used here is Heavy, all caps, 9pt / 13pt, and is almost always in a bright color, to add fun or excitement to the otherwise

This is an example of body text, and is most suitable for large quantities of text, such as paragraphs. As the smallest style, it can display the most information, and its simplicity provides a good visual background for the range of other type styles.

rather serious style. A secondary level of subhead is also used in limited amounts. It can mostly be found serving as captions and labels, and is Bold, all caps, 6.5pt / 13 pt, in black. These are meant to be taken as suggestions or examples of how these two typefaces could work cohesively together, rather than a set of rules about how they must be used. Following these general guidelines and suggestions will bring a consistency and uniformity to the GeoCities brand, providing brand recognition which is invaluable to our company.

“This style is used for pull quotes, to draw the reader’s attention to an important phrase or quote.” —Quote Attribution


O u r B r a nd

ABCabc ABCabc ABCabc ABCabc ABCabc ABCabc ABCabc ABCabc ABCabc ABCabc

GALAXIE POLARIS D E S I G N E R Chester Jenkins F O U N D R Y Constellation, a part of Village R E L E A S E 2008 (version 3) “Galaxie was always planned to be a large family of families, all designed to work together. Polaris is the first Galaxie typeface to be completed, with the script Cassiopeia released in 2006, and serif and egyptian faces in the pipeline. Polaris was named for the pole star, and is the reference point for the development of the rest of the families. Version 3 of Galaxie Polaris was released in September 2008, and includes the addition of the Cyrillic script, small caps, an alternate I, extended fractions, and improvements to many glyphs, particularly in the Heavy weight. Type is a tool for delivering language; with Polaris, Chester Jenkins set out to make a typeface that does this clearly and concisely, with the minimum of fuss.”

ABCabc ABCabc ABCabc ABCabc ABCabc ABCabc

SERIFA D E S I G N E R Adrian Frutiger F O U N D R Y Bauer Foundry R E L E A S E 1967 “While Serifa retains the geometric, linear skeletons of Frutiger’s earlier sans serif design, Univers, it has the addition of unbracketed square serifs, a squatter x-height, and boxier caps. Because of these characteristics, Serifa is a true representative of the slab serif, or Egyptian, style. Usually, slab serif types are blocky and difficult to read in text, but Serifa has humanistic forms that are highly readable for both text and display applications such as headlines, captions, or corporate logos. Serifa is surprisingly elegant and legible, making a harmonious and timeless impression. Its six weights, ensure that it functions well in both text and display typography.”

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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE

SUNLIGHT YELLOW PANTONE: 7401 U, 1205 C CMYK: C=0, M=0, Y=40, K=5 RGB: R=255, G=230, B=165 HEXADECIMAL: #FEE5A5 SATURATION: 100%, 60%

BRICK RED PANTONE: 172 U, 485 C CMYK: C=15, M=80, Y=100, K=0 RGB: R=190, G=70, B=45 HEXADECIMAL: #E74C24 SATURATION: 100%, 60%

GOLDEN YELLOW PANTONE: 129 U, 130 C CMYK: C=0, M=20, Y=90, K=0 RGB: R=240, G=190, B=75 HEXADECIMAL: #FFCA3E SATURATION: 100%, 60%, 30%

APPLE GREEN PANTONE: 382 U, 376 C CMYK: C=40, M=0, Y=100, K=5 RGB: R=170, G=195, B=70 HEXADECIMAL: #99C145 SATURATION: 100%, 60%, 30%

SKY BLUE PANTONE: 298 U, 298 C CMYK: C=60, M=15, Y=10, K=0 RGB: R=125, G=175, B=205 HEXADECIMAL: #48B1D6 SATURATION: 100%, 60%, 30%

N AV Y B L U E PANTONE: 301 U, 7692 C CMYK: C=100, M=80, Y=50, K=0 RGB: R=45, G=70, B=95 HEXADECIMAL: #004779 SATURATION: 100%, 75%

S T O N E G R AY PANTONE: 405 U, 405 C CMYK: C=0, M=10, Y=25, K=75 RGB: R=85, G=80, B=70 HEXADECIMAL: #555046 SATURATION: 100%, 60%, 30%


O u r B r a nd

COLORS AND GR APHIC ELEMENTS The official GeoCities color palette consists of the seven colors at the left: sunlight yellow, brick red, golden yellow, apple green, sky blue, navy blue and stone gray. In general the GeoCities brand is bright and colorful, so 100% saturation is often best. However there are instances in which a lighter color is necessary, and so alternate saturations for each color are listed. Please use the official GeoCities colors rather than generic shades of red, yellow, etc. Our graphic system is relatively simple. The main graphic element is a hexagon with rounded corners, based on the shape of the GeoCities symbol. It is used in a variety of sizes, either colored and part of a pattern, as a single frame for an image, or tiled together to frame many segments of the same image. Our other main element is a solid rule in different weights and colors. These two simple elements, combined with colorful, bold type, make up GeoCities’ clean, modern style. As a system, GeoCities aims for simple, clean, bright design that is uncluttered and consistent. Visuals are meant to evoke patterns, mosaics, and the communal experience. Influence has also been taken from the simple design of newspapers and websites in their most essential, stripped-down form.

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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE

I M AG E R Y P O L I C Y As with our use of typography, colors and graphic elements, there are some basic guidelines for the GeoCities imagery policy. This aspect of our visual identity system needs to be extremely flexible in order to be easily used in a wide array of circumstances, and represent a range of communities that each have their own experiences, customs, cultures and environments. In addition to the traditional illustrative use of photography, which is discussed on the following pages, photography is also used in the GeoCities visual system in a more textural capacity. In the honeycomb patterns formed by the hexagons, photography in limited colors and subject matter is incorporated along with the solid colors. The goal of these images is to add realistic details, little beautiful touches that help depict our world and the environment that we live in, both natural and man made. The photography should have one strong color depicted that aligns to the GeoCities color palette, and should be of some sort of texture or pattern. It is best if it’s used several times in a pattern, with each version using different cropping or zoom of the image to avoid monotony.


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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE


O u r B r a nd

A moment that brings a smile to your face in the middle of a busy day. PHOTOGR APH Y ST Y LE

Photography used by GeoCities will range over a wide variety of subject matters and compositions. This is to be expected, but here are a few guidelines, suggestions, and tips for selecting appropriate imagery to represent the GeoCities brand. In terms of style of image, the compositions are often close-ups

involved in that activity, as seen in the bowling example on the left

with short depths of field. Sometimes an unusual crop is used to

which implies that people are there bowling even though only the

simulate or emphasize a close-up effect. Photography also uses

result of their actions is seen.

warm, saturated colors, which can also be adjusted after the photo is taken if necessary. Compositions are fairly simple and uncluttered.

While GeoCities as a company is fundamentally involved with technology, it does not play a major role in our imagery. Instead we focus on what people can do together or by themselves in their

Content-wise, GeoCities imagery can vary widely. One area of

daily lives within the community. When technology is pictured it

focus includes photographs of hands or feet, which gives a sense

is friendly and approachable rather than stark and ultra-modern,

of action but leads to simpler compositions than if the entire per-

and is shown in the context of daily life, for example next to a cof-

son is included. The mood of the photographs is often that of a

fee cup rather than by itself.

moment that brings a smile to your face in the middle of a busy day—a moment that warms your heart, makes you laugh, or gives you a sense of appreciation for where you are and who you are with. Subject matter often depicts people going about everyday events and tasks, the inanimate objects used during these tasks, or scenes of community activities. If there is only a single person or no people, it is often implied that there are other people

Our photography depicts people of all ages, generally in wholesome family-friendly situations. Some amount of fun and excitement aimed towards young adults and professionals is desired, but nothing too edgy or inappropriate that could not be comfortably seen by a six-year-old.

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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE

P H O T O G R A P H Y T R E AT M E N T S

In addition to the photography itself, there are certain ways of working with the photographs that are more in keeping with the new GeoCities brand aesthetic. Dropping several copies of textural photographs into small hexagon patterns was discussed earlier as a way to add a visual detail to layouts. For larger illustrative photographs, there are two main styles of displaying them in layouts. The smaller hexagons of the textural patterns are too small to show details of an illustrative photograph well, so we prefer to put them in the larger hexagons. These can be displayed either by themselves or in a grouping of other large photographs within hexagons. The other main style is to use many hexagons in a tiled pattern to display one underlying photograph. This helps focus the viewers attention on the many different parts that make up the whole, and allows for rich visual detail without adding too many different components. Often the tiled photograph is surrounded by colored hexagons as well, and cropped in an assymetrical manner. While it is not necessary to always put photography within hexagon shapes, it occurs often enough within GeoCities material that any departure is quite noticeable. Preferably, any other treatment is done for a specific reason or purpose. Mixing traditional rectangular photographic cropping with the hexagons can easily result in awkward spacing issues, so it is not suggested.


O u r B r a nd

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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE

THE GEOCITIES BR AND

The many elements of the GeoCities visual identity—our signature, typography, color palette, graphic elements, photography style and photography treatments—all come together to create the distinctive look of the GeoCities brand. While our signature is the mark that represents our company, it is not the only carrier of our visual identity. Ideally, even if our signature is not visible, the rest of the GeoCities visual system is distinctive and cohesive enough to indicate that an item comes from our company. Consumers should be able to recognize GeoCities materials at a glance from our branding, with or without a visible logo. The letterhead and business card here show how elements from the GeoCities visual system can be combined for different company materials. They demonstrate a clean, simple aesthetic, with left-justified text in Galaxie Polaris and occasional Serifa for pullout text. Hierarchy is established through varying different weights and sizes of Galaxie Polaris, and all caps versus regular text. Colored text is also used, sparingly, for emphasis, but the color scheme only uses one or two of the colors from the GeoCiites palette, resulting in a bright but still serious and official-looking aesthetic that is not too colorful. The main graphic element is a simple colored rule above the text, and the hexagonal pattern with textural photographs is applied to the back of the business card where it acts as a decorative element without cluttering the text.


O u r B r a nd

A New Kind of Neighborhood™

August 21, 2012 The Associate Press San Francisco Bureau

701 1st Avenue

(415) 495-1708

Sunnyvale, CA 94089 (408) 349-3300

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

www.geocities.com

As Chief Executive Officer of GeoCities, I would like to be the first to welcome you to the new GeoCities community. GeoCities, founded in 1994, was a pioneer in the development of virtual communities and personal websites on the Internet, and at one time was the thirdmost visited website in the world. Over the course of 15 years, however, the Internet changed drastically and GeoCities recognized the need to change with it. In 2009 our parent company, Yahoo!, temporarily closed GeoCities in order to better reposition it in the now-saturated realm of social networks. The large community outcry at the closing of GeoCities emphasized what had always been our strengths: a strong sense of community and a high level of audience engagement. In choosing a new direction for GeoCities we considered not only these unique strengths, but also the new advances in the technological capabilities of the Internet. Combining those together with our focus on community engagement, GeoCities now has a new and exciting vision. GeoCities, which originally connected people on opposite sides of the world, will now focus on reconnecting people on opposite sides of the street. With the goal of strengthening local communities and reconnecting neighbors, GeoCities will use virtual social networking tools to bring people together in the physical world, creating stronger, more engaged communities and neighborhoods. We are very excited to be embarking on our new mission that may forever change how you engage with your neighborhood and your world. Welcome to GeoCities 2.0!

JILL DRAPER CEO, GeoCities

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O u r P ro g r a m s

3 OUR PROGRAMS

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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE

ACHIEVING OUR MISSION

OUR MISSION:

Enabling Communities Reconnecting Neighbors


O u r P ro g r a m s

OUR GOA LS:

O U R S T R AT EG I E S :

A

M A K I N G E V E N T I N F O R M AT I O N E A S I LY A C C E S S I B L E

E N C O U R AG I N G COMMUNIT Y

ASSISTING WITH EVENT PL ANNING

ACTIVIT Y

P U T T I N G O N E V E N T S A N D E D U C AT I O N A L P R O G R A M S

E

E N C O U R AG I N G E N T R E P R E N E U R I A L I S M

DEVELOPING THE LOCAL

SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESSES

ECONOM Y

P R OV I D I N G E X P E R T A DV I C E O N P E R M I T S A N D R EG U L AT I O N S

C INCREASING

COMMUNICATION

E N A B L I N G N E I G H B O R -T O - N E I G H B O R C O M M U N I C AT I O N I N T R O D U C I N G E XC E P T I O N A L C O M M U N I T Y M E M B E R S B R OA D C A S T I N G W H AT C O M M U N I T Y M E M B E R S A R E D O I N G

R DEVELOPING

REL ATIONSHIPS

ENABLING RESOURCE & KNOWLEDGE SHARING INCENTIVIZING MEMBER INTER ACTION E N C O U R AG I N G F R I E N D LY C O M P E T I T I O N

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GEOCITIES BRAND GUIDE

+ + E V EN T PL A N NING SERV ICES WIT H PIC T U RE- PERFEC T GUA R A N T EE + + YO U NG EN T REPREN EU RS M EN TORSHIP PROGR A M A N D FU N DING CON T ES T + + PERMIT A N D CER TIFICATION OF K IDS ’ BUSIN ESSES + + K ID - RU N SU M M ER FA IR

+ + COM M U NIT Y CH A L L ENGES

+ + COM M U NIT Y CA L EN DA R + + COM M U NIT Y N EWSPA PER + + EDUCATION A L W RITING PROGR A M

COMM. ACTIVIT Y

ECONOM Y

REL ATIONSHIPS

+ + PEER-TO - PEER RECOM M EN DATIONS

COMMUNICATION

+ + LOCA L E X PER TS PROGR A M + + L EN DING LIB R A RY + + COM M U NIT Y E XCH A NGE PROGR A M

+ + IN - PERSON “ LIK E” B U T TONS


O u r P ro g r a m s

OUR BUSINESS

GeoCities is repositioning to focus on helping communities in a wide variety of ways. Therefore, our resources and efforts will focus on providing services that help small towns and cities across America. From sharing resources to helping with event planning to promoting small businesses, GeoCities will provide all services big and small that will improve community life. Our focus in developing our new business

audience, as they played a large role in the

plan is on those things that would make life

original GeoCities community.

easier, but are hard for individuals or small groups to accomplish on their own.

The diagram here categorizes the thirteen services and programs GeoCities

Many of the new GeoCities services will

will now offer according to which combi-

focus on organizing and categorizing large

nation of our four main goals (discussed

amounts of information, and then making it

on the previous page) it accomplishes or

available to those who need it.

contributes to. Each of these thirteen

Several of our community services focus specifically on children and teenagers. In planning our new direction we wanted to make a point of continuing to serve this

programs is discussed in more detail in following pages, with their corresponding goals indicated within a smaller hexagon by an A for Activity, E for Economy, C for Communication, and R for Relationships.

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COMMUNITY EVENTS

A E

GeoCities will provide event planning services for small groups that lack the resources necessary to hire professionals or put on big budget affairs. Often a lack of resources or time to plan publicity events, social

our clients cut corners in ways that their customers will not notice,

gatherings, and other activities prevents small-scale organizers

and put on high quality events without the high quality price tag.

from being able to put these events on. GeoCities would fill a gap here, with event planning for clients such as small businesses, civic groups like libraries, schools and museums, and groups of ordinary citizens wanting to put on a block party or a garage sale.

GeoCities also provides a picture-perfect, hassle-free guarantee for events that absolutely need to go smoothly. When you just cannot risk a flop, you can hire GeoCities picture perfect guarantee team, and we will ensure that your event runs smoothly and is

Services will include helping identify appropriate venues, pro-

packed with happy customers. If no one is showing up, GeoCities

curing amenities like catering or entertainers, and designing and

will react within 15 minutes to get throngs of people in the door.

distributing promotional materials. Optional additional features

If something is missing, breaks, gets lost or whatever else can go

will be available for a fee, including online advertising and web-

wrong just when you need it most, GeoCities will get a replacement

site creation, unique event branding including logo, invitation and

product or service available and delivered to you immediately. You

commemorative poster design, and more. GeoCities will specialize

can relax and focus on what you need to do, knowing that any mis-

these services for our smaller-scale clients by having staff trained

haps or minor disasters will be handled by GeoCities with speed

in a wide array of cost-cutting techniques. Our promise is to help

and efficiency.


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C O M M U N I T Y C A L E N DA R

A C

A single platform for information on all community events, with results that can be filtered by age or interest. There are a wide, wide range of devices and systems in use today to keep track of busy schedules. The GeoCities Community Calendar website will provide a platform to list every community event in one place. From Saturday morning Little League games to live Jazz music at the wine bar to the garage sale down the block, every event will be listed in one place. All events will be tagged by topic and age range, so that they are easily filtered by community members and tailored to their individual interests. Users can add events to their personal calendar, and groups of users such as families, book clubs, or carpool groups can know what events are coming up on each other’s schedules. In addition to topic and age range, standard information such as address and time will be included, and an optional RSVP form so that guests can see who else is attending. An accompaning app will put the GeoCities Community Calendar in our users pockets whenever they want. A larger format layout will be made available to put on larger screens in public spaces, such as library entrances, hotel lobbies, restaurants or mainstreet message boards.

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DIGITAL NEWSPAPER

C O M M U N I T Y N E W S PA P E R

A C

A digital newspaper for each town focusing on local events and community members that features op-eds and student writing. Small town papers in America have been serving their communities since the first one was published in 1690. Today the news industry is changing drastically, and as big newspapers struggle financially and try to find an effective digital solution, most small town papers are folding. The GeoCities digital community newspaper will fill the void that is being created by the demise of these local papers. Unique to each town, the content will focus on community events and local people. Big national or global news items will be avoided, as there are many other places for our users to get that information, and this will help keep the focus of the GeoCities paper on life in the town. In terms of content, there will be a tie in with the GeoCities Community Calendar, to announce upcoming events and highlight any events of particular interest to the community. Longer articles will come from a variety of community sources. Content will be solicited from the community members in an op-ed style, and GeoCities will ask participants and hosts for write ups on local events. Larger issues will be addressed in a limited context from the perspective of how something like a tax hike or change to immigration laws would directly affect the community. Articles from the GeoCities Writing Program will also be featured, and will provide content about community members in the form of interviews and biographical pieces.


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WRITING PROGR AM

A C

An after-school writing and journalism program for students grades 2 – 12 that will encourage community involvement. The Educational Writing Program will help students develop a good writing style and work on their people skills by giving them real life journalism assignments such as interviewing their neighbor or someone of interest. Ranging from just a couple of sentences from the 7-year-olds to in depth, well-developed and well-researched articles from the 17-year-olds, the paper will give students a public venue for their efforts. This collaboration between the community paper and the afterschool program will benefit both groups. The paper gets a source of articles that are of high interest to the community because the articles are both written about the community and written by members of the community. The students who participate in the program will get a chance to develop their writing skills which will serve them well in school and for the rest of their lives. They will also get the experience, rare for students, of having their work actually have an impact and be read by people outside of their classroom, which can be highly motivating and exciting.

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YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS

YO U N G E N T R E P R E N E U R S M E N T O R S H I P PROGR AM AND FUNDING CONTEST

A E

A mentorship program that connects teenage entrepreneurs with some of the best business consultants in the country to further develop their ideas. Teenagers with a business idea and the drive to make it happen will

business off the ground. Teenagers who participate in this can

have access to top quality advice on what to do next, feedback on

choose to either help run the business themselves or have a team

their idea, and assistance with developing their business concept.

take over and develop it further for them.

The entrepreneurs will be part of a program run by a team of facilitators at GeoCities, who will monitor their progress and help keep them motivated and moving forward. It is the facilitators who the young entrepreneurs will primarily be in contact with, and basic advice on the factors in developing a robust business model will be discussed. At certain key points in the development of their business plan, the teenagers will sit down for one-on-one discussions, either live or via video chatting, with business consultants and experienced entrepreneurs from a wide array of successful start ups and businesses. All of the teenagers in this program will be given the opportunities to develop their ideas, and their success will depend on their drive and the merit of their concept. For the teenagers participating in this program, as a method of motivation and demonstrating the real world impact they can have, GeoCities will run an annual national funding contest for young entrepreneurs. The winner of the contest will receive angel funding for their business plan and a full-time partner to help get the

A PA R T O F T H E G E O C I T I E S L E G AC Y The original GeoCities was, in many cases, the first introduction people had to the world of web design. This was especially true for young adults and teenagers who were eager to try something new and exciting, and enthusiastically embraced this new technology. For the most part they muddled their way through, learning web design as they went along. This experience meant different things for different people: for some this experience gave them a life-long passion for web design, for others it was their first time creating something themselves, either to sell to other. The adventurous, exploring, lets-see-what-we-can-do attitude of the original GeoCities is a spirit still very much alive and encouraged today. This is especially true for entrepreneurial young people, whether they have their hearts set on changing the world or simply an idea that they are itching to try out. Either way, GeoCities helps make their endeavors possible.


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“My first website was on GeoCities and I learned basic HTML code (which made me money in those early days) from playing around on it.�

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P E R M I T A N D C E R T I F I C AT I O N O F K I D S ’ BUSINESSES

A E

A service that obtains necessary permits and certifications for impromptu lemonade stands or other children’s business endeavors. The lemonade stands and bake sales of the past have been abandoned in recent years due to government regulations that require permits for any kind of food sale or business, even one run for two hours on a Saturday afternoon by a couple of five-year-olds. At GeoCities, we believe in encouraging and promoting entrepreneurialism and the kind of initiative kids show when they put together a lemonade stand. Children learn about handling money, providing customer service, and earning rewards for their hard work. In order to make this kind of activity possible again for children, GeoCities will run a permit and certification program specifically designed for kids’ businesses. If a child decides at 10 am Saturday morning that they want to put together a lemonade stand, run a temporary tatoo parlor, sell pamphlets of tactical advice for their favorite video-games, or anything else, GeoCities can help make it happen. A quick call to our Permit and Certification department will set the process in motion. While the child and his parents are out getting lemons, fresh printing paper, or whatever supplies the young entrepreneur deems necessary, GeoCities will take care of the paperwork to obtain the required permits and certifications. Because we know how impulsive and impatient little business tycoons can be, GeoCities promises a two hour turn-around time, so that lemonade stand can be up and running by noon that same day.


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K I D - R U N S U M M E R FA I R

A E

A summer camp that will focus on organization and business skills and end in the campers running a two-week summer fair. During summer vacation, GeoCities will run a three month summer camp for campers ages 10 to 17. The camp will spend the first two and a half months preparing and training the campers, and then in the final two weeks the campers will be in charge of running a traditional summer fair. The campers will have some say in exactly which activities are included, but traditional favorites include the ferris wheel, cotton candy stands, and the ring-bottle toss. Adult counselors will be on hand to supervise and ensure safety for the basic rides and food stands. Campers will learn essential life skills while having fun and developing a sense of responsibility and accomplishment. Older campers will be given more responsibility in planning and managing the fair, and younger campers will be put in charge of simpler tasks. All campers will contribute in one way or another, whether that means selling arcade tokens, restocking stuffed toy prizes, or getting the fairgrounds ready in the morning before the gates open. In the first two months before the fair the campers will learn about what goes into planning events, and decide on which booths they want to have, what food they want to offer, etc. They will learn about handling money, customer service, managing others, and the awareness and oversight necessary to make an event run smoothly. To plan for the event during those first two and a half months, they will also learn about logistics and help figure out what supplies need to be ordered when in order to run their summer fair smoothly for two weeks.

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REVIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

IN-PERSON “LIKE” BUTTONS

E C

A physical “like” button, connected to an online system, that customers can push while in-store to give businesses a positive review. Every online media outlet or social network has a “like” or “favorite” button that allows viewers to indicate their approval or recommendation for content. GeoCities is extending this concept to the physical world, elevating the significance of “liking” a business or venue. GeoCities will design a palm-sized physical “like” button to be distributed to local businesses. It is intended to be placed towards the front of the store or at the check-out counter, easily accessible to customers. If a customer felt like they had a particularly positive experience, whether it was great customer service, coming across a hard-to-find item, or a tasty meal, they can choose to push a store’s “like” button as they leave to indicate a positive review. The button will be digitally connected to an online network, and the number of button presses for each store will be tracked and displayed online. And like any other review mechanism, these tracked button pushes can help funnel more business towards stores that are well-liked by the community. Having customers “like” a store in person instead of online helps create a stronger connection between the customer and business. It expresses thanks and appreciation in a more immediate and personal manner, and creates a positive dynamic between the store and the community it serves. It also ensures that reviews come from real customers.


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P E E R -T O - P E E R R E C O M M E N DAT I O N S

R

E C

A venue for users to recommend a product or company directly to specific other community members, based on personal knowledge of their interests. Recommended products are also a common phenomenon on the

In addition to strengthening relationships and connections between

internet, and similarly to the “like” button GeoCities plans to make

community members, this recommendation system also benefits

it more personal and more community-oriented. Right now recom-

businesses because it organically provides targeted advertising

mendations provided on the Internet are generated by computer

from trusted sources for potential new customers.

algorithms. Algorithms take data about other user’s likes and dislikes and use them to analyze which items are often prefered by the same people, and then apply that knowledge to extrapolate recom-

THE ORIGINS OF THIS PROGR AM

mendations on new products for other users. While this system is

The original GeoCities was devoted to individual interests. Without

at its core relating one person to another, it is a computer algorithm

the structure or layout of any of the more recent social network-

that is actually making the connections between them.

ing companies such as Myspace and Facebook, the websites on

GeoCities will bring the human element back into the recommendation process by enabling community members to recommend a product, store or service to specific other members. If someone

GeoCities were completely devoted to whatever interest the user had. The site-wide structure encouraged this system due to the topical organization system.

knows that their neighbor really loves Disneyland, or that their

While GeoCities is no longer completely devoted to individuals’

neighborhood barista is obssessed with unusal manicure designs,

interests, there is an aspect of this that is still very much alive in the

they can make specific recommendations for that user when they

new GeoCities. The idea of sharing what you are interested in with

come across something they might like. Instead of removing the

other people, especialy those with the same interest, is an element

human connection from the recommendation process, this system

of every community, and we embrace this idea. The new GeoCities

will emphasize it and encourage community members to think more

will make it more of a give and take, where different people recom-

about each other.

mend items to each other or receive recommendations from others, rather than a single person’s presentation to the world.


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“I had a page devoted to my personal interests, including one in the pets’ section that spoke in the voice of my dog, and then later, a page devoted to the movie Titanic!�

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LENDING HANDS

LOCAL EXPERTS PROGR AM

C R

A program to connect local people with a particular skill to others who need help with a project or want to learn that skill. Everyone has a skill set or knowledge base that they have accumlated over their lives. This knowledge ranges from how to do the simplest tasks like cooking microwave popcorn to more specialized and arcane bits of useful knowledge. Specialized knowledge, such as how to reattach a chair leg or darn a hole in a sweater, can be a valuable resource especially if shared with others. However, all too often people are unaware of this resource and an opportunity for helping each other out and learning from one another is lost. GeoCities will address these missed opportunities by creating a Local Experts program. Community members can sign up and list any unique skills or specialized knowledge that they would be happy to share with others. These people and their skills will be put into a database for each town, and when someone needs help with a project they can consult the database and contact a local expert. Experts can specify whether they would like to be paid for their time, trade services, or donate their time, and work out an appropriate exchange with the person asking for help. Community members asking for help can also specify whether they would like the expert to simply do the task for them or teach them how to do it themselves. Group classes or speaking engagements can also be arranged if an expert indicates that they would be willing to teach a class or lecture a group, and enough community members express interest in participating or attending.


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LENDING LIBR ARY AND C O M M U N I T Y E XC H A N G E P R O G R A M

C R

A catalogued “lending library” of common tools and a community trade system for household goods and garden produce. Asking a neighbor for a cup of sugar may be an old adage, but the truth is that what one neighbor lacks another may be able to provide. With this in mind, GeoCities will set up a couple of programs for resource sharing. Resources will be split into the categories of “borrow” and “trade.” Items like work tools, that can be easily shared and returned to the original owner afterwards, will be categorized as borrowable resources. Items that are consumed or depleted, like fresh produce from a kitchen garden or crazy glue, will be categorized as trade-able. Fresh produce will be a key focus because not only is it consumable but it is also easy to grow in bulk, so that the grower might have more fresh produce than they can easily consume themselves, and would enjoy trading for other produce that they do not have growing in their garden. For borrowable resources, GeoCities will set up a database to help neighbors in need locate the nearest available resource and get in contact with the owner. Tradable resources, on the other hand, will be organized via a drop off location and a roving van. Community members can choose to drop off their unwanted goods and trade for something they would prefer, or wait for the van to come around their neighborhood and browse what options appeal to them for a trade.

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COMMUNITY CHALLENGES

SPONSORED EVENTS

A R

A series of events run by GeoCities with the goal of bringing neighbors together, often for a bit of friendly competition. In addition to helping others plan and run their events, GeoCities will sponsor its own events as part of the Community Challenges program. These events will all be aimed at bringing neighbors together, and will employ a bit of friendly competition to add excitement and foster team work. Contests will challenge communities to band together, such as the GeoCities Best Block Party Award that will be handed out annually to the neighborhood block that throws the most successful and well attended family-friendly block party. Contests for individuals, like a bake off and grill off, will provide opportunities for community members to celebrate their skills and accomplishments. And events like the GeoCities Scavenger Hunt will provide challenges that require community members to work together and go out of their way to meet other members and discover parts of their community they never knew about.


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Welcome to a new kind of neighborhood.

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Welcome to a new kind of neighborhood.

GeoCities  

A New Kind of Neighborhood. A rebrand of GeoCiites, for a Nature of Identity student project

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