initiatives focused on keeping its existing users on its site, while also trying to draw in new users with the allure of easy home page building.
GeoCities is adding functionality to its watermark that will
redirect users to relevant topic channels, or what it calls "Avenues." The
watermark, a transparent link at the bottom right-hand corner on every
GeoCities page, previously linked back to the site's home page to
recirculate traffic. But on Tuesday, the company took down the watermark
and will relaunch it tonight with the new functionality.
The watermark, which was introduced in June, caused an uproar among many users who claimed
it was intrusive and that it blocked features on the page. Some users
protested by blackening their pages, while others threatened to walk away
from the service.
Meanwhile, the company is also planning to release an updated HTML editor
aimed at simplifying its home page building process in an effort to attract
more novice users. The updated editor will incorporate "drag and drop"
technology that the company says will make the building process faster and
GeoCities will host a beta test period tonight at 7 p.m. PT for
more experienced users. The beta test was advertised to the company's Silicon Valley
members or "homesteaders."
The two developments today exemplify the need for Web companies to
continually attract new customers while creating loyalty among existing
ones. Community and home page building have been
two strategies that many portals recently have adopted in an effort to garner user loyalty.
Other home page builder sites such as Tripod are also ramping up efforts to
attract customers. Today, Tripod is expected to launch a redesign of its site that
will organize member home pages into specific topic channels and introduce
an e-commerce center where users can buy and sell products.