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As with any society, Geocities' communities are well organised, and each sub-community (of several thousand) is run by a Community Leader, whose job is to help and direct the community members. On the commercial side, subscribers have the opportunity to receive regular, carefully selected special offers. Through Netopia Virtual Office, a Geocities member who doesn't understand HTML (the language of Web pages) may still create a personal presentation page in a few minutes, from which he can organise teleconferences, send files and generally participate in a collective means of communication. Geocities thus provides far more than simple server space ; it is practically an online living space.

What is Softbank ?

This Japanese company is a perfect example of an industrial business which is determined to make the most of the Web's opportunities. Directed by a businessman, Masayoshi Son, it is Japan's largest hardware distributor and the biggest publisher of computer magazines (with Ziff Davis). Having bought a 20% share of Yahoo!, Softbank increased its share to 37% when Yahoo entered the NASDAQ, though this has since fallen to 21%. It also owns Yahoo! Japan, 27% of Etrade, the market leader of online brokerage, which has become a portal site in the financial world and, as we have just seen, Geocities.

As a result of the recent external growth policy of the last few years, part of the Ziff Davis group has made it to the Stock Exchange, and three SBU (strategic business units) have been created : the publications unit, responsible for managing everything to do with editorial content, the finance unit, in charge of financial services, handling the accounts of the group's other companies, and overseas investment, and finally the head office, which concentrates on software and Internet activities, notably as a critic.

The company is thus well on the way towards the digital economy, not only by taking its place on the Web by controlling the nerve centres (Yahoo! the public portal site, Etrade, the professional portal, and Geocities, the biggest community in the world). This position was confirmed fairly early on, as already in 1996 the company had invested in 34 Internet start-ups (such as I/Pro, Pointcast, and in other branches of the information highway such as numeric television in Japan.

next: Netscapa Adorabilis

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If you enjoyed this site, we obviously share values: we have written it in 1999 !

We haven't updated it online as the vision still is more and more relevant: the more the internet matures, the closer it gets to our vision.

We still believe in innovation, creativity, rigour and results control.

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Raphael Richard, founder

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