GeoCities To Turn “GeoCitizens” into E-Commerce Resellers

Internet community mega-site, GeoCities (Nasdaq: GCTY), announced on Wednesday that it will enable its 3.3 million personal Web page owners, known as “GeoCitizens,” to earn commissions from products they place for sale on their Web pages.

The reselling mechanism will be handled by Be Free, Inc., a provider of online affiliate e-commerce network technology and services. The new e-commerce infrastructure will give any participating merchant the ability to partner with GeoCities’ personal page owners.

“Be Free’s technology will unlock the monetary potential of our 3.3 million members,” said Thomas R. Evans, president and CEO of GeoCities. “It’s a classic win-win. Leading Internet retailers will have the opportunity to increase their reach and e-commerce revenue through leveraging our members’ Web sites. Our members will receive a bounty for sales generated through their sites.”

GeoCities will make this affiliate-marketing program available to any online retailer that wishes to join, charging a marketing fee to retailers. Participation in the program is free for GeoCities Homesteaders and will be available by March 1, 1999.

According to Gordon Hoffstein, president and CEO of Be Free, Inc. “GeoCities’ infrastructure will take traditional affiliate networks one step further by providing a sales channel for online merchants who want immediate access to a vast pool of potential commission selling partners.”

Corporate Background

Be Free

Be Free, Inc. is a provider of online affiliate network technology and services. The company reports that its network includes more than 76,000 affiliates, including barnesandnoble.com, Travelocity, Electronic Newsstand, Reel.com, and Network Solutions. Founded in 1996, Be Free has offices in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Marlborough, Massachusetts.

GeoCities

Based in Marina del Rey, California, with offices in London, New York and San Francisco, GeoCities is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing communities of personal Web sites on the Internet. Over 3.3 million GeoCities Homesteaders have created over 29 million pages of personalized content. In October 1998, the GeoCities site generated more than 1.6 billion page views, according to Nielsen I/PRO. In November, the site attracted over 18.2 million unique visitors, according to Media Metrix. In addition, Media Metrix indicates that GeoCities was the fourth most trafficked site on the Internet during the month of November.

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