Originally created 04/03/00

Augusta gets cyber alter ego on the Web



Miles of Singapore is a citizen of Augusta. So is Alan of England and Marie-Christelle of Quebec, although Alan is the only one of the three who has actually visited this city in person.

Sound strange?

Of course we're not talking about the Augusta here, the physical city that lies on the bank of the Savannah River and is home to the annual Masters Tournament. We're talking about a new cyber version of Augusta, that can be found on the Internet courtesy of Yahoo! Geocities.

Augusta is one of 41 so called neighborhoods that members of Yahoo! Geocities have created. Each neighborhood has a special theme, so new members can easily seek out home pages with content similar to their own.

The theme of the Augusta neighborhood is, not surprisingly, golf. More than 1,000 home pages, all concerning golf in some fashion, can be found here.

"How could I resist joining?" asked Alan Taylor, an accountant who lives in Washington, England. "As a Scot, I'm a golf nut and had to see what this place was all about."

Mr. Taylor visited the "real" Augusta last year with his wife but was dismayed when he found that Augusta National Golf Club is open to members only.

"Augusta is missing out on the advantages of having such a world renowned attraction," he said.

At cyber Augusta, there are no such restrictions.

"I like this neighborhood because everyone on it shares the same interest for golf," said 15-year-old Marie-Christelle Beaulieu of Quebec. Ms. Beaulieu is the Web master of a site devoted to Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia.

"I like Geocities because it's very simple to create pages with their tools," she said.

Other neighborhoods, some bearing the names of real-life cities, some not, include Paris (where the themes are romance and poetry), MotorCity (cars and trucks), Area 51 (sci-fi, fantasy) and Athens (education and philosophy).

There also are neighborhoods for those interested in business, computers, education, entertainment, family, government, health, food, lifestyles and travel. To view all 41 neighborhoods, or to become a member, log onto www.geocities.com/neighborhoods.

To visit "cyber Augusta," go to www.geocities.com/augusta.

Reach Jon Forsling at 823-3339.