In the early 2000s, a number of new Web and social sites emerged. Despite a lot of hype, many of them did no hit expectations and/or are not as popular today. Here are some examples of the latter.
As reported by Clinton Nguyen for Business Insider:
“Much of the internet in the early 2000s was defined by Web sites that ushered people into a new age of social media and online entertainment. Take Friendster for example — the massively popular site became a household name before MySpace, and then Facebook overtook both of them as the most popular social network. Friendster is no longer in service, but plenty of the sites that defined the early 2000s are still around, albeit in somewhat different forms. Here’s what they’re doing now.”
- “MySpace was massively popular in the mid-2000s, before Facebook came out. [It is now a shell of its former self in terms of popularity.] Like Facebook, every user had their own wall, where strangers and friends could post comments. The draw was customization. MySpace has completely changed since then. The company rebranded and relaunched in 2013, with an emphasis on hitting catering to musicians and record labels. Unlike Facebook, users make “connections,” not friends, and radio stations and music videos are given the spotlight on the site.”
- “Live Journal was a haven for adolescent blogging in the late 2000s. The site became popular for having both personal blogs (which could be private or public) and “communities” where users could congregate to discuss their fandoms and pop culture obsessions. Today, the site retains much of the same look, including its popular discussion sections and blog layout. The front page now has a spots for promoted posts, which users can purchase by buying tokens with real money. Most of those spots are now occupied by gossip blogs, like ohnotheydidnt.”
- “For a while, Xanga was also used as a blogging platform, mostly by high school students, though it faced competition from similar blogging services like LiveJournal and Blogger. It had many of the same features as its competitors: a blogging space, comments section, and a “props” feature (the 2000’s equivalent of a like). Today, user accounts don’t seem to exist on the site, and the homepage displays the development team’s last note, announcing server on Xanga 2.0, though that was posted in February 2015.”
- “eBaum’s World became popular for posting viral videos, cartoon animations, and celebrity soundboards. People essentially visited the site for the same reason they’d visit other humor/game sites — to watch crudely animated Flash videos and to play with humorous soundbites cut from interviews. Today, the site publishes user-shared photo galleries and posts with embedded YouTube videos to garner traffic. Most of the videos come with one-sentence descriptions and slightly modified headlines, and photo galleries feature images and captions lifted from unattributed sources.”
- “Ask Jeeves was a popular search engine before Google rose to the top. The site provided basic Web searches, but its real selling point was that users could pose questions in natural language (like, “What’s the weather today?” or “Has MSFT stock risen today?” etc). The service was notable for its butler mascot, Jeeves, but he was phased out in 2006 when the service became Ask.com. Jeeves was brought back to Ask.com’s UK site for a brief moment in 2009. But today, he’s absent from all of Ask’s search engine sites.”
- “Before Google became the world’s most popular search engine, AltaVista was a leading search engine of choice. The site featured many of the services Google offers now — Web, image, and video search options. It also featured channels with news about entertainment, travel, and more. But when you visit AltaVista today, you’re redirected to Yahoo Search. The site went through a number of hands before it was consolidated into Yahoo Search.”
Click on the image to read more from Nguyen.
9 Replies to “Here Yesterday, Gone (OR Declining Today)”
Maybe because of the brand positioning, the target markets for Myspace are bands, artists and musicians, and the market for Xanga is for high school students. The companies seem to have found the right breakthroughs for themselves, but somehow they’ve also been limited by the tags that they put on their own.
Frankly speaking, the result of this business war might seems to be not fair, and all participants had been through varaies of problems. But at the end of the war, many valuable things have been retained. For instance, paying attation to the security of domin names and keeping an open mind of changes.
Without this war, there might not be many of the things that we can find nowadays on the internet.
As the world of technology is changing, the world of social media is also changing as well. Compared to the popular social media websites during 2000, the more popular social media websites are completely different now. I remember while I was in middle school or high school, twitter was becoming very popular as facebook’s popularity was decreasing and myspace was completely gone. Now, twitter has also been replaced by things like instagram or snapchat. More and more new ideas are emerging when it comes to social media because it is such an important part of our present world.
I think the advantage many of the companies, that overtook the firms mentioned in this piece, is simplicity and a huge attention paid to its consumer/user. Google’s selling point was/is that you don’t have to ask a question as you would AskJeeves. For example, you type in “weather” (the most searched annual word) and Google instantly gives you the actual weather of the day at your location. Its first choice is not to give you a link to another webpage (let’s say weather.com), but deliver what you are looking for, in the simplest way possible. In this sense, what makes Google different (its a search engine based on getting you the most relevant results, not skewed results), is also what is making it so profitable (easy to use, simple, and therefore a breeding ground for companies to advertise in).
Social media is constantly changing because of advances in technology. When reading the list above, I only recognized MySpace (never used it), which Facebook has clearly taken over. I personally used Facebook and Twitter more in middle school than I do today because I feel like Facebook is geared towards older people and Twitter is showing the same exact things as Instagram but in a different format. I prefer the simpler types of social media like Instagram and Snapchat because they involve a lot less content and they’re easier to maintain.
Reading this article actually brought me back to so many memories. The first thought that came to my head after reading this article was “Wow, I was born during the technological rise.” It fascinates me how fast technology has evolved and how my times fads are switched around. There will always be bigger and better things that attract consumers and this article highlights this point. I thought MySpace and Xanga were no more, but now I realize that websites are always making improvements in order to compete against other social media websites. When viewing websites like these, I think of smaller businesses while Instagram and Facebook are big corporations overshadowing these smaller ones. The smaller businesses may be great, but bigger corporations will always be watching and improving themselves to stay ahead of the lead.
Obviously in life nothing will last forever, but social media usually lasts longer than most other things. I remember when I was younger, and Myspace was incredible, but also had a lot of controversy because of how people would meet up, and be killed or kidnapped, and the list goes on. However this did not stop people from using it, and at first reporting high ratings. Part of me feels that Myspace did not do as well because the internet social media world was pretty new to people at the time and computers were not as advanced. The only one of the sites listed above that I know was Myspace. I find it very interesting that all of these sites did different things, but now a days one website can do all of these things at once.
This article just proved how many sites, and I’m sure there are a lot more, that were relevant for a brief moment in time and then faded out. It shows how something can be popular one minute and than forgotten about in the next. These sites were overtaken but larger brands that figured out how to market the ideas of each of these sites but a little better. Facebook incorporated a lot of these site descriptions into one and Google over powered many of them too. I think that was something that let them get ahead because the world became an increasingly multitasking place. People want everything at once and it to be as simple as possible. Whatever is easiest works, and the social media sites that are still relevant today catered to these ideas. It is crazy to me though, because I recognize some of the sites, although i never used any of them, I remember older family members talking about them. I would wish for a myspace when I was little, but by the time I was finally old enough to have one, Facebook was the go-to site. It is strange how things can become so obsolete in a short amount of time.
Online networking is continually changing a direct result of advances in innovation. At the point when perusing the rundown above, I just perceived MySpace (never utilized it), which Facebook has obviously assumed control. I for one utilized Facebook and Twitter more as a part of center school than I do today since I feel like Facebook is adapted towards more seasoned individuals and Twitter is demonstrating an indistinguishable correct things from Instagram yet in an alternate arrangement. I favor the more straightforward sorts of online networking like Instagram and Snapchat in light of the fact that they include significantly less substance and they’re less demanding to keep up with my peers and coworkers. Instagram and snapchat are my favorite platforms of social media.
I found this post interesting because I have been recently thinking about starting a blog as a way to present my work to the public and help brand myself. However, its hard to choose a platform because of how quickly internet trends fade. I want to use a site that not only gets a lot of traffic now but will also remain popular in the future. It’s impossible to determine which sites will continue to attract users because they can be easily wiped out by a competing site overnight. The shift from MySpace to Facebook was so swift that MySpace had to completely change its audience just to remain alive. It makes me nervous that I will be putting a large amount of effort into a site that can be forgotten about in an instant.