Which Dead Website Do You Miss The Most? [We Ask You]

we ask you111   Which Dead Website Do You Miss The Most? [We Ask You]Google Reader is no more, having been retired from service at the beginning of July. The news of its imminent culling was announced in March, and since then plenty of alternatives have revealed themselves. Still, Google Reader will be missed by many, and these same people will likely be preparing for the next time Google decides to kill off one its underused and/or under-performing services.

At the time of the announcement regarding the future of Google Reader we asked you what should have been culled in its stead? We’ve also previously asked what one website do you value above all others? This week we’re combining these two questions, sprinkling a little nostalgia on top, and (hoping) to have a fruitful discussion about dead websites.

This Week’s Question…

We want to know, Which Dead Website Do You Miss The Most? It isn’t just Google that regularly prunes its properties, and Yahoo has also recently announced a round of culls. Amongst a bunch of Web services most people have never heard of is AltaVista, which those of us over a certain age will remember with fondness.

With this in mind we want you to reveal which website you miss the most. For website — read Web service, because we’re talking here about sites which offered something of note to its user base. In other words please don’t tell us about a personal website of yours which you no longer update… we’re really not interested.

gravestones snow   Which Dead Website Do You Miss The Most? [We Ask You]

With this being MakeUseOf we’d also like you to tell us which website or Web service you used to replace the one that died. In the same way that users of Google Reader are now having to choose the RSS feed reader to make use of from now on, we want you to offer up a replacement for the service you miss the most.

To recap…

  1. Tell us which website you miss the most.
  2. Tell us why you were sad to see it go.
  3. Tell us what you replaced it with.

To help jog your memory Esquire has a list of old-skool Web services that were before their time. While none of those mentioned may have ever been on your radar, the list should help get your gray matter thinking nostalgically about the websites you used in the past which no longer exist.

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told Us. One reader will be chosen for the coveted Comment Of The Week, getting their name up in lights, the respect of other readers, and a T-shirt chosen from those available through MakeUseOf Rewards. What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to necessitate a discussion. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to the MakeUseOf readership. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Rupert Ganzer

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If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.

43 Comments -

RAnn

The site I miss is Northern Lights. I was one of the first search engines to focus on scholarly writings, periodicals etc. Google searches most of that type of thing now but when they were my “go to” site for many a work project back in the day before “to google” was a known verb.

Dave P

Once “to Google” became a thing it killed many of the early search engines. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, to be honest.

Glenn

Konfabulator (before Yahoo! bought ‘em and ruined the whole thing… as usual–MusicMatch, FoxyTunes, and so on).

Ben J

I really was upset when MusicMatch went by wayside from Yahoo….sad day.

Dave P

Ugh, it always sucks when a big tech company buy a startup and mess it up completely. They try and mainstream these services too quickly, and end up losing sight of the initial purpose of the site. Or they just take the best parts of shutter the whole thing :(

Jake

I miss duels.com. It was an awesome browser-based game about dueling and you deck out your character for duels. Zynga bought the company (they had a few other interesting games too) and then the whole company and the games were taken down.

Dave P

Did the gameplay ever show up in another Zynga game? Or was this purely to absorb the employees into the bigger company?

Zhong J

One of the websites that was taken down is Megaupload, a video sharing service that allows unlimited videos to be watched at any leisure and established as the most popular known video service to stream on the internet. Another one that’s shutdown is Installous, a cracked app for downloading applications on the iOS and despite its uses, it wasn’t coerced by federal agency for its threaten closure but rather, unpopularity consumes it.

Dave P

Megaupload was certainly a loss for those who used it, but its legality was questionable.

Tad C

I’m going to have to go with Wakoopa (Social). I thought it was so cool that it was able to track every minute of software and website usage, tallying it up to see what I was wasting the most time on and compare that to other users. To replace this aspect I guess I could say that WhatPulse is an alternative, though I’ve been using it for a long time before Wakoopa and its features are very limited (and the recent addition of the paywall is off-putting). You could make lists of favorite programs (which was easy when you looked at your list of programs and your time spent on them) and this was not only useful for organization of your own thoughts but for helping others discover new programs as well (alternativeTo is sort of an alternative to this aspect today, but it’s nowhere near where Wakoopa was).

Another extremely useful aspect was how extensive its software database was – you could search random processes and other programs running on your computer to find out if it was malicious, what program it was affiliated with, etc. and I don’t think I ever ran into a process that Wakoopa didn’t know about; now the only alternatives left for looking up processes are shady websites with “cleanup tools” and whatnot which give completely cryptic information about the process/program which isn’t helpful at all. On top of this was the suggestions on program/website pages which would tell you other, similar alternatives to check out (a lot of the programs I currently use are from these suggestions).

So overall Wakoopa hasn’t really been replaced, instead I have a very fragmented collection of programs that attempt to, together, do the things that Wakoopa did so well.

A close second would’ve been Voyurls, which was a lot like Wakoopa but specifically tracked only websites you visited, but it wasn’t around long enough for me to get attached to it. Currently I’m using Lumi.do which has the same basic premise of learning about your interests through your browsing habits.

A common theme with the websites I miss is obviously tracking, I love it. Especially recently people have been extremely uptight about privacy and security, but I’m the complete opposite and love the idea of openly sharing information about myself through my browsing habits (and reaping the rewards through suggestions, as a bonus).

Dave P

You are, as a person who embraces rather than rejects online tracking, a rarity indeed. It always sucks when you have to use a variety of services to replace everything one that’s died offered. I hope you find something similar in the future :)

Rosa S. Levy

Mirsky’s Worst of the Web. The internets have never been the same without Mirsky.

Dave P

I hadn’t previously heard of that, and I’ve been on the Web for far too long as it is. There are various websites that highlight poor design now, but have you found one that’s replaced Mirsky’s in any way?

mango wodzak

I guess the one I miss most is flock.com .. they used to offer what I still think was the best browsing experience I’ve ever had.. a social browser that up until a point was based on firefox.. I was saddened by the deterioration it experienced switching to chrome based, and quite disappointed when they finally abandoned the project altogether.. Wish someone would rekindle the mozilla flock browser (please!).

Dave P

You never know who may be reading these comments threads!

Adamar

Google Reader. :'(

Jan Scholl

Google Reader-it was my lifeline to the world.

Alan W

Well, I thought long and hard about the question ‘Which Dead Website Do You Miss The Most?’ and couldnt think of any site that stuck out more than others. So, an honest answer has to be “I dont miss any”. I am sure given time and a list of dead sites I would say “Oh yes, that used to be a good site” but I think as sites move on they just become forgotten as we all move on.
Sorry I couldnt be more specific but you gotta say it as it is.

Dave P

I respect your candour, and it’s certainly not a bad way to be when the Web is prone to changing and evolving all the time. Very few websites last for decades at a time.

Jacksome

I have to say I miss Demonoid, one stop for all torrents.

Stan

Geocities !

Dave P

You’re going to love an article appearing on MakeUseOf in the future…

Guff

The one I miss the most is Downloadsquad http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/04/12/farewell-internet/ . Unfortunately this great site was closed in 2011, and I haven’t come across any website as good as it was

Dave P

I remember DownloadSquad well but I must admit I hadn’t realized it had died. I guess that says something for how websites faze in and out of our consciousnesses.

Lucid R

BTJunkie

Donnyboy

The best website now gone is Durango and Rex. It was about the adventures of two plush toys? or was it about two toys attacking plushies, I forget, but not much remains of them out there…

Dave P

That one has gone completely over my head. Strangely I want to know more!

Rawal B

I miss the filesonic a file hosting service like megaupload.

gerald kieffer

Delphi’s [Delphi was a on-line service like AOL, Compuserve, Genie, Prodagy, etc back in the early & late 1980's & early 1990's] People With Klienfelters was a message forum put up by myself to help people who were born with this very nasty birth ailment some support & find whatever help there was for treatments for this affliction. People who are born with this will not only be GAY but develope diabetes at early ages of around 20’s & 30’s This great website can help & the person whose website this belongs to got his start by being on my message forum above. http://genetic.org
During my time I devoted to keeping my message forum going I managed to get many DR’s & nurses involved with this medical birth problem.
At the time this message forum closed it was titled = http://delphi/username/People_With_Klienfelters

Xoandre

By far, the website host GEOCITIES should win hands-down. GeoCities began as a free web host that used banner advertising to keep up with costs. In the beginning, it was a robust host that provided solid support and unlimited hosting options.

While Wikipedia lists GeoCities as having began in 1995, I was a member of GeoCities in mid 1993, hosting my own website on their servers. GeoCities was a proving ground for beginner self-taught website designers, like myself.

When Yahoo bought GeoCities, they introduced an overpriced premium hosting package, which some people took advantage of to escape the new Yahoo set of advertising page elements that appeared in layers above the content on web pages, causing many of its users much distress.

My website was growing constantly, and – when I reached the server limit – I chose, like many of the users – to open a second or even third GeoCities account to host and cross-link pages and data.

Due to Yahoo not showing a profit margin acceptable to their Owners, they decided to cut and run, allowing a 6-month “move out” time frame for all 100million websites hosted on GeoCities. Only a tiny fraction of those sites were maintained actively, so countless millions of pages with great content (and some with little or no content) simply disappeared completely.

Currently, some of those sites have been recovered partially and are hosted on two different GeoCities clones: ReoCities @ http://www.reocities.com and GeoCities.WS @ http://geocities.ws

Both archive restoration projects are active and former GeoCities members can submit requests to the archivists to find their pages, of those pages were backed up before Yahoo pulled the plug. The difficulty lies in the “neihborhood” scheme that GeoCities used, and – after nearly 5 years – trying to remember all the neighborhoods and account numbers is a challenge to some of us.

I miss GeoCities, because – regardless of the ads laying on top of my pages – it was a solid host that provided great opportunities for businesses that could not afford the exorbitant fees associated with buying a server, paying for bandwidth, and hosting the site. It also brought into the world millions of creative and innovative people.

After the closure, I struggled to find a web host that could sustain my website and had little or no chance of shutting down. I am currently with https://www.x10hosting.com/ which uses no advertising and only requires account holders to log in once every month, or be active on their updates monthly.

Dave P

Man, GeoCities was huge back in the day. I also remember it fondly. I’m glad you found something to use instead, but look out for a MUO article coming soon that you should find interesting.

Salim B

i miss google reader

muba

drop.io – the simplest file sharing service :(

lotech

I agree. I loved drop.io. It was a powerful and easy way to share anything and blog. Too bad nothing comes close.

Eweforia

iGoogle will be retired on November 1, 2013. That’s one that I will miss most. It’s been my Internet portal for many, many years. I’ve set up a duplicate at ighome.com that I’ll just have to get used to. I tried netvibes.com and was just never comfortable with the interface.

Dave P

Google are clearly upsetting a great many people with their closures of popular services.

ReadandShare

Does Napster qualify as a website?? If so, yeah, those were the days — downloading free music on a 14.4k modem — taking as long as half an hour per song — but hey, they were free!! :)

Dave P

Half an hour per song, wow, that takes me back lol.

Jeremy G

At the moment eroto.com is the website I miss the most.
I came across the work of R C Horsch some years ago. He’s best known (infamously) for his in depth photographs of the heroin/exploitation trade. He originally caught my interest because he also had a quite large portfolio of photographs of risque, confronting and experimental subjects including suicide.
I was researching ‘suicide in popular fiction’ recently and remembered these photos, unfortunately, the site has been taken down, and there is surprisingly little online evidence of it or him ever having existed.

Dave P

That isn’t one I’ve ever heard of, but I’m intrigued to know more. It’s worse when something disappears and there is very little trace left of it online.

Eric

Yahoo Launch and Geocities. YL was mostly bother free, worked on any OS and started it all. Geocities because I had a FREE website, and PageBuilder from Yahoo was freaking awesome. I miss those days.

atul

google reader and gigapedia.

diqtux

I miss music.download.com