Whatever Happened To…? Following Up On Major Websites From The Dotcom Boom
Many of you remember the Dotcom Boom that happened in the late nineties. All it took to make your stock go up was a “.com” or an “e-” attached to your company’s name. Of course, all good things come to an end, and the bubble burst in the year 2000. With that said, there were several popular sites around this era that just seemed to vanish. What happened to them?
Below, we have 5 of the top websites that came into existence because of the boom and details on where they’ve ended up. Consider this article to be MakeUseOf’s version of Where Are They Now. Keep your eyes open, folks – these sites may just disappear for good.
If you were like me (who – being the great high school boyfriend I was – once stole his ex-girlfriend’s account information, deleted any guy who could play a guitar from her Friends list, and unsuccessfully tried to keep it quiet from her and her pals), you may remember MySpace being full of teenage drama, pitiful HTML code, and half-naked pictures of your closest friends. At last, that has changed. The new MySpace is back in action with dynamic layouts and a return to its roots: music.
The social service originally existed as an art-sharing site for indie bands (as well as filmmakers and comedians), and thanks to new owner Justin Timberlake, it’s back on track. Marketing itself as a music-fueled website, the new MySpace is nowhere near the ugly social network it once was. With a return to its original focus, you just may find yourself using it again.
Alta Vista – the original action-packed search engine – has taken the death march. Once a powerful Internet utility, the site is now just a front for Yahoo. The site was actually shut down in May 2011, but as of 2012, it’s back up using Yahoo’s search results. There’s no real reason provided for this – maybe Yahoo just got nostalgic?
The site doesn’t even decipher languages using Babel Fish translator anymore. Unfortunately, Alta Vista is merely a shadow of its original self.
Excite – as you may know – functioned as a web portal that aggregated Internet data and digested it for you. On the website you would find email, weather, stock market information, news, etc. Well, the site truly hasn’t changed much – it’s still around and kicking.
There are a few changes, of course. For instance, the US version of Excite is more of a personalized portal, dubbed My Excite. In fact, it’s quite similar to the old iGoogle personalized homepage (just not as pretty). Here, you can purchase flight tickets and even find an online college education. Outside of the States, you’ll find that Excite is quite similar to its original old self.
GeoCities is dead! Well, kind of. The Yahoo-based web-hosting service that once was home to loads of user-generated webpages officially shut down on October 26, 2009 (Yahoo likes to send its products to the gallows, doesn’t it?) However, it didn’t shut down everywhere. Actually, GeoCities is quite alive and well… in Japan of all places.
It appears that GeoCities is thriving in Japan. Of course, this is coming from someone who can’t read or speak Japanese whatsoever… Even still, if you feel like braving the online translator and attempting to create a webpage of your own, you still can! For some of you, there may just be a bit of a language barrier. Or check out the archives to see some old Geocities pages .
Personally, I vaguely remember using RealPlayer. It was on my first PC, but to be honest, I didn’t use it very much. Even still, when I did use it, it was fairly reliable. Come to find out, its home website, RealNetworks, is still up and running. However, the website now serves as more of a product showcase environment rather than anything user-friendly.
RealPlayer is still going, but its website offers a few other products you may want to download. They include Helix, Gamehouse, RealDownloader, Rinse, SaaS, and Superpass. There’s not much to see here, but you may find a few cool products worth using.
These sites are still around, but they may not even come anything close to their former glory. However, some sites (like MySpace) are at least trying. There are awards for effort, right?
Which of your favorite sites have seemingly disappeared off the face of the web? Have any of your old regularly-visited sites been bought up by other major companies? Tell us about them in the comments.
Image Credit: balleyne
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