Deader Than Disco / New Media

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  • Internet portals like Prodigy, CompuServe, iMagination, etc. They were called portals because that's how you usually entered the Internet — they had a lot of links to useful sites, news and a content listing. When the Internet was fledgling during the '90s, they were extremely popular. However, the more efficient, less resource-intensive, and free World Wide Web put them on a steady decline. Now, they're remembered as a symbol of all that was wrong with the mainstream internet in the '90s, seen as restrictive "walled gardens" that went against the open, freedom-minded ethos of the emerging tech culture. America Online, historically the largest and most successful of these services, is the only one that still remains, and even that's pretty much on its last legs.
  • GeoCities, which allowed many early denizens of the 'Net to make their own Web pages without needing to know how to use HTML. However, Sturgeon's Law was in full force, as seen in this article: "It didn't take long before this simple change altered the face of the internet. GeoCities gave everyone a place to call home, and then proved that most of us don't really have a lot to say. It didn't take long before GeoCities became home to the bottom of the Internet. Crackpot theories. Inane ramblings. Worm distribution." and "I think that most people set up a GC page as a novelty and then abandoned it leaving a whole lot of cyber-trash behind. That kind of ruined the overall GeoCities vibe; it wasn't long before you had to muck through a few dozen one-offs to find a page that was regularly maintained and had good, interesting content." GeoCities was often seen as a haven of garishly colored pages full of blink tags and animated GIFs. Also, the rise of blogging, as well as social media like Facebook and Youtubenote , rendered the concept of a free personal homepage obsolete, while those who still wanted to build their own Websites moved on to more advanced tools.


  • The dot-com boom in the late '90s produced a great many websites and companies that were built seemingly entirely on hype in business journals and kitschy adverts, among them, Lycos, and After the bubble burst in 2000-01 and dragged down many e-businesses with it, they went from being the subject of public admiration for their founders' ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit to mockery for their folly virtually overnight. This E-Trade Super Bowl ad from 2001 demonstrates the fall from grace that many such companies were undergoing at the time. It's a parody of the Crying Indian ad in which a chimpanzee on horseback wanders past the empty, derelict headquarters of many fallen e-businesses devoted to ridiculous things, plus the abandoned sports car of someone who got rich in the dot-com boom and presumably lost it all when the bubble burst. The chimp sheds a Single Tear upon discovering's sock puppet mascot (which had featured in a Super Bowl ad by that company just a year before) lying in the ruins.

Alternative Title(s): Web Original