Deader Than Disco: New Media
Given the pace of technology changes, there are lots of examples with computing.
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Computer Programs and Hardware
- 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. Today, America Online is the only one of these services that still remains, and even that's pretty much on its last legs, remembered as a symbol of all that was wrong with the mainstream internet in the '90s.
- Floppy drives and floppy disks (commonly known as the A:\ drive to Windows usersnote ) are mostly dead thanks to the fast advancements in computer and storage technology. The most basic CD or DVD simply has capacity orders of magnitude larger than the floppy disk and DVD and USB drives perform much faster than a floppy drive. The popularity of streaming and downloads has also made optical discs in turn largely obsolete.
- Funnily, the aforementioned rise of the CD-ROM format started a five or six year trend that would itself become this: the so-called "Multimedia Revolution." During the early 1990s, as the CD-ROM format was becoming mainstream, "multimedia" had become a huge buzzword in the computing industry. The idea was that basic domestic activities, from mothers looking up dinner recipes to teenagers researching the first World War, could now be done on home computers thanks to the large amounts of information CDs could store. Between 1991 and 1996, numerous "multimedia applications" were developed, from Microsoft Encarta (a full-fledged encyclopedia on CD-ROM) to edutainment games for children, such as the Putt-Putt series.
Two things effectively killed the "multimedia" movement. The first and most obvious was the rise of the World Wide Web, quickly rendering CD-ROM-based reference software obsolete. The other was the rise in Microsoft Windows 95 as a gaming platform. Originally, Microsoft was pushing Windows 95 as the "ultimate multimedia powerhouse", with Microsoft Encarta being its big Killer App. Around that same time, a little game called Doom was released. After audiences turned out to be far more intrigued by Doom than Encarta, Bill Gates gradually phased the "multimedia" focus out of his promotions of Windows 95, instead emphasizing its potential as a gaming platform. This was heavily fueled by the creation of DirectX, a game development library that made computer game development and installation easier than it ever was on DOS; no longer did gamers need to mess with confusing soundcard configurations or expensive memory managers to get a single game running, as DirectX took care of all those issues automatically. Furthermore, many later interactive CD-ROMs were cheaply-made cash grabs with little to offer; a perusal of MacAddict in the late '90s will find nearly every other CD-ROM getting thoroughly panned. Today, the "multimedia movement" is seen as a joke and little more than a footnote when discussing the rise of the personal computer, its place in history having been completely overshadowed by the internet.
- Many Windows operating systems are obsolete due to newer, faster, and more secure versions being released every few years. Windows XP is still widely used by schools and many workplaces—including many governmental units (many a new hire at a US federal courthouse is surprised to find the computer runs XP)—and it is also still used by consumers who do not wish to upgrade their OS, even though Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft. Some places may still use Windows 95/98/2000 as well just for their simplicity (and thus making certain work tasks quicker to do without having to go through more complicated software), but those are incredibly rare to see. A lot of tech pundits are also predicting Windows itself will become deader than disco as mobile devices take over, a market Microsoft has failed horribly at getting into.
- Having certain e-mail providers is seen as sure signs that you are an old person who probably barely uses the internet. These include Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, and various discontinued internet providers like Netzero. In fact, pretty much any e-mail provider other than Gmail seems to be slipping into this trope. However, Hotmail may end up seeing a second life as Outlook (since the Hotmail accounts were grandfathered when the change occurred).
- WebRings, Topsites and internet directories have been affected by this trope, with the prominence of Google (which most discounts their effects on a site's SEO) and the rise in social networks as a means of promotion having made things like giant lists of links and the like kind of useless. Indeed, some might say the only people who even visit such sites nowadays are webmasters trying to promote their work (instead of end users trying to find new content). This can be seen by how the Open Directory Project/DMOZ has slowly fallen in relevance, and even completely been dropped as a feature by Google in recent years.
- Dedicated instant messenger programs (such as ICQ, AOL Instant Messenger, and MSN Messenger) for computers were very popular among Internet users during the days when a significant percentage of them had dial-up connections, as they would allow you to see when a friend logged on and instantly open a chat with them. But the rise in popularity of text messaging, cell phone plans with free long distance calling, social media sites like Facebook adding built-in chat features, gaming clients like Steam and Battle.Net having built-in instant messaging, and free video chat programs like Skype and Tango have caused dedicated instant messengers to become somewhat obsolete. These days, IM programs are mainly used by businesses as a way of allowing quick, easy communications between employees who may not be sitting right next to each other.
- For that matter, the concept of meeting and chatting with total strangers on the Internet seems to have become this, now that issues like cyber-pedophilia and phishing have soured the once novel concept of meeting different people from around the world with just your computer.
- 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.
- By proxy, comment sections in major news articles and editorials significantly dwindled during the '10s. The initial idea of comment sections was that anybody could give his/her own commentary on whatever major social issue or event was being covered in the article, and they were initially hailed as a promising new avenue for free speech. Unfortunately, as with GeoCities, Sturgeon's Law kicked in — for every one comment that was reasonably thoughtful and well-written, you generally had to wade through at least nine or ten utterly worthless comments written by trolls, spammers, bigots, religious fanatics, anti-religious fanatics, political extremists on all sides, and all-around raving lunatics, with flame wars between them breaking out more often than not. Needless to say, this was especially true when it came to articles related to volatile subjects such as politics or religion; a widespread joke was that the comments sections on such articles could resemble the ramblings on Stormfront, a prominent white supremacist message board. Comment sections developed such a toxic reputation that "don't read the comments if you value your sanity" became an unofficial motto for many, and a growing number of news websites and internet personalities dispensed with comment sections altogether, while others strongly tightened their moderation and rules in order to regulate what can and cannot be posted in them.
- Usenet newsgroups have been a cornerstone of the Web since the 80s, and many are still active to this day. However, their relevance began sliding as early as the Eternal September of 1993, when America Online opened up Usenet, thus flooding many a group with college freshmen who had no netiquette to speak of. Over time, many forums withered and died as they became overrun with trolls, spammers, and the like. In addition, many of the "alt" groups had begun posting porn or pirated software, thus causing some ISPs to block off Usenet entirely. Also helping Usenet's demise was the rise of the Website and especially the Web forum, which allowed the same open discussion as a Usenet group, albeit with moderation to keep the Garbage Post Kids out.
- vBulletin. Back in the early 00s, this was THE forum script of choice in the internet world. Basically, once you bought a vBulletin license, you knew you had the best possible software and were respected pretty much internet wide for it. And the creators had even better reputation. Then Internet Brands bought it. And released vBulletin 4. And the incredibly poor quality vBulletin 5. The software's popularity dropped sharply off a cliff and never recovered.
- A lot of CMS systems suffered this too. PHP Nuke has basically fallen off the map, Mambo went from a big name to abandoned in a few years and even some of the more 'popular' scripts like Joomla and Drupal have become a lot less popular in recent years, having basically become unknown in large parts of the internet. This was mostly because Word Press went from 'blogging software' to 'quasi CMS with a near monopoly over the market', causing its rivals to pretty much just vanish or die out.
- The MIDI format, even outside of video games, has fallen under this trope (see the video game section for more information). Back in the mid-late 1990s, MIDIs were often used as a cheaper and less memory intensive alternative to music. However, by the 2000s to the early tens, with the rise of MP3s and other sound formats becoming more popular (not to mention more economical, with hard drive sizes increasing and DSL/Cable modems speeding up file transfers), they are now usually subject to mockery.
- Once the king of all website design languages, PHP has sadly (or finally, depending on your point of view) fallen into this realm in The New Tens. The exact reasons behind it are very complex and it would take an entire wiki page to chronicle every single factor that contibuted to its falling out of favor, but they can be boiled down to:
- Poor stewardship (a project's quality of management and responsiveness to the community). This was most evident when it stopped development for three years and the version being developed was ultimately scrapped.
- Many of its proponents moving away from it. Most notably, Facebook decided to develop its own version of PHP, Hack, and called it "all that PHP should've been".
- In the eighties and early nineties, it was a truth universally acknowledged that WordPerfect would be the dominant player in word-processing software forever. Then, however, Novell bought Word Perfect and seemed interested more in shoehorning WordPerfect into Novell's networking strategy than in its customers' needs. Additionally, and even worse, WordPerfect's main selling points throughout its service life were its key combination based control system, its printer drivers, and its font libraries; the onset of Microsoft Windows effectively killed all three at once. New releases of WordPerfect were late and buggy, allowing Microsoft to take over the market.
- ClarisWorks, was the Apple Mac equivalent. Popular with Mac users and government in The '90s, a bad PC port hampered attempts at a wider userbase. The rise of MS Office led Apple to end the program in 2007. Open source LibreOffice can open ClarisWorks files due to that program being Crazy-Prepared. Any references to it are good for Anyone Remember Pogs? jokes.
- Similarly, Lotus 1-2-3 was the dominant spreadsheet program in the '80s and early '90s. It was one of the litmus tests for IBM Personal Computer compatibility because it was coded in assembly. It was a Killer App but faltered due to Lotus' slowness in developing a version for Microsoft Windows. This allowed Microsoft Excel to take over and Lotus never recovered. Lotus was eventually gobbled by IBM and not because of their office suite, but because of their actually innovative Lotus Notes corporate mail system.
- PKZip was a must have for those backing up files or sending software over that new Internet thing. Many shareware publishers adopted it to compress files on Floppy discs. Windows added support for the format, as did many file compression programs. While the format became popular, PKZip is now a foot note. The parent company, PKWare now focuses on encryption instead (although it still offers PKZip, albeit in We're Still Relevant, Dammit tones).
- Dedicated sound cards like the Sound Blaster have been mostly replaced by generic sound chips built into the motherboard. Like hi-fi sound systems, sound card manufacturers have responded by turning them into professional-grade sound systems with tons of features, such as Surround 5.1 connectors, coaxial and optical SPDIF audio ports, and support for professional sampling rates around the 200 kHz instead of CD-grade 44.1 kHz.
- The idea of paying for operating system upgrades is dead. Apple announced that the latest versions of Mac OS X would be free starting with Mavericks, and Microsoft made Windows 8.1 a free upgrade from Windows 8, a policy they've carried over to Windows 10. They even announced that it would be a free upgrade from Windows 7. This followed years of decreasing prices for upgrades, around $29 down from around $100 for OS upgrades in the '90s. And that's not counting mobile upgrades, which have always been free.
- Universal Serial Bus (USB) and Serial ATA (SATA) killed off a lot of connectors. PCMCIA, SCSI, most of the "serial" and "parallel" connectors. Before The New Tens it was common for printers, cameras and other devices to have special connectors so they could be hooked into a computer. Most external devices now use USBnote and internal disk drives use SATA. Older devices are still used by governments and industry. Some legacy connectors are provided for the DIY computer marketnote . Like the '80s cell phone, an old printer cable or laptop with PCMICA is good for an Anyone Remember Pogs? joke. As of 2015, the list of cell phone connectors has trimmed down to two: USB and Apple Lightning, and the latter is only due to Apple's long history of never going along with industry standards.
- The Amiga and Commodore 64 were fixtures of The '80s and The '90s. The first two seasons of Babylon 5 were made with the Video Toaster software, while Dick Van Dyke was an avid Amiga user. For years it was beloved by hackers and DIY enthusiasts who kept the brand alive even when Windows 95 debuted and Apple recovered from its Dork Age. What went wrong? Like with Blackberry and Palm the market shifted, clones dominated, management made a lot of poor decisions and they just never caught on in the US. Ahead of its time it could have ushered in graphics and sound that had to wait until the mid Nineties.
- IBM was hit hard by this trope. A lot was Technology Marches On. "Big Blue" made large computer mainframes when The '80s brought computer power to the desktop. For most of The '80s and The '90s, PC meant "IBM PC". Their Thinkpad laptops were to PC lovers what Macbooks are to Apple fans. Cue the flood of "PC clones". The market shifted away from IBM and a Dork Age hit: quality control problems with their hard drives and their laptops soured consumers to IBM. They started to get into the software business. The market shifted, IBM sold both their laptop, printer and hard drive divisions to other companies. They are mostly a software and service company now. In a bit of irony IBM reduced calls to their in house helpdesk by using Macs.
- The Ouya was a promising open source gaming console. The company was an underdog funded by Kickstarter and the hardware was Android. However they could not compete with Microsoft's Xbox One and the Sony Playstation 4. The company ran into troubles shipping units and getting games for its console. In 2015 it was purchased by hardware maker Razor and the Ouya was discontinued. Time will tell if the Ouya attracts hardware modders and DIY fans. Open source fans are left with What Might Have Been.
- The concept that internet video critics could make a living off of ad revenue through third-party video hosting services was popularized when That Guy with the Glasses was able to successfully implement it in 2008; by 2009 the site was making $150,000 a year off of ad revenue and its creators Doug Walker (who had famously quit his job in 2007 to make web videos full time) and Mike Michaud were named entrepreneurs of the year by Entrepreneur magazine. However the model became so popular that many copycat sites were founded using the same hosting service that TGWTG used (Blip.tv), which caused the formerly lucrative revenue stream to start spreading thin. This was coupled with the rise of ad-blocking programs, which led to companies becoming hesitant to spend money to advertise through Blip, and many started to pull out. Ultimately, Blip's parent Maker Studios had to perform two membership "purges" in 2013 and 2014 and enact stricter standards as to who could use the service, causing the less popular reviewers to migrate to other video hosting platforms, none of which paid out nearly as much as Blip did (if at all). By the time Maker shut Blip down for good in 2015 only the most popular critics remained, and by that time many had to start supplementing their income through crowdfunding sites like Patreon, while others (like Walker) went to YouTube to gain extra revenue through the partnership program.
- The collapse of the Blip model inadvertently ended up rendering two far more prevalent "doomsday" theories deader than disco. Before 2013, it was generally accepted that the online video critic boom would end one of two ways: either the U.S. government would pass a law (like SOPA) that would seriously limit the amount of copyrighted content that video makers could show in their videos, or the big entertainment conglomerates would sue video service providers and content makers until they went out of business. That Guy with the Glasses itself was preparing for both options; the site was founded in the first place as a response to the false copyright flagging that Walker had received on YouTube in early 2008, and several site members testified in front of Congress to protest the passage of SOPA in 2012. Although those fears are still alive in 2015, they're nowhere near as prevalent as they once were - SOPA (and similar follow-up bills) failed to pass in Congress, while many of the big conglomerates ended up going in the opposite direction of what people were expecting and started to embrace online content creators (such as Disney who purchased Maker Studios in 2014, much to Walker's amusement).
- File-sharing for music, at least in its more legally grey forms, has died a slow death. Once legal, inexpensive alternatives like YouTube, iTunes, Pandora, and Spotify emerged, most listeners realized that they no longer had to put up with mislabeled files that might possibly be packed with viruses or get them a visit from the authorities, and readily took advantage of these new services. Today, there are still a few people who use file-sharing for moral/ethical reasons (mainly out of opposition to IP laws, DRM, and the media companies that support them), or for the more legitimate use of distributing large files (such as Linux ISOs and Creative Commons video), but beyond them, the golden age of file-sharing is definitely in the past - well, at least in the USA; regional restrictions and delays aren't quite letting it die out elsewhere. This process is now affecting file-sharing for TV and film thanks to the rise of services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, Crunchyroll and Amazon, while Steam, GOG.com, and proprietary services like Electronic Arts' Origin and Ubisoft's Uplay are doing the same for PC games. Ironically, a lot of these services use peer-to-peer to distribute files efficiently. These services have been so successful that they've not only relegated piracy to the fringes, they've also made physical copies of music, movies and games obsolete.
- In the late '80s and early '90s, it was clear to most people in the computer industry that RISC processor architectures such as SPARC, PowerPC, and MIPS were the future and the clunky, messy x86 instruction set was going to become deader than disco. However, steady x86 performance improvements eroded any advantage RISC chips offered. The writing was on the wall as early as the release of the 386 chip in 1985. The 386 had memory management hardware that made it possible to run a full multitasking operating system on PC hardware for the first time. Apple's move to Intel chips in 2005 proved that non-x86 CPUs were dead on the desktop. RISC chips are mostly relegated to embedded and mobile devices for their low power consumption.
- The major workstation manufacturers, such as Sun Microsystems and Silicon Graphics, fell at the same time RISC did for two reasons: the improvements in x86 due to Moore's Law offering greater performance, and the growth of open source Unix clones, mainly Linux and the BSDs. These two developments offered high-performance computing on cheaper PC hardware. These days, the remaining workstations on the market for scientific computing, CAD, and image/video editing are mostly souped-up PCs running Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X.
- For a more specific example of how far the workstation has fallen, Silicon Graphics's rise and fall could be the Ur-Example of Technology Marches On and this trope. SGI was computer graphics in The '90s. All of the films nominated for special effects Oscars between 1995 and 2002 used SGI computers. As the market shifted and 3D graphics entered into consumer level PCs, their market share started to erode. The popular 3D software package Maya was ported to Windows, Linux and MacOS. Bad decisions over time took their toll and the company was bought up and is now a shadow of its former self.
- Shareware was a popular way for smaller developers to distribute software in the '80s and '90s, where copies would be passed around on floppy discs or BBSes and users could pay to "register" if they liked them. With the rise of the Internet, people could download software directly and the shareware model faded away. Free, Libre and Open Source (FLOSS) has largely taken its place. Most commercial game developers will have some kind of free playable demo and indie developers are getting funded in Kickstarter or Steam Early Access. A lot of software developers offer a stripped down free version for home use and a paid version aimed at business use.
- While desktop PCs still have a base of hardcore gamers and offices, they're becoming a niche product. Most consumers prefer laptops for their cheapness and portability, being compact self-contained units with a screen, keyboard and pointing device. Most retailers tend to show off laptops instead of desktops. One of the last bastions of the desktop, gaming, is being challenged with discrete graphics chips suitable for running newer games becoming common on mid-range and gaming-focused laptops.
- Laptops are in turn being challenged by the iPad and other tablets, as many consumers find them much simpler to operate and easier to carry around than PCs.
- With modern web development techniques making it possible to build web apps that work as well as desktop apps do without all the headaches of supporting different operating systems and computers, desktop apps are a lot less common. A lot of software makers prefer the steady income stream of "cloud applications" over desktop apps, which are susceptible to piracy and users just plain not upgrading to the latest versions. The only major desktop apps are games and other programs that need raw power and access to the operating system.
- Cupcakes. To the fandom in general, not necessarily because of the fic itself, but its impact. It's often considered the definitive example of how naive the early fans acted. Indeed, the concept of anything dark in Equestria was the entire twist. These days the earliest fanon and memes are seen as embarrassing, this one especially.
- Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness by Thanfiction was once one of the best-regarded stories in the Harry Potter fandom. It provided an intriguing Perspective Flip to one of the premiere offscreen moments of awesome in the series, namely the resistance to the Death Eaters by the students of Hogwarts in the final book, and the author gained praise for researching actual Child Soldiers to better be able to describe the students' plight. The hype, however, was not to last, and criticisms mounted over time, including, but not limited to: the Character Shilling of Neville as the leader of the resistance to the expense of Luna and Ginny (in the book, Neville himself says they shared leadership duties equally); the treatment of women, particularly the arc involving Lavender being raped and the boys, not Lavender herself, punishing the rapists; the seeming disdain for the canon main characters Harry, Ron, and Hermione, whom various characters insult for not weathering the storm with them; the fact that the story kills off several characters confirmed to survive in canon despite claiming to be canon-compliant; and the treatment given to Snape, who is shown as an unrepentant Death Eater and the true Big Bad of the story — Thanfiction even stated on his blog that he hated how Snape was redeemed in the books and chose to write him as the sociopath he "really" is.
Any fandom the story had was largely finished off when it came out that "Thanfiction" was actually Andrew Blake, a notorious Con Man who had, under his previous screen name "Victoria Bitter," swindled many Lord of the Rings fans out of money, and who is also known for seducing and abandoning women in real life. The story still has a following, but they are mostly looked at with disdain and willfully blind to the story's flaws.
- Any number of older friending networks. Friendster is considered one of the defining examples of a fallen social network (although it stayed popular in southeast Asia and evolved into a social gaming site), and Myspace has gone the same way due to competition from (and attempts to catch up with) Facebook.
- 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 Pets.com, Lycos, and Freeinternet.com. 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 Pets.com's sock puppet mascot (which had featured in a Super Bowl ad by that company just a year before) lying in the ruins.
- "Mature humor" Flash sites like Newgrounds, Camp Chaos, and Icebox were seen as the next big thing in the late '90s. At the time, seeing something so independent and uncensored was absolutely phenomenal, especially to younger teenagers, and many of these videos, produced with easily-accessible tools by just one person or a small group of friends, inspired many future animators. Once the millennium hit, though, the popularity of these sites took a downhill slide. Some of them got swept up in the bursting of the dot-com bubble and shut down, while others tried avenues into other forms of media and didn't have much success. Furthermore, as the scope of the Internet grew and their original audience grew up, some people just found their brand of Vulgar Humor too juvenile to enjoy anymore, especially with new generations of online videos and websites (such as Happy Tree Friends and Encyclopedia Dramatica) having far surpassed many of these efforts in shock value, edge, and boundary-pushing humor. Today, Newgrounds is one of the few sites from that era that's still doing well, and even they have tried to shy away from the tasteless humor that once defined them, instead mainly showcasing more art-oriented submissions.
- In TV Tropes, there were once popular features such as Fetish Fuel, Troper Tales, and It Just Bugs Me, as well as tropes such as I Am Not Making This Up, So Yeah, and Nakama. However, as misuse and the like came about, these features and tropes, as well as some others, were deleted, renamed, or sent to an offshoot wiki. Today, these features and tropes are no longer used, and no matter how much some tropers will demand to have them returned, the site's admins will not allow any appeal, and instead tropers are encouraged to regard the creation of these features as the worst things that ever happened to the wiki. Averted with TV Tropes itself, which will never die.
- As late as 2007, YTMND was one of the most powerful forces on the Internet. The day it managed to coordinate a raid among Something Awful, 4chan, and Newgrounds remains one of the most astonishing achievements in trolling history. These days, its Alexa rank barely scratches the top 50,000 sites on the web, and it seems to risk a shutdown every other month. This is largely due to the novelty of a bunch of GIFs filling up the screen with looping audio having worn off in the wake of sites like YouTube, which offers far more substantial content, and the kind of memes that would thrive on YTMND can be more easily done as Tumblr audio posts or as Vines.
- Related to GeoCities above, dedicated, independent fan pages seem to have gone the way of the dodo. There was a saturation of such pages during the late 1990s, and most of them were pretty much indistinguishable from one another (piles of mundane information about the interest, combined with some poorly-sequenced GIF images and cheesy MIDI music in the background). The rise in professional media-centered sites like IGN and The AV Club, as well as the rise of Wikipedia (and, of course, this very wiki), made that sort of basic info far easier to access with far less hassle. Fansites now are often very professional, expected to have their own wikis and message boards as well as up-to-date news and commentary on the property in question, and more often than not they are closely involved with the creators of said property.
- Digibutter.nerr. Launched as a forum about Super Paper Mario when the game was new, it gradually faded into irrelevance as the game lost steam, before eventually dying off for good when the owner converted it to a different forum script. Now all that remains are RSS feeds from popular sites and the odd comment from someone who'll never return again.
- A couple of admin sites have come under this as well. Admin Fusion for instance was a rather successful site a couple of years ago, but multiple changes in ownership and a complete failure to manage the site have left it a spam ridden ghost town. Similar situations have been noted of Admin Addict and Top Admin, both of which were fairly popular or respected once and are now either shut down or completely dead.
- Digg was a popular social news site, but a poorly-executed redesign caused most of its userbase to flee to Reddit. It was purchased and relaunched by Betaworks, but is a shell of itself.
- Uncyclopedia is quickly becoming this due to its lack of quality control and the rise of Encyclopedia Dramatica, as well as "random" humor having gone completely out of style. It's pretty much only notable for elevating Oscar Wilde to Memetic Badass status.
- Encyclopedia Dramatica itself, though still quite active, hasn't ever really recovered from the failed attempt to turn it into Oh Internet and the subsequent flight of the users to a replacement Encyclopedia. It's still quite large, but it's not the terrifying bogeyman it once was, now cataloging drama instead of creating it.
- Around 2008 or so Animexpansion was a fairly huge and popular site dedicated to (mostly) worksafe anime-related fetish art. Now thanks to myriad hosting/format problems, a failed attempt to turn it into a forum, and the backlash against the site owner due to his interests, the site is dead and nearly gone. Only a tiny fraction of its artists are active in any way. Not helping is that any audience it might have had might now go to more popular sites (such as e-hentai.org , which does have a working forum) with actual professionally-drawn Japanese hentai with implemented measures to have worksafe anime fetish art for those who would want.
- Rapidshare was once one of the top 50 sites on the web and was a very widely used file hosting service. After implementing harsh anti-piracy measures, which include heavily capping download speeds for free users back in late 2012, they have lost a significant amount of users. While they have eventually lifted the cap, the damage was already done, and users had moved on to competing services like Mega. In 2015, Rapidshare announced they were shutting down.
- For most of the oughts and the first couple years of the new tens, MapQuest was THE website to go for driving directions in the United States. There were competing websites (Rand McNally and Expedia spring to mind), but none had the popularity and the user-friendliness on which MapQuest thrived. Around 2012, however, Google Maps began to gain popularity, mainly due to their "Street View" technology. This feature allows users to see actual photos of almost every street and highway in the US, and also gives users the ability to "virtually drive" on the roads using arrows. Needless to say, this made traveling to a location where you've never gone IMMENSELY easier by being able to actually see exactly where you are going before you make the trip. Between the cool features of Google Maps and their stunning graphics and extremely user-friendly interface, they are by far the most popular website for driving directions in 2015, and MapQuest is barely an afterthought.
- SourceForge used to be the place to host free and open source software projects, but eventually lost the title to GitHub. Even worse, SourceForge started using its own installer that foists adware on users. This was supposed to be an opt-in feature for projects, but SourceForge did it to the GIMP and Nmap projects' inactive pages without their permission. This has severely tarnished its reputation to the point where many techies now consider SourceForge a malware site and ad blockers have added it to their filters. The open source projects still left can't migrate away fast enough.
- Fireball20XL used to be a major and popular site where numerous comics, dubs, and animations were made near-constantly. But after a bunch of people on Tumblr and Twitter started throwing allegations of abuse and crimes suffered from site creator Bryon "Psyguy" Beaubien, the site's userbase and popularity began slowly drying up. This became worse through a case of Streisand Effect when Beaubien threatened legal action towards some of the people who shared their stories about him and tried to hide as much of it as possible through copyright claims against Youtube, leading to hundreds of people sharing the stories to as many websites as possible. Eventually Beaubien suffered a total Creator Breakdown and shut down the site and the many domains tied to it. The various other talented creators that worked there are still active and successful, but have disavowed Fireball 20XL and taken their business to other, more reputable sites.
- LiveJournal has lost its popularity for many reasons. Facebook and Tumblr have taken away a lot of its audience. The admins have a reputation for being overzealous at taking down content. There are several imitations, like Dreamwidth. Averted in Russia, where Livejournal is the most popular blogging platform.
- /b/, one of the many boards on 4chan. In the late 2000s it was the internet's boogeyman, a central hub of memes and a force to be reckoned with. Its relevance and creative output in the '10s has dropped off significantly, both inside and outside of 4chan. There are a number of reasons this happened: the board found itself flooded with new users (many of them adolescents and teenagers) because of its reputation, many of the older users moved on to other boards (this created a cycle of newer users coming/older users going at a consistent rate), the board had a tendency to isolate itself from the rest of the site, and unlike other prominent boards that have evolved over time, /b/ has pretty much remained the same as it was around 2007, minus the rage comics. All of this pretty much assured that they get left behind as other boards moved on and influenced the site as a whole. /v/, /mu/, and /co/, while also experiencing a drop in relevance, still provide enough output to keep them in the scene, while /sp/, /fit/, /tv/, and /int/ have since stepped up as the more prominent boards of the site and have entered golden ages of their own. What was once 4chan's very core has now become an irrelevant pest in the eyes of other users.
- Bob Chipman has done a number of videos and articles about this subject.
- The Game Overthinker episode "Who Will Be Remembered?" is a discussion of this trope, asking which iconic video games and characters will stand the test of time. Past examples from film, animation, comic books, and stand-up comedy are employed to demonstrate how the trope works.
- The episode "Thing We Lost in the Fire" also covers this trope, talking about how arcades have experienced this in the United States, and how they could possibly make a comeback (using the Golden Tee series of golf games as Exhibit A).
- Discussed again in the episode "Setting Sun", where he talks about the decline of the Japanese game industry.
- His article "The Dark Knight Fades" is about how he feels that The Dark Knight Trilogy has succumbed to this trope. At the time, many comic-book fans and film critics alike (himself included) proclaimed Christopher Nolan's dark, gritty, "thinking man's" take on Batman, inspired by the crime dramas of Michael Mann et al., to be a revolution in superhero movies and for the Summer Blockbuster in general, one whose impact would be felt for years to come. However, the following years saw the disappointed reaction to the trilogy capoff The Dark Knight Rises, the decline of Nolan's career afterwards, the copycat films that turned "Nolanizing" into a punchline about self-serious misuse of Darker and Edgier, and most importantly, the Marvel Cinematic Universe stealing The Dark Knight's thunder by actually having the impact that Nolan's film was expected to have. Nowadays, while he feels that Batman Begins and The Dark Knight still hold up on their own merits as excellent (albeit imperfect) movies, they've become victims of the expectations placed on their shoulders, consigned to the status of just "really good" instead of genre-defining classics.
- "Tribute" videos on YouTube. Back in the heyday of 2006-2009, it was common among the younger users to make slideshows/video collages of something, usually a sports team or fictional character, set to a song (usually Linkin Park, Green Day, Simple Plan, Three Days Grace or similar). Nowadays, with platforms such as Tumblr where people can blog and discuss such things more extensively, such videos are now considered obsolete or redundant. It didn't help that the videos always had a Hatedom among the more "mature" users, who found them narmy and clichéd. An easy way of telling if a YouTube user was under the age of 17 was by whether or not they had a Sasuke tribute set to "Animal I Have Become" or "Down with the Sickness" in their uploads.
- Same goes for AMVs, especially anime ones. Furthermore, the heyday of AMVs was in the mid-to-late aughts, when YouTube was still fairly permissive when it came to copyright. With YouTube becoming increasingly litigious in its pursuit of infringers, AMV makers are doubly at-risk — will they get flagged by a record company, or by the animation company? Consequently, thousands upon thousands of AMVs have been Lost Forever and their makers banned since the crackdowns, leaving the practice unappealing.
- Animutation was very popular in its day, but its decline coincided with the fall of flash animation (and flash animation websites) and the rise of video-sharing sites like YouTube. Animutation's reliance on surrealism and obscure non-English songs meant that its fan base was never that huge to begin with, and casual viewers abandoned it in favor of the similar, yet more easily-accessible, YouTube Poop videos when they became popular.
- While YouTube Poop as a whole remains popular, the early and more amateurish ways of making them (such as just repeating a sequence or dialogue over and over, or using the "X does something while I play unfitting music" or "nouns replaced with X" variety) are widely considered as this trope by many Poop makers and fans alike.
- Fred used to be extremely popular, once the number one subscribed channel on Youtube. However, the critical failures of The Movie and its sequels, the animated Nickelodeon show and the later episodes of the original series attracting complaints from his own fanbase have permanantly tarnished his reputation. Few people above the age of 18 find him interesting in a non ironic way. It doesn't help that even in his heyday he was criticized for supposedly basing his schtick around making fun of special needs kids and having his voice be a Most Annoying Sound.
- Text-based video game countdowns (read: Top X lists that make their point across by showing an image or video of the entry followed by a text defending the entry) were huge back in 2008, and people with those videos had views past the 10k mark. From 2010 onwards, however, those type of countdowns have faded out in favor of vocal countdowns (read: Top X list that show video footage while putting in a voice-over defending the entry), and the people that made text-based countdowns in the past are nowadays, for the most part, left in the dust. This can most likely be explained due to the fact that vocal countdowns are easier to follow, more immersive, and easier to put jokes into. Music-based video game countdowns are still generally text-based, but that is mainly because putting a voice-over over music ruins the immersion easily.
- Certain topics in general have become discredited by the community. Most notably the "Top 10 easiest bosses" list. Thanks to the spreading of Zero Effort Bosses, it has become a rather boring topic to cover.
- In terms of a single countdown artist GamingTopTen is one that definitely has achieved this. He was not really the biggest countdown artist of its time, but he was the most profitable of all of them. His Top 5 underrated/overrated games list even has an introduction where he said where a part of his ad revenue would go to. Then all of a sudden Viacom came and charged a copyright strike because of his Top Ten Best Spongebob Episodes EVER list.note His amount of subscribers (12) just shows how far he fell.
- Minnesota Burns used to get video views in the millions, and was getting more and more popular, until a video of him threatening and cursing at a young boy landed him in a lot of trouble. He then turned the channel into a community-based prank channel, but public perception of him was forever tarmished.
- Way back in the early days of Abridged Series, Naruto The Abridged Series was perhaps the second most popular series after Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series. Some went so far as to say that it was the only other good series aside from YGO, and Little Kuriboh would sometimes guest star and take good natured potshots at it in his own series. Eventually, the creators MasakoX and Vegeta3986 split up and the series ended. Nowadays, its legacy is almost completely forgotten, and it's overshadowed by several series that have managed to surpass its early popularity. Evidence of this can perhaps be found in how pitifully short its trope page is compared to many other popular web series.
- The Abridged series in general has dried up in popularity over time. While the original juggernauts that started the genre like Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged and DBZ Abridged are still well-regarded, very few others have attained anywhere near their popularity and the concept is typically seen as worn out, with few series doing anything to set themselves apart from the crowd. The genre has been slowly but steadily replaced with the "Ment" genre (started by shows like Code Ment), which, thanks to its very conventions such as having only one or two voice actors, tends to only be tackled by more dedicated and skilled creators.
- The 'reply girl' was a type of YouTube vlogger that emerged in 2011 as a result of the site's newly-implemented video response function, which weighed response videos very highly in suggestions for further viewing. Many young women, upon realizing that Sex Sells, began specializing in video replies, the thumbnails for which often featured them in low-cut tops and push-up bras so as to grab the eyes of viewers perusing the thumbnails in the "recommended videos" section. These reply videos were usually boring, featuring little more than pointless rambling, yet flaws in the site's algorithm (namely, counting the many dislikes such videos received as viewer engagement) put these videos in front of millions of eyeballs. Severe backlash eventually hit many of the users involved, leading YouTube to quickly retire the video response function in March 2012.
- The "Caption Fail" genre started in 2010. The idea, invented by the popular comedy duo "Rhett And Link", was to make a scene and then let it read by the YouTube transcript and then use that Translation Trainwreck of a script to make a scene that sounded so incredibly surreal that it became hilarious. Other people who started doing it then got views in the millions, but as of 2011 the genre has become pretty much dead because a lot of the problems that the YouTube transcript had in 2010 were fixed in 2011. Thanks to this the YouTube transcript can do a transcript that is faithful enough to no longer look like something out of the mouth of a madman, which killed the genre.
- Ben The Looney started out making videos as a platform to express his opinions, and while didn't initially catch on, had caught attention, from both critics and fans after reviewing many popular entertainment mediums and was one of the innovators of people expressing their opinions against them and after 3 years, decided to end his videos as he felt they had ran their course. After fan outcry, Ben decided to resurrect his videos and while many fans were initially overwhelmed by the move, many people began to tire of him quickly due to frequent opinion contradictions, pandering to his commentators (When in the original run, he had taken a stand against him and thanked and defended his fans), relentless padding, forced jokes and taking his caustic persona to the point of being very close minded. What didn't help is that he had changed his avatar due to a row with original artist cbkpictures, as he had lost respect for Ben after finding out he had favorited sexual pictures of Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi characters on DeviantArt. While retaining a new audience for a very limited time despite controversy, many of those fans moved onto other reviewers (Which Ben ironically himself paved the way for) such as The Mysterious Mr. Enter, who had felt did a better job of reviewing certain topics than Ben did. Today, many of his older viewers can't figure out what they ever saw in him and see his videos nothing more as "corny" and "boring". Even Ben Tannehill had grown tired of making rants, as he once quit making rants to focus on becoming an animator. His channel is almost completely abandoned, with some animation projects that he made for college showing up every now and then. Ben has invigorated his rants series (again), but time will tell if he will pick up the popularity he once had.
- The Star Wars vs. Star Trek debates became this. One of the oldest discussion topics on the internet, it once had its own forum on Usenet, and countless Cross Over stories were written by the topic. The debate began to falter after various scientifically-oriented fans started crunching numbers, and came to a conclusion suggesting that a lone Star Destroyer could probably solo the entire Federation fleet - to say nothing of the massive disparity in resources between the two traditional sides (the 150-planet Federation is a whole two tiers below the million-planet Empire on the Kardashev Scale). Debates over the veracity of these calculations were then squashed by official material that provided statistics that were, if anything, higher than the usual claims. Since then, any given debate between the two sides tends to deliberately ignore the difference, analyze unusual situations (Voyager is replaced by a Star Destroyer, what happens?), or go for humor, with many of the traditional forms having been salted. Any remaining debate was completely driven into the ground by several individuals who tried to turn it into a debate about what was or wasn't canon in the two franchises, which the vast majority of fans simply didn't give a shit about. Most importantly, George Lucas has gone on record by saying that Star Wars owes part of its success to the path that Star Trek help pave. Thus, he considers the rivalry absurd. The debate may be seeing something of a resurgence thanks to the more technologically advanced Star Trek reboot, along with Disney disavowing the Star Wars Expanded Universe and all supplementary materials, though it's doubtful that it'll achieve the same fervour as in the late 90s and early 00s.
- Because the lifecycle of a meme is rarely cyclical and often quite rapid, just about any Discredited Meme qualifies. Examples include: "I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee.", "The Harlem Shake", and many others. As the internet becomes more mainstream and interconnected, the shelf life of memes becomes shorter and shorter. People declared the Harlem Shake a dead meme after less than a month of it gaining prominence, and nowadays, the "arrow to the knee" meme is often said to have arrived already dead.
- TFWiki.net is well-known for its many running gags. It has a section in its policy page titled "Captions and jokes we're sick of", which lists all of the sites running gags and memes that have died out. Some of said jokes have become so despised by the userbase that mentioning them can get you a revert or even an editing ban if the mods aren't in a good mood.