Deader Than Disco / New Media

Given the pace of technology changes, there are lots of examples with computing.
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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.
  • 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. Their only use these days if a computer does have a floppy drive or for a boot/password reset disk, or to run the MIDI track for player pianos.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Yahoo! used to be one of the go-to starting points on the internet. There was the search engine, Yahoo mail and the afore mentioned GeoCities. Overtime Yahoo got to be a huge company, with multimedia offerings, various websites and magazines, a messager app and buying Delicious, Flickr, along with a little website called Tumblr. Yahoo didn't buy Google however, and the search giant eclipsed them. Yahoo Messenger was soon abandoned except for some corporate environments, Yahoo mail became passe and the company retired GeoCities along with other services that soon fell victim to this trope. The company that almost bought Google was purchased by Verizon Communications after becoming a shadow of its former self.

  • 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 and Trolls 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: The rise of languages like Javascript, Ruby, Python and ASPX.NET. Unlike PHP, which started as a templating language and later into a full-blown language, these were programming languages first and web development languages second; and such, they were free of many of PHP's quirks and oddities. 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".
  • Another web standard that has also fell into obscurity is Adobe Flash which was widely used in games, banner ads, video, music, and web applications during the 2000s. HTML5 and the advancements in Javascript and jQuery have made it so that users can run multimedia web applications without any plugins, rendering Flash obsolete in the Web.
  • In the eighties and early nineties, it was 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.
  • 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 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 (, 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.
  • 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, the golden age of file-sharing is well in the past, with services like Napster, Kazaa, and LimeWire remembered mostly by the now grown-up children of the '00s. 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,, 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 started to make physical copies of music, movies, and games obsolete.

    File-sharing does still enjoy a few niches, however. It's still common outside the US, for instance, as the streaming services and online distribution platforms that Americans are blessed with often suffer from regional restrictions and delays in other countries — to say nothing of various countries' censorship bureaus preventing some works from ever seeing release in their original form (if at all). Even within the US, some shows and films not only haven't been released on home video or VOD, they likely won't be for a long time (if ever) due to licensing issues or simple lack of demand; this is an especially common headache for fans of anime. The prevalence of tropes like No Export for You, Keep Circulating the Tapes, and Banned in China means that file-sharing isn't quite ready to die out entirely. There are also those 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).
  • 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 disks 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.
  • In The Oughts, Apple's Final Cut Pro was the professional video editing software program, being used for many Hollywood films. In 2011, the release of Final Cut Pro X completely demolished its reputation with film editors with its revamped interface and lack of support for existing post-production workflows. Many editors went back to Avid and Adobe Premiere, even though Apple made changes to try to placate editors. How far has Final Cut Pro fallen? A job listing for a video editor to create promos for Apple lists editors experienced in Adobe Premiere and Avid Media Composer. It seems that even Apple doesn't want anything to do with Final Cut Pro X.
  • Google Glass, like a lot of Google projects, was seen as having the potential to change the world. However, privacy concerns from people not wanting to be filmed covertly, backlash from theaters over bootlegging concerns, and the "Glasshole" stereotype earned it and similar "smart glasses" a frosty reception. The rise of smart watches sank the ship, as smart watches required far less of a shift in lifestyle and fashion due to them being a modernization of the wristwatch, one of the oldest pieces of "wearable tech", rather than a brand new item. Now, the Glass is just another footnote in Google's history.
  • In the older times, computer viruses would often show funny messages or graphical effects after their activation; most of those viruses were created as (very nasty) pranks or to demonstrate one's programming skills, and so their authors wanted to show off. Today's malware, however, is created with much more pragmatic purposes in mind (such as stealing passwords or credit card numbers), and so it's in the author's interests not to give any hints of the program's presence, meaning that these flashy effects are now a thing of the past.
  • Adoptables were little sprite creatures, usually mythical animals like dragons or sometimes knockoff Pokémon, that you attached to the bottom of your forum signature with a code and grew from egg to adult as other people clicked on them. There were dozens of different websites to adopt them from, often designed on amateur platforms like Freewebs (now known as Webs). Dragon Cave and Chicken Smoothie were among the most popular of these. They were popular from around 2006 to 2010 but slowly started to be seen as one of the cornier aspects of 2000s forum culture and began to phase out. They still exist, though, and some websites like MagiStream still remain active.
  • Enhanced CDs were a technology that added computer data to music CDs. Once put in a computer, they opened software that allowed users to check out music videos, websites, wallpapers, and other bonus content. Once immensely popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s, consumers eventually grew tired of the automatically-opening software that guzzled system memory. Even worse, some companies like Sony went one step further and used enhanced content for Copy Protection. The massive backlash during the Sony rootkit scandal and the failure of Disney’s CDVU+ technologynote  helped phase out the Enhanced CD format.
  • The BASIC family of programing language were the beginner programing languages in the '70s, '80s, and '90s. Almost every computer and even some video game consoles had a BASIC programming language and it was used in almost every school that had a programming class. Now in days general purpose scripting languages like Lua, Python, and Ruby have taken this role since they are object-oriented and similar to more advanced programming languages. Today BASIC is mostly used by retro-computer and graphing-calculator enthusiasts.


  • Any number of older friending networks.
    • Friendster was the first to go through this process, losing most of its Western userbase to MySpace in 2004-05. It has since been considered one of the defining examples of a fallen social network, subjected to Anyone Remember Pogs?-style jokes by The Onion. Cushioning its fall, though, was the fact that it stayed popular in southeast Asia, where it evolved into a social gaming site that lasted until 2015.
    • MySpace, the site that dethroned Friendster, went the same way due to competition from, and attempts to catch up with, Facebook, which bit into its market share in the late '00s - reasons varying from MySpace's target audience growing up and moving on to Facebook, which was seen as more mature (the vast majority of its first users were college kids). The site eventually reinvented itself into a music sharing platform (by the end of its lifecycle, the only real users were music bands), but it's a pale shadow of what it once was, remembered mainly by '00s kids for its population of emo teens and pages filled with garish graphics and music.
    • In Latin America, MetroFLOG, Fotolog, and Hi5 were the social networks used by many before Facebook took off in popularity. They began to dwindle at the start of The New Tens, and the first two closed within seven months of each other (July 2015 and February 2016, respectively), while the latter was sold and shifted to a "social gaming" site. As with Myspace and its association with emo teens, all three sites are nowadays mostly remembered for the great amount of teenagers annoyingly writing posts in Xtreme Kool Letterz.
    • Google+ was introduced as a rival to Facebook (probably because Google couldn't buy out Facebook like it did with YouTube), and it took off initially and was quickly labeled a potential "Facebook killer", similar to how Gmail essentially blew out all other free email services and Google Maps overtook Mapquest in the past. That never happened. Google was unable to attract much beyond the Google faithful, as most people who wanted a Facebook alternative migrated to Tumblr or Twitter instead. Everyone who wanted a G+ account got one, and growth stalled. Hype Backlash came in the form of forcing YouTube accounts to be Google+ accounts, and YouTube ended up being flooded with comments hating the decision. That decision was eventually reversed, and G+ hasn't recovered since (the manager responsible for the heavy-handedness has since left Google).
  • 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.
  • "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 rampant misuse and mockery from other sites 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, for now, at least.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 , 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 '00s and the first couple years of the '10s, 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. Furthermore, as in-car GPS systems (both built-in and in the form of standalone units like Garmin, TomTom, and various smartphones' maps, some of which were based on Google Maps themselves) fell in price and became increasingly common, many drivers could cut out the middleman and have a live readout in their car. Between the cool features of Google Maps and their stunning graphics and extremely user-friendly interface, and the rise of portable GPS units, MapQuest is barely an afterthought. When it is remembered, it's for how unreliable it was, providing terrible routes that were rarely the quickest ways to get to one's destination.
  • 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.
  • /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. /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, with /v/, /mu/, and /co/ not far behind. Most of the memery shifted to /s4s/ instead (complete with obsession about dubs), and most of the trolling moved to /pol/. What was once 4chan's very core has now become an irrelevant pest in the eyes of other users.
  • When Zippcast reopened back in Mid-2014 there was some small hope for reviewers and videomakers all together to find a save alternative to YouTube and within half a year it received more users and videos. However over the last few months (April to May 2016) had a lot of problems trying to upload new videos there and although that issue got (mostly) fixed in mid May, the founder of Zippcast had a huge Creator Breakdown and announced at May 31, 2016 that Zippcast would be closed for good at June 5, 2016 (just five days after the announcement had been made). This many content creators and reviewers have to find another video portal yet again while Zippcast will probably only remembered as a website with good intentions but with too many bug filled problems.
  • In the late Nineties and early 2000s, there were little executables that launched short silly looping animations whose purpose was to have a little laugh while the webpages were loading. Image-intensive sites took an especially long time. Now that increased bandwidth has greatly reduced waiting times, those animations disappeared off the face of the Earth.

    Web Video 
  • Bob Chipman has done a number of videos and articles about this subject.
    • The Game Overthinker episode "Can It Happen to Us?" is built heavily around a discussion of The Great Comics Crash of 1996, and how, for a long time, it essentially gutted the comic book industry and left only the movies and animated series to keep the characters in the public eye. He holds up the comic book industry's disastrous downturn as a warning to the video game industry, which he saw as being on the same track that led DC and Marvel to ruin in the '90s.
    • The 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.
  • 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.
  • Fred used to be extremely popular, once the number one subscribed channel on Youtube. However, the critical failures of his movie and its sequels, the Nickelodeon show and the later episodes of the original series attracting complaints from his own fanbase have permanently 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 kids with special needs and his very aggravating, high-pitched voice.
  • 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.
  • Minnesota Burns was a Youtuber who shot to fame hosting videos of himself conducting long-winded trolling sessions on unsuspecting players in the Call of Duty games, winning over a lot of fans for his devil-may-care attitude and complex schemes that involved multiple accounts, a company called "Trollarch" and trolling/pranks that would run for a good 20-to-30 minutes on average. However, his fanbase seemingly evaporated overnight when a conversation between himself and a 12-year old boy who seemingly hacked him and publicized information about him and his family was leaked. Burns was heard threatening to beat the child and report him to federal authorities. This, in tandem with the CoD prank community becoming much more widespread and redundant, led to Burns giving up on his regular content and turning his account into a community-submitted real-life prank channel. These days, his views and ratings are a mere shadow of what he achieved at his peak, and most comments criticize Burns himself.
  • 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 Vegeta 3986 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.
  • Hard to believe, there was a time when DarkSydePhil was popular. While polarising, he still had a decently sized fan base, and every bad Let's Play, every negative comment just made him more popular. Nowadays thanks to his excessively vulgar and offensive humor (almost every time he sees a woman he pervs out, he spent entire series making racist jokes), his terrible gameplay that he insists is never his fault, and his audience outgrowing him, he is seen solely as Snark Bait and nothing else. A testament to this is how massive his Horrible.The King Of Hate page is.
  • A YouTube user with the username DLAbaoqu decided to create I can't believe it's not AVGN, annotated versions of bad reviewer episodes, notably The Irate Gamer. Other Youtubers, most famously DJcuell, followed suit, forming the bad review show commentaries. The endless repetition of the youtubers commentated meant that they stopped being funny hard. Almost everyone has since lost relevance/disappeared from the internet. The one who started it all did one last commentary on DSP before leaving to do a review blog. Even the Seasonal Rot of "Boring man", as DLA called Bores, couldn't save it. The only one left is I can't believe it's not ICBINAVGN, critic of bad examples of these, and even then it might be done for good.
  • The Irate Gamer himself fell into this. During his heyday in 2007-2009, his fanbase was at an all-time high (frequently clashing with his sizeable hatedom, but still) and he was once the 53rd most subscribed user on the entirety of YouTube.note  However, as time went on his fandom largely moved on or became haters (who themselves stopped being as active as they once were; Third Rate Gamer in particular went on hiatus partially because of a lack of material to mock), and while he still holds a few thousand subscribers his reputation as an Internet punching bag largely precedes him.
  • "Tribute" videos and AMVs (Anime Music 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 hate fanbase among the more "mature" users, who found them narmy and cliched. Furthermore, the heyday of tribute was a time 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 any entertainment company? Consequently, thousands upon thousands of tribute have been Lost Forever and their makers banned since the crackdowns, leaving the practice unappealing. 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" or a "Linkin Ball Z" video in their uploads.
  • In the mid-2000s with the rise of YouTube, Sped Up or "Chipmunked" videos were once a hugely popular way of taking a well known video or movie and making them sound or look ridiculous by just plopping them into Windows Movie Maker and adding the speed up effect to the clips for comic effect, with the default pitch raise of the option being an added bonus. Predictably, the novelty of the fad wore out its welcome in a hurry due to overuse, and its use is now seen as annoying instead of funny. It's quite hard to find examples of it being used in contemporary works. That later editions of Windows Movie Maker fixed the speed up option so that it doesn't raise the pitch helped put a damper on this fad too.

  • 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 Crossover 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 (not to mention the sequel trilogy, starting with The Force Awakens), though it's doubtful that it'll achieve the same fervour as in the late 90s and early 00s.
  • The rivalry between Transformers and Go-Bots. When the two rose at roughly the same time in the Eighties, they were vicious rivals and for years afterwards fans would often take potshots at the other show. But than over time Transformers handedly won the competition; the Go-Bots toyline and cartoon quietly petered out while Transformers outlasted it just long enough to hit a major revival with Beast Wars, permanently cementing as a long-lasting franchise. The fan debate largely died with Tonka's toyline. Afterwards Transformers comics would occasionally make cracks at Go-Bots expense, but even these died out as fans found them more childish and annoying than funny (from the perception of the average person, Go-Bots was just a Transformers copy that died out at the end of the Eighties so it just seemed like kicking someone while they were down).

    The final nail in the rivalry's coffin was Hasbro acquiring the Go-Bots IP. This led to the Go-Bots and their related characters being more or less welded into the Transformers multiverse as a slightly oddball reality, with Gobotron being declared as merely an alternate form of Primus. Going even further, the official Transformers fan club then began a crossover comic storyline revolving around the Guardians and Renegades traveling the multiverse, with said storyline continuing to this day. Now Go-Bots is just another continuity under the Transformers banner. The fandoms have followed suit and Transformers fans and Go-Bots fans are now one and the same, ending any real conflict.
  • Dubbing vs. Subbing. Once the biggest debate of the Anime fandom, now mostly a background conflict on a few forums thanks to a few dubs that if aything, are better than the subs, and dual-language releases making it seem petty.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Video rants (both spoken and written) about children's channels like Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, etc., bashing most of their then-current programming while glorifying that from The '90s and early 2000s were very common between 2007 and 2011. By 2013, as those channels reorganized themselves, premiered acclaimed series and in some cases brought back older programming, those kinds of videos (often with titles such as R.I.P. (channel name) 1990s-2004) practically vanished, and anyone still holding negative views towards the current programming of said channels while thinking highly about that from the past is seen as just being under the Nostalgia Filter.
  • The trend of Sonic improvement subsections is this. In the early days of forums, they were places where disgruntled Sonic fans could discuss ways to improve the game series and celebrate the old classics. However, it didn't take long for the games to get a new installment that saved the franchise, not that people can agree what it is. Even at their height they were considered to harbor the mess the franchise became notorious for. When the games came out they were almost immediately accused of being arrogant jerks who held zero respect for anyone who disagreed with them, and were abandoned over night. It has since been replaced with "Anti-Whatever version of Sonic I dislike" journals and memes.
  • Creepypasta as a whole has declined in popularity to some extent, but certain genres and stories have really fallen off, due largely to an almost unbelievable amount of Follow the Leader.
    • The "Killer with a Knife" genre was one of the most popular when creepypastas first started getting big, with Jeff The Killer being the centerpiece of it for the most part. Jeff's popularity caused a massive flood of terribly-written slasher stories starring blatant Mary Sues and self-inserts popping up online, causing the genre to be seen as the Lowest Common Denominator by many people. On top of that, Jeff's story itself is retrospectively viewed as not being much better than the copycats it spawned, being an Idiot Plot riddled with Plot Holes and Fridge Logic, resulting in it being removed from the Creeppasta wiki and being banished to the Troll Pasta Wiki,
    • The general concept of media creepypastas was started, on the cartoon front, by Squidward's Suicide and Suicide Mouse, and on the video game front by Ben Drowned and NES Godzilla Creepypasta. As mentioned, these genres quickly became saturated with stories that essentially just took the concepts and elements used in the aforementioned originals and applied them to different works without really creating anything new. The overabundance of samey, blood-obsessed pastas has also retrospectively painted many people's view of the pastas that spawned the genre, with them being looked at much more critically than they had been before.
      • Sonic.exe deserves a mention. It was unique in the fact that you could actually play the game described in the Creepypasta, a twisted version of Sonic the Hedgehog in which a demonic Sonic note  brutally tortures Eggman, Tails, and Knuckles. The game itself is still well-regarded, but the pasta entered the same deal with Jeff, complete with copycats and Seinfeld Is Unfunny. It was even removed from the Creepypasta wiki and reuploaded to the Trollpasta Wiki (which mocks bad creepypastas). Even Mutahar admits, in hindsight, that it was little more than a Shitpasta.
    • The Slender Man Mythos took quite a dive in the mid-2010s. While Slender Man was once the most famous creepypasta and the unofficial mascot of the entire medium, the dipping popularity and eventual conclusion of Marble Hornets, as well as its best and most prominent copycats like Tribe Twelve and Everyman Hybrid slowing their upload schedules to a snail's pace, led to the Mythos' following losing a lot of its heat. The true death knell for Slender Man's popularity, however, was a number of real-life crimes associated with the character, most notably the attempted murder in 2014 of a twelve-year-old girl by her friends in an attempt to sacrifice her to him, which garnered Slender Man negative media attention on a global scale. After that, new Slender Man stories quickly tapered off and all but stopped being posted.
    • The Wimpification of many Creepypastas hurt their image too. It's hard to be scared of Slender Man or Jeff the Killer when there's tons of fanart of them in a doe-eyed Animesque style.
  • The Mario vs. Sonic debates have undeniably become this ever since SEGA went third party, and especially since the two started appearing in the same games. It since been replaced with debates over the cartoon series on Mario's side, and Adventure type games vs. Colors type [1] on Sonic's.

Alternative Title(s): Web Original