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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. Now, they're remembered as a symbol of all that was wrong with the mainstream internet in the '90s, seen as restrictive "walled gardens" that went against the open, freedom-minded ethos of the emerging tech culture. America Online, historically the largest and most successful of these services, is the only one that still remains, and even that's pretty much on its last legs.
- GeoCities, which allowed many early denizens of the 'Net to make their own Web pages without needing to know how to use HTML. However, Sturgeon's Law was in full force, as seen in this article: "It didn't take long before this simple change altered the face of the internet. GeoCities gave everyone a place to call home, and then proved that most of us don't really have a lot to say. It didn't take long before GeoCities became home to the bottom of the Internet. Crackpot theories. Inane ramblings. Worm distribution." and "I think that most people set up a GC page as a novelty and then abandoned it leaving a whole lot of cyber-trash behind. That kind of ruined the overall GeoCities vibe; it wasn't long before you had to muck through a few dozen one-offs to find a page that was regularly maintained and had good, interesting content." GeoCities was often seen as a haven of garishly colored pages full of blink tags and animated GIFs. Also, the rise of blogging, as well as social media like Facebook and Youtubenote , rendered the concept of a free personal homepage obsolete, while those who still wanted to build their own Websites moved on to more advanced tools.
- Cupcakes is this to the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom in general, not necessarily because of the fic itself, but its impact. For many at the time, the concept of anything dark in Equestria was the entire twist, causing it to become legendary for just how gruesome it was. However, its status has since been eclipsed by either better-written (Rainbow Factory, Pony POV Series, Fallout: Equestria) or more sadistic (Cheerilee's Garden, Sweet Apple Massacre) fics, not helped by the countless alternate endings, imitators and fan art, many of which were amateurish and mediocre. Further denting its reputation were the likes of PONY.MOV and Smile HD, which played similar graphic violence on par with or even surpassing it for laughs. These days, it's often shown as the prime example of the naivety of the younger days of the fandom, being especially embarrassing among the other early memes and fanon.
- 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.
- When it was first written, Pretty Cure Perfume Preppy was universally acclaimed. But its fans have matured since then, and they've become more aware of the fan fic's glaring flaws, feeling that the cannibalism, dark elements, and boob jokes to be out of place in a fan series for a show aimed at little girls. Even the author herself admits, and agrees, that the fan series hasn't aged well and plans to rewrite it completely.
- In late 2009 and early 2010, You Got HaruhiRolled! was the most popular Haruhi Suzumiya fanfic on the Net, getting more than 1000 reviews in a fandom where most fics were lucky to get a few dozen or so, and with a humorous style that proved that a Crack Fic could be more than just "lolrandom" nonsense, much like the official production Haruhi Chan, released shortly earlier. At one point in time, the Haruhi section of Fanfiction.net was filled with crackfics that copied its style, with the fic's deliberately exaggerated portrayals of several characters becoming almost Fanon. When the work received a TV Tropes page in late 2010, Wiki Magic increased its entries from three tropes to more than seventy literally overnight. Unfortunately, after the story's first anniversary, the author, superstarultra, went into a Schedule Slip, which was only briefly and temporarily held off by the spinoff fic written at that time. Since the story stopped updating, it no longer appeared on the first page of Fanfiction.net's Haruhi Suzumiya section. When one adds the fact that the source material was also declining in popularity and entering permanent hiatus, there were fewer people willing to read fanfiction of the series anyway. The death knell came when superstarultra, having run out of new ideas several months before and was only in contact with a handful of the story's original fans who were pushing their own ideas into the fic (and who made up only a fraction of the readership) on AIM, disappeared from the Internet after AIM too went under. This was in 2012; until Feb 21, 2016, nobody heard from superstarultra, and the fic's TV Tropes page has received only minor edits and most of its entries are still Zero Context Examples which have only not been purged because the work is just so obscure even to Haruhi fans nowadays. Even the people who remember it think that some of the jokes aren't funny anymore, and you'll be hard-pressed to see a Haruhi fanfic these days that doesn't at least try to be canon-compliant.
- It used to be quite common for fanfic writers of Puella Magi Madoka Magica to outright bash the character of Shizuki Hitomi, which could range from anything from disparaging her in an Author's Note to writing a Revenge Fic in which a magical girl (often Kyoko) beats her senseless while giving her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech. After a while though, people just got sick of this portrayal, both because the justification involves taking her actions out of context to seem worse than they canonically are, and also because Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion demonstrates that Sayaka gets over the event that fans blame Hitomi for, so continuing to do so comes off as rather petty. Nowadays one will only find explicit Hitomi-bashing in fics that satirize bad writing, rather than in actual bad fanfiction.
- Most Ranma ½ Fanon, as it came about when the internet was young. As such many fanfic writers never even read or saw the canon stories, and compensated with other fanfics. An example of this is ignoring Akane's virtuous aspects, claiming Saffron was a god (and that Ranma killed him), and that Third-Option Love Interest who solves everything. Expect to see them in parodies.
- 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.