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5 websites that once ruled the web

Once we couldn't live without these net brands

The internet generation is stunningly disloyal. Brands mean very little to us and we switch online services without a second thought. We take a look at five websites that, once upon a time, we simply couldn't live without, but now are either no longer with us, or have perhaps seen better days.

4. Slashdot

Ah, Slashdot. I have such fond memories of you. We'd spend days together, reading geeky news stories that seemed really important at the time. Where else could I find out about a new battery technology that will change the world (but never actually did)?

Where else could I argue pointlessly with fellow geeks and prove my masculinity by writing a witty reply that only 0.0001 percent of the population could understand? If you ever get bored, try searching Slashdot for passive aggressive phrases; 'I think you'll find' has been said almost 27,000 times by various commentators, for example.

Slashdot was cool back when Linux was cool. Yes, that long ago. At times it's been referred to as a communal blog and a news aggregator. Its definition seems to change depending on what Internet technology is fashionable. Unsurprisingly, now it's referred to as a social news site.

Slashdot is the grandfather of sites such as Reddit and Digg, of course, which do the same thing, only better. Before it clambered onto the slippery slope itself, Digg was arguably nothing more than Slashdot for teenagers.

Attempts by Slashdot management to draw new readers lead to the creation of the Idle section, which expands the geek news brief to include Reddit- and Digg-like funny stories, pictures, and videos. It's hardly been a success, and it feels like a dad trying to disco dance at his daughter's birthday party.

A 'slashdotting' could bring down a website, back when the internet was held together with elastic bands and had a beer mat shoved under its leg to stop it wobbling. A mention on the Slashdot front page would drive hundreds of thousands of visitors to a website. Times change. Now recent slashdotting of an article leads to a modest increase in traffic, but it is usually quite a bit short of what we might have expected in the old days.

This is evident on Slashdot itself; in the old days front-page articles would draw at least 600 comments, if not more. Currently, getting beyond 300 is unusual.

While it might not be as popular as it once was, Slashdot keeps on going, catering to its core market like no other news site on the planet. Nobody is more in tune with the pure geek spirit.

NEXT PAGE: AltaVista

  1. We couldn't live without these sites
  2. MySpace
  3. Hotmail
  4. Slashdot
  5. AltaVista

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