By nature, the web is unpredictable, as in one invention could write off a business within minutes. If you are an active user of the internet you probably have switched apps and favorite websites multiple times. It’s no coincidence either because there was likely a merger or a change in management that degraded the product in some way. Let’s examine five websites and apps that most of us have used at some point and see if there is an alternative.
MySpace Social Network
Ah yes, everyone remembers MySpace. The first real social network with significant promise brought customization, personality, and overall sense of community to the web. With add-ons like music playlists and customized backgrounds, MySpace was the place to be in the early 00’s. What wrote them off was the premium look and feel of TheFaceBook.org, or now as we know it Facebook. You can still access MySpace.com, however, don’t expect it to look or feel anything like it once was back in the day. Alternative: Facebook
Now that we got the most mainstream app out of the way, here’s a website that many people used that had a decent following of customers. Cowboom, now defunct, was a marketplace to find used electronics at deeply discounted pricing. You would be able to find video game consoles cheaper than most markets and were able to see the product beforehand with a few pictures. What made it different from an eBay was it’s focus within the Electronics arena, allowing a steady group of customers flowing into the website. Once people we’re stable figuring out ways to sell in person, and through other sites, BestBuy swooped in and bought the business, which then became defunct shortly after that. Alternative: Gazelle
One of the first cash back websites out there had a fantastic following. FatWallet had competitive rates when it came to getting your money back at shopping online. We’ve written about the top five cashback websites, but if it were still around today, there’d be no guessing, FatWallet would be on the list. Like many businesses online, when there is an opportunity to capture a market or customer list at an affordable price, a larger company, in this case, Ebates, charged in and bought the company. Alternative: DOSH
Oh, brother, or should we say “Yeah, Brother!” coined the phrase from the wrestler Hulk Hogan. Once the arguably most significant blog and webmag online, Gawker had millions of followers, active commentators, and blog posts. But as they were sued by the wrestler Hulk Hogan, and lost, they lost so much money that they shut down indefinitely. It’s strange to think that something with no overhead (without any warehouse space, or costs) could be shut down or immobile, but no one company is unconquerable from the law. Alternative: BuzzFeed
AOL Instant Messenger
For many, AIM was the focus of social activity before texting first started to gain traction. Recommended for the away messages, unlimited screen-names, and overall user size, AOL Instant Messenger, was the way to communicate in the late 90’s early 00’s. Can’t fault AOL for trying different things to keep up with the newer innovations that world had to offer like social networks, and cell messaging, but once those gained enough traction, AIM fell off a cliff in user size. One has to wonder if social networks weren’t around, that AIM would still be here. Alternative: Facebook Messenger
Up for a bit of nostalgia? We’ve looked at a few more PC Software apps that you probably have forgotten!