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Internet graveyards

Here lies AOL, AIM, Xanga and Ask Jeeves

Published: Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 22:07

Like human beings, websites apparently have a life span as they decrease in terms of popularity and Internet traffic. Where do they go?

We could agree these websites are lost in the limitless boundaries of the Internet, but that's no fun. Since it's October, it is only right to mention Internet graveyards. Whoooohoooo! The Internet graveyard is a place websites go when another more innovative and creative website becomes popular.

"You've got mail!"

When was the last time you heard that phrase? There was a time — when the Internet was young — that America Online disks were in abundance. Instant messaging was the trending "thing" for a typical middle school kid, and mass video websites polluted the web with funny videos before there was a YouTube. And don't forget that awkward stage when Xanga began to tap into the personalized web idea.

You always have mail.

If you were born after 1990, it is a pretty safe bet that you got on AOL and to your surprise — you had mail! Every day when you typed www.aol.com (because you used to have to type the three Ws), you had mail for whatever reason. Whether it was AOL Instant Messenger or just browsing local news, we all visited AOL's website, bumming off their free Internet disks. Now, if you were to visit the website, you would find a tabloid magazine. AOL tried to keep up with the times by creating a new modern and flashy design, but it's just a farce hiding their fall from grace. AOL.com is now a place where Internet garbage piles up and where content goes to die. AOL is in the Internet graveyard.

Before, there was YouTube.

There were 101 websites to find funny videos from stupidvideos.com (so clever) to retrojunk.com (nostalgia factor). But the king of them all was Newgrounds.com (ALL HAIL TO THE KING of a jack-of-all-trades website)! You could do it all: Watch videos, play flash games and create user content. While it is not a bad website, people have, for the most part, forgotten it exists. (Thank you, YouTube and the other sharing, creating sites.) This is an old case of someone who does his or her job well and then new and fancy individual comes along and does the job better. But if you ever have time, NewGrounds.com is a shunned stepchild deserving attention before its digital siblings suffocate the website in its sleep.

The original place to pour your heart out.

Did you ever want a place to keep track of your day-to-day thoughts? A place to share your intimate desires and secrets? Does the idea of a diary scare you? Do you want a place online where you can have a dairy, then share it with friends and strangers so they can read your secrets? Of course you do! Xanga.com. Enough said. Xanga is a community blogging website — that's surprisingly still in existence — where, as I like to say, the star-cross lovers meet. Xanga is a primary example — a website that may have the largest tombstone in the Internet graveyard.

Just ask.

There are many options when it comes to search engine websites. But have you forgotten you can Google? There are some people abandoning Google — as you read this — to move onto something better. But, is there really something better? Ask.com is better, perhaps? Why Google information when you can just Ask Jeeves? No, but seriously. Just Google it. Jeeves died a couple years ago.

Happy [early] Halloween. Don't let the websites from the Internet graveyard haunt you.

Are there any Internet graveyard websites I'm missing? List them below.

O'Dell Harmon is a senior agricultural communication & journalism major, but don't let the agriculture in his major name fool you. He is an avid gamer who knows the ins and outs of all things electronic.

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