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July 2009 Archives

Everybody has them. Web sites that you loved a long time ago (10 - 15 years ago, long in Internet years) when the web was still in its infancy. We have them, too, and we thought we'd share with you some of our favorite lost sites.

Michael's pick:
  • AdCritic - In the heady days of the Internet bubble, AdCritic was a staple for bored surfers. AdCritic put thousands of TV commercials online. The site brought us classics like the EDS cat herders, wolves attacking a marching band, and the guy dropping his cell phone into the urinal. AdCritic shut down in 2001 and was later reborn as a paid subscription service. Now it seems to have morphed again.

Regan's picks:
  • Funny But No... - This was a section of Hallmark's site which was plugged as a selection of "rejected" cards. It ran from November of 1996 to April of 1999, but came back to live via Shoebox Greeting's blog in April of 2007. Yay Undead Funny But No!
  • Movie Critic - Man, I loved this site. It predicted with uncanny accuracy movies you'd like based on what other people who liked movies you liked liked. I think there were a couple more "likes" in the official algorithm.

Jacob's pick:
  • PixelTime! - This was an icon drawing contest hosted by Word.com and the quirky computerized PixelMaster. A Java applet gave everyone the same pixel-at-a-time drawing tool and wacky palette to work with. The site and its art are mostly lost to time and Java bitrot, but see some samples here and here.

Carrie's picks:
  • sharpeworld.com - Extant (mostly) between 2001 and 2003, Jennifer Sharpe's site was more like a collection of jarred specimens than a blog in those heady, early days before chronological ordering. A zombie version of the site was resurrected this winter, but it's not what it used to be.
  • The Spark - Before it was SparkNotes (now owned by Barnes & Noble) and partially spun off into OkCupid.com, The Spark was a -- what do you call them things? maybe an Internet magazine? -- run by college kids. It might have started the obsession with personality tests, and for that they will burn in hell.
So tell us -- what were your favorite now-extinct sites?