10 Sites that used to rule, but now suck.
Let’s face it: no one can keep up good content forever. Eventually even the best blog, fansite, independent news site, or anything else on the web will let its standards slip and start to suck. Therefore, I* present to you 10 Sites that used to rule, but now suck.
True, some people did not like Slashdot from the beginning. However, it used to contain actually interesting news about technology, gadgets, and all things that would warm the geek heart. Given its Linux/Open Source bent, it was inevitable that all useful information would get buried under Microsoft hating and complaining about DRM and the RIAA. Now it’s just the two minutes hate with Bill Gates as the enemy.
I will happily admit that the main reason I watched Rocketboom every day was my lust for Amanda Congdon. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I got some entertaining web highlights and some eyecandy all at once, and to boot it was one of the first video blogs (I think we should just call them “shows”). Once they got rid of Amanda, they got rid of me as a viewer.
Like Slashdot, this was once a great site for geeks to get technology news and see what new gadgets were coming down the pike. Add in some general weird news type posts and a smattering of varied topics, and you had a great site. Slowly but surely, Boingboing became mired in the self-promotion of its authors, and posts about their pet subjects. I’ve read quite enough about Disneyland, copyright issues, and pretend gadgets crocheted out of pet’s hair, thank you. Yet I still read it almost daily. I’m not even sure why, at this point.
Metafilter, MeFi, the Blue. It used to provide handy and/or amusing links, presenting the best of the web each day and getting to the memes ahead of the curve. Then they opened up membership and let more and more people post. Now you’re more likely to find a 220 comment argument about posting “one-link YouTube posts” than any real content.
Populist voting to rank great posts? Awesome idea. But once it becomes popular, the stupidity of the public takes over, and good posts about news or buried stories get overwhelmed by the latest iPhone and Halo 3 hype. Or “lolcats”.
6. Waiter Rant.
Waiter Rant was once the wry musings of an intelligent, witty NY waiter, relating the trials and tribulations of food service work and putting them in the scope of the larger scale of life. Then he got a book deal and quit the restaurant. That should have been the end of his waiter-oriented blog, but nay nay! He continues writing and merely couching his observations in stories set in restaurants. It somehow comes off far less genuine, and far less interesting.
Clublife was kind of “discovered” by the Waiter of Waiter Rant, and blew up big as a result. Written by a bouncer for a premiere NY nightclub, it exposed just how ugly the NY club scene can be and how un-glamorous bouncing really is. Then he got a book deal (before “The Waiter” who discovered him). Like Waiter Rant, this should have ended the blog, but he kept blogging. About his book. Bo-ring.
8. Political Wire.
Once an insightful look into political campaigns, now Goddard has given a third of his page design to ads and posts nothing more than various polls telling you what you already know.
Previously fine examples of political discourse and critique, these sites are now nearly indistinguishable as they post nothing but YouTube videos from The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Keith Olbermann, Fox News, or any other vaguely political source. I guess actually discussing these things went out of style.
10. Any blog or site that starts posting “Top 10″/”Best of”/”Worst of” type lists