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The Internet

Net Cemetery 56

Ant wrote to us regarding coverage of the .com dead - the Net Cemetery. It's a fun piece, which gets into the problems of covering and reviewing a medium that's changing everyday. If you're into wandering through the .com wasteland, you should also check out Ghost Sites, which does a great job of "museumifing" (sounds like transmorgify) the same type of sites.
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Net Cemetery

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  • by mosch ( 204 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @06:03AM (#133031) Homepage
    As much as I hate the whole dot-com market overreaction and all, what were some of these people thinking? What do you think of when you heard ''. That's right, absofuckinglutely nothing. what's their motto, 'tired of only being able to buy a vowel?' your guide to antidisestablishmentarianism? helping you recover from Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanicconiosis? Who cares now, they've been
    Floccipoccinihilipilificated., because not only do you want to buy your car online, you want to buy it from someplace you've never heard of before., for all your jargon needs! no, i'm not kidding., because popping wheelies in real life is dangerous, and in potential violation of traffic laws.

    while nobody here likes high unemployment in the tech sector, the fact of the matter is, it's not exactly shocking that most of these places died, nor is it particularly sad to see most of them go.

  • I'm sorry, your use of the word "transmorgify" is typo-squatting on the reverend and honorable Transmogrify project []. Our lawyers will be contacting you about this violation of the Digital Mercurial Camelride Act.

  • [I'd rather see] a .Net cemetery for Microsoft.[...]But maybe that's just me.

    Yup, nobody else on slashdot feels this way...

    I think the rest of us would rather NOT have to see it. It'd be nice to hear that it existed though - there are things that just aren't healthy to look at.... :-)

  • Reel was one of the first Internet retailers for movies, and they were very well known, especially among DVD early adopters.

    The funny thing is while other .coms were blowing millions in 1999 trying to overcome the "first mover advantage" of places like Reel and Amazon, Reel closed their doors, becoming one of the first big dot-com casualties. People (Investors) should have stood up and taken notice that if Reel couldn't make it, most of these other guys without name recognition or a customer base wouldn't either.
  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @07:38AM (#133035)
    Slashdot's parent is about to go under.
    We'll be mourning or ridiculing that one too
    in no time.

  • Hey, VA Linux is still trading at almost $3. That's not so bad. has been trading at under $1 since for almost six months, and they're all still up...for now. Of course, salon doesn't have to sell hardware too.

    Wow, if we lost suck, feed, slashdot and salon all in the course of a would I ever waste time at work?

    On the other hand, I'm sure slashdot would have no trouble finding a new home.
  • Are they going to make a list of the dot coms that succeeded? I'm sure there are some.

    The "bad" economy will begin to feed on itself if the only articles published focus on failed businesses and bankruptcy.

  • I have always wondered why it's slashdot and not dotslash. That would have made more sense.
  • Now we need to lobby for the .dot TLD.
  • by Rupert ( 28001 )
    These bankrupt dotcoms
    would fade like the morning mist
    but for this website []

  • used to be an online movie store but now they only have movie reviews and related information and for purchases they point you to

    From their FAQ []:

    Hollywood Entertainment Corporation has decided to get out of the e-commerce business, but not the movie content business. In other words, we will continue to publish the best movie content site on the Web, but movie orders through will be fulfilled by an e-commerce partner, will continue as a premier destination for film-related content, commerce, and community. Through the Web site, consumers can access an entertaining environment filled with a wide variety of film-related information designed to help consumers select movies to purchase, rent, or watch in theaters.
  • by brianvan ( 42539 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @05:43AM (#133042) is on the list. Pay 'em a visit at <A HREF=""> asp</A> and see if they're dead yet.


    Aside from that, it's impressive how many of these companies went belly up... and it's FAR from a complete listing. Of course, now the industry as a whole is getting swamped by newly-unemployed job candidates, venture capital has dried up, and all the suriving companies are either taking cost-saving measures or are clinging onto life. I know it's fun to laugh at this stuff, but even for the seemingly secure working professionals out there, this changes the face of the industry for a while, and not for the better.

    Makes me wish I skipped college to get in on the speculative bubble. (Don't flame saying I shouldn't have wished that - cause I got flamed last week for saying that my college education was very solid, because I don't have all the practical skills that someone from a "Learn Java Quick" course has)...
  • the hardest hit companies are online metal companies. Yes, people selling iron, aluminium, nickel and whatnot.
    Argh. I guess we should blame Alcoa's Eluminum [], "the new metal for a new age".
  • and feed, and boo, and digital convergence, and firefly...
  • by hattig ( 47930 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @06:33AM (#133045) Journal
    People always say that it is money down the drain, but to be honest, it was just a redistribution of money from rich venture capitalists to dodgy .com companies, and then onto computer supply companies, people via wages, and other places (red light districts?).

    Sure, there might have been a few .coms that literally burnt money, but...

    Also, on F*ckedCompany during the last month, the hardest hit companies are online metal companies. Yes, people selling iron, aluminium, nickel and whatnot. Maybe this is because people who buy metal (do you?) just kept on using their local scrapyard?

  • ostiguy
  • I can see atleast two that I had atleast some affiliation with over the years. was concieved out of the failed News Corp/MCI joint venture I worked for, and purchased me and the rest of the call center from News Corp. Sigh those were the days..

  • I browsed to the site.
    I randomly scrolled down.
    There the name was. How uncanny.
    The company was there and it brought it all back like it was yesterday (it was yesterday actually): The helicopters (games), the fighting, the blood and guts, our asshole commander in chief.
  • h t t p colon slash slash SLASH DOT dot org
    Lord Nimon
  • I agree there's not much value I can see in the sites etc but the very fact they exist is information in itself. It may be that somebody in 50 years would be interested in the basic statistics of how many sites covered what subjects - or may be writing a document on permissive societies and how different cultures allowed different displays of explicit images. Or maybe a technical research into advertising in subcultural sites. I don't know, you don't know. That's one of the interesting things about historical research, often things are of value for completely different reasons than they were saved.

    For example, there are many books which have been preserved and while the content itself is of little value, the physical make up of the objects themselves is very exciting to bookbinders and industrial archaeologists...

  • by fantomas ( 94850 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @05:55AM (#133051)

    There's a lot of rubbish on the net. We all know it. We know there's lots of absolute rubbish. But in the same way that that archaeologists get really excited about unearthing ancient rubbish pits and have wonderful skills at pulling together information from them to find out about real lives from history, who knows what the dead websites of today will provide for information gatherers of tomorrow?

    We can't tell what the future will want to look at from our present. Right now we're not even saving the good stuff. We need to seriously think about archiving up the web for future generations. I was one of a team of four people who built Virgin Music Group's first website back in 94- 95. Did we keep any of it? did we ***! Bit of a shame really.

    Ask your local archivist or archaeologist or local historian if they think anything is too small to be of use when researching the past.

  • ... although maybe harder to track, would be a museum of what might be called zombie-baby sites. These are pages that reach some very early stage of development -- lots of "coming soon" and occasionally even still those cheesy "under construction" icons -- and then just stop. And yet they don't actually go away, which is the weird thing: someone's paying for the hosting, but not doing anything with it.

    I'm not into the idea that a page has to change all the time to be worthwhile -- for a lot of businesses, I think updates once a year or so are fine. But unfinished pages (either commercial or personal) with Last Modified dates of, say, 1997 really puzzle me.
  • a .Net cemetery for Microsoft.

    But maybe that's just me.
  • Yeah, you forgot about Oh, and What the hell is a slashdot? Most of the names you listed don't seem too bad, even *If* they had worked out, they'd be instantly recognizable. Since they didn't work out, we can now ridicule them...

    jred []
  • by alanjstr ( 131045 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @09:12AM (#133055) Homepage
    How is this different than any of the other sites out there, like []?
  • here is a similar site, but you can rank the screen caps on this one: []
  • Lord Hugh must be trolling too much, I recognised him from your quote, even though his post has already reached the /. cemetery. Actually I probably read /. too much, but I can give it up any time, honest.

  • transmorgify? Do you mean transmogrify? As in Calvin and Hobbes??
  • HAHA ,.....oh jeez. stop it man, you're killing me...."death of a ... potential universe" haHah, my sides are splitting..... Oh, that's priceless!! You WERE joking, right? A
  • Seems like trying to make a museum of all the grains of sand that used to be on a beach, but sadly washed-away to sea, over the years. Allan
  • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @05:55AM (#133061) Journal
    I am reminded of the Dead Media Project [], which brings me to the speculation of what would the world be like the day the Internet is dead media?

    This ties is well with Story of the Pnuematic tubes [], a highly developed system that disappeared and became utterly forgotten because of other systems that were utterly superior to it. (Telephones. fax, etc.)

    I also am fascinated by the Athenian "computer" that ran the old Athenian democracy. (see info here in 5 parts: 1 [],2 [],3 [],4 [],5 []) It was far more IT intensive than most folks realize.

    So with these dead sites, etc the question comes to mind: What replaces the internet when it is over?

    My vote is that the most likely course is the borgification of the world. Wireless, of course.

    But of course, it could be something else as well.

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [] comic strip

  • by gughunter ( 188183 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @05:35AM (#133062) Homepage

  • (sounds like transmorgify) Can't even spell comic-strip-invented words right!
  • it's impressive how many of these companies went belly up

    Actually the internet gives quite a unreal view on bussinesses. Just go and check how many real-life businesses go belly up every year in your neigborhood/city. I'll bet you'd be anstonished to see how many there are.
    Why is the internet giving an unreal view? Well simply because a real company dies silently and with the .com craze everything was so hyped that everyone saw the agony of these dying cyber-companies. I think that in a few years, going belly up as an ebusiness will go just as unnoticed as going belly up in the real world.
    (Offtopic) Besides, the "Learn Java Quick" books are for 95% crap. You will learn to make a bit small stuff but never understand the real "why". If you already know the computer science theories that are behind it, you don't need "Learn Java Quick" anymore, but you can skip to the serious references.

  • But each grain as unique and beautiful as a fucken snowflake!! Ah, defunct dot-com's we hardly knew ye. Each tragedy the death of an entire potential universe. Nay, many universes, each. The conception of new profit making paradigms with infinite demographics nipped in the bud stings sharply. The bright light of truth burns the eyes and shatters the dreams of those that tried and failed. A dark world of paranoia and economic recession rises from the ashes of the old as we can only think wistfully of the splendor that once was. That Rome was built in a day, or nearly so.

    the phone is ringin, o my god

  • Looking at that list, and only seeing ONE ite I've ever been to, i have to wonder how big this internet thing really was. It's easy to forget how epic the world economy, primarily the U.S., has been the past 5 or 6 years. All that money down the drain, just goes to show that sometimes it doesn't matter how much money you throw at it, if theres no market then youre doomed. Of course this also makes it easier for me to register some domains :) Now that I'm in school studying comp sci i hope theres a computer market to speak of when I graduate :\
  • I was going to send off for one of those mousepads from Museum of e-failure [] but I realized I could just use of my old ones from Nortel Networks [] and achieve the same effect.

    Systems were made to be circumvented.
  • by tenzig_112 ( 213387 ) on Friday June 22, 2001 @06:54AM (#133068) Homepage
    Who are some of these sites? Other posts have noticed this as well. If they were pickier about it, only choosing the most ghastly of hubris-fueled web companies, it could become quite a nice Deadcom Hall of Fame (pronounced "shame").

    In twenty years, I'll tell my daughter all about people pouring all of their cash into and she won't believe me. How long until the world forgets about We need a place to wander the halls and say "remember them? I was so glad when they went under."

    Of course, it's the semi-pro non-profit [] sites that will survive this collapse with cockroach-like aplomb.

  • This is probably a little off topic but I need to complain for a second:

    What's the deal with websites listed in books? Have you ever tried to go back to one of those websites from like 4 years ago? They don't last. They turn into "buy the updated version of the book". What kind of crap is that?

    Okay, that's good for now.
  • it appears that their site is still up. Why don't you check that out first...

  • yeah, you're right, I'm the one that didn't take close enough of a look, I thought it was still the old site...

    it was some sort of trendy online clothing store. I remember reading some stuff about it in the newspapers, iirc boo was one of the first .coms that actually made people think about the sanity of the whole "e"-hype. I recall that they went out of business real fast, even for a .com at the height of the .com wave.

  • Do you really think that is worth preserving? How about 50 zillion porn sites? I can see preserving those sites which are genuinely interesting, but EVERYTHING is a bit much.

    Besides, do we want historians of the future thinking we're all perverts obsessed with some freak's butt?
  • That's spelled Transmogrify, thank you very much,
    and I'll thank you not to denigrate this succesful science that I've so carefully tested.

    (Then again, maybe a simple letter transposition is within the spirit of this great science!)


  • yeah, yeah. so i'm ignorant. but i keep seeing all these references to "" and wondering just what in the bloody hell it was. anyone have a synopsis?

  • it appears that their site is still up. Why don't you check that out first...

    i did, but all that's on there is the usual "we're boldly going out of business" fluff about being the ultimate internet portal and rediscovering focus and such. i was wondering what the original idea was - looks like it was some sort of hipper-than-thou gen x boutique online, but impressions can be deceiving.

  • It's interesting to see pages that have been completely removed. However, I would personally be a little more interested in seeing pages as they were in the past.

    What did Yahoo!, Microsoft, Slashdot, et al look like when they first opened up shop? What did they look like on, say, November 21, 1999? Isn't there some sort of project to archive all this? I think it would be a valuable historical tool- a setting in one's browser that let's you enter any date, sending you back in time.

    I'd like to see [] (a gag perpetrated by the freaks at [] ) before they switched to their "All Hate Mail" format.

  • Orson Scott Card, one of my favorite authors, writes about an order called the Speakers for the Dead, people who investigate the lives of dead people and tell the truth about them. Instead of archiving the sites, archiving reviews of the sites the way CNet does seems fitting. You have of course read the book, but if not [].
  • I would like to see snapshots of those sites in full bloom, rather than a dead skeleton.

    Maybe Google can start a site using its cache,as or somethin

  • In at least a few of the cases you cited, it sounds like a case of someone grabbing a domain name because 'everybody else is grabbing them' and then trying to figure out afterwards what to do with it.

    We need businesses like that, because there's always a market for used office furniture.
  • Nothing like paying tribute to a bunch of guys who started companies without the least bit of business sense only to piss it down there leg along with millions in venture capital.......umm wait not like we are ever gonna see that level of stupidity again maybe we should build a shrine. Just a thought
  • is that Microsoft, in their desire to be number 1 in all things, will try to make it on this list.

  • Slashdotters should not make the mistake of equating the Internet with respected conventional media (print, radio, tv etc) where you can pretty much trust what they are saying without having to question whether there is a hidden agenda.

    Hahaha...oh, that's a good one.

    (wipes tear from eye)

    Ow, my sides. Pretty much trust conventional media...heehee...I got to remember that one...
  • Well, this is fine and good for the companies whose relatives decided to give them a decent burial...but what about companies that were so in debt they were cremated by their creditors?
  • Check out First Aid for the Dying Dot-Com [] for more information on how to revive this technological casualties.
    Here's my favorite warning sign of a dying dot-com:
    3. Replaces 180 fulltime employees with two interns and a chatterbot.
    If there were gods, how could I bear to be no god?
  • I don't wanna be buried
    In a net semetary
  • An April 2000 study by the Canadian Council for the Use of the Internet found that web business site that were updated less frequently than once per week were 72% more likely to disappear within three months, as compared to sites that were updated more frequently than once per week.

    And that was over a year ago, when the world of the internet was still sailing high!

    The cemetery will continue to grow, and people won't care. After all, who cares about the fact that Altos went out of business? Or that Synergistic Software is gone???

    Why would we sites be any different? Let them rot, and let those who are tactiful and savvy win the moment.

1 1 was a race-horse, 2 2 was 1 2. When 1 1 1 1 race, 2 2 1 1 2.