With everyone (including myself) talking about the top apps of 2008, I thought I would instead focus on the apps and the startups that have died, lost ground, or simply drifted off into the darkness of the intertubes.
Second Life is virtually dead in all dimensions (pun intended). Sure its still running, but once they killed the gambling, this once promising virtual world got a little quiet. Linden Labs didn't help grow SL either by charging ridiculous prices to own a piece of virtaul land nothing (in the $$$thousands). The big companies that setup shop in SL are also leaving, so as Techcrunch put it could the last person turn off the lights.
Oh my God, there is as bunch of ex Googlers building a search engine that is better than Google - or should I say there "was". Ok so Cuil is still doing....something....search like, but after the hype and then the dissapointment of a search engine that was actually worse than Live search...this one is already dead to me.
Damn you Mr Rose, why did you have to shut down Pownce. Sure it wasn't doing so brillianty but couldn't you keep it running until whoever bought it released Pownce v 2.0? Way to kill a community!
Speaking of Microblogging, thanks goes to Google for killing another platform, Jaiku. Actually im rather pissed off with this one. I had the perfect username - anthony.jaiku.com (thanks guys) but Google had to put their grubby fingers all over Jaiku and kill it. Signups are closed on Jaiku and its dead quiet.
It now seems Peer to Peer lending has also died. Prosper is no longer accepting new lenders thanks to the U.S feds deciding people need big rules and thinking we couldn't possibly lend without a bank. After the decline of Prosper all (or most, im a lazy reasearcher) have gotten awfully quiet.
What a mess Yahoo got itself into. Sure Yahoo hasn't died but if you're a stockholder it may have well done so. Jerry's gone, the offer had disapated and the shares now make excellent paper aeroplanes. This was the year that Yahoo came undone and came undone big time.
Paid posting looks like its leaving the tubes. PayPerPost, ReviewMe, Social Whatever...seem to have all been reduced to trashy "review my life insurance company" sites only being used by blogs setup to write trash.
I also pay tribute to the thousands of other crappy niche social networks, Twitter clones, Youtube rips offs, Google killers and all other startups that let us in 2008.
Please let me know of other startups that have died....its not that enjoy lauging at their failure (i do) its just that it would be great to continue building this list.