Obituaries of the Web

New sites appear and others, despite having had a very wide audience, close their doors. Why? This diary of important websites closed or abandoned is intended to help understanding these disappearance and discover the trends of the Web.

December 15, 2017. Codeplex (Microsoft)

The site of sharing for open source projects has its functionalities limited and will disappear completely on December 15th. Created in 2006 by Microsoft, it was abandoned by the firm itself in favor of Github for its projects like .NET Core, TypeScript, Visual Studio Code.
Github has made another victim, after Google Code. However there are still alternatives: Gitlab, Bitbucket.

March 15, 2017.

The Microsoft's social network for students, fairly little known actually, was opened in 2011. It is closed.

March 14, 2017.

The web directory had thousands of editors. It was also the Google directory and had a link on the home page of the search engine and provided it with descriptions if needed. It was the reference to make known a site.
It has been abandoned by Google. Then with the arrival of social networks, editors have also gone to make virtual friends elsewhere, without editing work.
Although a refurbished version of the interface was recently implemented, it is closed by AOL.

November 2016.

Projet from Mozilla for a single login on the web.

November 15, 2015. Zune.

Microsoft's online music service disappears forever. Hardware players were already discontinued in 2011.

August 31, 2015.

This innovative service allowed to aggregate content from various sources on the Web (including feeds) to present them on a personal page. While its interface is often praised, Yahoo no longer wishes to maintain this service. Zapier and IFTTT  are a similar services. May also be replaced by Huginn if you are programmer.

June 30, 2015

Yahoo closes its mapping service.

June 30, 2015 Moderator

Another service from Google that makes the soul. Created in 2008, Moderator was a question and answer service where users vote for the questions to bring them forward and have more chance to get an answer.
It is used by Google to communicate with webmasters. It closes.

April 30, 2015

The online gaming site was bought by Sony (maybe for the patent portolio) )which prefers to close it. Too bad for those who bought games on this platform, there have until the end of the month to enjoy them!

March 31, 2015

After the legal troubles that closed MegaUpload, RapidShare, another video sharing service had cleaned up its content to not suffer the same fate. This has not agreed to users who then abandoned the site. The decline of the audience forces it to close its doors. Originally, the site hosted software that authors want to distribute. This activity also almost disappeared because of competition from hosts like GitHub and Google penalties on unoriginal content.

March 12, 2015

The host of open source projects is no longer accepting new projects and will permanently close on January 25, 2016. You are invited to migrate to GithHub, what Google had already become accustomed to do for its own software, and what also Microsoft does even if it has its own hosting service.
The reason given is the lack of projects, most of them being now stored on GitHub. Code.Google was created to counteract the pervasiveness of Sourceforge, but the world is changing!
Microsoft said it does not intend to shut down Codeplex, even if some of its code is hosted on GitHub.

January 2015

Journalists of the site of video games reviews are looking for a new job. AOL, the owner decided to focus on Engadget and close, which he bought in October 2005 (it was founded in 2004). The hearing was declining. Apparently, video games do not interest anyone these days! But...

2015 Freebase

This site launched by Google and made public in 2007 provided data usable from other site. It is closed in 2015, but the data are not lost, they will be transferred to Wikidata, a subsidiary company of Wikipedia already offering a similar service.

December 31, 2014. Dr. Dobbs

This journal of programming existed for 38 years, since the beginning of the personal computer in 1975. It was modernized by becoming a site using both subscriptions for the newspaper in PDF form and advertising on the site to finance itself. But ad blocking software killed it, it now has less than 30% of its revenues it had 4 years ago. Although the number of readers is increasing (10 millions page views/year), it ceased to be profitable and will not have new articles after December 31. It will remain online for some time.
Its full name: Dr Dobb's Journal of Computing Calisthenics and Orthodontia.

December 31, 2014 Yahoo Directory
The 20 years old directory of websites - it was the first site of Yahoo - will be closed. Dmoz is still living as the last big directory yet... but it tends to lose hearing and its editors.

September 30, 2014
After 10 years of activity, the first social networking site from Google, created the same year as Facebook, but which had only a local success in Brazil, is closed, users are encouraged to migrate to Google+.
The name of the site is that of an employee of Google who developed the software in 2004.

September, 24 2014.
The photo sharing service choose to close because of a trademark issue, after a complaint from Twitter. It is unclear whether the claim is justified (twit-ter, twit-pic), but Twitter threatens to block access to its API, essential to Twitpic. In fact Twitter is concerned that the filing of the Twitpic trademark turns against it. Changing the name would had been easy but if It their plan was to be acquired by Twitter, shutting down makes sense.

June 2014
The directory of Linux software was an essential source for a script or a very specific tool. It lost interest over time and closed quietly.

February 7, 2014
It seemed a good idea, allowing users to share their ideas, their goals and obtain input. Apparently this is not the case and the site will close while applications for mobile access are removed from app stores. The site was created by Google in december 2011.

Schemer, sharing ideas and goals

July 2013.
The site describes the reforms From the Obama administration has now only the homepage. The content has disappeared and URLs return a 404 code.
But you can retrieve the content in Including this paragraph:

Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled.

The current administration signed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act but does not really want to protect Edward Snowden.

1 July 1,2013. Google Reader
In a post titled "A second spring of cleaning", Google announced the end of its aggregator launched in 2005. More services and tools will disappear too.

June 1, 2013. Google Building Maker.
It allowed to add 3D models of buildings in Earth.

April 30, 2012. Knol
The subdomain will disappear. It is already de facto replaced by Google Plus where authors can publish their own articles. 
The search engine also plans to provide results pages similar to Wikipedia articles.

April 19, 2012. Picnik
The photo editing site that was built into Flickr (Yahoo!) closes its services. The editing tool is now integrated with Google+.

March 28, 2012. Urchin
Sales of the statistics software cease. This does not mean Analytics, based on the software will close, to the contrary, it will be all that remain. For hosts that have adopted Urchin as OVH, they can continue to use their version (unfortunately) indefinitely. However, if the user re-install the system, he must request a new activation key.

February 7, 2012.
The musical site once gained 60 million registered users. But it was bought by MySpace in August 2009 and MySpace itself was bought in june 2011. Now the URL is redirected to MySpace.

January 15, 2012.
This social site bought by Google in 2007 will be replaced by G+.

January 2012. Health
Medical Information from Google. Due to lack of public, it is abandoned.

Decembre 2011. Gears
The offline plugin will not longer be availabe and is fully replaced by HTML 5.

October 2011.,
These Google's site are closed.
The Google Buzz service will be stopped too.

Octobre 15, 2011.
As announced, the service is closed.

September 2011.
The aggregator will soon discontinue its service. There is no market here, says the CEO. Seems to be another victim of Panda.

September 2011.
Social applications such as virtual pets and widgets to represent itself usable on blogs or social networks.
Was bought by Google in August 2010, will be closed for lack of success. After Lively, Google has trouble in reinventing the social Web.

September 16, 2011. Powemeter
This service from Google allowed to reduce its electricity bill. Due to lack of success it closes.

September 2, 2011. Aardvark.
Intelligent social search engine. Ask a question... Bought in 2010, now closed by Google.
Google discontinues also Desktop, Fast Flip, Google Pack, Google Web Security, Image Labeler, Notebook, Subscribed Links and Sidewiki.

September 2, 2011. Sidewiki
Available on  this Google's service allowed to add annotations on the sites that we visit, visible to other user.
It had fallen into oblivion, it is now closed.

April 29, 2011. Google videos
The video site will be closed. The user should move theirs videos to Youtube. A mail was sent to users.

April 21, 2011. Buzz
The digg-like of Yahoo! is closed. To not be confused with Google Buzz.

April 4, 2011.
As announced, it closes and redirects to Yahoo.

March 2011.
The pay-per-bid auctions concept was not working and the firm is in bankruptcy. No chance the site come back.

February 2011. MyBlogLog
This blog hosting aquired by Yahoo! in 2007 for $10 million is just closed.
It would be difficult by Yahoo! to sell these sites because they use a technology that the firm does not want to unveil to others.

December 17, 2010. Announced end of,
Yahoo has licensed 7% of its staff and among them all members of the teams of Delicious and several other sites that are part of the history of the Web.
A list was published for internal use that also includes several sites to be merged with other services.
Other sites to be closed: MyBlogLog, Yahoo! Buzz, Yahoo! Picks, Yahoo! Bookmarks.
In a post on the blog of delicious, the firm announced it is moving toward a resale rather than the end of the site.
What future for delicious? Article from a former member of the staff. Delicious has been bought in April 2011 by the founders of Youtube (who sold their site to Google).

November 10, 2010. disappears as a search engine. The team of 130 developers was dismissed. It becomes a site of questions and answers on the model of Answers and thus mimics Wikia that did the same.

October 1, 2010
Property of AOL, formerly the famous site from the old competitor to Internet Explorer, and predecessor of Mozilla and Firefox. Netscape then Propeller, succumbed to the digg-like-mania and became another digg-like.
And now it succumbed to death.

October 1, 2010.
Bloglines is an aggregator of RSS feeds to monitor the news from selected sites by adding their feeds to a list.
He has declined significantly since the development of Twitter and Facebook and the owner,, prefers to close the site. Google Reader itself loses a quarter of hearing every year and is moving to the social.
The site was sold to a company that will keep it in activity. But in 2015, it is closed.

September 17, 2010.
He wanted to take the place of Google by using an algorithm that it claimed very intelligent. It had not reckoned on the million servers made available by Google to the entire planet among other things.
Founded in January 2005, Cuil has received 33 million fund by investors in 2007 and 2008. It really started in July 2008. It never got a significant traffic.
The site is now closed.

August 4, 2010. Google Wave
The Google project launched last May has not met the expected success, so its development is stopped. The site will remain open, however, until the end of the year.
The aim was to discuss and collaborate remotely on the Web with a tool between messaging and Twitter.
A part of the code is now open sourced.

August 24, 2009.
Created by Microsoft and designed to host sites build with mashup tools, competing with Google App, Popfly has lived.

January 2009.
This site bought by Google in 2005 offered a social networking service on mobile.
In 2007 the two founders leave Google because they were frutrated they can not get it develops the site, and one of them creates a similar site, Fourthsquare, which will get some success.

January 2, 2009.
Originally conceived as a social hosting was bought by Yahoo, which has transformed it into an ordinary hostring service and tried to make it a money pump, without receiving the benefit of the social component. Facebook hosts blogs, Geocities would have done the same.

December 31, 2008.
Launched 8 July 2008 by Google, was a network of avatars, virtual characters representing net users, living and matching in a virtual universe. Facebook in 3D. This interesting idea has not been successful. And the site is closed.
Its good by is still online: Lively.

See also