We track hundreds of web apps here on ReadWriteWeb. Some, like YouTube and last.fm, become our favorites and prosper. But others sadly close down, or whither away due to not many people using them, or suddenly stop working for one reason or another (the bills are too high, the RIAA gets on their back, the developer doesn't have time, or a myriad of other reasons). Here is a list of 10 web apps that are no more, that we at ReadWriteWeb miss and wish were still operational.
Popular playlist sharing site Muxtape got taken down by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in mid-August and it is unfortunately still non-operational. The fact is that Muxtape didn't pay its internet radio licensing fees. In our recent RWW Live podcast on online music, Lucas Gonze (creator of similar playlist service Webjay, which was acquired by Yahoo in 2006) said that Muxtape was "trying to become a big service, i.e. get too big to fail and so cut a deal [with labels]." Unfortunately Muxtape failed to escape the notice of the RIAA.
NetShare (iPhone app)
NetShare was an iPhone app that, according to Gizmodo, allowed you to tether your laptop to your iPhone using the handset's 3G modem as your laptop's own. Basically this let you have full Internet access on your laptop without Wi-Fi, for free. There was talk that this violates AT&T's terms of service, but whatever the reason the app has been pulled from Apple's App Store. The last message on the site is dated 4 August and states: "We're working with Apple to get NetShare back up on the AppStore." But we're not holding our breath.Nullriver's
Image courtesy of Gizmodo
Adam Steinberg of EventVue wrote in to tell us that he misses The CLQ (the acronym stands for Champions League for Quake style games). It's an app that kept track of "millions of game players (Quake, Unreal, Half-life, Tribes, etc.) on thousands of online game servers." It was a very popular app in its niche, however it was stopped. The developers claim that this was due to "incredible amounts of e-mail, GameSpy monopolizing access to game servers, constant upgrading of hardware and software to process increased traffic, games getting their own statistics, etc."
The good news for CLQ fans is that one of the developers, Nico de Vries, is currently working on a version 2.0.
PubSub was one of our favorite 'future search' products back in the early days of web 2.0 - you could enter keywords and the product would deliver search results to you automatically. This feature is now common place in news sites, for example Google News has it, but back in '03-'05 PubSub was an innovator.
So it was a great product, but PubSub spectacularly imploded in mid-2006 after founder Bob Wyman blogged about "internal political issues". Wyman left the company shortly after and the product sunk along with its creator. Perhaps PubSub will rise again, because apparently it still exists today. Here is the message on its frontpage currently:
Others have risen since to take over the reins in future search. A few of our favorites are ZapTXT, FeedRinse and BlastFeed. We discussed those and other services here. But we'll always have a soft spot for PubSub...
AllPeers had shut down, a blow to a market that seemed very promising back in 2006. AllPeers set out to add "file sharing to the web browser". Technically the service seemed fine, however the reason for the closure according to the company was that "we have not achieved the kind of growth in our user base that our investors were expecting, and as a result we are not able to continue operating the service."In March we heard that P2P browser plug-in
Scrabulous (Facebook app)
in April that Scrabulous, the extremely popular but unauthorized Scrabble Facebook app, was under fire from Hasbro and Mattel. Those two companies own the rights to Scrabble - Hasbro in North America, and Mattel in the rest of the world. In July the bigcos had their way and Scrabulous was taken offline.We reported
After more legal ducking and weaving, in which the app was first pulled in North America and then internationally too, the app got re-born under the name Wordscraper. It uses circles instead of Scrabble-like square tiles. Unfortunately the change isn't proving too popular. This comment by a Facebook user is an example of the reaction:
"I loved Scrabulous !
Wordscraper is kinda the same but I do not like the round tiles , it makes it difficult to play , kinda messes everything together, change it to SQUARES and it would be alot better."
The old version, with squares
OK you can still use Pandora in the US, despite concerns that it might be on the verge of closing. But those of us who live outside the US haven't been able to access this lovely music discovery service for too long a time.
Tris Hussey tweeted to tell us that Qumana was a great java-based blog editor, "easy and light." Unfortunately it is not being updated anymore and the homepage isn't accessible.
Indeed this has turned out to be the case. Currently when you visit crglst, you are greeted with this despairing pop-up message:
This site for sharing OPML files was "retired" by creator Dave Winer in January. He wrote at the time that "now that Google and Bloglines both have discovery mechanisms, based on what you and others like, there would only be a future for SYO if it were a thriving and growing community, and it isn't."
Toluu has risen to fill the void. We reviewed it in March, noting that it lets you share your OPML with others in order to discover new feeds, see what your friends are reading, and even discover new people who share your same interests. We were impressed by the service, even more so in May when enhancements were announced.The good news for OPML fans is that
So perhaps, sometimes, there is a silver lining in the dark cloud of web apps that close or get shut down!
Have Your Say
Tell us in the comments which web apps have disappeared in recent times that you used to love. Also let us know if anything has come along since that you perhaps like even better.