Thursday, June 24, 2010

Specialized websites sometimes short-lived

The Failed Promise of Digital Content, Part 12

Among the unsung heroes of the Internet are people who devote their time and efforts to a specific expertise and share that knowledge with others online.
They create and maintain specialized websites devoted to covering one subject in a thorough and exhaustive manner. They become the go-to resource for information on their special niche.
I’ve written about several such focused websites that I admire, including Future Rock Legends (coverage of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and eligible artists), Theme Park Brochures (an extensive collection of amusement park maps and brochures), and most recently the Internet Adult Film Database (a NSFW database of porn movies, performers and directors).
But maintaining such websites involves tremendous commitment and dedication. As a result, many specialized websites don’t last. Their creators lose interest or no longer have the time to work on them.
I’ve seen a number of interesting specialty websites get abandoned or disappear. Some are no longer updated, but linger like ghosts. Others are now just broken weblinks or direct to different websites.
During the Great Recession, which started in December 2007 and might have ended in July 2009, several websites popped up to track job cuts and retail and tech company closings, but they’re now dead.
Among the deceased websites are,, and Timely Demise.
In some cases, their data and articles are archived. In others, the information is gone.
And we’re all less for it.

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