This month is turning out to be what Anil Dash calls the end of ‘Web 1.5’ – services which started before the ‘Web 2.0’ bandwagon started rolling, have not been popular for some time and are now closing.
I’ve already mentioned Bloglines, and to add to that there’s , which is “probably shutting […] down soon”. BlogRolling is another service that I used to use but haven’t for many years; it let you keep a list of blogs that you read (a ‘blogroll’) and allowed you to sort and categorise them easily. It made sense in the early days when people were using services like Blogger, but packages such as WordPress make this dead easy now. Its one stand-out feature was being able to show which blogs had recently updated, but this was before RSS/Atom feeds really took off and once I had switched to a feed reader I didn’t see the point of staying with the service.
Xmarks, which allows you to synchronise your bookmarks/favourites between multiple browsers on different machines, is also due to stop operating in around 9 months time. The blog post explains why in full, but essentially they were unable to build a viable business around a free service, and there’s increased competition now that Google Chrome has sync built-in, as will Firefox in its next major update (it’s already available as an add-on).
I’ve also already mentioned Vox, Six Apart’s community blogging service which also closes at the end of this month.
It’s perhaps a shame that these services are going under. Bloglines, BlogRolling and Vox have all stagnated for some time and it’s therefore no surprise that they’ll soon no longer be around. As for Xmarks, it’s a pity that they didn’t offer a ‘freemium’ service, or switch to a paid-for model; while the new sync services in Firefox and Chrome are good, Xmarks was one of the few ways of syncing bookmarks between different browsers.
I’m wondering who will close next.