The Top Seven Overrated Websites
Andy Warhol once said, "In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes." Looks like Andy was onto something, because the internet is definitely a fickle creature. A site can go from obscurity to critical mass seemingly overnight, only to see itself fall back into anonymity just as quickly. Most of the time, the sites themselves are to blame for their own downfall. Here is the current batch of websites that are ready for the glue factory.
Source: John Turner/Getty Images
The core concept of PayPal is a fairly noble one, working as a middle-man between buyers and sellers, mostly for auctions on eBay, and ensuring that everyone gets what they're supposed to. Unfortunately, PayPal's cut of the profit is absurd, especially considering the fact that when things go bad, PayPal usually looks the other way.
Also, why is it that PayPal can pull funds from my bank account instantly, but it takes them a week to put money in? And PayPal makes a point of advertising that sellers who use PayPal can accept credit cards. Well, they can - if they upgrade their accounts first, which the buyers don't know and the sellers are forced to do if they want to accept a credit card payment (which by then has already been charged to the buyer and is floundering in PayPal purgatory). This is epicly greedy and an immoral business practice. PayPal, when you die, I will gladly piss on your grave.
How this site managed to rise above the ranks of Careerbuilder.com and HotJobs.com is still a mystery. The layout is a complete antithesis to the Craigslist approach, over-designed and constantly busy barraging you with totally useless information while attempt to sift through page after page of hoops you must jump through in order to simply apply for jobs. When you finally cave in to the various demands of Monster.com and their resume templates, cover letter designers, etc. and start actually applying to jobs, you'll notice that out of the 50 or so jobs you might apply to, 46 employers will yield no response whatsoever, three will be a spambot mailing lists which you'll never be able to get off of, and the other filled the position six months ago. Monster.com, you suck.
How the mighty have fallen. Back in 2004, when Friendster was hitting the mainstream, and its servers could no longer handle the traffic, MySpace stepped in and stole their thunder with a better interface, better clientele, and more features. But what about now? How many add requests do I need to get from fake webcam chicks named XxXxXEmoKittenXxXxX before someone at MySpace figures out there's a problem here?
From an actual "social networking" standpoint, MySpace is done. They've managed to completely ruin their own service. Any square inch of browser real estate that isn't occupied with annoying flash ads is littered with poorly organized bulletins, comments with animated glitter graphics, and ubiquitous "pensive arm extension" glamour shots of people I don't know or care to know.
The only stronghold MySpace has left is their band pages, and when every user on MySpace has about 12,000 friends, all posting spam comments and bulletins on a constant basis, trying to get anyone's attention is like screaming into an infinite abyss. Sorry MySpace, it's all downhill from here.
Okay, so iTunes isn't a website per se, it's more of an app with a web-ish interface, but iTunes is the bane of my existence, and it needs to be called out. First of all, for anyone who manages their own personal music library on a folder-by-folder basis, iTunes is an exercise in anger management.
iTunes insists on creating its own library database for your music catalog, so if you decide to change anything behind the scenes (i.e. on the folder level), iTunes will almost certainly freak out. And if you're unfortunate enough to have clicked "allow iTunes to manage my music" during the installation, you'll soon notice that your entire library of music has been transformed into a gigantic clusterf*** of files with no rhyme or reason when viewed outside the confines of the iTunes interface. Thanks for that, Apple. Additionally, If you run iTunes on a PC, it is likely the most frustratingly slow program you deal with on a regular basis, which is funny considering the fact that it runs like a champ on most Macs. Wonder why that is?
As for the iTunes Store, let's be frank: why should I pay Apple for music I can get for free? Up until recently, nearly all the music offered on iTunes had DRM security which actually restricted how you could use your own purchased content. So again, why should I give Apple money for things I can get for free and don't include iTunes telling me how I can enjoy things I've actually paid for? Ridiculous! Artists need to get paid, but this method has got to go.
What about the concept of an album as a wholly contained piece of art? Well Apple doesn't think those exists, and songs provided on iTunes must be offered as individual tracks with very few exceptions. So essentially Apple is becoming the largest contributor to the death of the album and the rise of the easy-to-digest, one-track-at-a-time, single-serving of pop drivel.
Somebody, please get ml_ipod to work for the iPhone.