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Total Abandonment

  • Encyclopedia Dramatica, a website described as "Wikipedia for Trolls" began a Retool in April 2011 into Oh Internet, which continued their tradition at cataloging memes and internet culture, but without all the Not Safe for Work material and trolling culture and style. Users of the site were not too pleased at this, to say the least, quickly setting up mirror websites as a replacement and the head administrator was bombarded with hate mail and death threats. It should be noted, historically, that the site started out as a catalog for Live Journal drama, then then gradually shifted towards imageboard culture and trolling (part of the blame for this can be layed at the feet of Eternal September), so one could argue that ED was decaying even before then.
  • Gaia Online may qualify. Originally an anime-centric roleplay site, it's focus has shifted towards general entertainment and pop culture, much of the quality of the site's features has dropped considerably, and a great deal of new items and features require the purchase of Gaia Cash, a virtual currency bought with real money, which is a sharp turn to a site that was for the most part free and losing much of their fanbase in the process.

Slipped

  • My Space resorted to a Retool in Fall 2010 due to fewer and fewer people using the site, having lost most of them to Facebook. The new CEO proclaimed that My Space is no longer a social network, but "Social Entertainment", revamping itself into an entertainment site and alienating the few people who still used the site. This included a new logo, new homepage and a new profile layout. They were about to force everyone to upgrade their profiles to the new layout (considering how many My Space sites are Mirror-Cracking Ugly, this was considered an improvement) when the uproars of They Changed It, Now It Sucks caused them to back down and allow users to change their profiles back to how they originally looked, glitter GIFs and all. This still hasn't stopped people from abandoning the site, unfortunately, and it was sold for a pittance to a group which includes an ad agency and Justin Timberlake.
  • The Good Old Games digital distribution was designed to 1: provide quality old games, 2: do so at low prices and, 3: With no DRM. It has always had a few newish titles in it's library, though all very much Cult Classics (Like Psychonauts and Beyond Good and Evil) and the newest titles being sequels (like one would get in the bundles that one would otherwise buy to get the old games) or spiritual successors to games that fit (Such as UFO Afterblank to the not carried X-Com). The 2nd part has slipped a little more, with almost all new titles being offered for the maximum $9.99. The 3rd is still steady though. It has been announced the system will carry The Witcher 2, though this is because of the obvious advantages (GOG is run by the same company, making it more profitable than other digital distribution networks as well as keeping the game DRM free.)
    • As of March 2012, the site may be on the verge of total abandonment since it has fully rebranded itself as "GOG.com" and announced a bunch of indie but recent games such as Trine and Space Chem. A rep claimed “What the letters stand for doesn’t matter so much as what we stand for, which is quality gaming with no DRM and at fair prices”.
  • 4chan was intended to be a place to discuss Japanese comics and anime, an American counterpart to the popular Japanese Futaba Channel ("2chan") imageboard. However, these days many consider it to be more of a meme and trolling site due in thanks to the infamous /b/ board. It is not uncommon for a fan of anime and other Japanese media to say they wouldn’t touch the site with a 10 foot pole, and with the stuff that goes on there, who would blame them? They still have plenty of discussions about Anime and Manga, and an untold amount of Anime memes have originated from here but a good amount of people that came just for the memes are unfortunately advocates of the Animation Age Ghetto, and as a result, there are a pretty strong hostility towards anime and Japanese around 4chan these days.
  • DozerfleetWiki early-on began its life aiming only to be strictly a cataloging of the Dozerfleet founder's (goes by IvanRider on the site) project history, and a list of articles about fictional characters and items/mythology in some of those projects. Then came the Ferris invasion, documenting non-fiction works made in cooperation with a TV production graduation class for spring 2010 at Ferris. After a year and a half of the "Ferris Invasion," along came the SWOCC Invasion which documented about 30 different projects that were made in the latter half of 2010 at SWOCC Studios in Farmington, MI. Then came the Tri-Sola Invasion, documenting and creating navboxes for poems written by a poet from St. Johns for his Tri-Sola Poetry collection. (Mike was a friend of IvanRider's.) There was also the addition of a Sims fan site called Utterly Sims which was merged into the Wiki. And then the Dozerfleet Blog and Dozerfleet Forum were merged into the Wiki, sharing space only with Facebook and Google+ for IvanRider's personal anecdotes. Things really got complicated when some of the news about government waste incensed IvanRider, leading to the Shrimp on a Treadmill Index on some articles; and later a Featured Video of the Month section which would devote itself from November of 2011 until November of 2012 entirely to videos attacking left-wing policies, or exposing the seedy histories and criminal conspiracies of groups associated with the Obama administration. The Featured Monthly News / What's Hot This Year section became half of the regular project updates news and half rants about political and culture war developments. It remains to be seen how much of the new political dimension will remain active after the 2012 election year.
  • Deviant ART has spent the past couple years trying to Retool itself into an art-themed social-networking site. Not everyone is happy about this.

Temporary Shifts

  • Illumistream used to be a general health channel on YouTube, and they still do some general health advice videos. Then they started introducing a sex health segment. Fair enough. Then they started focusing more and more on sex health, to the point where it seemingly became their main focus. Hey, it's still health related, so it's still fair. Then they started doing more and more videos on steamy sex confessions with little visible or tangential connection to actually health advice or even sex health advice, almost as if their whole intention now is to turn into a softer-than-softcore version of Penthouse or something. Oh-kay... But alas! They have appeared to have learned the error of their ways and in the past several months returned to being a sex health/general health channel, with about an equal emphasis on the two!

Unique Situations

  • This very wiki:
    • Despite the name, this site no longer focuses on television. Over the past couple of years, it has added movies, books, board games and video games to its lineup. Lately, it's even been moving away from tropes, adding Useful Notes, Audience Reactions, Trivial Facts, writer's tools, and humor pages. Of course, this wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. What's happened here is more expansion than decay; since we're not dealing with a finite number of time slots, we didn't have to remove any of the original material to make room for the new stuff. Given that most TV tropes originated in literature, mythology, and theater, such expansion makes sense. It gives perspective on the tropes.
    • Troper Tales was a big example within the site itself. It was oringally intended to be an example of tropes in real life, and the ultimate reason for it's removal was because it became more of an anynomous blog and discussion forum. See also our own section of Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things.
  • The site Movie (and TV) Mistakes seems to to be moving the same way as we did.
  • The Internet Movie Firearms Database is a lot like TV Tropes in this regard, except more wiki-like, it started with films instead of TV, and the focus is weapons instead of tropes.
  • YouTube was originally meant to be a medium for people to broadcast their homemade videos and independent shows (hence the motto, "Broadcast Yourself"). Then a bunch of people got the idea to start uploading a bunch of commercial copyrighted material so that others could watch their favorite shows and movies anywhere without the hassle of commercials or having to buy the DVD. Today, it seems most people go to YouTube for mostly clips if not full episodes of mainstream commercial shows while the site's creators (and now Google since they purchased it) are dealing with lawsuits from companies like Viacom, suggesting they let all the copyrighted material be posted to increase YouTube's exposure. This eventually lead to the creation of Vevo, which is backed by the industry and specifically caters to music. Of course in fairness, YouTube's roots still exists as homemade videos are still posted and viewed daily. If anything YouTube's decay seems to be more of the fault of the video uploaders more than the executives.
  • How about Google Street View? It started as a service to allow Internet dwellers to explore the roads of their own home, and of other cities and countries, including far-off nations such as South Africa, Romania or Brazil. Then in 2009, they started introducing landmarks, including parks, stadiums (the World Cup being the whole reason for South African updates) and other points of interests. After 2009 and 2010, which had spread to nearly 30 countries, Street View began catering more to landmarks, taking an apparent focus to museums (the Internet equivalent of Adored by the Network), and not even updating roads, except for a brief unadvertised update to France and Brazil, until they introduced a Channel Island and Monaco, which were the only two new places to be introduced in nearly a year. This might be the side-effect of the Wi-Fi Capturing Case though, as not only are road updates relatively neglected, but their last two updates was the official introduction of Google Places (indoor business photos) and a whole bunch of parks already collected. Note that Google Street View stays out of Total Abandonment and Slipped due to the fact they still offer roadside views, and the occasional, but rare, actual road update, and that park updates usually include in-park roads.
  • Ultimate Disney originally consisted of simple lists detailing which Walt Disney movies became available on DVD, and in what collections. Later, the website also contained reviews of some of the DVDs. It also gained a forum for discussing Disney titles of the past, present, and future, as well as some miscellaneous topics. However, when Disney started releasing fewer of their titles on DVD, Ultimate Disney registered an alternate domain, "DVDizzy", for hosting reviews of other studios' movies and shows. All of Ultimate Disney's content absorbed into DVDizzy after a few years. Fortunately, not only do the authors continue to promote and review Disney-owned movies and shows on DVD (and Blu-Ray), but ultimatedisney.com still redirects to dvdizzy.com, and the Disney-themed part of the forum still has a spot on the top of its index page.
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