Do you remember a decade-old site called 4 Guys From Rolla? I used to visit it a lot in the early days of ASP.NET.
Around 2002, it was still fairly common to visit favorite sites and look for information instead of just searching for it. The search algorithms were still being polished and there were not that many great development sites available at the time. But as we all know, Google’s algorithms improved with the speed of light and a few years later we simply googled for solutions to problems and subscribed to favorite sites by using RSS feeds.
The need for browser bookmarks vanished quickly and users became less inclined to visit their old favorites. Clever misuse of SEO techniques also made it possible for inferior sites to steal visitors from the established sites, leading to an ever increasing competition.
The last of the original “4 guys”, Scott Mitchell, recently left the site and wrote about his story in “I’ve Written My Last Article for 4GuysFromRolla”. It’s an interesting read about the crazy “dotcom” era and one passionate developer stuck in the middle of it.
Update: The site still seems to be alive and kicking!