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The Top Ten WORST Sites of 2008

The Really Bad, Awful, and Just Downright Horrible

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In order to make the list of 2008's Top Ten Worst Sites, you have to deliver a consistently bad user experience, make it as difficult as possible for people to use your site, and be completely down more often than not. All ten of these sites made these requirements (and more!) with flying colors. Many went and above these basic hurdles, as I'll describe in the list below.

1. MySpace

myspace
Myspace might be one of the most popular sites on the Web, but it certainly didn't get there because of its garish, ill-conceived design, poor user experience, or thinly disguised spyware trying to pass as advertisements. MySpace is probably most infamous for having virtually no safeguards in place to guard minors; it also has absolutely no defense against naked men and women waving their....assets.....in your face if you dare to click through to another user's profile.

MySpace Alternatives: Facebook, Ten Social Web Community Sites You Might Not Know About

2. Lycos

Once a small, respectable search engine, Lycos has morphed into a do-it-all portal that tries to be everything to everyone; unfortunately, this has resulted in a site that appeals to the lowest common denominator, rather than being a useful service.

Lycos alternatives: The Top Ten Search Engines, How To Find The Best Search Engines on the Web

3. TMZ

Raunchy, rude, and reckless, the folks at TMZ love to exploit celebrities' worst foibles to the general public. Sure, we all love celebrity gossip, but TMZ manages to cross over the line of common decency a little too often.

TMZ alternatives: The Top Ten Best Celebrity Gossip Sites, Yahoo OMG Entertainment News, Lipstick.com, Jossip, Pink is the New Blog, Just Jared

4. FlipDog

At first glance, FlipDog seems like a reasonably well put-together job search engine. However, it's completely powered by Monster.com, which begs the question of why should you go through the trouble of creating two user profiles for what is essentially the same search engine? Plus, the site won't render correctly in anything but Internet Explorer - and for those of us who use Firefox, this isn't a plus.

FlipDog alternatives: Top Ten Job Search Engines, Indeed.com, Find a Job with Bloglines, LinkedIn.com, a Job Search Engine with a Social Networking Twist, SimplyHired.com, a Good Basic Job Search Engine, Five Things You Can Do With Craigslist

5. Classmates

Everyone loves to get back in touch with their high school or college friends, and Classmates almost seems like a good place to do that - until you start getting the innumerable spammy emails, the letters asking for more money for less and less service, etc. There are better (and cheaper) ways to reconnect.

Classmates alternatives: A Step by Step Guide to Finding Someone Online, The Best Free People Search Sites, Google People Search

6. eBay

eBay has really gone downhill in the past few years: sellers have been hit with exorbitant fees, and buyers have little to no recourse against shoddy sellers. It's still possible to find a good deal on eBay, however, between shipping and other assorted fees, you're probably better off with Craigslist.

eBay alternatives: Online Shopping Guide

7. Bloglines

Bloglines, one of the first feed readers to come out on the market, has had multiple issues this year: constant downtimes, conflicts with browser updates, and weird update glitches. Although Bloglines is still one of my favorite feed readers, it's difficult to be enthusiastic about a service that refuses to address their issues.

Bloglines alternatives: RSS Feed Readers - Learn About Your Feed Reader Choices, Fifty Things You Can Do With RSS

8. Yahoo Answers

I have to admit that I have a sneaky addiction to Yahoo Answers, purely because many of the answers are just so wacky. It's turned into a place you can go to get a few giggles, rather than a dependable site you can visit for information. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but if you're looking for something you can count on, I wouldn't recommend Yahoo Answers.

Yahoo answers alternatives: Answers .com, Factbites, a Question and Answer Search Engine, Use Web MD to find health information, BrainBoost-A Question Answering Search Engine

9. AOL Search

AOL Search is powered by Google, so if you have to use it, at least you're getting legitimate results. However, you're also getting AOL's search "refinements", which include among others a previously mentioned Worst Site on this list - TMZ.

AOL Search alternatives: The Top Ten Most Useful Google Services, Twenty Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Google Search, Top Ten Google Search Tricks

10. FriendFeed

FriendFeed, a relatively new entrant to the world of social networking, is a service meant to consolidate all your different Web outlets: Twitter, Facebook, delicious, etc. - into one convenient place. It does this very well. However, FriendFeed fails in its other objective, which is to connect people from all over the world. Sure, there ARE people on FriendFeed talking, but it's got a very high school, echo chamber, clique-ish feel to it - and if you're not in the clique, then FriendFeed most likely will not be your cup of tea.

FriendFeed alternatives: Facebook.com, Ten New Community Sites on the Web, Twitter

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