4. Dot-com depression.
For much of 2008, things appeared to be just dandy in the Web world. Then the roof caved in on the U.S. economy, and tech companies got trapped in the rubble. Suddeny, every Web 2.0 startup CEO worth his or her salt was writing a blog post with a title like “Tough Times. Tough Decisions,” announcing layoffs and expressing short-term pessimism and long-term optimism. Big companies such as Yahoo and Sun made massive staff cuts. There were even rumblings of cutbacks at–gasp!–Google. And let’s not even talk about the media business. One type of Web outfit is thriving, though: Sites such as It Died that track the devastation all around us.