Sometimes it feels like we barely blink before another social media Web site or file sharing service surfaces. Are you on Ello yet?

So yes, the web is growing, but there are plenty of sites disappearing, too. Think of it as digital pruning.

Here are just a few notables that went to the 404 in the sky in 2014.

Homicide Watch D.C.
The community-driven site and custom database launched in 2011 to track every homicide in D.C. The site’s founders, Laura and Chris Amico, will shut down the site on Dec. 31. The couple moved to Massachusetts in 2012 and have not been able to find a new organization or group to keep the site or database up and running. If you have roughly $50,000 and a team of interns at your disposal, you can keep it alive.

Thank Twitter for this one. Twitpic was created in 2009 and filled a necessary void at a time when Twitter didn’t have a photo uploading or sharing function. Twitter caught on and eventually threatened Twitpic in a trademark dispute. Cue Twitpic’s demise. Millions of gifs and photos still live, though, because Twitter agreed to save the Twitpic domain and photos in an archive format. Thank goodness.

Redbox Instant
Does anyone still watch DVDs? Not really. And no one wanted to stream videos from Redbox, either. The DVD rental service with red boxes in grocery stores and convenience stores across the U.S. discontinued its streaming service in October. The reason is summed up pretty well on what is left of its Web site:

“The service is shutting down because it was not as successful as we hoped it would be.”

Simple as that.
There was a time you could find just about anything streaming on I would search for sporting events not broadcast where I lived. The site’s founder, Justin Kan, and his team eventually decided to focus on live video game broadcasting, turning the service, Twitch, into a $1 billion deal with Amazon. So long,

Yahoo Directory
I think anyone who used a computer in the 1990s remembers this one fondly. It’s like reminiscing about old computer video games we played (Oregon Trail, anyone?). The Yahoo Directory existed before the fast and efficient Google took over. It was just a list of sites based on categories (news, science, education, government). That’s pretty much it. Try visiting the site now (which is officially slated to shut down on Dec. 31) and you’ll be redirected to We’re not sure what this is, but it still looks faintly like the old relic.

Two other losses of note:

The Pirate Bay
Another casualty of a crackdown on the file sharing sites.

Silk Road
The black market Web site (and it’s second iteration, Silk Road 2.0) was shut down by the FBI in November. Before the shutdown, people used the site to purchase drugs and other contraband with bitcoins.