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from the L.A. Times

JuicyCampus shuts down, kills the college grapevine

Juicy Campus

Even gossip mongering isn't safe in this economy. JuicyCampus, a popular online hangout for college students to spread anonymous rumors about classmates, is dropping out on Thursday.

The social tabloid grew to more than 500 campuses in the year and half since its launch. But the website is closing up shop, citing a lack of sufficient ad revenue and outside funding.

JuicyCampus' message boards were a hotbed for such crucial college discussions as who is the most promiscuous sorority girl or the hottest waitress at the downtown sports bar, and how to deal with overbearing parents.

The website recently launched a number of beta features, including a way to rank landmarks on campus and an alcoholic beverage catalog -- college at its finest.

For those regretting involvement in a particular racy post, the blog post assures users that their IP addresses won't be released without a subpoena. The abrupt closing is unrelated to the New Jersey and Connecticut attorney general investigations for possible violations of consumer protection and fraud laws, according to an FAQ posted to the company's blog.

"In these historically difficult economic times, online ad revenue has plummeted and venture capital funding has dissolved," Matt Ivester, the website's founder and chief executive, wrote on the JuicyCampus blog. "JuicyCampus’ exponential growth outpaced our ability to muster the resources needed to survive this economic downturn."

After the jump, the full text of Ivester's blog post.

-- Mark Milian

What a wild ride this has been! In the past year and a half, JuicyCampus has become synonymous with college gossip, and is more popular than I could have ever expected. We’ve expanded to more than 500 campuses across the US, and have more than a million unique visitors coming to the site every month.

It’s clear that we have provided a platform that students have found interesting, entertaining, and fun.
Unfortunately, even with great traffic and strong user loyalty, a business can’t survive and grow without a steady stream of revenue to support it. In these historically difficult economic times, online ad revenue has plummeted and venture capital funding has dissolved. JuicyCampus’ exponential growth outpaced our ability to muster the resources needed to survive this economic downturn, and as a result, we are closing down the site as of Feb. 5, 2009.

On behalf of everyone here at JuicyCampus, I would like to thank all of our users for reading, contributing to, and telling your friends about the site. And I’d like to thank everyone who has engaged in meaningful discussion about online privacy and internet censorship. JuicyCampus has raised issues that have passionate advocates on both sides, and I hope that dialogue will continue. While there are parts of JuicyCampus that none of us will miss – the mean-spirited posts and personal attacks – it has also been a place for the fun, lighthearted gossip of college life. I hope that is how it is remembered.

Keep it Juicy,

Matt Ivester
Founder & CEO
JuicyCampus.com

 
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