After more than 200,000 posts, the controversial JuicyCampus Web site has said its goodbyes to cyberspace.
But avid college gossips have nothing to worry about. There is at least one new Web site that is poised and ready to corner the market on collegiate dirt. On its blog, JuicyCampus.com passed the "gossip baton" to one site in particular, collegeacb.com.
Collegeacb.com, which stands for the College Anonymous Confession Board, seeks to separate itself from JuicyCampus, saying it "hosts a higher level of discourse -- while still making room for the occasional gossip post."
In its final days, JuicyCampus became a target of what made it successful in the first place: fresh college gossip. This time, students were posting about JuicyCampus itself and, whether they're for it or against it, the debate rages on with each new thread.
Farewell posts on the site numbered in the dozens, with headlines like "Au Revoir JuicyCampus," "JuicyCampus Shutting Down, Thank God," and "Last Day to Gossip." They were coming out of schools from Cornell to Michigan State to Tulane and back again.
From a poignant soliloquy by a University of Tulsa student who refers to himself simply as the 'JC Spammer,' to a short poem by a student at UC Santa Barbara, it seems like everyone has something to say on juicycampus.com.
"JC is done, let's all come clean," one University of Florida student posted. "Post your age, gender, and frat/sorority."
"12 minutes," posted a Duke student. "Until I can go back to my old Internet addictions: porn and that helicopter game."
"Any last things before JuicyCampus closes?" wondered a University of Memphis student. "Any last secrets out there?"
A shortage of secrets wasn't the problem at the popular, yet controversial site, according to JuicyCampus founder and CEO Matt Ivester. In an announcement Wednesday, he cited a tough economic climate as the main reason for the shutdown.
"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."
A press release from the new ACB site highlights crucial differences between its site and JuicyCampus. Such features as a user-moderation button allow for concerned students to alert the webmaster to any kind of threatening or illegal post. The release also explains that there are fewer ads and more personalized content.
So far, it looks like students haven't been biting. Aside from the Weslyan "ACB," we could find few colleges with any posts on the site.
The site is managed by a freshman at Weslyan University in Connecticut.
JuicyCampus surged in popularity last fall, when it expanded to more than 500 colleges across the country. A self-proclaimed platform for free speech, the site took off with anonymous posts running the gamut from "Who has STDs" to "Hottest Professor."
But popularity comes with a price; in this case, more traffic meant more malicious posts and more upset students.