Juicy Campus shuts down, citing business problems

| Senior News Editor

Although Juicy Campus, the Web site that has become synonymous with college gossip, may have created a buzz around Washington University, students here do not think its closure Thursday will have an effect on the campus social scene.

Senior Elyse Sadow said that though many students visited the site, gossip will not stop because it has shut down.

“People are going to say this stuff no matter what, whether it’s online or whether it’s to another person behind your back regardless,” she said. “I just think it’s another medium of talking badly about people.”

Matt Ivester, founder and chief executive officer of Juicy Campus, announced Wednesday morning that the site was unable to generate the advertising revenue needed to sustain it.

“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,” Ivester wrote in a press release. “In these historically difficult economic times, online ad revenue has plummeted and venture capital funding has dissolved.”

Ivester added that the rapid growth of the site contributed to the closure, making it hard to keep such a large venture functioning. Ivester wrote that Juicy Campus serves 500 campuses nationwide and drew 1 million unique visitors each month.

While the site has reached nationwide popularity, some students on campus never visit Juicy Campus.

“I’ve never gone on it but I don’t think it’s a great asset to the Wash. U. community in any way,” senior Kaitlin Mattos said. “I don’t know that it matters that much. I don’t feel like it’s as prevalent on Wash. U.’s campus as it might be other places. I don’t think that it will make a huge difference, at least in my life.”

While he did not attribute his decision to the moral debate surrounding the site, Ivester did mention it in his announcement.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has engaged in meaningful discussion about online privacy and Internet censorship,” he wrote. “Juicy Campus has raised issues that have passionate advocates on both sides, and I hope that dialogue will continue.”

Some students, however, will be glad to see some of the dialogue on the site stop because of the detrimental social effect it has had.
“I’m happy about [Juicy Campus closing],” freshman Laura April said. “I’ve never shown up on it but I’m glad I never will. I know [people] are really hurt by what was on there so I’m just glad it won’t happen again.”

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