JuicyCampus shuts, blames economy not traffic

Duncan Riley

College gossip site JuicyCampus is shutting down, with the site blaming the economy for the decision.

CEO Matt Ivester said in a statement:

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.

Yes, the economy doesn't help, but the numbers don't add up either. Even if we presume 3-4 million page views, even pre-downturn, at best you might have enough money coming in to sustain a small compliment of full time staff; and that's presuming the site was attracting premium inventory, which is unlikely. The reality is that even though 3-4 million page views might be respectable (and it's probably a lot less), in this market it's enough maybe to sustain a full time employee, and a couple of part timers, but not any more. Given the nature of the site, and the need to police it, you'd expect that it needed more than one person to run it, hence the issue becomes scale, and not advertising alone; it simply didn't become popular enough to pay its way.

The idea itself isn't fatally flawed, although college gossip as a stand-alone entity in a social networking focused market was always going to struggle. It also didn't help that the site looks like it was designed by a 14 year old girl, not exactly appealing to their target demographic.

Mashable has more.