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•• Television Without Pity: Why TWOP’s Demise Should Worry Social Media Folks

March 28, 2014

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Those of us who regularly turned to NBCUniversal-owned televisionwithoutpity.com for recaps and discussion of television, movies and more are in mourning after the announcement that the site would be closed for business April 4, with archived forums disappearing on May 31.

In the early days of social media — when forums and moderated bulletin boards paved the way for social community content, TWOP was the gold standard for content creation, forum moderation and an unswerving vision for high-quality writing.  It started as a recap site for the show “Dawson’s Creek,” and evolved into a site known as Mighty Big TV.

Sure, critics will complain that when Bravo took over the reins in the late aughts that things lost their edge.  And the site that all-too-commonly accused shows of “jumping the shark” may have done so themselves.

But the fact that a site like TWOP could attract ridiculous numbers of loyal participants on a regular basis (good shows and bad, sweeps and summer hiatus fillers), meant new eyeballs on new pages all. the. time.

And yet…not enough to monetize.  So when NBCUniversal announced that no buyer could be found (albeit at their price point), they also announced plans to shutter the site.

As social marketers and content developers, it’s a sobering reminder that even with excellent content, active contributors and constant reasons to return…a site can sometimes not fit the strategy.

TWOP, we hardly knew ye.  But the next time we’re shocked by The Good Wife or Don Draper, the site that provided context and criticism will be sorely missed.

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