JuicyCampus shutting down

JuicyCampus, the controversial gossip site that allows students to call each other "whores" and "meth-heads" with absolute anonymity, is closing its doors.

Matt Ivester, the company's founder and CEO told users in a note that "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."

It's a surprising development, given that the site enjoyed a solid traffic ranking on Alexa with almost exclusively user-generated content with no cost to the company.

The site generated tremendous controversy, with numerous universities banning access to JuicyCampus because of the emotional havoc it wreaked on sensitive students. JuicyCampus apparently never generated the cash to match the media firestorm, but it's still been an important piece of the debate on privacy and first amendment rights on college campuses.

Look for imitators to pick up the slack -- There is far too much demand for on-campus gossip for the concept to disappear completely.