A few months ago, I wrote a pretty vicious post describing the awful, user-unfriendly makeover that Bravo had foisted on Television Without Pity.
Part of the reason for the viciousness was that TWoP was a site that, only a couple of years ago, I had declared as maybe my favorite website ever.
Of course, two years is a very long long time, especially on the net. Still, when I wrote my declaration of love, TWOP had been kicking ass for a lot longer than that, and there was no reason to believe that by the middle of 2008, they would be bought by Bravo; the original founders would leave and it would be transformed from a site that I visited several times a day to a site that I now don’t visit for weeks at a time.
It’s a long way for such an established site to fall in a relatively short period of time, and apparently, I’m not the only person who has noticed: ever since the original post, there has been a steady stream of traffic to it, and commenters on it.
Most of the comments fall into one of two categories: complaints about the redesign itself, and — a category that I didn’t even consider when writing the original post — complaints about overly restrictive forum moderators.
That’s just sad. People loved the old TWoP. Or hated it. But if they hated it; they hated it for what it was — a website with an angle and an attitude. Now, it’s got none of that, so people just tolerate it. Or ignore it. And maybe that’s what Bravo / NBC / Universal want: a site that people just visit, but don’t have any real affection or hatred for.
Sure, Television Without Pity sucks now, but more because of what it isn’t — well done and interesting — than for what it is.
(But again, what do you expect from the same corporation that thinks putting Jay Leno on 5 nights a week is some kind of smart, “DVR-proof” programming strategy. Seriously? Do these people understand that Jay Leno is why DVRs were invented? You record him when he has somebody interesting on, and watch it the next day. Duh.)
And, in any event, Television Without Pity is out of my life now, and I’m not the only one: according to Alexa, their traffic has steadily decreased ever since the redesign. To the point where their traffic for the 2008 Fall Season looks to be half of what it was for 2007.
Is that what they wanted? For Television Without Pity to suck so much that their traffic slowly evaporates?
Because that seems to be what they got.