Modern Topics Site Update from El

Hey girlses (and guyses),

Long time, no talk. Months ago,  I had drafted up a long explanation about what was happening with Modern Topics. I sat on that article for a while. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share it or not. Today, I sat down to finally post it–and wouldn’t you know, I can’t find the damned thing anywhere? So I’m starting all over. Please forgive me if this isn’t the most well-though-out post, but I know you all deserve to be told the truth.

Back in the spring, I made a post on reddit asking for news writers for the Teen Mom section. I had some great recappers on board already (like JerseyGirl, Janel, and Danika), but I was struggling to keep up with the insane amount of Teen Mom news all by myself. I offered $4 per article, and I had dozens of applications. I worked hard to narrow down the people I thought would be able to bring you all the most accurate, timely, and humorous TM news updates. I ended up with three writers, but, for [insert reasons here], none of them panned out.

When I started Modern Topics, it was intended to cover a variety of, well, Modern Topics. I tried to recruit and pay writers for various genres, not just television, but beauty, health, weddings, parenting, movies, books, and celebrities. I paid for all of this out of my own pocket, trying to grow this site into something amazing. I had big dreams for this place, but again, none of it panned out. This was long before TMJ fell and before we added a TM section. When TMJ collapsed, my friends and I decided to use my pre-existing site to fill the hole, but I was too late to the Teen Mom game to get the growth this place needed to sustain itself. To help offset the costs of maintaining the website and the writers, I tried to monetize the site. I tried, gosh, about 10 or more strategies to do this. They all took a shit ton of time.  I even had an angel investor who bailed when I couldn’t keep the news writing up. And none of these strategies worked. I couldn’t pay enough to keep writers interested, and I couldn’t do it alone anymore. I was absolutely defeated, and I felt like I let down everyone here.

So at some point, it really got to be too much. I was investing a lot of time, energy, money…and it all started collapsing before my eyes. I had begun to neglect other things in my life that needed tending, and I had to stop prioritizing  Modern Topics. I kind of “rage quit” by stepping away from the site. I e-mailed the only other writer who was currently on-season, JerseyGirl, and notified her I would no longer be able to pay her or anyone else. She was amazing about it and asked that I leave the site open for her to keep doing the recaps, because she enjoyed writing them and loved engaging with all of the lovely commenters. I was more than happy to do that.

I had meant to come back and post about why the news would be stopping,  I was ashamed to come here and publicly admit that I was giving up. I thought maybe I just needed a break and could come back to it with 100% force again.  The truth is that I can’t compete single-handedly with Twitter, Facebook, Radar, reddit, and all the other places. But I wanted to leave it open-ended in case I could think of another brilliant idea or strategy, or in case I won the lottery and could pay enough to keep people writing.

Alas, none of that happened. I’ve got even more IRL shit going on now than before and cannot rededicate so much again. However, I have had some people ask me if I would be willing to try one last time for volunteer writers. If you are interested in doing Teen Mom news stories or any other genre, you can e-mail me at moderntopicsonline@gmail.com. If you all don’t see any news stories soon, it’s because nobody has volunteered to do it (because at this point, I have literally zero quality standards anymore, so I’ll take anyone), and unfortunately, that will just mean the end of the line for TM news.

I am not shutting down the site. I’m handing the site over to the community–Modern Topics is yours now. You can make of it what you will. Anyone who wants to contribute can do so. If you want to write about anything, I will create a log-in for you and you can go to town. I know for JerseyGirl, she enjoys recapping and I will gladly leave the site up for her to do so and for readers and commenters to share in the fun with her. The same goes for any other would-be writers. I have PDF walk-throughs on how to post and all that stuff.

One last time, I want to thank all the recappers who contributed their talents, all the fun and witty commenters, all the great contest and giveaway participants, and all you silent, lurking readers. ModernTopics was a fun experience, and I learned a lot from it. I’m sorry I couldn’t keep it going at the level we all would have liked, but just know that it was not for a lack of trying. I hope you all enjoyed the ride, and I hope maybe some of you will be able and willing to keep it afloat among yourselves.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

-El

 

 

33 Comments

  1. DEJESUS HOUSE OF MANHATERS says:

    Thank you so much for letting us know what has been going on. I wish nothing but the best for you.

    9+
  2. Bab's biggest fan says:

    Thanks El for all the work you put into the site! It was a lot of fun being a lurker mostly. And thank you to jersey girl for all th recaps! It’s appreciated, I almost can’t imagine having to watch the show to get the gossip?

    Did you ever put out like a PayPal account that people could make small donations to Wikipedia style to keep it open? I think some of us might be open to it, this is so much better than reddit.

    8+
    • JerseyGirl says:

      Thank you for your support! I appreciate it.

      2+
    • El-ahrairah says:

      Thank you for the suggestion! It’s funny you say that, because my partner was really pushing for me to do a Patreon. I felt weird “begging” for money, so I compromised by launching a CafePress store. I figured at least people got something for their money. I have some writers now who are hoping to contribute, so I may start linking to the store again.

      0
  3. ColeAteMyCereal says:

    I kind of figured you were stepping away- real life is more important than internet life. Thank you so much for creating this site! How hard is it to do vetting of information? Not trying to sound rude- just wondering if it’s something I can help out with,

    7+
    • El-ahrairah says:

      Thanks for the comment! The vetting of information isn’t terribly difficult. I tried to keep things above clickbait standards, but I was generally okay with “allegedly” and “according to rumor” to some extent. If you knew Ye Olde Days of Teen Mom Junkies, I was trying to mirror that tone. I usually sourced social media posts, Radar, etc., so as long as their was a screenshot or an article, it was pretty much vetted to me.

      0
  4. KDot says:

    Thank you El and J girl! Y’alls efforts are truly appreciated

    6+
  5. -A says:

    Thank you El. I love this site and I personally don’t think you were too late to the game. I usually come here to check out what is going on in the TM universe before FB.
    I hope everything works out for the best for you. And if there was some kind of PayPal thing like someone mentioned above I might be able to donate a bit from time to time.

    8+
  6. Janel says:

    If there’s ever any interest in American Horror Story recaps again, I’ll definitely write them again! That’s pretty much the only series I really watch aside from Lethal Weapon and This is Us.

    3+
    • JerseyGirl says:

      Oh I love This is Us!! I’d definitely love a recap of that? or a discussion forum on it?

      4+
    • El-ahrairah says:

      Thanks so much Janel! Here’s hoping there can be a bit of a revival here. I used to tweet out your AHS recaps and they got some attention there. If things pick up, I’d love to have you on board again 🙂

      1+
  7. Baby Daddy #3 says:

    Thank you El & Jersey girl.

    6+
  8. chelseas annoying baby voice says:

    Thanks for everything, EL and thanks to Jerseygirl for keeping the site.

    6+
  9. JerseyGirl says:

    I’m in for as long as you guys are still interested in Teen Mom and/or the show is on the air. I like the community here, and I like the commenters. I appreciate El for giving me a chance to be a writer (shaddup, I totally am a writer lol) on her site. I mean, she didn’t know me from a bag of beans and just said, yep, give it a go! For that, I am truly grateful, and to every one of you that reads, whether you comment or not.

    Thank you El, for trying so hard and keeping the site open. You’re amazing.

    19+
  10. Tyler's Great American Novel says:

    <3 thank you guys

    2+
  11. Mo says:

    Thank you for explaining el! And thanks to jerseygirl for keeping up with the recaps!

    2+
  12. Hairstyles of the Rich & Alnost Fanous says:

    I’ll miss you El! Thanks for all that you’ve done! Jersey, thanks for keeping the lights on in the transition!

    3+
  13. chan says:

    Thank you for letting us know E! I really appreciate the work you put into this site! Jersey, thank you too and I’m happy to hear that you’ll continue to do the recaps! 😀

    1+
  14. Leah's Meth Pipe says:

    You guys have been the greatest. El-you’re the real MVP. You gave us somewhere to go after the collapse of TMJ and I love you for it. Thanks J-Girl for your recaps. I have been super busy IRL as well, so unable to comment, but always having a nightcap read before bed.
    Take care guys-whatever happens from here. And thanks to everyone-writers and commenters alike, for the laughs 😘

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