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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.