CNET (NSDQ: CNET) Networks, in an effort to focus on its core properties, is closing down a small site it bought in Dec 2005, ironically with an announcement a day before Valentine’s day. Consumating was supposed to be a hipster/tech/geek dating site, and started as a parody of traditional dating sites. Now CNET will be shutting down the site on March 15th, the site announced.
Andy Baio at Waxy.org noticed the site closure notice, and had this very pertinent question: “It’s unfortunate that CNET couldn’t find a way to keep the site online, even if that meant handing it back to the users that made it special. Since online communities are built on top of user’s contributions and social interactions, it raises the question: are companies responsible for keeping community website alive, even after they cease to be strategically desirable?” Marshall Kirkpatrick at RWW answers that here: “Answer: No. No more than they are responsible to share the ad revenue on user generated content sites in the event that any money is made.”