OurChart.com Says Goodbye Forever

Today, at 3:35pm, Ilene Chaiken posted OurChart's very last blog. Ever. It may come as no surprise to you if you've been a faithful OurChart user for the past two years. The site has been at a standstill since mid-November with no new content posted on the site at all. OurChart aficianados waited with baited breath to see what the true fate of OurChart would be. Would the site come back alive for the L Word's Sixth Season or would the axe come down, as it has on so many others sites in this crappy economy we all get to live in. I was lucky enough to be invited to blog for OurChart; unfortunately my time spent there was short-lived because it was only a month later that the site stopped updating and all the bloggers were let go. It's not a total loss, though. OurChart will be moving to Sho.com, but I can tell you one thing, the well-known L Word "social networking" site will be very different.

So... you're probably wondering, what did Ilene have to say? Here's her blog, straight from OurChart.com:

A New Year, A New OurChart
January 19, 2009 - 3:35pm — ilene
OurChart came into existence over two years ago because of you, this incredible community—Our Community—that has coalesced and congregated around The L Word. You came together with dynamic visibility and with many voices and opinions and ideas that seemed, in a way, unprecedented.

But you were always out there—before Bette and Tina or Alice’s chart—and that’s why I know you’ll continue to be there as OurChart goes through some changes.

From the moment The L Word premiered, Showtime has provided an online, interactive home for our community at sho.com. When OurChart launched, we continued to partner with Showtime to bring you some of our best content, including exclusives with cast members, advanced streamings of episodes and much more.

Indeed, Showtime is not only OurChart’s parent but one of Our Community’s greatest champions. They are not explicitly mandated to produce LGBT themed programming—or the first lesbian social network—but they have and do and for that, I’m eternally grateful. I can’t think of a family (because that’s what I consider Showtime to be) to which I would rather entrust this community. And that’s why in our final season of The L Word, we’ve decided to combine forces and host OurChart on sho.com.

Over the next week, we’ll be outfitting sho.com with a special OurChart page where you will find L Word exclusives like an interactive Q&A with me about Season 6, updates on the spin-off pilot I’ve been working on with Leisha Hailey, and OurChart’s collection of behind-the-scenes podcasts. You'll also be able to watch video specials, connect with your friends on message boards, virtual chat with other fans, shop for L Word swag, and download full episodes.

Unfortunately, sho.com is not set up as a social networking site in quite the same way as OurChart was, which means we won’t be able to host your OurChart profiles at our new home. If you haven’t already, we invite you to create a profile on sho.com and take this week to save any personal information from your OurChart profile.

As of Monday, January 26th, OurChart will automatically redirect to sho.com and you will no longer be able to access your OurChart account or any of the photos, blogs, personal messages, notes or comments associated with that account.

I understand this change might be upsetting to some of you. But I hope you’ll stick with us to celebrate the final season of The L Word, which is here—six seasons later—only because of your overwhelming support…and because I think you get it. Get that telling our stories—whether as a blog, in the broadcast arena, or at the box office—is a vitally important way to effect change and ensure that we have the final word on how our community is represented both on and off the screen.

So... what do you make of this news?


Tina-cious.com said...

Umm -- I have a profile there but I never go there... too many things irked me about that site.

I didn't like that it took forever for the actual CHART to come up... among other things.

I never go there anymore.

Still. I'm sad to see it go.



Olga R. said...

I will miss it. I've meet so many lesbians from all over the world on that site. Where else can you do that? It's a shame.


SweetCravings said...

I assume that most of the heavy OurChart use occurs in parallel with new L Word episodes. If that's the case, it just couldn't make good business sense to host a website that is hot only 1/6 of the year. That said, Showtime chose the worst time to cancel the site. OurChart kept viewers consumed with the current season's progress, through blogs, star content, and video clips. It was basically L Word marketing! So, why drop it just as the last season begins?! Oh wait! They only dropped the social part of the site, and kept the marketing. Well, if I can no longer meet diverse women from all over the world (which I did), then Showtime can no longer market it's immensely profitable series to me! What a rip off!! I am thoroughly disappointed by their (typical) decision! What a bummer!

Lissa said...

The connection around the show never interested me; pretty much from mid-season four onward, I lost all interest in the storylines -- but I did continue to use the Chart to connect with other women in my neighborhood, city, and around the world. Showtime had an awesome opportunity to utilize the connectivity that kept a good percentage of users coming back in order to market their other offerings to us. When economic belts tighten every outlay of money comes into question, no doubt about it. I only hope that the SHO execs are keeping in mind the long-term viability of their products; their "replacement site" offers nothing to users that we can't find elsewhere on the web more quickly and easily. I won't be visiting again.

Margo Moon said...

Ahh, bitter sweet memories of that place.

OurChart's where I first found the thrill of playing on the Internet with funny, intelligent lesbians who had a gift with words. I really liked a bunch of the women there.

It's also where I first found out how vicious lesbians can be to other lesbians. Before a bunch of the OurChart community got together to send me hateful emails and then broke into my private Web site, I was blissfully ignorant of that darker side of social networking.

Dang. Good times.