Whenever I see a thread about Hotboat, I expect to open it and see that they have gone out of business. Must be awful hard to get advertising these days, and then collecting from those that do would also be very hard.
I dont know all the enternal BS that went down with HB and PB with the family members....but damn it seems that whom ever was making the calls over at HB REALLY blew this one! That was a very popular site....and now its just dead! OOPS factor 10.
Remember they didn't want these members.I'll never subscribe and all my old shirts are rags now!
While many see the drop as a failure....it is quite possible they see it as success...just as you said, because they didn't want the members and the type of website it had evolved into. It does seem odd that in reality, all they accomplished was getting rid of traffic, while still having a small group of crappy members doing the same thing only on a much smaller scale(grads)...and that may still be success to them in a bigger picture.
I think, like most, that they really don't understand how the internet works - just like the stock market...it is irrational! And...it can stay irrational longer than they can stay idealistic. I understand what they wanted to do, and most of us would have "behaved" had they just let us know what they wanted to do. But, I think they pre-judged and tried to go cold turkey. If they paid attention, nearly every successful website with an online forum has to balance traffic with drama with business goals.
Most of us not only think it failed, but many hope they failed...for more reasons than just shutting down a social portal. Se la vie!