On Monday December 3rd 2018, Talk Nightlife as you know it, (or knew it, if you are reading this after the fact) will be going dark. Give or take a few hours depending on when our wonderful host, Media Temple, pulls the plug. If you are reading this, you're seeing nothing but a landing page which maybe costs a few cents a month to run.
No, I didn't decide to cease operating the site over money. It didn't lose me money, really. Especially if you add up the unquantifiable perks of having run and later owned Miami's most notorious nightlife web community. Free drinks, threats, arguments and ancillary referrals can't really have a monetary value. And yeah, I managed to make (and sure, lose) friends via TNL - and you can't put a currency value on that, either.
Realistically, the site served it's purpose awhile ago, and that was to mainly be a refuge for the various denizens of the "blue site" after the change of management. The mission was accomplished, and the gossip shop tradition continued on. The structure of how the internet factored into nightlife changed, as well. Long-form rants and pretty pictures fell out of fashion, replaced with the empires of Zuckerberg and @jack.
Now, TNL had no real desire to compete with that, and I even grudgingly added some basic-bitch sharing functions in 2014, and undertook regular postings in Zucc-land to push traffic. Sure people came and read, but no one participated. The issue, as plenty of people observed, was that the concept of what TNL was, a many-to-many community of strangers and friends (sorry Travis!) was aging, along with the community. People were getting married, and having kids, and stopped going to full-bore night clubs. Despite the original intent of TNL to be about "the expanded definition of nightlife", i.e. clubs, art galleries, lounges, bars, and so on, no one cared to read a review of an art exhibition or a hotel cocktail bar. I certainly didn't.
The only real nuggets were industry gossip and as time went on, those were hard to extract as the sources moved higher up in the echelons of nightlife and by revealing certain nuggets, they would compromise their livelihoods. I wouldn't expect them too, either. The nuggets were fun, but I would have (yes, really) felt guilty if someone lost their gig because of a post on TNL. Trust me, I knew a lot of information that people alluded to, it just wasn't my place to post it. The Miami nightlife community was pretty close-knit and it wouldn't be much of a mission to trace a leak. I'd hate to be the one to make someone else lose their gig.
So yeah, the nuggets dried up as a lot of us "turned pro". With less of the nuggets, the site shifted from a parking orbit into a graveyard orbit. All the while, the core users got older, and less interested in the scene.
The scene itself shifting contributed, as well. As the mid-2010s ticked over, mainstay clubs of TNLers shut down or changed in such a way that they may as well have shut down. The biggest rooms on the Beach, 1235 Washington Avenue, and the Cameo Theater fka crobar, became either vacant or for-hire party rental halls. Nikki Beach shifted focus to more of a restuarant operation. Space, for all practical purposes, ceased to exist in 2016 and currently operates as a different club with the same name. Heart came and went. Even the dark horse Gryphon up at the Hard Rock couldn't renew it's lease with the tribe and had to shut down. The timing kind of worked out though, as the TNL crowd "aged out" of the scene. Where we go today, if we go out at all, doesn't lend itself to long-form bitching, i.e. if you're at the Wharf hanging with Emi and gang, it's not conducive to a 20 page barnbuster review.
The Miami nightlife scene changed, and is semi-dormant, from where I sit. TNL doesn't really move in those conditions. Even with the inevitable nightlife revival (LP is opening a place in Wynwood) TNL won't be a major factor.Of course, a contributing aspect in the going-dark is that yes, the almighty Pod simply doesn't go to clubs anymore. I haven't even had the desire to photograph inside a nightclub. I love photography and still take the occasional photo - it's just not happening in clubs.
Heck, I think the last time I was even in something that could be considered a bar was in January of this year in the Swedish Arctic at some hotel. And even that place shut down at 1 AM. Shit, neither myself nor my wife have been even appreciably close to being drunk in a very long time. Not that TNL was driven by drinking or anything. When the site owner loses interest, maybe it's time to call it a day.
Maybe that shoulda been awhile ago. The flamewars in Talk About Anything kept the retirement years fun, though. Yeah, fuck you.
For the record, no - I haven't sold the site or the domain. I thought about it, and put it up there, but the few offers I received weren't enough to consider fully parting with the property. I'd rather it be in cold storage than sold for a song. Maybe I'll sell for two songs, I don't know. Or not.
But for now, I'm just gonna turn off the lights. The essential data will be moved to a repository somewhere as well as an offline device or ten. I might do something fun and just leave USB sticks in various locations with a redacted data set, i.e. just the posts.
If y'all think about it, I'm gonna stick to the promise I (and the other founding parties) made on September 17th 2007 - we'll never sell your info.
It was a fun ride though, huh? Gossip, drinking, drama, legal threats, fights, friendships made, friendships broken, shit-talking, political antics, weddings, (sadly) some funerals, and so on. Even if I vehemently disagreed or offended the shit out of you, I can't thank you enough for showing up and contributing.
Long live the Republic, and God Bless America.
01 December 2018 2148hrs UTC -5:00 1543700880
PS - if you've got my direct info, reach out. Maybe we'll hang.
PPS: OK here's one final list of things to do.
Loungey shit for people our age: