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Startrek.com Shutting Down 260

Posted by kdawson
from the could-have-offered-it-to-fandom dept.
Curlsman writes to let us know that the fan site startrek.com, operated for 13 years by CBS, is being shut down and its staff laid off. Is this site worth a write-in campaign? From the (perhaps final) post: "Goodbye from the STARTREK.COM Team. Sadly, we must report that CBS Interactive organization is being restructured, and the production team that brings you the STARTREK.COM site has been eliminated. Effective immediately. We don't know the ultimate fate of this site, which has served millions of Star Trek fans for the last thirteen years. If you have comments, please send them to editor @ startrek.com — we hope someone at CBS will read them."
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Startrek.com Shutting Down

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  • great news? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by apodyopsis (1048476) on Monday December 17, 2007 @05:41AM (#21723528)
    It would be great news if they then donated the domain to a fan based organization who could then preserve, maintain and preferably enhance the whole website and continue to move it forwards.

    But I suspect it will be sold to the highest bidder, no doubt something to do with the new upcoming prequels.
    • Re:great news? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Hurricane Floyd (891704) on Monday December 17, 2007 @05:47AM (#21723556)
      Probably end up with a cybersquatting fake search page on it like all the other premium domains that are abandoned. Or autoforward to the main CBS site.
    • by bm_luethke (253362) <luethkeb@comcaCU ... minus physicist> on Monday December 17, 2007 @06:54AM (#21723770)
      "But I suspect it will be sat on, no doubt something to do with afraid something not under their control may be done with it."

      There, I fixed the line for you. That is normally the way these types of things work, I can;t see them giving this site up for any reason whatsoever.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Why close the site?
      They do not need to frak around with the content any more. It's all there. Let it be like a "book".

       
    • by Professor_UNIX (867045) on Monday December 17, 2007 @07:41AM (#21723898)
      Hopefully they will let the domain expire so it can be snatched up by one of the various high-quality search engine providers like www.starttrek.com, www.jamestkirk.com, www.ussenterprise.com, klingon.com, romulans.com, etc. These sites show their dedication to Star Trek by providing search engines targeted towards their primary audience... namely Star Trek fanatics.
      • by sou11ess (942999) on Monday December 17, 2007 @01:16PM (#21726660)
        jamestkirk.com is my favorite stop for everything Star Trek, like a big picture of a TIE fighter.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by wickedskaman (1105337)
          Man alive! Thank you so much for brining out this magnificent diversion to my day. You have boldly gone where my web surfing would not take me before... looking through those link farm sites and picking out the sweetest plum. On your recommendation I sampled a taste for myself and my life is richer, fulfilled for having followed your bold pioneering. This was a beautiful moment. All I can say is majQa'!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Octorian (14086)
      Actually, I think I remember when this site was first promoted. If I remember correctly, they used it as an excuse to forcibly shut down just about every fan site they could find on the Internet! (Memory Alpha probably came much later)

      Anyone else remember this period?
    • Kill it now!! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by p51d007 (656414)
      Kill it off now! Make it disappear for 5-10 years. THEN bring it back. The problem with the entire ST franchise is that it has been run into the ground. Kill it, let people forget about it for a few years, THEN bring it back. Hopefully by that time, Rick Berman (however you spell it) will have died off and some other writer can bring back this franchise.
    • by Jugalator (259273)

      It would be great news if they then donated the domain to a fan based organization who could then preserve, maintain and preferably enhance the whole website and continue to move it forwards.

      I agree. I'd personally love to see Memory Alpha [memory-alpha.org] get this new domain, with a suitable re-branding on top. It's the web site most rich in general Star Trek info I know, movies, TV series, and otherwise. It's also yet a great example of a successful wiki.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by RobertM1968 (951074)

      Well, that would be a relevant possibility if the article title on /. weren't so erroneous.

      Curlsman writes to let us know that the fan site startrek.com, operated for 13 years by CBS, is being shut down and its staff laid off. Is this site worth a write-in campaign?

      Above is inaccurate...

      The current web team has been laid off... no indication has been given that the site is being shut down - and actually, no other announcement as to what happens with the site has been made either.

      A more logical scenario is that the team at CBS Interactive, currently responsible for their other online web ventures, will be assuming control of the startrek.com domain. Whether that means it w

  • Not Quite (Score:5, Informative)

    by datan (659165) on Monday December 17, 2007 @05:41AM (#21723530) Homepage
    Actually it says that the production team has been eliminated (which kinda sucks just during this holiday seasons), and the ultimate fate of the site is still unresolved.
    • by Martian_Kyo (1161137) on Monday December 17, 2007 @05:46AM (#21723552)
      I find their use of the word 'eliminated' a bit overly dramatic. Dissolved maybe, but eliminated? It's not like they've all been taken to the alley behind the studio, shot in the head and then dumped in the river.
      • Re:Not Quite (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DeeQ (1194763) on Monday December 17, 2007 @05:53AM (#21723574)
        you work somewhere for 13 years and get laid off, I would use eliminated too.
        • by leenks (906881)
          Did I miss the bit where it said they were laid off?
      • by niceone (992278) *
        I find their use of the word 'eliminated' a bit overly dramatic. Dissolved maybe, but eliminated? It's not like they've all been taken to the alley behind the studio, shot in the head and then dumped in the river.

        No, but that is what HBO did to the Sopranos team.
      • "Dissolved"? Sounds like being strangled and then dumped in a barrel of acid...
      • I find their use of the word 'eliminated' a bit overly dramatic.
        Come one now, let's get creative here, this is Star Trek. Can't we at least use some transporter / tractor beam / lost in space / euthanasia by computer type analogy that involves some evil carnivorous alien being?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tambo (310170)
      Actually it says that the production team has been eliminated (which kinda sucks just during this holiday seasons), and the ultimate fate of the site is still unresolved.

      So, essentially, it's already dead and writing will do no good.

      Wow. This just about says it all - CBS has so completely wrecked the franchise that it doesn't even want to maintain its own franchise group. It's difficult to imagine a more complete case of mismanagement. I mean, the show has had one of the strongest, most resilient, self

      • by innerweb (721995)

        What good programs does CBS provide? I can not think of any anymore. I know I have not heard anyone at work mention any shows they watch on CBS. Most of the stuff I hear about is on Fox, Discovery, NBC or a sports channel.

        InnerWeb

      • Wow. This just about says it all - CBS has so completely wrecked the franchise that it doesn't even want to maintain its own franchise group. It's difficult to imagine a more complete case of mismanagement. I mean, the show has had one of the strongest, most resilient, self-sustaining cult followings for almost forty years. It's not easy to kill something like that.

        Retarded, isn't it? I'm guessing those people are so stupid, so helplessly worthless, that the Borg wouldn't want to assimilate them.

    • by SkyDude (919251)
      Gotta love the euphemisms employers come up with. Just say laid off.

      Just my observation - In an industry where turnover is expected, anyone connected with any form of mass media that stays in one job for more than five years must be something of an anomaly.

  • Outcry (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2007 @05:46AM (#21723548)
    Kaaaaaaahn!!
    • by rucs_hack (784150)
      ohnoz!

      Where will I find information about a tv show that's been on six times a day, every day for years!

      Seriously, how necessary is an official site for star trek these days? It's not as if the fan base isn't large enough to do this sort of thing by itself.

      Googling for the exact phrase "star trek fan site" brings back 8,040 entries. Sounds like more than enough to me.
  • by RuBLed (995686) on Monday December 17, 2007 @05:46AM (#21723550)
    damn you temporal agents...
  • Bad move... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hanners1979 (959741) on Monday December 17, 2007 @05:47AM (#21723558) Homepage
    They should have thought twice about having a 'Red Shirt Friday' in the office I guess...
  • Maybe they could give it to the poor actor who played Wesley, and he could write himself some dialogue that doesn't make him like a Slashdot poster child?
  • MA? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GreyWolf3000 (468618) on Monday December 17, 2007 @05:51AM (#21723570) Journal
    Could memory-alpha.org be part of the reason? I know I go there for all things Trek (huge nerd here...get over it). I can't remember ever going to ST.com for anything.
    • by Cyno01 (573917) <Cyno01@hotmail.com> on Monday December 17, 2007 @06:38AM (#21723714) Homepage
      While reading the summay. Last fall/winter/ this spring i watched all 6 star trek series and 10 movies in chronological order by episode. Memory alpha was an indispensible resource for getting the order right, as well as reading background info and things on just about evey episode while i was watching, i cant remember ever going to the official site...
      • by Kawahee (901497) on Monday December 17, 2007 @08:41AM (#21724134) Homepage Journal
        Mod Parent -1, Sad please:

        Last fall/winter/ this spring i watched all 6 star trek series and 10 movies in chronological order by episode
        Your mother called, get out of her basement.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Have you ever kissed a girl?
  • Last editorial... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2007 @05:58AM (#21723598)
    The last editorial on the site is about the writer's strike. It would be logical to draw your own conclusions.
  • Subject (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Legion303 (97901) on Monday December 17, 2007 @06:08AM (#21723626) Homepage
    "Is this site worth a write-in campaign?"

    Nope.

    (Count the mods who break their legs in a rush to mod this as "flamebait" even though I'm answering the question asked.)
  • Don't Paramount have a movie coming out [imdb.com], by the very name "Star Trek", for Xmas next year? Seems like a dumb time to drop the site.

    • Re:Say Wha!? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rucs_hack (784150) on Monday December 17, 2007 @06:40AM (#21723722)
      Don't Paramount have a movie coming out, by the very name "Star Trek", for Xmas next year? Seems like a dumb time to drop the site.

      Not if they plan to re-use the domain to promote that film.
      • That's probably what they're doing instead of having the register "StarTrekMovie.com". I don't see why they couldn't just kill the two birds with one stone, but I imagine Paramount's marketing department has big plans for the site and it includes lots of big Flash intros and trailer videos. The other content is getting in the way.
      • by miller60 (554835)
        Not if they plan to re-use the domain to promote that film.


        Which is a no-brainer even for a brain-dead corporation. StarTrek.com's mailing list and existing fan base would be valuable assets in building buzz about the new movie.

        Unless, of course, it's a piece of crap and all the existing fans hate it. Whatever the fate of StarTrek.com, the decision to fire/reassign the existing staff raises questions about the stewardship of the franchise.

        • by rucs_hack (784150)
          Whatever the fate of StarTrek.com, the decision to fire/reassign the existing staff raises questions about the stewardship of the franchise.

          Nah, Enterprise already did that.
      • by sootman (158191)
        Yeah. Having the world's most obvious domain name is crucial to the success of the new film because if there's one thing ST fans are notoriously bad at, it's using the Internet.
      • by slapout (93640)
        Cause there's no way it could have down both?

        You could always have a large movie promotion on the main site while still linking to other things.
  • I visited the link and there is no mention of the site shutting down! (is kdawson again posting misleading headlines?)

    O.k., the production team have been pulled of the site - not a good sign!

    There seems to be alot of advertising on the site - *if* the site is shut down - that would be nuts (assuming it is generating a profit)! There is also a new Star Trek film in the pipeline why would they shut the site down.

    Unless they will use the domain to promote the new film - hopefully the content will still be ava
  • 404 (Score:2, Funny)

    by Tumbleweed (3706) *
    It's dead, Jim.
  • I predict Paramount will re-use the domain for the upcoming prequel movie.
  • Whops, a hot chick [startrek.com] associated with Startrek fanbase. Who would have thunk it.

    .haeger

  • good riddance (Score:4, Informative)

    by sankekur (998708) on Monday December 17, 2007 @06:47AM (#21723742) Homepage
    The website is a mess anyways, Memory Alpha is much better, its the star trek wiki, http://memory-alpha.org/ [memory-alpha.org]
    • I was just thinking the same thing - the thing that makes Star Trek what it is are the FANS, though it's nice to have a corporate site up, they don't always posses the interest and creativity. It's in large part the fan base that made the show so popular (and provided talent for the production of subsequent shows and movies.)

      If the fans are still there after all this over marketing and hype, maybe Star Trek will have a brighter future again.
    • by fm6 (162816)
      Memory Alpha is a fan site. A useful resource, to be sure (every time I google some Trek Trivia I end up there), but it doesn't serve the purpose of startrek.com, which is to help sell the franchise. Problem is, the franchise is pretty much dead, which is why startrek.com is shutting down.

      I can't resist the chance for some finger pointing. The most popular pointee is Rick Bermann, who ran the franchise during its worst shark-jumping days. But the sad fact is, all that went wrong with ST originates with the
  • My e-mail (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chi_thirdrail (1204288) on Monday December 17, 2007 @07:04AM (#21723810)
    It's unfortunate that the Star Trek site is being discontinued. Even if the site cannot be maintained any longer (despite a movie apparently being in production), the resources accumulated on the site are important, at least from a historic perspective. For a television and movie franchise to last around 40 years, and have the influence it has had on pop culture and scientific development (the standard "flip phone," for example, was created by a Motorola engineer who readily admits it was inspired by the "communicator" from the original Star Trek series), it deserves at least a Web site that archives important information about the show. I used to work for MSN (at Microsoft's Redmond-West campus, where MSN was operated out of) in the late 90s, when the site still existed in its early state startrek.msn.com. Even after moving beyond the days of "MSN Shows" this very site lived on and evolved to keep up with the series and discuss the latest episodes of DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise, as well as maintain a comprehensive history of the various series and movies. It never outlived a purpose as a site. I, personally, maintain several Web sites, including one that has sent over 240,000 letters to legislators in Illinois to encourage proper investment in public transportation infrastructure in the Chicago area. Considering that I personally spend about $200/year on the sites I am in charge of, it's shocking to me that StarTrek.com can't even be maintained as an informational resource by such a massive media conglomerate. Even if a salary needs to be paid to a developer to maintain the site, it's still peanuts. Even if there can't be the kind of investment to keep the content fresh, what exists now deserves to remain available to the public with whatever little maintenance it requires. Please, at the very least, maintain the Web site as it has existed as a resource to the fans, to the occasional watcher, and to the curious about the details of literally hundreds of installments of high-quality and socially important science fiction television and movies that have influenced generations of people to set higher standards for advancement, understanding, and peace. Star Trek, a fan of the show or not, must be acknowledged as having had a huge impact on pop culture and our technological and scientific direction. The least one can do is keep a Web site running on a server for what amounts to peanuts.
  • by tekrat (242117) on Monday December 17, 2007 @07:07AM (#21723818) Homepage Journal
    Seriously... This is something I always wondered about with blogs -- what happens when a major site like this (that I'm sure has been linked to by blogs and used as fodder for blog posts) shuts down? Can you imagine how many blogs will be inconvenienced when Youtube goes the way of the dinosaur as well? All it takes is some bean counter to kill half the internet.

    Live Long and Prosper, "startrek.com" .... or perhaps not.
    • People go outside?
    • by eebra82 (907996)

      Seriously... This is something I always wondered about with blogs -- what happens when a major site like this (that I'm sure has been linked to by blogs and used as fodder for blog posts) shuts down? Can you imagine how many blogs will be inconvenienced when Youtube goes the way of the dinosaur as well? All it takes is some bean counter to kill half the internet.
      If YouTube goes the way of the dinosaur, it's only because there's a better replacement.
  • CBS figures (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Trikenstein (571493)
    Why should they pay salaries and provide bandwidth when fans/geeks will do it at no cost to CBS.
    Memoryalpha and other fan sites will continue to exist. CBS will retain ownership of Startrek,com and use it as they see fit. Probably for new ST universe projects they have an investment in.


    They really could have been more sensitive about their timing of firing the staff though, and I hope they reap all the negative karma they deserve.

  • Will the site be mirrored into an archive somewhere else?
  • Timing seems a bit strange considering the movie is upcoming; you'd think they'd want to preserve the online fan community to hype the new picture. Especially considering that CBS and Paramount Pictures are one and the same (I think?)
  • by Jerry (6400) on Monday December 17, 2007 @09:38AM (#21724454)
    http://www.startreknewvoyages.com/ [startreknewvoyages.com]

    and it includes D.C. Fontana and many of the original Startrek series crew.

    The episodes are free, and some extend old story lines.

    Over all, very enjoyable!
  • by dreemernj (859414) on Monday December 17, 2007 @10:19AM (#21724750) Homepage Journal
    Voyager. I'm not sure how but I'm sure it's Voyager's fault the site is closing down.

    Some CBS exec happened to catch a re-run of the Voyager episode with Tuvix [wikipedia.org] and said "That's it. Kill the site."
    • by glindsey (73730)
      I'm probably going to get flamed for this, but Tuvix was a great premise: what happens if you take two people with entirely disparate personalities and combine them into one? What sorts of memories would the new person have? How would he react to his former friends and coworkers? And then, when there's an opportunity to get the original people back, but kill this new person in the process, what do you do?

      Janeway's choice to restore the original two crewmembers, effectively killing a living being, was an
      • by dreemernj (859414)
        First off, if someone flames you for your post, that would just be idiotic. I take pot shots at Tuvix every chance I get. It's like a hobby and your response is an interesting one.

        I agree Tuvix was an interesting premise, but for me the execution was just hilarious. The name, the look, the interactions with the rest of the crew, and the performance of Janeway at the end really made me chuckle. I just didn't think the episode was very well written or performed. The underlying message may have been int
  • I feel a disturbance in the Force...

    Eh... Oops... I mean eh... Kirk shot first?

  • Since the early days of the Web, the various companies behind Star Trek have failed at doing anything on the web that wasn't already done better by scores of fansites. (I keep having flashbacks to the peak of my Trekkieness, when the official Trek site was on freaking MSN of all things.) The fandom will be fine without that particular dot-com.

    It's the handful of employees in that photo I really feel bad for.
  • Should CBS decide to simply not renew the domain... the very first thing to fill it will be a domain-name squatter page jammed with ads and spyware.

  • VIACOM still owns the domain, and last I checked a little known subsidiary of theirs know as Parmount Studios is producing a new Star Trek film. So I doubt they are going to allow the domain to lapse so a fanboy effort can snag it.

    They'll probably bring in a bunch of Madison Ave. suits to re-do the site and aim it at promoting the new film. If you squint you might find a link to some pages promoting the DVDs for the pre-existing series.
  • Grace Tejano pretty hot and worked on the Star Trek website? Why did I not know this!

    http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/news/article/2316633.html [startrek.com]

      Now it's over.
  • "Boldly going?"
    More like "whimpered off"
  • Wikia's business is monetizing fancruft. They have the Star Wars/Trek/Gate/Craft wikis. They're the obvious buyer for this content.

  • I'm an information architect, not a doctor!
  • What's next? Shutting down ilovelucy.com [ilovelucy.com]?

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