I was here before there wa a Portal, back in the Assassin html days. The good old days, before the good old days. Newgrounds was provocative, obscene, violent, uncensored, and most of all RELEVANT. Remember when Newgrounds was famous? Remember when Newgrounds attracted people from all walks of life to see new independent flash works and adult themed flash? Back when viewership was huge, when it was one of the most famous sites on the entire web? It was legendary, and it catered to the general public, and had a very broad appeal to a broad base.
Flash forward several years, and this place went pro. Suddenly the lulz started to slow down. It went from fun wild west to boring over time. Instead of harassing the worst parts fo the viewership into leaving and taking their cancer with them, the admins and mods' began to coddle the disruptive sects and people, as to not inflame them and lose precious hits and ad income. this degraded Newgrounds in the long run, short term ad cash for long term degradation, in the long run it cost viewers and destroyed the community.
When kids and autistic adults began to force this place into a one purpose video game and spirte bonanza, they thought it was good money to support and feed this overenthusiastic kids, instead of keeping them in line. With thousands of sock puppets and ferverent effort, they downvoted good flash and upvoted garbage to the point the real artists felt cheated and left. Short term cash for long term degradation of Newgrounds.
They suppressed the adult content and pushed the young content. They got rid of the content that got real hits in order to appeal to what advertisers wanted, but what Newgrounds didn't, at its core and heart, really want, or what really made the site what it is. The site went from 13 year olds acting like adults, making the site actually mature, to a fanbase of 30 year olds acting like 13 year old kids. This degraded the fanbase further.
After all this, Newgrounds went into a steep decline, one that continues to this very day. Decisions are made to appeal to the wrong crowds, all for the sake of appeasing advertisers and genre fanatics. The advertisers continue to try to change Newgrounds into something it is not nor it will ever be. In the short term it makes money, keeps these advertisers happy. But in the long run, every single one of these decisions has further chased away the true fans of Newgrounds, further alienated those who made it famous, gave it the legacy the site barely survives on today. They appease the advertisers and the site dies a little, they compromise one thing to keep the cash flowing today, but what leads people away tomorrow. They sacrifice a piece of Newground's heart fora little money today, and a little bit closer to death in the future. Every decisions has destroyed the relevancy, the purpose, the drive, the appeal, the very workings that made this place worthy of its fame and reputation, that once drove it to great heights.
By finally turning on the nature of free posting, first int he forums and flash reviews many years ago, they betrayed the very core of what Newgrounds truly is. Can't offend the viewers, or thin skinned artists who need a good kick in the ass and some good advice, they say, not good for business they say. The whiney and weak took over, the people who had fun here left years ago, and all that remains are the hardcore bitter veterans, the handfuls of new recruits, and a lot of the "this palce exists to feed my ego" types that ruined this place left. The first round of cencorship, internally, was the biggest cause of the long decline of this once great site.
Today, we are watching as the inevitable happens. Eventually the advertisers were going to win their march towards killing off this site by censorship. It was only a matter of time, an slow and steady march. But it is no surprise that a site that was BUILT on offensive material, based on free posting of works despite its content, is now going to become what it not only stood against, but what built it.
Newgrounds is like 4chan, and other offensive sites that were extremely popular. They get hits, more than any clean site can get, or even hope to come close to. The problem is, you can't capitalize on it. You can't get advertisers to make money on it, you can't find a way to turn it legitimate without destroying what gave it views int he first place. You cannot take a site that is popular and thriving do to NSFW content then keep that success and viewership turning it SFW. Newgrounds was never going to be both relevant/successful/sustainable and long term profitable at the same time. Keep it oldschool NG, wild west, you'll never make a nickel on it, but it would thrive forever. Turn it into a kids sandbox, family friendly for the big advertisers and their dreams of what it will be, it will implode and die. It is like a delicate flower, it can be admired from a distance, but if you harvest it, you will crush it.
I'll tell you Tom, I've been here for the long haul, 13 years of this place. But it has been dying for a long time, and I feel I'm not part of a great website anymore, but simply watching an old friend die. Its went from entertaining and independent, to a giant daycare center for man children, a collection of shovelware, and the place for semi pro artists to showcase their work instead of an open Portal and forum for the average amateaur to make something funny. Its been dying for a very long time, and I fear this could be the death rattle of this site. Once open censorship becomes open, when the administrators openly embrace it, it has let go everything that made it great to embraced its death. What little integrity and spirit this place had left, is now officially going out. You are destroying the spirit and the past of this site, the coat tails of which it has been riding on for many years. Once the last vestiges of what Newgrounds ever meant are gone, the last of us will go with it, and there will be no Newgrounds.