As the site aged it relied more on corporate sponsorships. In 2002 the badges slowly started leaning towards company sponsored badges, which led to Bolt becoming more commercial and secretly sneaking ads into the users' activities. Some notable ones included the Verizon Wireless, Gillette, and Sony badges.
Bolt was originally marketed towards teenagers to create content, meet people, and play games in a safe, no pressure, and age-appropriate environment. However, as members aged and stayed with the site, more and more members were college students and/or between 18-24. These members tended to be more interested in current events, religion, and politics, and kept the message boards active with lively heated debate. Many members had known each other for several years and have formed close bonds with their fellow "regs." When Boltfolio, soon to become the new Bolt.com was introduced, members were at first very willing to aid Bolt Media in improving the site. Tensions soon flared between Bolt Media and the supporters of the classic Bolt system as Bolt Media slowly started to turn their full attention to the new Bolt.com. Very few members were willing to make the switch, and after the demise of Bolt2, few stayed on to post on the new Bolt website.
In 2004, bolt.com revamped its site during the summer and officially unveiled itself July 15, 2004. Renovations to the site were completed on September 14, 2004 when the clubs were re-opened. Some of the notable changes include:
Bolt.com's second iteration was originally known as Boltfolio, a Bolt Media property launched in late 2005. Touted by itself as the leader of the "cult of creativity", Boltfolio intended to provide a one-stop shop for creative users to upload their own photos, videos, and music, as well as write blogs or record directly from a webcam. The original aim was to provide a simple set of tools that would attract users of like-minded creative sites such as DeviantArt, YouTube, and Flickr.
On October 17, 2006, one week after announcing a revenue-sharing deal with YouTube, Universal Music filed suit against Bolt Media and another video site, Grouper. Universal contended that both sites allowed and promoted their users to swap pirated Music Videos. Several weeks later, Bolt removed the music section from their site, without any explanation.
In February 2007, Bolt Media announced that it would be selling itself to GoFish, another online video company, for $30 million. According to Aaron Cohen, Bolt's CEO, Bolt would once again change its focus from uploaded content to content creation; saying that the former was no longer "interesting business." Cohen and Bolt president Jay Gould are also involved in a new project, called WikiYou, which has received seed funding from First Round Capital and Mayfield Fund.
"Well, the time had come. We have decided that it is time to officially say good-bye to Bolt2. In the past few years Bolt Media has explored new ideas, and grown in a different direction. As we continue to move in this direction it has become necessary that we need to make some difficult choices.
One of which is the closure of Bolt2. Although we value our loyal members, we are clearly moving in a new direction and need to focus our energies there. We recognize that many of you have been on the site for up to 10 years, and would like to thank you for your support and for allowing us to be a part of your lives. We hope you are able to take the time to reflect on the people who you may have met through Bolt2 and maintain these friendships after the site is down.
Much like pulling off a band-aid, the closure will be short and hopefully not too painful. The site will officially close on Friday, April 6th at noon (eastern standard time)."
Again, we would like to express our gratitude for your continued support of Bolt2. You have been a valuable part of our lives, and we hope to see you on Bolt in the future.
On April 21, 2008, Bolt.com went live again. The domain is registered to Fundbolt, LLC, a limited liability company based in Irvington, New York. Many of the original user profiles seem intact and all the old forum posts seem to still be active.
On September 30, 2008, Bolt.com was announced to be shutting down once again. It was announced that this was due to the website's resurrection "not working out as they'd hoped".
On October 6, 2008, the site was shut down.