Hello out there....
I don't know who will read this, but I know that there are some people still coming to OS, despite the boycott by a majority of its regular contributors and the general problems with accessing the site. I, myself, have always intended to continue blogging here, but I've often been unable to log in or even access the site.
I've noticed here and elsewhere that people have questions about what's going on with Open Salon. I have no expert knowledge and am not affiliated with Open or Big Salon in any way besides just blogging here, but I feel that maybe just passing on what I know might help those looking for some kind of answers.
So, here goes:
Where are the regular OS writers?
Right now, most of them are boycotting Open Salon, and are currently posting and interacting on a site called Our Salon. The boycott was supposed to end December 19, but seeing that this site's technical problems have in no way improved, to say the least, I'm not sure how many of them - if any - will be back, especially because Our Salon is a great site that provides most of what we had here. I'm afraid to put the link to Our Salon because I tried to write something similar a few days ago and my post completely didn't show up - which has never happened to me in the history of OS. But if you want to continue reading your favorite OS contributors, just type "Our Salon ning" into a search engine, and you should find it. Once you get on the site, locating a particular person is easy; just use the search bar on the top right-hand side of the page, or click on the "Members" tab to see a list of everyone on the site.
Are the OS regulars coming back to Open Salon?
I'm not sure. I do know that some of us (myself included) have continued to blog in both places, and plan to continue doing so.
What the $&%* happened to Open Salon?
From what I understand, the main problem is that the site is unable to handle the overwhelming amount of spambot accounts. This may or may not be the case - other theories abound. But it seems to be the most consistent thing I've heard over the years. Current OS editor Jacob Sugarman posted an update on the Orphans of Open Salon Facebook page. I don't have access to this page, personally, because I don't have a Facebook account, but friends have forwarded it to me.
Here is what Jacob wrote there:
(Takes deep breath, meticulously straps on aforementioned body armor). OK, so it appears that despite their best (and repeated) efforts, our IT team was unable to transfer Open to the new database. As it was explained to me, the software is simply too old and creaky to complete such a drastic migration (what works for one's Jewish grandparents, apparently, does not necessarily work for out-of-date operating systems). They're currently developing a new approach that should be more successful, but it's going to require more time to investigate.
As of now, there is no concrete timeline for when Open will be restored to its past glory -- or even its decrepit but functional state of two months ago. What I can say is that I promise to keep you abreast of any and all developments. And if I have nothing new to report by, say, the end of the week, I will let you know that too.
We'll get there, I promise, it's just going to take a little time. I understand if you can't, but I sincerely hope you'll hang around.
Why didn't Jacob post this on Open Salon, as well?
Great question. Apparently, from things he has managed to post here, as well as what I've heard from others about things he's posted elsewhere, he is currently unable to sign in to Open Salon. I find that a bit odd, since other people have been able to sign in. Maybe he doesn't have the time or patience to keep reloading until he's allowed to sign in....
Why hasn't the cover changed in weeks?
Jacob wrote (I believe in the last or second-to-last post he published here) that he is unable to change the cover, due to the havoc wrought by the spambot accounts. I'm not sure why this is, or if it's just that it takes too darn long to do anything on OS, and the being blocked excuse is easier and far less frustrating than taking the time that would be necessary to change the cover....
Is Open Salon over?
I hope not. From what Jacob's been saying, and based on the fact that he seems to be going out of his way to communicate with current and former OSers even in other places, like the Orphans of Open Salon Facebook page, I feel like the site is just in dire need of an upgrade. Why that hasn't happened, is something I've read all sorts of theories about in my time here. Most OSers, many of whom are far more in the know than I am, seem to think it's because either: 1. Salon doesn't want to invest money in Open Salon, because it doesn't generate enough ad revenue, etc, to warrant such an investment and/or 2. The spambot accounts are actually allowed by Salon, which takes a percentage from their earnings.
I'm not sure if either of these theories is true or correct - they're just what I've heard over the years.
The only true thing is that, for now, Open Salon is ailing. It may not be on its deathbed (and I really, really hope it's not), but it's really, really ill.
It breaks my heart to see this site this way. I remember how it was even a few months ago, and at times I almost feel like crying. This place was another, often better, world for so many of us who came here to write, share our artwork, and/or read. I'm thrilled that the OS community continues to live on via Our Salon, but I wish we'd never had a reason to leave here in the first place.
If you're a reader or contributor and you managed to get into this post, I hope it's answered your questions, or at least given you some updated information. I wish I knew more. And I wish I were writing a message full of hope and promise regarding OS.
Thank you so much to everyone who's continued reading those of us who've continued blogging here. It means the world to us.
I also want to say, to those who've come here to read my posts despite everything, I am so grateful and the reason I haven't been posting more frequently isn't because of the current OS problems so much as just a lot happening in my real life right now. I love OS and for as long as I can, I will continue to blog here.
I don't know if I'll be able to log back in here anytime soon, so just in case, in addition to wishing a Happy Hanukkah to anyone who celebrates, I'll also go ahead and wish everyone who celebrates a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I do hope I'll be able to post here again before Christmas and New Year's, though....
Thank you again, dear readers, for continuing to read us, and to my fellow OSers still slogging through the frustrating log-in and posting issues, stay strong and good luck.