DECEMBER 4, 2012 9:28AM

The Echo In Open Salon's Halls

Rate: 30 Flag


     Today is the fourth anniversary of my first comment on Open Salon (on a hysterical post by Tequila and Donuts).
     I strongly doubt there'll be a fifth.
     That has much to do with the long-term technical issues, of course, and the real possibility that OS will disappear, but mostly it's about absent friends.
     The first on my favourites list was Rev. Dr. Monte Canfield, probably the kindest person I ever encountered here. It was he who taught me the ropes, including the politesse that began with asking before adding someone. That's a habit I follow to this day, and as a result, everyone is on my list voluntarily.
     But Monte's gone, and so are most of the others I counted on -- JK, Cat, LC, Bill, Cartouche, Cappy, Freaky, Catamite, Pro, Celt, Blue, Buffy, Scarlett, Persephone, to name but a few. Others, while still maintaining a token OS presence, don't come around much any more, or not, at least, to this page.  
     Perhaps that's to be expected. Things change; OS is not immune, and neither am I, to the point where I find myself more and more adrift.
     I now know, to my dismay, what the original Beta members felt like after the floodgates were opened in the summer of '08, a kind of "what happened here?" moment.
     It's not that I pine for the "good old days" of OS -- you know, when everything was perfect -- any more than I lament those of my former profession. I'm glad I did both and glad that both survive, albeit among the walking wounded in today's economic realities.
     Still, it's a little hard to take. While my occasional meanderings were never all that popular, there was a time when I'd be disappointed if fewer than, say, twenty people commented. The last post had one person show up.
     That isn't a complaint, but an observation.
     I know many got fed up and hived off to spinoff sites and blogs. I've checked out most of those, and while they're admirable and well-administered, I don't seem fit there.
     Perhaps it's my resistance to soi-disant social media like Facebook and Twitter, which I refuse to join, but which I recognise are the building blocks by which people now communicate and organise.
     I never did play well with the other kids, but OS was different, more anarchic or, perversely, more inclusive, a place where I could drop the hard-nosed, cranky and impatient persona I'd spent my entire adult life cultivating and become a more or less decent human being -- and not coincidentally, a much better writer.
     I guess that's about it. Got one more thing to do for sure -- a repost, on Christmas Eve. Assuming anyone comes around, those who haven't read it will maybe like it; those who have read it before will, I hope, be taken back to the day when an OS newbie, hesitatingly and with great trepidation, hit "publish" for the first time.
     To absent friends: Thank you. Ave Atque Vale.

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Hi Bo!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!

There are many, many more people on OS than "our" little group. Since a relatively small number of people got in a snit and decided to boycott OS, I've been poking around and I've come across more and more people who were never part of our wee crew, but who are entertaining and informative in their own right.

I'll not be going anywhere far, I can assure you of that. It's great fun to pop over to Our Salon now ant then, and I'm grateful to lorianne for creating it as a lifeboat for OSers when it seemed that OS might sink into the mire of hacker/spammers, and disappear.

But OS is slowly improving. I'm not ready to abandon ship just yet.

Along with some very good people, some real assholes left also. I don't miss them at all. It's a pleasure to be able to blog without them jumping in to foster their own particular agendas in every doggone comment.

If this is your farewell blog, please be sure to drop in now and again - I, for one, will miss you greatly. But whatever happens, "All the best to your and yours!"

;-)
.
Since I didn't come here to raise consciousness about anything and when I started, I didn't even know you could comment or rate, I'm happy. I have made some very nice friends and I too applaud lorianne for opening up a safe haven, but I'm cool here. Best of luck to you wherever you hang your hat - and your pen.
b-dude . . happy first comment-a-versary. That I am leaving a comment here could be taken as a testament to human tenacity. It took a loooong time my friend. No one I know ever wished for it to come to this. That so much passion has gone into bitch/gripe/please fix this site posts and comments over the last year (and more) shows the passion for this place. If only Salon shared the same passion. Spam could be easily killed which would free up and lube the wheels. Not only will they not do it, they won't even say why not. It is now just too hard to do much of anything here, and yeah, me a diehard, kept trying and trying.. saw my readership decline... felt my enthusiasm dwindle. At some point, done is done, and although I still do hold a flicker of hope for OS, I won't be hanging around crying in my beer while there is OUR, which, whether you feel comfortable or not at first there, works in a way that all of us here only wished this place could have worked. Don't be a stranger, hear.
:( But I'm still here........HAPPY BLOGAVERSARY!!!!

I've been having some fun in life lately, mostly wanting to go into the Ohio River and not come back out(btw, I can't swim that good!!) but I don't, why?

Free donkey porn!!!

OPEN HAZ IT!!!

:)

Rated!!!!!
dr. ziggy referred me:
that's sad
true it's not like 2009-2010
but 4 years
and those who've moved on
very sad
maybe OS returns to glory
maybe not
what rankles the mind is the promises
turned into wishes
turned into broken promises
turned into lamenting 2009-2010
Happy Anniversary my friend.. I so understand what you are saying. Every time I come here I feel like it is a wake..
HUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG
I know the feeling quite well. Besides the access issues to OS (which are absolutely maddening) I wonder what caused the demise of a once great place to express ideas. Sure, Salon.com is culpable. They must be holding on to the cliff by their fingers. Otherwise, one would assume that they could have taken steps to correct the situation.

But the conspiracy theorist in me sees a darker reason for the death of OS, and that may have been that in its heyday it was a worldwide forum for the sharing of ideas and opinions. I would imagine that more than one repressive regime (i.e. the Peoples Republic of China) may not have cottened to the intellectual ferment. And with the ways things work in the PRC it might have been small beans for them to employ thousands of spammers.

Stranger things have been known to happen. I'm having my own serious withdrawals from OS. If anyone knows of any other place that could provide as broad or broader an access to free form disucssion, please let me know.

Otherwise, I have the feeling that like you, I'm an eyewitness to a very slow motion car crash.
4 years, well done, boanerges.
I hope to see you again.
Thank you all, mes amis, for taking the time and expending the effort to comment here. I know how difficult it is.

Sky, I'll tough it out at least until Christmas Eve, checking in whenever and wherever I can. I'm afraid I don't see much in the way of improvements here, since I couldn't get on at all this morning, and it's taken half an hour this afternoon just to get this far. OurSalon is a wonderful site.

Thanks, Nilesite. I too have made some lasting friendships (albeit, online) here, and I won't ever forget that.

Trig, I'll see you on Our, for sure. It's damned annoying wading through the IT issues here, but it's hard to leave "home" after four years. My best to you and Eli.

Tink! My littermate! I just come for the Free Beer (I'm assuming your shipment to me is stuck in transit?), since I haven't found the donkey porn yet.

Yeah, Chuck, every time I see an "update" that says things are going to get better ... they seem to get worse. Or maybe it's just dashed expectations and hopes.

Linda, it's so good to see you. Thanks for dropping by, and keep writing those posts.

ONL, only place I know of is OurSalon, which is rapidly taking on a personality all its own that reflects in some ways the best of what Open once was. I hadn't considered the PRC as the culprit in the spam, and certainly they'd have the resources, but I can't see why they'd be bothered launching what amounts to a denial-of-service attack.

Thanks for chiming in from the Antipodes, Kim. It's always a pleasure, and I hope to see you even more on Our.
Midst all the echoes in all the halls here, have been lost a while in your words. Four years ... lucky all who have found your words.
Such power still ... in words that echo here ... words that live ... as long as we can find them ... hold them ... remember ... them ...
Thinking of so many ... as I think of you ...
Bo,
I never wrote on OS on a frequent basis, but it still felt like my home. I was "gone" for over a year (in the sense of writing something), but read often. When things really started to go south this fall, it was hard to believe; watching the home page deteriorate & nothing change, day after day, has been so sad for me. I finally wrote a post last week when I couldn't sleep, and was met with echoing silence. It made me realize how much I had counted on having an answering voice, at least one, whenever I wrote here. It's tough to come back to the home page over and over and not see anyone there. I'm sure there must have been many heroic tries by others to get this things fixed. I am not going to give up---not just when I finally got my voice back! From reading your comments, it sounds as though there are others around. Though it won't be as easy to find new voices as it once was, I am going to poke around, & hope the site can come back. I know that some from Our Salon double-post, and I may try that. There's just something about this place that makes me not want to give up. Perhaps it's the history I have here.
Thank you for this post.
Bo,
I never wrote on OS on a frequent basis, but it still felt like my home. I was "gone" for over a year (in the sense of writing something), but read often. When things really started to go south this fall, it was hard to believe; watching the home page deteriorate & nothing change, day after day, has been so sad for me. I finally wrote a post last week when I couldn't sleep, and was met with echoing silence. It made me realize how much I had counted on having an answering voice, at least one, whenever I wrote here. It's tough to come back to the home page over and over and not see anyone there. I'm sure there must have been many heroic tries by others to get this things fixed. I am not going to give up---not just when I finally got my voice back! From reading your comments, it sounds as though there are others around. Though it won't be as easy to find new voices as it once was, I am going to poke around, & hope the site can come back. I know that some from Our Salon double-post, and I may try that. There's just something about this place that makes me not want to give up. Perhaps it's the history I have here.
Thank you for this post.
I ventured on here a little over 2 years ago, mostly due to another friend we don't see much anymore (AtHomePilgrim). I was surprised and very pleased at the great response I received from so many people, especially you, Boanerges.

I still try to get on here whenever I can, I can't quite bring myself to close up shop and switch to Our Salon just yet.

I hope you won't disappear completely but I understand if you do.
So let me say "Thank You!" not only for your praise and comments but for the wonderful work that you've shared with us. Keep in touch.
Well, I'll try my best to leave you a comment, old friend - but the latest maintenance doesn't seem to have done any good, so this might well wind up somewhere in the ether.

I've thoroughly enjoyed your company for the several years we were both here. I sincerely hope that they can set this ship aright again, so that voices such as yours will still be found. But if they don't, at least I got back here to say thanks for helping make it a great ride while it lasted.

Namaste, my friend - to you and Red. :-D
Happy belated anniversary!
Our Salon is less about FB and Twitter than 1st appearances may allow. I neither tweet nor FB, and am finding a diverse group setting today at Our Salon, like never before.
I intend keeping a minor presence here because, quite frankly, I loved this place for going on 3 years.
It is still my sincere wish that Jake and his friends in IT find a way to fix Open's every mechanism so it can function well enough once more.
Peace to you, friend
Anna1liese, thank you. This is the first time in four days or so I've been able to log on here, despite my best efforts. It's obvious you feel much as I do about the loss of our "home".

Rose, I do hope you'll post on OurSalon, which is a really good site administered by someone who actually cares about what's going on -- and/or on Fictionique, run by another Open alumna, LC Neal. I truly believe Salon Media Corp. is trying to kill Open by neglect. I don't buy the explanations -- never have -- about why it's in such straits, and I'm downright angry.

'Bug, get over to Our. I miss your work. It's kind of inspirational for a guy whose major concern for decades was taking b&w photos of crime scenes and the like. I've learnt some from you, and I'd hate to think I won't be able to see more.

BillS! You were the Bill I mentioned in my post. I didn't realise you still came around here at all (and who could blame you?). I still read your work on Fictionique, although I don't often comment -- just rate. Keep hammering it out, my friend. You've got the touch.

PW, I agree that it's not ALL about facebook and twitter. It's just that I feel alienated from that whole scene (oh good grief ... I just dated myself with "scene"). Our is a really good site, and Lorianne, bless her heart, is doing a terrific job. I'll see you there.
I'm not sure what's going to happen. Technical issues have kept me away. And other meandering paths. But I hope you give FB a try. I've kept up with many of my early OS friends there, and wherever we end up, it's nice to feel their virtual presence.

Merry Christmas fellow Canadian. We'll survive the cold times. We allways do.
Happy belated anniversary! This is the first time I've been able to log in here in forever. I actually was able to post a new blog here today and even read and commented on an excellent piece by David McClain.
I thoroughly enjoyed this and have much the same sentiment (except that I am quite the FB junkie - thanks to my kids - it's how I keep up with them, at least that's how it started!)
I've posted on Our Salon, but don't get much response there, just not the same. Not that I can get any response here since no one can log in, but still...
I'm rambling, but hey - I miss you - your posts, your comments, your friendship. Glad I was able to read this here today and crossing my fingers that this comment will post!
xoxo
Hey, Juliet. Haven't seen you here for awhile. Yeah, we'll get through it. Went to the dentist today for a cleaning, and the office said my next appointment would be in four and a half months ... which is May. Gave me a frisson of hope, that did. As for FB, after reading a bio of its founder ... no way am I going near it any time soon.

Unbreakable, I agree Our is not yet anything like Open in many respects. But it does show signs -- I think its second flame war is breaking out. Anyway, send me a message when you post there, OK? I'm cyber-challenged, as most people know, and have difficulty figuring stuff like that out.
Hey Bo: My problem is I just don't get on the computer much at all now that I"m teaching It shouldn't be that way, because I have lots of observations to share. But I'll come around and check people out while on breaks, So message me when you post Glad ;you stopped by. I am sad to see the decline myself. It was one of the few blogs where you could go and get a comment, whether you liked them or not.
Thanks, Boanerges, I share your sentiments completely.

What I don't understand is how the spambots can post literally thousands of spams on here when we human users need to spend a half hour or more posting just one essay. Do they know something we don't?
A much-belated Happy 4th --- I completely gave up trying to access OS around the time this would have been posted.

Well, it does look like there's some life in this place after all. It was so sad to see it (presumably) die ... it seems to be flourishing again. Let's hope this Phoenix-type rise continues, with many more anniversaries for all of us.
I'm so glad I got a taste of Open when it was in its heyday. I miss people too. But there are new people now and we have Our to supplement and I am happy. I have no access problems anymore. The interesting thing is membership is closed and they say the cover will be about rates. There is always hope in life and at Open. It is a fine ride.
Hell Bo, you fit me like a favorite old pair of boots... sorry I haven't been paying much attention to Open Salon lately, but as you know I've set up camp over on Our Salon. Recently started cross posting over here though... first draft of a novel called People of the Book. Anyway, I always appreciated your posts and comments. As far as the fall off in commentary, it seems to be going down across the board. Chatting in the Opium Den with Veronica Corso and Lorianne, they said it might just be burnout. Hope you change your mind about bailing out though, always liked your stuff and valued your comments. Four years is a helluva an investment.
Yeah, I don't spend much time here either. When I do show up, I see a lot of tumbleweed. Many favorites gone, no new blood coming in, and a whole lot of neglect from management.
well, since this was written more than 3 months ago, my responses are obsolete.

But as for other sites, do not dismiss OurSalon so easily. It is almost like this, but a but nicer and easier to accomodate the actual end user.
Happy anniversary, but you do know that many people post here and have few comments and rates, but thousands of views.

I just found this on the front page and was curious.

You have written very little since then and that post was written while the boycott was happening, there was very little action here in December of 12
I don't know what OS was like in the early days which, from what I understand, were better if not perfect. But I can understand what you pine for because late last year when it was like a ghost ship around here, I felt the same way.
Hadn't realised this post was getting hits.

Hi, Sage. It's good to see you. Glad you're enjoying the teaching, and glad you're still stopping by.

The worst of that seems to be over, Alan, now that they've closed new signups. I only hope when Open becomes "open" again that they've worked out some defence mechanism.

Yeah, VA, we've discussed what it's like here without new blood. Sad. But maybe it'll be better when my fifth, if there is one, rolls around.

Agreed, Zanelle -- hoping for better days. Although I have an account at Our, I don't really feel comfortable there. Nothing to do with the way it's run or anything, because Open could learn a lesson or six from Lori.

Thanks, JMac. You know how much I like your reminiscences, especially. Have thought about posting your serial at Fictionique? There are a lot of good fiction -- and other -- writers there. They're very serious about fine writing. If you do, say hi to LC for me.

Danke, mein Herr.

Cuss, I really miss your posts here. Wish you'd ... well, crank out some more.

Dianne, I agree Our is a welcoming, user-friendly site. Lori has done a swell job, and as I said earlier, the overworked hamsters at Open would do well to adopt some of her practices.

Margaret, you've got it in one. I'm not one of the Beta folk -- and there are a few still around -- and for sure, it wasn't perfect when I joined, but there was always new blood around, more people to add to the favourites list, and so on. That much, I do miss.
Yes, things have surely changed. It's good to see this post -- I remember those days too, and always considered you one of the "good" ones. We Canucks have to stick together. I'm mostly on FB these days, not really writing much. I have some projects planned tho. Forward march as my mother always said.
Just looking through the comments, and seeing who has dropped off in the past 6 months, is sad.
How's this for timely? Mind if I put you on my favorite's list?
Someone told me one of my old posts was getting some hits, and I'll be darned if it isn't true. What a pleasant surprise.

Emma, you're one of the people I miss on here, as I hope you know. I do trust you'll forward march into a post here again. Soon.

Yeah, Phyllis, and with no new blood coming in, it's even sadder.

But certainly, AKA. And thanks for asking.