gail williams

gail williams
Location
san francisco, California, usa
Birthday
January 01
Title
Director of Communities
Company
Salon
Bio
Gail works at Salon. She's a full-time online community junky with a strong affection for Salon's gathering places, Open Salon, the main Salon article Comments, and her first love, The WELL. So mostly her attention goes to conversation. Gail also plays with photography, video, craft brewing, satire, politics and hiking.

MY RECENT POSTS

SEPTEMBER 27, 2011 2:52AM

What does Open Salon want?

Rate: 33 Flag

I'd like to re-introduce myself today as a member of the Salon team, and now as part of the Open Salon team. Hi!

I have been right here from the very start of Open Salon, through the beta teting stage, but only lightly since those days, with a little visit now and then. I've been distracted by the rich Salon forum communities at The WELL, and until recently at Table Talk. I love the context of the "room" created in an old fashioned forum, but communities of writers like Open Salon make a very exciting new context of their own.

Now I'm delighted to be able to include Open Salon and Salon Comments (formerly known as Salon Letters) among my current projects. I will not have anything to do with Editor's Picks or deciding what mix of pieces makes a good cover. I'm working on improving the tools and the overall experience of OS.  I will be participating more to get the sense of this place. I am not sure I will have time to do much writing, which I am rather slow at, and which is what most of OS seems to do best. Since I have a photography habit already, perhaps I can share some of those moments here and do my bit for the bounty that is OS content.

One change we've all waited for, for a long time, is a faster Open Salon platform for blogging and commenting. Staffers currently have our fingers crossed not to jinx a thing, but we expect you to see a change in hours, if not before you read this. The ability to move around with agility at the speed of reading is part of what makes a good blogging community thrive, and that's the goal.

While some things are better faster, there are also some things we want to stop. We are working on spam solutions on the main Salon.com site right now, and looking forward to turning our attention to the abuse of the community hospitality here at Open Salon. Spammers make the experience worse for everyone here. We're deleting them by hand when we can, but there's a better way, and I can't wait for it.

While I've been observing some of the ways people use the site, you know it far better than I do.  I'll probably do a proper survey at some point, but right now I'm still figuring out what the questions are.  I'm curious about how the toolset here is working for you, what doesn't work for you technically or culturally, and what makes this place tick. What changes are you interested in seeing, to let you manage your blog better or otherwise improve the site? What do you cherish and not want to see disrupted?

Thanks for being a part of OS, and hello!

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Funny time to be posting this - only the grumpy insomniacs here now.
Oh...and Promises, Promises...
Hi Myriad. Up late waiting for some upgrades to be rolled in over night. Was going to write something in the early morning but realized we'll have other things on our plates then.

I'm told to expect "noticeably faster" in the morning, so we'll see about that promise soon enough!
Gail, so nice to "meet" you. Wouldn't it be nice if spammers could be punished with spam?? Like eating a bunch of spam or sleeping on a mattress made of spam or taking a bath in spam....? It might work. Welcome.
My guess is that if you make it easier (actually, faster) to navigate around the site...that will be the whole enchilada. And getting rid of all that annoying spam would be an added blessing!

Most of the other stuff works just fine.

Thanks for working on the problem…AND GOOD LUCK!

Seems to be working just fine this morning! Everything working at good speed.
"We're deleting them by hand when we can, but there's a better way, and I can't wait for it."

You're going to send Kill-squads to the Spammers' homes and 'eliminate' them at the source?

AWESOME!!!!! Sign me up and give me a gun, I'll help!!! HATEZ them spammers!!!!! :D

(actually,I do find it funny that when signing up for an account, the email address isn't verified as a legit email addy, you can enter ANYTHING in that field and boop, welcome to Open.Salon!! One of my 'Pffffft' at the site --- make them Spammers work for the kitty, so to speak, send out an Email to the account used, with a link that says, CLICK HERE, yea, the spammers can sign up for a hundred email accounts, but that way, they have to sign in to each account, click the link, then do their thing, it adds a stumbling block!!!)

Anyways, notice an improved difference in the speed of the site. What did the folks do? Add a couple of hamsters to the wheel along with a lynx or mountain lion to chase them?

Good idea!!!! :D

Anyways, HI!! I've noticed you're a night owl, true sign of an Internet Junky. Never hit THE WELL, read about it, sounded like a place to be(I was a Usenet junky back in my college days!)

Thanks for not deleting me. I'd have missed me!! ~nodding~

Also, could you tell Emily to remove that line in the Rule Book about Tink not getting EPs or Covers, I apologized for tinkling on Kerry's rose bushes YEARS ago, but that man holds a grudge like nobody I knew --- well Steve Jobs can hold one too, I told him, "Your face reminds me of a bull dog eating a cheese sandwich!!!" and you know what, I was never able to buy an Apple product ever again!! PFFFFT!! :D

Bill Gates took it as a compliment and well, here I am today!!! WINDOWS IS THE FUTURE!

Anyways, enough about me, welcome Beta-Person, I am Tink, 2008 -- December --- member since! Not Beta, more like VHS in a DVD world.

~wanders off into the thorn bushes~
I think things do seem a bit faster this morning...If this is your doing, you are very welcome indeed!
Well, hello. You sound cool. If you've been here awhile, then you know this a community full of interesting, talented and veryveryvery smart people. Too smart sometimes. We'll write the good stuff, if you make it so we can. I hardly post here anymore, because of technical difficulties, but I check in to see what my creative friends are up to. I'd write again here if you fix it.

My triumvirate of complaints is:
1. site slowness
2. spam
3. National Enquirer cover content

These are the only factors in my reluctance to post here. I'm published in respectable joints, am an academic, and and a professional artist. At present, I cannot steer my people to this site. It's an embarrassment. Coming here is my little indulgence, my small dirty secret. Perhaps you understand and agree. Perhaps you can make it so that isn't the case any longer. We've been told a bunch of hoodeehah, on many occasions. You'll see that the community won't believe you, so you'll have to prove your assertions first. Good luck!
Hello Gail. Very exciting news, especially for those of us who have been here since the beta phase and August, 2008 launch. It has been worth the wait, but exasperating. Congrats on Salon's American Spring, and hoping for an OS flowering within that!
Hi Gail. A simple search for the string ' vs ' or 'streaming' in the post title and then quarantine those posts before they are sent to the database should knock out the bulk of the spam.

One improvement for the site would be to limit the rates to one per user per each 24 hour period to knock out clique rating.
Hello! A faster platform would be great, even if it's just as fast as it was last year... I want the Open Salon community to keep growing.
About time!!! We've been waiting months if not years for improvements, so excuse me if I am cranky.
Even I know how to write code to keep out spammers, so what's the big problem? We've all been agitating for this and offering our own free services to help, only to be ignored by TPTB. So prove it first, and make nice later.

OK, it's out of my system now. I very much hope you can make those changes so I can love OS again.
Not installing and leaving stupid death porn on the cover all day until you realized it was stupid death porn would be good.
Gail, nice to see you posting again on OS and I look forward to the problem solving coming to fruition on the site, along with new features rolled out that are currently in the planning stage!
Welcome. I was forced to re-Turn on Wi-Fi.
Whatever. It happens often. I wish you luck.
Denise Levertov wrote the Lucky Have Hope.
Luck too.
I hope this goes.
Youth do help me.
They are wizards.

I am at Cydes River.
It's a rural diner.
Great Omelets!
I started a blog on OS only a week or so ago, but then immediately realized that if I referred my friends/followers to this blog, they would never stand for the slowness of it. The only way I can stand it, myself, is if I go off and do other things between every page load - so I go to other sites, or to check my email, or to sip a cup of tea or coffee for five minutes, or make a phone call or start writing (perhaps even start and finish!) a new essay. It would be a shame for Salon.com to lose its OS community, which strikes me as quite a talented group (and I never even knew all the talented ones who apparently already got too frustrated and left for greener pastures.) So yes, speed it up for heaven's sake! And find someone, anyone, with basic technical skills to come in and assess and fix the overall clunkiness. I'm no techie, but just about anyone can see the obvious problems. I don't even understand why the members need to be asked for suggestions. Surely an IT person should be able to figure out some solutions, with or without our input, simply by poking around on the site.
good luck

and

buena suerte también
what greenheron said except the part about being an academic and a professional artist.[ if only. (sigh) ] but triple on the embarrassment part. i haven't and won't tell almost anyone i know personally or professionally that i write here since having a piece on the cover is now equivalent to being on the front page of the national enquirer. it used to be an honor when there were more good writers here and that's almost exclusively what was on the cover.

i've been called an elitist, and i'm happy to claim the title. i'm a democrat, after all, and it's a tradition for us to be swatted at by people who don't have such high standards. when it comes to writing, that goes double.

i appreciate the help you've offered me in the past, gail, and i hope you are successful in revamping the site. in the meantime, it's love among the skeptics. :)
Good morning. Great comments, thought provoking and funny. I will not be the editorial selections person, since that is Emily, however, she'll be interested in your insights into that side of the OS world, too.

So, now we are slowed again while the tech team works on the big migration of Salon.com off the shared servers with Open Salon. There was a time - a few hours - where it was obvious this is going to be more fun very soon. I hate promising change, it is always bumpy.

Drat. Ok, deep breath.
Hi Gail. One improvement for the site would be to limit comments from bitter, bile-filled cranks about nonexistent problems such as "clique rating" to one per crank per each 24 hour period.
Drew - or traps could be set out for them (and then we could coo in their perfectly formed cold dead ears).
sagorhjkhgj sagorhjkhgj joined Open Salon. Welcome! 11:17am
But Drew-Silla, the bitter bile-filled cranks are fun! I don't want them limited. Wait. Am I one of them? Then I definitely don't want them limited. Pft.
Inhaling, the cold, dead scent of their fur would help me come to terms with the enigma of death.
FREEDOM That is what I value in OS. I can just be me and watch dust ups come and go. If people want to follow me fine and if not ok. Im not a slave to EP's but they are nice. Freedom to write what I want is the most wonderful gift OS has given me. And friends. People who respond in real time to what I am thinking and writing. I am a blogger and OS has been good to me. Other sites tried to make me conform to part of a group. I was in Brainstorms for awhile and loved it but they had members who were like police and tried to make us be nice. NICE is not why I am here. Welcome.
Not you, Mumbletypeg, and even if it was, leg-hold traps have been illegal for years now. We need to reconnect with the foodchain and make gloves out 0f fur rather than petroleum-based products such as GoreTex.
Glad to make your acquaintance, Gail, especially as you come bearing such good news. The faster site is apparent right now. It gives me a thrill I imagine akin to finally switching to sneakers from the lead-soled boots I've been wearing.

As to spambots, if you could come up with a way to start a war among them maybe they would solve the problem themselves.

Elitists? Ah, no problem there. Legends in their fantasies, they amuse, if noticed at all.
I want a hot meatball sub on wheat bread with lots mozzarella cheese, a large Coke and a bag chips. All kidding aside, based on Kerry's latest post, the site to be quicker and the spam problem to subside.
As for layout, I would not touch it. In the commended section, a way for responses to comments be more directed to the commentator. Like a reply to commentator. I know it is possible. Welcome. R
9:45 AM, all I see on recent activity is spam posts, with only one legitimate post.

However The Talk is nice above is very nice.
Oooooo, I'd like free pizza on Fridays. Could that be done? Beer too? Sodas are fine too.

I don't want to trap my own food, the blood is really hard to get off my paws, so....
@trudge: all that *and* a bagga chips. you crack me up, resident cubano hunk y funnyman. xo
A feature to be able to edit comments would be nice. The current mode is 'delete' or not. I can see how more control of comments once posted out might lead to more issues, but it might also resolve many issues.

Thank you notes and bonuses for your loyal OS crew would be an excellent addition as well.

...and welcome to OS, Gail. Glad to have you here : )
I would like a rating button that is totally independent of the comments box. Now we have to remember to rate BEFORE we comment or it will not "take."
Gail, welcome (sort of) to OS, it's nice to see a more active hand from you here. IIRC you were indeed one of the OS pioneers. It used to be easier to see when members came on board until they made some improvements in how the URLs displayed, but your member number is even lower than Scott Rosenberg's--one of the founders of Salon and who had a hand in getting OS off the ground.

I like Just Thinking's idea of editing comments, one that has been requested since beta days. It's something that Flickr, for example, allows, with little or no ill effect. Continuing on that theme, the email notifications that we get from OS that a comment has been posted to our blogs...it would be nice to see what that comment is in the email, or at least the first few lines forwarded. It would save some time since going to the blog site is often a labor of waiting...so that if there was a spam comment, for example, then we could go directly to the manage comment area to delete it. As it is now "A Comment has been made to your blog..." doesn't really reveal much, though it does give a handy URL to get you to the correct blog in case someone was commenting on a previous post.

But then, that's all back end programming...though I know the software that OS uses now has many more options that are not enabled for whatever reason. I hope that the WP structure gives us some nice management perqs.

It may be that what your really asking for here is how things are displayed in a structural way. One item that has often been requested is to have Sections available where like content could be placed. So that if someone was primarily interested in Politics, or some sub-set, he or she could more quickly scan that section before going elsewhere.

Good luck, and thanks for the spam deletions, at the very least. I imagine we'll be thanking you for more stuff in the future.
Welcome aboard in your new position as Director of Communities.

In my observation, one thing that has been sadly lacking at Open Salon is ordinary customer service. This lack has been manifested in a number of ways:

1) the site slowness was allowed to exist far too long, eventually reaching the point that the site was often unusable. It can take a long time to write a good post, sometimes hours or even days. Imagine the frustration of someone who has spent many hours crafting a post, only to have it go unread because people can't get to the site.

2) the spam also has been allowed to exist far too long. Like site slowness, spam also undermines the site by forcing posts to flow quickly through the queues, often before they are even noticed. However bad you imagine the spam here, it is probably much worse. Probably 90 percent of all new "members" are actually spammers. The way the queues work, most of the spam never shows up in the queues, because spammers tend to create spam faster than the queues can display it. You'll see a spam post from member "asdfasdf," but what you won't see are the 20 additional spam posts that he created around the same time. I've seen spammers create over 50 posts in less than an hour.

Considering the true volume of spam, my best estimate is that probably 80 percent of posts are spam. All things considered, the OS site generates more spam activity than it does legitimate activity. I am very fond of noting ad nauseum that OS is not a blog site with a spam
problem. It is a spam site that also has blogs.

3) the available search tools are very primitive, making it difficult to find posts of interest. Spam again contributes to this problem. At this point you now have probably hundreds of thousands of spam posts, and probably a similar number of spam comments. Some of the older posts literally have over a hundred spam comments, so many that the posts are impossible to clean up manually. So the spam not only needs to be stopped, but also cleaned up. And the search tools themselves also need to be improved.

4) you mention that you will not be selecting cover posts, and that's fine. But one thing that OS members have asked for, literally for years, is an explanation of how cover posts are selected. Obviously the cover displays some good posts, but we've also seen many posts of very poor quality, and some appallingly bad. For over three years members have been asking for an explanation of how cover posts are selected, but OS management has never provided an answer. When poor quality posts are selected for the cover, good writers and fans of good writing become discouraged. Some of the cover content, especially in the past, has been so bad that writers hope that their posts aren't selected for the cover. One of the more talented OS members wrote “I was hoping to use OS as a showcase for my work but I doubt if anyone will be impressed by the downmarket tabloid that the cover has become.” Other members refused to look at the site at work because of the sexual content of many of the cover posts. Although you will not be selecting cover posts, you need to understand that the cover can either help or hinder the community, and either encourage or discourage good writers.

5) and this leads to another aspect of the missing customer service. Member questions often, even typically, go unanswered. Member suggestions for improvements often have not received a response. Even member offers of help with site slowness and spam have gone unanswered. Unfortunately, talking to OS management is like talking to a brick wall, except that with the brick wall you at least get an echo.

6) another missing piece of customer service is that OS management rarely communicates information about the site. While internet venues and other entities around the world send out regular newsletters to their customers, OS management rarely tells us anything about the site. Months go by and we hear nothing. In this regard a regular monthly or even quarterly newsletter would be a big improvement. Member polls and surveys would also be a good idea.

7) lacking member input, OS management sometimes provides "improvements" that members don't want (e.g., the "Tippem" system) while failing to provide improvements that OS members do want (e.g., better search tools). The Tippem system was a huge failure. It still shows up on the screen, but I am unaware of anyone who actually uses it. Frankly, it was largely unpopular and a frequent object of ridicule from day one, and a waste of OS staff and resources. Google Adsense for members has been only slightly more popular. I abandoned my Adsense account when I realized that I'd have $10 in it about the year that Obama's great-grandson runs for president.

8) as the number of OS members has increased, the design of the cover has not changed to accommodate the increase in members. A cover design that worked for 1,000 members does not necessarily work for 10,000 members. We're over three years into OS, and we still have 20 spaces in the activity queue, 10 spaces in the top rated queue, and 5 spaces in the new post queue, about the same design as when we had 300 members. This means that, even without the spam, member posts have fewer and fewer minutes of visibility on the cover, and the unchanged design of the cover itself is a contributing factor of why so many members are not getting their posts read.

Well, that's more than enough for now. As always, the above is "my humble opinion." Good luck; you'll need it.
I agree with L in the Southeaast that the rate system as it's set up now is frustrating - for those of us who care about such things. I do, but I can also understand why such concerns might be beneath the interest of elitists, who are confident enough in their grandeur they don't need no steenkin approval from no steenkin rabble. Not that there's anything wrong with elitism, per se. I encourage it in the coop, where we call it "pecking order." Enablest the hens to ensure standards are maintained and that no upstarts need concern themselves with bucking the hierarchy - unless, of course, they are feistier peckers than...well, it can get confusing, which is why I prefer to leave it them the ladies to work it out. I've even found myself of late having to squawk threateningly, flap my wings and actually chase a couple of young roosters who have the gall to think they're ready for prime time in my barnyard.

Then again, we are mere fowl. You hominids like to think you're superior. Yes, it can get confusing. bukbukbuk...
Tried to post a comment shortly after 3:00. Got kicked off. Half an hour to regain access. Same old OS.
mishima666 made excellent suggestions - I second
Hi, Gail. I have been a member of OS since August of 2008. I love this place for many reasons. I like the way the posts look-they are so very attractively displayed. The features Emily put in when she first got here with the different buttons ( activity, followers, etc.) at the top have been very helpful. I have quit visiting much due to the technical problems and post less than I would for the same reason.

To me the problems that would make OS a better site are of course to increase the loading speed. This is important to me as I run a professional site that I used to hot-link articles from OS to share with others. I quit doing so as when one hit the hot-link it would simply spin and ruin the reason for having a link at all. I do not think multiple accounts from the same computer should be allowed. These multiple accounts and identities are used to falsely inflate exposure, ratings numbers and attack people with verbal abuse while hiding behind a secret identity. I understand that I use a pen-name but I only use one account. Simply allow one account per computer--that cannot be a tough technical problem. Ban the use of obscenities in headlines. There should be a few rules. Be more aggressive with banning people- particularly those who stalk and harass women here. It happens way too often.

Other than those suggestions, I want to say how much I have enjoyed this incredible site. It has provided me with writing opportunities that were always a dream to me. The technical things like the ease of adding photos, private messages and embedding videos are great. Thanks.
It's slow alright!

The big upgrade was rolled back because not everything was working... the engineers will try again as soon as the issues are resolved, and then we should get swift and nimble again.

Very interesting remarks and observations. This is a great resource.

I hope we can get some little fixes here without having to wait for a big renovation, personally. The migration the salon.com main site is struggling with was a year in the works and took all the technical talent from other needs. It will be worth it, but that's not the way we really want things to go, obviously. I hope small fixes will resume very soon. Digits crossed for more agility.
Nice to meet you! I hope you will share your writing and your photography. The photo posts are some of my favorites.

My only frustration here has been load times it sounds like it's not going to be as much of a problem going forward. The spam comments disappeared a while back and that sure was nice, not having to delete them from our posts one by one.
"The big upgrade was rolled back because not everything was working.."

~nodding~ Sounds familiar. I don't think I was ever part of a "big upgrade" that didn't go PFFFFFT.

It's why a lot of engineers and such are bald! They ripped their hair out!! ~:D
Some things I'd like to see:
1) Highlighted in Boldface which of your multitudinous writing efforts has new comments and/or ratings.

So you can easily scan through your articles, poems and essays and respond to comments KNOWING you're responding to a new comment in an old post, or a new one, because they stand out when their numbers change. Like in forums where new posts cause the post title or an icon to change to indicate it's got new activity.

2) Allow comments from outside the OS community through FB, Twitter, Gmail, etc identification. In this way, folks don't have to be members to comment upon and "Like" someone's work.

This would allow a wider audience to participate and might also serve to bring in more members over time, as they can now peruse and see through the links others have provided -- and if they like or don't like what they see here, they can comment, possibly even rate/like, though comments are really the objective here.

3) Superior formatting tools and/or a more robust copy/paste (as regards, the way a piece of work is formatted in one's own applications) that is more WYSIWYG than the formatting options currently in the New Post window (which in one sense are decent and in another atrocious. I know, contradictory, huh?)

In this light, the same options as Word provides, or OpenDocs for highlighting, bolding, italicizing, spacing, both line and type and even color changes, along with the ability to format for columns, photos and other bells and whistles. Those would be super cool. I'd love to post photos with my poems that have the words edited into the photo (in some cases) while others with some page 'flaire' like borders, wingdings (oh please, can you get us the RightWingNuts font?) and even drawing objects.

4) Along with rating comments above might I humbly suggest:
A) Allow only one rating per account, and have multiple identities tied to a single account. This way someone can have alts (and they can have them for whatever reasons they deem worthy) and the editors, writers and readers can all know that even if I am carrying four alts and a Nom de Riguer that I can only hand out one rating from that account.

That might be too hard, but the idea would limit "spamming" ratings with multiple alts/accounts from one person to "pump" an article or something with more than one Vote. Along with that, it would be nice to be able have the RATE button at the bottom of the piece instead of at the top. It makes no logical sense to have the rate button at the top before you even have a chance to read the piece. I mean, that's just silly, isn't it?

Other than that, thanks for posting and thanks for being here. I hope that your Mad Skilz in the technical end of things makes a real difference. Since I've been here only a short time, I have wondered at the ENORMOUS amount of spam. It's truly mind boggling and it is a sign of lack of action on the technical end. There are many answers (and sometimes more than one are required) to solve this issue -- or at least cut it down to the point where spammers won't think of this place as "easy pickings."

Even if OS wasn't doing something actively to cut it down, that it continued to go on (and still does) and that posts regarding this spam issue have been deleted did not send any of the right signals from the staff to the members.

I hoped that this place could be something more than I have seen so far. As I am new, coming on since May 2011, I can only see what I have seen. I have no halcyon 'glory days' to compare it to. The site has promise and I hope to see that promise come to fruition.

So I plan on holding up a light and shining it when I can. I'll not call names, insult or mock. I will tell it like I see it and though I will be civil, I shall not sugar coat it, either. I expect you (and heck, everyone else for that matter) to be able to do the same.

best regards
{click}{crickets chirping, clock ticking}{"Oh Eff It}
Plenty of good suggestions here but I'll emphasize the spam removal. Though I wish someone at OS could reply to the several suggestions for spam blocking.

Also, I see that today the recent Posts feed had vanished in favor of a Most Viewed 24 Hours list. I don't need that one. Please bring back the Recent Posts list.
WordPress functions so that the very first time that someone leaves a comment (or tries to leave a comment, anyway), his or her comment must first be approved by the moderator. Thereafter, that user's comments do not need to be pre-approved by the moderator, but appear immediately.

Also with WordPress, if you want to ban a certain person from commenting on your blog, you just mark that unwanted comment as spam, and thereafter all of that person's comments go to your spam folder instead of being posted on your blog immediately, as happens with OS.

I would like a lot more control over my comments section. The graffiti that trolls leave is tiresome.

I would only let into my home people who have demonstrated that they know how to be respectful and how to behave themselves. With OS, anyone can break into our homes and vandalize them, so to speak.
WordPress functions so that the very first time that someone leaves a comment (or tries to leave a comment, anyway), his or her comment must first be approved by the moderator. Thereafter, that user's comments do not need to be pre-approved by the moderator, but appear immediately.

Also with WordPress, if you want to ban a certain person from commenting on your blog, you just mark that unwanted comment as spam, and thereafter all of that person's comments go to your spam folder instead of being posted on your blog immediately, as happens with OS.

I would like a lot more control over my comments section. The graffiti that trolls leave is tiresome.

I would only let into my home people who have demonstrated that they know how to be respectful and how to behave themselves. With OS, anyone can break into our homes and vandalize them, so to speak.
Would like to see top comments somewhere on the landing page. The cover pieces are fairly generic so it would be nice for those who like more variety to easily find more interesting fare. The rate button has been broken off and on for over a year so top rated is meaningless. It would be nice to be able to see what's getting the most feedback without having to click the recent tab and wait for that to load and then sort in that page. The comments are as entertaining and interesting as the posts and generate more author feedback. We are an interactive bunch. Good luck with the tools!
Welcome! I am looking forward to the change. I have lost many great OS friends who got fed up with the slowness or weren't treated with respect from fellow bloggers. I am still here and am hoping for the best....
Hello Gail, reading the comments here reminded me of something; that it's a shame that when someone decides to close/terminate their account that not only their posts are erased but also their comments and pms.

This of course has the effect of leaving horrible, sometimes un intelligible gaps in the comments' threads as well as losing (if one has not copied it elsewhere) what are sometimes more personable comments, within the pm feature. A comment or pm seems to me something, that once given, has truely entered the public domain and ought to remain part of the fabric of the site and not be withdrawn upon the blogger/authors leaving. Though I suppose it gets complicated when one considers then, the comments' threads attached to the posts from the account being terminated. Still...

As for an edit comments function, I can easily imagine how that might devolve into a polemic, given the often combative nature of threads, especially on blogs with a political theme or content, and the temptation that might result, to tinker and tamper with comments after the fact.

Saludos ~
Thankyou, I am looking so forward to this addition.
We all have ideas, and more ideas.
And we all want to be included.

I thank GOD I found open-salon. It was watching Julie & Julia that prompted me.

it was my best blogging choice, in spite of all the problems.

I always have issues with the editor, but in posting on other sites, I have found this one to be the best.
Very little options tho.

D
...and, I am impressed with the "spider". My pages span across 4 pages on the search engine.

If I had my rathers, I would like an option to design our pages. At the same time, it is, perhaps, the simplicity of the blog that gives it a clean and sleak, if not sterile feel.


I also have noted serious novelists, posting at set times. It would be nice for all of us novelists to have a special forum.

Again ... thanks

D
I used to get notifications in my email about comments and PMs, but it doesn't work any more.
More great observations. I sure wish I could edit now and put into my post:

It now appears that we will wait a couple of days rather than a couple of hours. We saw a glimpse of the promised land and we are all going to get there, soon. I am not going to estimate again. Thinking of our sleepless and driven tech team ... my hope for them is may they wake up to find out is is simpler than they think.

I'd fix a typo up there, too. I agree, the idea that each blogger can correct or enhance a post when needed is an attractive feature.
This is kind of a cc to you, kerry, Emily...
oOOOO OOOOO, thought of another one!!

The ability to edit my comments on other folks' posts and/or mine....one site I hit gives you 15 minutes with the edit comment(I've fat pawed a few comments in my day and hit post this comment before noticing.......)

Also, the same site, gives the ability to "Time post" your blogs. Lets say a certain cat who mostly post at 2am wants the Ed I Tor to ignore his post at a later time, welp, you set the post time from now to lets say 9am, the day before Doomsday, and it posts it at 9am the day before Doomsday.

Nice feature.

Also, another nice feature is the ability to post posts only your friends can read, so the "Cool Kids" can talk bad about the "PFFFFT kids" without hurting their feelings in public!!

Same with comments, settings for public or just friends.favorites, or closed.

That way, if I only had Kerry as a friend, he could scream at me for piddling in his tea!!! :D OR, I could remove him and waaa laa, no more screaming!! :D

I'd love to see a multi-tiered cover---tabs, that way, more blogs could be featured, you'd have a main cover then different sections, news, fiction, poetry, pets, whatever, and "editors" for each different section.

There has always been this 'Fiction doesn't get its turn' and the same with poetry. I know those don't sell the Cover but if you had a section for that, be like a primo offline magazine online!!!

And pie. We need more pie.
Oh heck blame the whole damn thing on me. I'm an atheist so my faux prayers were never met.

Kneeling in a bed of hot coals would be less painful than waiting for the light to go on here.

Changes I'd like to see:

Offers from OS to pay for pending back surgeries, butt lifts and all other conditions caused by excessive sitting. Those of you with worries about carpel tunnel are safe at this time.

Good luck Gail...wear safety glasses.

PS. I'd like to see posts like Tink's on the front page without censorship. It could a bit of lightening up
To re-emphasize one of Mishima666 points above, we need much better communication between the management and us, the customers. This means answering PMs and providing information in posts, such as this one (not once every six months). I understand that answering all PMs may be difficult and time consuming. However, general answers can be made into a post.

It would also be nice to capitalize on OS members who are willing to help for free to make this site better.

I hope this level of communication will be maintained.

Thank you.
These suggestions may not be in your baliwick, if so, please pass them on:

(1) Add ability to send a PM by right-clicking on a commenter's avatar/nom de blog
(2) Remove the archaic "tips" function which no one uses
(3) Duplicate rating and "like" functions after post -- post-post you might say
(4) Add function to permit bloggers to block specific commenters from commenting on blogger's post
(5) End annoying and resource-clogging audio and video ads that no one watches anyway

Thanks for your time, and welcome to the neighborhood
These suggestions may not be in your baliwick, if so, please pass them on:

(1) Add ability to send a PM by right-clicking on a commenter's avatar/nom de blog
(2) Remove the archaic "tips" function which no one uses
(3) Duplicate rating and "like" functions after post -- post-post you might say
(4) Add function to permit bloggers to block specific commenters from commenting on blogger's post
(5) End annoying and resource-clogging audio and video ads that no one watches anyway

Thanks for your time, and welcome to the neighborhood
These suggestions may not be in your baliwick, if so, please pass them on:

(1) Add ability to send a PM by right-clicking on a commenter's avatar/nom de blog
(2) Remove the archaic "tips" function which no one uses
(3) Duplicate rating and "like" functions after post -- post-post you might say
(4) Add function to permit bloggers to block specific commenters from commenting on blogger's post
(5) End annoying and resource-clogging audio and video ads that no one watches anyway

Thanks for your time, and welcome to the neighborhood
Please excuse my "triple play", but I think you see another of the problems here.
Gail, I'm so happy to hear that you are part of Open. I have long respected you and I know that good things will follow your appointment.!!I hope to read more of your writing! (hoping that you're not too busy)!Julie (junk1)
Welcome Gail, looking forward to your contributions!
"PS. I'd like to see posts like Tink's on the front page without censorship. It could a bit of lightening up"

Me too!!! I mean, sometimes my ego gets a bit battered by being ignored over here, what's a cat gotta do to get some love from the Ed I Tor?

Stop calling them Ed I Tor?

Screw that!!!

:D
Thanks for checking in. Lets see how it can prosper...
open salon for all its warts is actually a very innovative platform and superior to many other blogging platforms in various ways. last time I heard you guys were thinking of new ideas I came up with this. can expand on details.


- FAST
- can see who rated a post on that post
- can see posts ranked by pageviews/day
- video/group chat with members
- integrated with google analytics to see pageviews
- can customize personal page more eg change number of favorites listed
- import bookmarks into links folder
- reorder link folders or links in folder
- manage link lists at end of posts not just left sidebar
- customize presentation of post lists eg add stats like ratings, member age etc
- some more stats like rating/age of member
- threaded email conversations like with facebook
- dont delete/lose emails/comments from members that leave site
- can block individuals from comments or emails
- datamining. member lists sorted by many stats eg top pageviews, top ratings, top pageviews or ratings/age, EPs, average per post, etcetera
- comments do not reload page. use AJAX to post
- emails have more details. eg comments have link to own post and the comment. subject line has "who and what" eg who linked to you etc
Hello. Thanks for putting your attention on us. If you ever feel like writing, I'd love to know more about the Well, how it compares with OS, and some of it's colorful history as a virtual community...
Thanks.

I'm still shifting some other duties around... actually this is a vacation day for me, but I wanted to be sure to say I'm reading all of the solid requests, and the good cheer, too. I don't want to jinx the cutover/speed up project by estimating when, but my fingers and toes are all crossed for the sooner the better.
I'm new to OS, June 24ish is first blog- EVER. I've come to adore the comment sections of posts I read. I like that older OSers do rejoinders to comments made. Sometimes there is a sense of real time in the comments that is missing in the static blogs.

What I wonder. Is there a programming code that could let a commenter KNOW in real time when a blogger makes a rejoinder?

I'm still working on my voice, but its is tossin' slang and blustery, but in comments I can get personal since the reaction is usually visceral.

Now, I don't have many comments, but I do like reading and I will make a comment- part of OS experience.

Finally, I used to read Salon at 8pm in Germany and it'd blink and I could not read the full article. So, I stopped reading Salon. Why? Why can I not take my day down (or up depending on the Salon article)? I think its unfair that skipping and paging interferes with my leisure reading.

Gotta pretty cool techy writing job. Thanks for your post! Rated (tongue in cheek grin).
Drew-Silla - leg-hold traps are not illegal everywhere. In Michelle Bachman's district (all of Minnesota for all I know) you just have to check them every 24 hours. I know because my niece's dog was caught in one - while missing for 2 weeks.

Until recently I've been on such a slow computer I didn't really notice the OS speed problems that much but thanks for fixing them in time for my new machine and speedy connection. So it's all good.
I love OS because of the wide range of content and because of the wonderful people I have "met" here. However, the speed issue just kills it for me. A lot of the time, I can't get posts to load at all. So, I've written (and will continue to do so) on several other sites, returning always to OS nostalgically hoping that this time, it will work better. Good luck fixing the issues - I look forward to a more smoothly running OS!
Hi Gail --

Welcome, and re-welcome!

Best,
Andrea Higbie
I just "deleted" 175 spam blogs (they are restorable, I am told, if a real blog goes away.) I eyeballed them in the form of a list of email addresses to try to avoid hitting real people, but with this volume, I fear I will scoop up some real people. I hope that if anything is wrong I will hear abou it so I can restore anything that is removed. This needs to be addressed at the code level as soon as we can.
Gail: The site is moving much faster now. Hurrah for deleting spam blogs. If you can restore, I would say, err on the side of deleting! Active people can contact you if they find something amiss. Maybe send one PM as a warning...?

I do have a technical suggestion: could someone take a look at the code that drives the /blogs and /topics subtabs? The way it's set up to show the editor's picks, top rated, most viewed, most commented by 4 hours - 1 month does not seem to be appropriately refreshing. For instance:

http://open.salon.com/blogs/editors_pick/all/4hour/page/1

Always has the same four blogs on it...even though some of those bloggers haven't posted in over a month. The results just don't seem to make sense.

I think most people just access things through the home cover page and the side feeds on that page. But still, it seems like it would be better for the community if those features either worked properly, or were disabled and disappeared.
The front page should be a grid, a la the Wall Street Journal, highlighting various articles/posts/multimedia pieces of expressionism from multiple genres and not just the same, whiny, exceedingly mediocre writers writing the same, predictable kinds of stories on whatever the hot topic du jour happens to be.

I'm pretty sure that kind of writing by numbers is easy to spot and pull out for quick, forgettable consumption by the masses, but no one ever generated any buzz or grew their readership on a steady diet of that kind of slop.

Oh yeah...welcome (re-against...or, whatever).
Allow bios to support links, and have a place for folks to display their Twitter handles!
what do you want?

tag = OWS