Nick Leshi

Nick Leshi
Location
Bronx, New York, United States of America
Birthday
December 13
Bio
Writer, actor, media professional, fan of entertainment, pop culture, and speculative fiction. Contact nickleshi@aol.com for more info.

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NOVEMBER 18, 2012 10:03PM

Why I Still Post on Open Salon

Rate: 6 Flag
Back in 2009 I was approached by an editor of Salon.com to contribute to their Open Salon forum.  I told them I was already busy writing my own daily pop culture blog, City of Kik, on top of a bunch of other writing projects, but he convinced me to give OS a chance.  I did, and I quickly fell in love with the community of writers and readers there.  A few of my posts became Editors' Picks and occasionally made it to the "cover" of the online magazine. Most importantly, I made some cool friends, discovering some excellent cyberjournals, a plethora of ideas on various topics from the cerebral to the goofy, from the funny to the serious. 

I had been on forums in the past that rose to greatness and then fizzled away all too quickly (Francis Ford Coppola's screenwriting forum Zoetrope comes immediately to mind, I still miss that place). Now, Open Salon is in what can only be described kindly as a precarious transitional phase.  Various technical issues have put a stranglehold on its usability, driving many users away and frustrating newcomers.  It had become a haven for spammers for a while.  Now, a bunch of regulars have become so disillusioned by the continuing difficulties, by the lack of reliable communication from the powers-that-be, by the failure to correct the obvious problems, by the sluggish performance and delayed "cover" updates, that they have started their own alternate site, dubbed "Our Salon." They have started a migration en masse beginning November 19, 2012, and have said they will return in a month's time if there is progress in fixing the bugs plaguing OS.

When Open Salon was at its best, there was no other site like it.  Full of great writing and vibrant discussions, it was a place full of seemingly endless ideas and opinions.  My own posts would generate a multitude of amazing feedback, supporting my content but also offering constructive criticism and opposing opinions, which I valued just as much if not moreso than the comments of those who shared my point of view.

I feel a great sense of loyalty to OS.  It has broadened my audience, introduced me to some terrific people, and given me a chance to engage in dialogue with those who share my taste in pop culture but also those who have completely different interests.  OS certainly has its problems that need to be corrected, but I don't know if a mass exodus will make the Salon heirarchy solve their issues any quicker or with more determination. 

Above all else, I hope that the well-intentioned mission of "Our Salon" does not add another nail in the coffin of what was a truly unique and dynamic destination. All I can do is wish my friends well, stand by, and see what happens.  Fingers crossed.

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Excellent summary of the state of this fragile place. I too am loyal. I have been posting here only since January, but I call it home. Even if it's hard to get in the door sometimes. /R
Until quite recently I felt the same way Nick. But nothing seems to improve and it's pretty disgraceful how span comprised over 95% of the posts. The system performance in terms of lengthy page loads and error messages is abysmal and we're hoping that the one month exodus will spur some changes.
Nick ~ it's great to see we're on the same page, so to speak.
It's nice to have alternatives to sites. I'm not leaving Open(The Ed I Tors have been trying to get rid of me since 2008!! :D)

I do have an account at OurSalon among others, which I've had for awhile, not to leave Open but an alternative to it.

Hopefully Open will once more be a place for people to come to and blog and read....~shrug~
Guess I'm a fence sitter. I love OS and miss what it once was. I want to believe it will come back. Meanwhile, I'm posting both places. I began to do this because I post my OS blog on FB and people complained they couldn't open my posts. So now I use the Our Salon for FB. I just don't understand why it is so hard to solve the tech issue. I hope they do soon. My post tonight has been at the top of "top rated" with only 3 ratings. That is nothing but pathetic.
I will be here until the lights go out...
Well said. I don't have the longevity that you have, but I have the same good feelings and feel a somewhat conflicted about the boycott. It never seemed to me that I needed to give up one good friend to have another.
Besides the database problems, which I personally think is due to a lack of physical servers, sometimes I wonder how people manage to find my blog. My older pieces find 20 to 40 readers per week, but whenever I make a new post, few people read it. I would think that some of these people would be interested in the new stuff. I did a Google search once, trying to find links to my blog. All I found was a commercial site, which was trying to create additional hits. I enjoy the Fiction Writers group. At least, people have comments to make. I want to be a successful blogger, but I can't hang out on Reddit all day. No way. Maybe I just need someone to hold my hand.
Writing a regular blog was part challenge, part catharsis for me as I struggled with the problems in my life (homelessness and unemployment). I will admit to being overwhelmed with hopelessness on occasion and losing the passion to write. This led to not being as active a part of the virtual community as I would like. But when I would finally cobble together a post, despite having a spotty record as a contributor, I would get amazing feedback from the Open community. Just when I thought no one cared, or was even listening, there they were. People who actually cared. I was touched to tears on more than one occasion as I read the comments from my fellow writers. And, I was genuinely validated as I earned several Editors and Readers Picks. Unfortunately, the technical issues with Open Salon created such a level of frustration on top of the day-to-day struggles in my life, I decided it just wasn’t worth it anymore. I tried to blog on other sites (WordPress and Our Salon), but my troubles with Open Salon tainted even these efforts. I hope Open Salon survives and can rebuild its community. But, with so many things in the world these days, it just won’t be the same.
Writing a regular blog was part challenge, part catharsis for me as I struggled with the problems in my life (homelessness and unemployment). I will admit to being overwhelmed with hopelessness on occasion and losing the passion to write. This led to not being as active a part of the virtual community as I would like. But when I would finally cobble together a post, despite having a spotty record as a contributor, I would get amazing feedback from the Open community. Just when I thought no one cared, or was even listening, there they were. People who actually cared. I was touched to tears on more than one occasion as I read the comments from my fellow writers. And, I was genuinely validated as I earned several Editors and Readers Picks. Unfortunately, the technical issues with Open Salon created such a level of frustration on top of the day-to-day struggles in my life, I decided it just wasn’t worth it anymore. I tried to blog on other sites (WordPress and Our Salon), but my troubles with Open Salon tainted even these efforts. I hope Open Salon survives and can rebuild its community. But, with so many things in the world these days, it just won’t be the same.
The double post was caused by a technical issue with Open Salon. I don't know how to delete the second one. Sorry!
No problem, Scribe. The more legitimate comments the better, even double ones! :) It proves this community is still alive.