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.