Oregon, USA
December 01
Happy to be here among friends.


NOVEMBER 30, 2010 3:02PM

So Long, It's Been Good to Know Ya Update: GOOD NEWS!

Rate: 18 Flag

As I was  reading Catherine Forsythe's post Salon.com Is A Target for Merger and Acquisition, this Depression era song kept running through my head. Intimations of Salon's sale with the possible demise of Open Salon have been circulating for weeks now. However, as designanator, who is one the earliest of OSers from the beta days, wrote:

Catherine, thanks very much for the info on this.

However, we must remember what Mark Twain once said:
"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."

and also what Yogi Berra mentioned:
"It ain't over till it's over."

Yet, I would not like to wake up some morning  to get an error message in place of the community that I have loved for two years. So, just in case, I am penning my farewell address.

I have loved this community. I love all the many friends whom I count as a chief support and delight during these past two years.

And I remember..

I remember when we had a major disagreement with Sloan and Zerry about us being a community rather than a "social content site". There was overwhelming evidence of real community and, in the end, we could not be denied. I was proud to be a part of our victory. 

I remember when we had one egregiously horrible poster who was a serial cyberstalker of OS women who were afraid to post anymore. Complaints about this mentally unbalanced and evil poster fell on deaf ears. Open Salon was "open". Period. A small cadre of operatives swung into action so that,  one morning, the editors opened their email accounts to a flood  of protest and requests for action. The editors hated getting so much email--who doesn't? However, within two hours this creep was gone. Our Knights Errant, Nanatehey and Trig Palin, kept him off.

I remember how OSers reached out to their friends in trouble, providing emotional--and sometimes financial--assistance. Deaths, desertions, and disease were never suffered alone.

I remember how one man's generous casting to the winds of his considerable talents as a graphic designer in his search for good karma gave Open Salon a gorgeous and cohesive "look" which singlehandedly beautified our site. My heartfelt thanks for my own banner of which I am inordinately fond. Rictresa, banner savant, I thank you for my Rictresa original.

I remember being tremendously moved by the excellent writing here. Open Salon writers have enriched me by their articulate depiction of every human emotion and value there is. If Open Salon disappears, I will mourn the loss of all that beauty and art.

When these rumors of Open Salon's impending demise first appeared, I cast around for a new perch. Just in case. I found one.

I am still o'stephanie with an avatar you will recognize over at newsvine.com which is a site belonging to msnbc. For almost two months, I have been moving up the vine and enjoying the community there and the opportunity to do more than social content. Any OSers wishing to join that community can friend me and I promise that I will give you welcome and extend the hand of friendship.

There is no place like home, of course; however, newsvine has some qualities to recommend it.

1) There is a code of honor, which is monitored by a group of newsvine members, that promotes civil discourse so that folks can be given suspensions for pure snark or personal attack.

2) Although not immediately apparent, there is a community there.

3) Most viners "seed" links to news articles and have conversations about them. Few write original articles which is a door of opportunity to OSers.

4) Mostly a political site, there is social content and a group for writing.

5) Comments can be voted on and the comment tools are user friendly.

6) They pay just as handsomely as Open Salon does!

NOTE: Do read up on the Code of Honor so you do not run afoul of the rules. Many things we do here, we cannot do there like self-promote or use photos not our own.

I grew up as a blogger here at Open Salon, and I will always be grateful that I had the opportunity to contribute and get to know so many great writers and  wonderful human beings.


If Open Salon stays, so will I. If Open Salon disappears, then I will mourn it but will hope to continue to see all of you on Facebook or newsvine.

Just an idea, but if anyone else wants to write a farewell address, we could make it an open call. If we stick around, it would still be a nice thing to have.

UPDATE: Spudman has made a group for all of us if Open Salon goes down all of a sudden:

Open Salon Friends Meet Here if Something Happens 

UPDATE: Leepin' Larry came by with the news that Kerry was blown away by our concerns about Open Salon somehow getting lost in any merger. Larry was good enough to copy and paste the comment Kerry left on Catherine Forsythe's post. Look below in Larry's comment here for the whole copy. Here is an excerpt of Kerry's comment:

"Emily mentioned that the WSJ article had rattled some Open folk, so I came over to take a look. Yikes!

Look, any media company today that's not really, really huge would be nuts not to consider merger or acquisition options right now. But there's no reason for the nightmare scenarios -- I can't imagine any potential owner or partner not valuing Open enormously. There's nothing else like it -- a blog network filled with exceedingly smart people who can write. I have no reason to think Open Salon is going anywhere." (Emphasis mine}

It should make Salon feel good that we all love this place so inordinately.

My offer still stands for any OSers wishing to also blog at newsvine. We could be a presence there. Just friend me, and I will put you on my watchlist.




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I have valued your warm friendship, O'Stephanie--You were one of my first encouragers ever here. I have an idea if we go down suddenly. I developed this site:


Pass it on! I have tried but all my e-mails go into the spam folder.
If this site falls into the dustbin of cyber world, my grief will be huge. I cannot imagine or want to imagine how it would be to not have this wonderful spot to open each and everyday.
Too many friends, too much community to miss.
You have always held a big place in my heart.

I feel as close to you as any friend whom I have made face to face. I am glad I encouraged you. Good to know. (And neglected to tell you that your wonder dog is gorgeous!)

I have put a link about your liferaft group into the body of this post.

(hmmm...spam folder, eh? Must have been all those love PMs, begging for a plane ticket to a blue state...)

It is almost unthinkable. Preparing to keep in touch is the important thing. Love you too but you know that.
o'stephanie, let's hope for the best but prepare for what might be a business/financial reality.

Thank you for the mention and the suggestion of newsvine.
O'Stephanie, I am really touched that you included my comment from yesterday afternoon! It never hurts to have all kinds of contingency plans. I have had a designanator blog set up at both blogspot and wordpress for a while, but haven't used them much since this is where the big action is. I will keep my fingers crossed that OS will be around for years to come. I wasn't aware of Newsvine, but checked it out and it looks interesting to me. I appreciate your telling us about that site and no matter what happens there are lots of ways for the like-minded members of OS to stay together!
wow - I hadn't heard anything about this. I'm not around consistently, read the front page consistently, or read more than my small group of favorites - so thanks for keeping me in the loop. I'd like to echo Spudman and let you know that you were one of my first "helpers" here. Heck, I didn't even know that I could comment on my own post to folks until you privately PM'ed me about ettiquette :)

I did bookmark Spudman's site - Thanks for doing that! Even though I don't know you - are you inviting all OSers? ... not sure how all of that works...

thanks for this Steph!

You have done so much for the community here. Bless you!


I look upon you as one of our elders here. You are right. There are many ways to stay together. You know, when a community is flooded out, it moves to high ground.

Of course you know me! O'stephanie is me distilled and concentrated!
All of Open Salon is welcome. We can become Externally Displaced Persons (EDPs) in international parlance.
I am at the beginning of a very low point in my life. Thank you for the very kind words, Steph.

I am sad to hear this. I hope this journey is not as long as you may think. You are remembered here with respect and love.
This is all making me very very sad..:(
rated with hugs
Newsvine pays as good as OS!!! Where do I sign??!! Hehee...

Even though I don't spend much time here anymore, I will certainly never forget this place if it goes under (or doesn't!). You have always been one of the good ones Steph, and for that I thank you.
oh right, right.... I meant that I didn't know the Spudman, wasn't sure if he was just inviting his friends. But you cleared that up - all of OS is invited (let's hope we don't need it).

Thanks to you both!
This is the only place I've ever blogged. It took two years of hard, hard work to get to the point where I can string a few sencencies together an find some wonderful friends. I posted on some other sites, but just posted and left what I put there. Inever had a comment from any of them. This place means so much to me, it keeps me sane and saved me from going back to a lifestyle I hated. I do hope if someone does buy it, they don't screw with OS, but that is a pipe dream.
Oh, Linda, I hope it does not come to pass. It has always been such a special place.


Sorry I misunderstood. (I wasn't wearing my glasses is my excuse and I'm stickin to it.)

Have always enjoyed your posts and comments. I hope whoever buys the place recognizes the wealth herein.

You can track mud into my new site at newsvine all you want! You have grown as a writer and excelled as a friend.
If it folds, you better tag along because I do not want to do without you. You are one of my most faithful fans and I always love your stuff.
We can sandbag all we want, but if the water spills over the dike, we can get in our boats and paddle like hell.When your community moves, you come too.
I mean that, Scan man.
thanks, steph. i'll bookmark the newsvine and check it out.
Alas. Even those of us who only pop in to read and enjoy would miss this lovely community.

Drop bread crumbs. I'll follow y'all.
femme forte,
Hopefully, it will not come to that. This place can never be duplicated.
Thanks, Steph. I remember all that you have mentioned. It's a part of our history.
Lea Lane,

You have always been the most gracious of us. And love your tales of travel.
Yep, a place with a history is a real place. Those were some fun and crazy days.
I'm shocked, I hadn't seen anything related to this, but then, I tend to be oblivious to the world around me at times.

Now I'm concerned. At least I have a connection to you my friend.
Well, it could be a matter of time anyway, so why wait to form ways of interrelating elsewhere? Truly, it's high time those of us ready to feel certain we cannot lose touch or be out of each other's sight entirely to band together this way. And to that I say, why not?
You are a sensible gnome. Gnome Sweet Gnome.
From Kerry:

Emily mentioned that the WSJ article had rattled some Open folk, so I came over to take a look. Yikes!

Look, any media company today that's not really, really huge would be nuts not to consider merger or acquisition options right now. But there's no reason for the nightmare scenarios -- I can't imagine any potential owner or partner not valuing Open enormously. There's nothing else like it -- a blog network filled with exceedingly smart people who can write. I have no reason to think Open Salon is going anywhere.

As for issues with the site -- I know all about them, and we're doing all we can. I know Emily has been keeping you updated on spam issues -- and I'm really thrilled we've finally put the controls in the hands of our trusted and diligent members. Many a night have I sat at home knocking off spammers one by one as they start popping up on Open, "clogging the feed" as some of you put it. I know Emily (and Thomas) have done the same thing. It's great to have help. But if progress has slowed, it's because the Salon mothership has required more of our Tech department's help, as part of a reasonably big overhaul. Once that's finished, we're hoping we can follow that up with some bigger changes to Open that will help -- a lot -- in the coming months.

Yes, that's maddeningly vague, but I promise to report progress some time soon, when we have a firmer time line in place. We should know a lot more in the coming month."

Kerry Lauerman
He commented on Catherine's Post:

the first thing I read from you is the farewell?
life is strange like that
I think this would be quite the open call
Leepin Larry,

Thanks so much for coming by with good news! We were all crying into our beer over here.

You know, I kept thinking that this place has always been so unique and is so productive that it would be a shame for anyone not to embrace us too.

Well, it is a farewell no longer! Hope to see you again!
Good news here. Yes indeed.
Hugs to all here.
Thanks o'Stephanie. I just made a Blogger under nolalibrarian and pasted my posts there--pictures and comments came through. But it's not like Open Salon at all--where I could just concentrate on writing and sticking in pictures. This place has been very important to me for about a year--when I found it from the big Salon. It's the conglomeration of writers and artists here that makes it interesting. The comments are very encouraging to me--and they can be at least half the reason to read some posts--because you get more information and funny stuff from a crew of witty people.
In spite of concerns about what could happen this post and the other connections have made me feel very secure. Also I feel very honored to be part of such a smart, genuine, caring group of people. It really was a gift to stumble onto it and be welcomed by such a diverse group.

Personally I don't believe everything I read in the papers, my last job was at a dot com shopping site that had a lot less traffic. It was the worst run company I ever worked for and it lasted 9 years until the boss wound up in jail in Haiti. As long as the bosses here don't get strange and start smuggling children I think the OS side has too much potential.

Thanks for the post, bookmarked both sites for a feeling of security, just like family.
Methinks that fat lady I heard singing in the distance a month or so ago has grown larger and louder.
This is a pretty convenient place with plenty of good writing and originality. I know that lots of folks could re-assemble elsewhere but somehow I feel it wouldn't be the same. Nice post o's.
Wow! Take a break for a few weeks and lose touch with everything. Like Scanner, this site was my break through for blogging. I hope it doesn't go to pot, so to speak.
Checking out the other blogs about this.
Best Wishes,
Well gee whiz, Steph, I had no idea of the possible demise of OS. I have been out of the loop lately, things goin' on you know. I am pleased, after further reading of your post that OS will continue.
I am a relative newcomer here but I have certainly enjoyed this space and I would hate to see it go away.
All the best of the season to you and all of the OS'ers.
Oh yeah, I loved the video too!
I regard the “don't self-promote rule” as being like “don't ask, don't tell.” If I'm volunteering my labor, someone can take me as I am. The only excuse for saying I can't self-promote is to say they're offering me more than I'm offering them and I should be grateful for it under whatever terms they toss me. I'm never quite sure if I'm at breakeven here but at least I'm able to be me without the people accepting my volunteer labor claiming it's inappropriate to actually tell people who “me” is. I have a newsvine account, but I don't expect to use it much.
I love you, girl.

I agree with everyone here that there is no place like home (OS).

I am only learning the ropes over at newsvine. It is definitely not OS--some things better, some things worse.

My offer still stands to any OSer wishing to check nesvine out. Friend me and do check out the standards for comments as they are different.