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:
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:
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.