hi all. finally am biting the bullet & signing up for this site.
RIP open salon. ofc everyone long saw it coming, maybe me more than anyone. from day 1, could tell the site was a fragile experiment.
lived/ survived through the dotcom era, a time like no other, and will never forget, and this age/ cycle reminds me of it in many ways sometimes. massive billiondollar corporations like amazon, google, ebay were born then, but other large ones have long since vaporized.
got addicted to open salon the first few years, and was blogging and commenting quite copiously. it was a real rush, a cyber addiction. sometimes some posts had thousands of hits and massive comment threads. had lots of varied episodes & cyber adventures.
open salon grew dramatically for a few years, and was quite lively. there was nothing like it in cyberspace, it was one of a kind. it seemed like it was on the upswing & one hoped for the best, it seemed like an underdog that could go places someday & eventually really make something of itself.
these were years when huffingtonpost grew dramatically & got sold for hundreds of millions of dollars, the movie "julie and julia" came out, and facebook went public. some of the elite people who signed up for the site were really impressive in their credentials. professional book authors, etcetera.
but alas, entropy set in, and open salon just couldnt fight it. its incredible how closed it really was. there was no insight into its employees or coders. who built it? who knows? it would be fantastic to hear more behind-the-scenes stories. the community that grew up around it desperately wanted to make it better, to improve it, to contribute where possible, but there was a very high, rigid, near-brick wall between its management/ administration/ maintenance/ development and the audience/ participants. sometimes it seemed it had more airtight secrecy than a NSA "project"/ CIA "operation".
as a software engineer, would really love to build such a great system, fantasize about it, the architecture was really a thing of beauty in various ways. but alas there is just no money in it whatsoever apparently. but wasnt it getting a lot of hits overall? like a real community, it had amazing emergent properties and collective intelligence.
but hey it took me decades to make the big bucks and get a great permanent job, after literally decades of endless contracting positions. would like to donate my labor, but also dont want to do hard work for scraggly scraps.
facebook is now the 800lb gorilla. old joke: where does an 800lb gorilla sit? ANYWHERE HE WANTS TO.
but alas even though it has millions of so called "friends", it doesnt seem that "friendly" either. it presupposes friendships, that they are determined "outside the system". its a mostly closed site. it doesnt really help you "make" friends in a real sense, it only captures your pre-existing "a priori" friendship networks. a walled garden! historically they probably mainly do that so google cant index its pages. which is a shame.
@#%& it took me years to build up an audience on open salon, and really did well near the end even during its decline. usually at least 100 hits in a few days. a lot of this probably had to do with the really nice "favorites" system/ feature where your new post would show up first in the favorite sidebar on anyone elses page who favorited you.
had a few hundred K hits over the lifetime of the site on many posts. ~250 posts. that works out to about 1 per week. holy cow! blogged more frequently in the beginning & my frequency was declining near the end. some of the top posts in hits (~10s Ks) were also some of my personal favorites, took a lot of joy in that they had found a cyber audience.
but always knew it could all vanish in an instant. frankly am surprised it hobbled and limped along as long as it did. almost at least ~1.5 yr longer than one would have expected.
so they finally shot it and put it out of its misery.
scrambled to save them all on my sig other's apple computer.
fantasize about collecting them into a book. oh but that will probably do as well as my google adsense on the site. enough for a sixpack or two and dont even really like beer much.
thx so much to those who invited me over here a few times. avoided it until the bitter end. aka "wait and see attitude". its nothing against this site. just really did like open salon. it was well built, had great layout. a real loss. and the real behind-the-scene story may be forever lost to history. even us oldtimers could barely write such a thing.
see a few ppl around here that used to hang out on open salon & weve interacted some. have to start leaving some comments for those old cohorts. really miss some that used to be there. hope they again find this place, but odds are long against it.
oh, the horror, the amt of hrs put into blogging by me, all vaporized in an instant, a stinging and depressing feeling. it seems almost tantric (as explained to an old enlightened/ stellar gf of mine from many yrs ago, it now seems like a dream, its a long story).
my idea is maybe to put up a few old posts if anyone requests it (in comments), but honestly, realize that would be a bit miraculous if anyone did.
so we live in an era of incredible consolidation of the media into 6 gargantuan monster corporations (but are effectively concealed and do not show large signs of their existence), and a tiny little blogging site with the voice of the people is lucky to eke out some small niche of existence in cyberspace.
Jeffersons timeless quote echoes in my head:
Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.
what would jefferson thought of blogs? my guess is he might have liked them more than newspapers.
anyway, hope this scraggly site grows some or some other alternatives materialize. my hats off to lorianne, the site is workable, & am now gonna see where it can be taken given no other decent/ similar outlets.
off the top of my head, stuff wrote on over the years & maybe will write up some more here if the futility of life and crushing transitoriness/ entropy of cyberspace and emaciated scanty hits/ response ("starting over from scratch"!) does not all utterly overwhelm me: