I started having a blast on the web when I joined EONS.com. Talk about a site that has everything and you will be talking about EONS. The profile pages are mini websites with hundreds of themes, widgets and privacy levels that can be set to "decimate".
EONS was set up for middle aged and older people, so it does not have broader appeal.
I started a group and had a blast. I learned how to set up a page, do a blog and advance to HTML and CSS. This was back when we had to know the code for fonts, links, and a lot of things that we take for granted these days.
Our groups were private and there were no limits to the content for private groups. We kept it fairly clean, but did not hold back when we needed to express something.
EONS opened up the site to all ages and all heck broke lose. Fights started out and that is where I coined the infamous word "dustup". I also coined "Word War". We had Word Wars I through III and shut down the newer trolls that were showing up.
I decided to start writing seriously and found Open Saloon. At first, I was quite intimidated by the writers, mainly because they said they were intimidating. But it was easy to make friends and to read much more than I wrote.
A year after I joined OS, I started writing at an upfront pay site and cleaning up. I was pulling in hundreds a month and dealing with writing fascists. God help the fool who had a typo.
Since late 2010, a lot of sites have fallen apart. My upfront pay site turned into hell on earth and a lot of people left. I still make royalties and some upfronts, so I am better off than most.
OS became a problem last Summer. I quit for a couple of months because of the technical problems and the horrible disrespect, mostly from lack of communication, that the management gives us. I believe that the spammers are less despised than we are.
I remember how we decided to hook up at Facebook, which was the smartest thing we did. This happened after first serious rumors about a major fail at OS.
We have come closer, shared more, and refuse to lose each other. The problem was that my Facebook account was old and I never really used it. Hence one of many fake names that I used just to register and check out a site.
Many people left OS and stayed away because of personal and technical disgust. I came back late last year because the site was working fairly well. Now the technical problems are back. If I bail out again, it will be because of 7 minute page loads and lost posts.
The latest rumor caused many of us to make even more serious plans for an alternative to the OS site. This is the best place for it all, after old folks EONS, and it will take work to build us up here.
WordPress, Blogger and other sites do not have the unifying and social networking aspects. They are vast, cold and lonely places.
At this point in my internet and writing travels, I conclude that everything comes from the experience that came before. But everything must change. Nothing stays the same. The trick is to never give up and to move on to new opportunities when they come.
Here's to sticking with the writing, the collaborations and the friendships that have come to mean so much to us all.