I have owned and managed this site since 2010. When Open Salon went away, I offered the site as a place for people to join and connect with one another. At that time, the goal was simply to keep people from losing contact with friends they had made over the years at Open Salon.
Over the past few years, the site has evolved into a functioning blogging site. While that was never my intention, I do not regret any decisions I made to allow that to happen and even to improve that experience. It has been a lot of work and sometimes a bit of a Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and also it has been fun.
In the last year, the fun has gone out of it for me & the result of that has been my absence. The constant in-fighting, the lack of support for any efforts I have made to make this place financially self-sustaining. While I appreciate those who have contributed, it has always been the same few individuals. Overall there has been a lack of financial support from the majority... all of it has worn me out. What has kept me going has been the strong sense of community I would occasionally glimpse when for example we shared common losses of some of our members. That sense of community made all the crap worth it.
In the last few weeks I have received multiple complaints regarding the tediousness of the same old disagreements in comments, the constant barrage of political posts, the crazy behavior of certain commenters etc etc... As of today, I have emails from 9 people who are going to "take a break" or otherwise disengage themselves from the site because the fun has gone out of it for them as well. They too are just plain worn out from it.
SO... now what? I don't know really, but first let me say that I will not just "disappear" the site the way Open Salon did. Your blogs are not in jeopardy of being forever lost (though as a rule I think you should always be backing up your work as a precaution against things beyond my control.) At this point, I am simply sharing this information with you all. As it stands, the active members are few and some people are leaving. This cannot continue. As active members here, do with that information what you will. Each of you can choose to try to make this place better, or worse, or just ignore it all until there is no way to sustain the site. Its up to you. I am open to & will entertain & support any & all useful discussions about where we go from here.
Meanwhile, I have suspended Art James once again. He has become a negative influence and frankly, it will be easier for me to deal with the complaints FROM him (and possibly others) than dealing with the complaints ABOUT him.
As I said, I am willing to listen to any possible solutions and to give this place a chance, I am just unwilling to live with the status quo or do it alone.
As to the financial needs, please do not donate or ask about donations at this time. Until there is a viable plan for the future, I will maintain full financial responsibility for the site. Money is not really the problem & therefor not the solution.