Sunday, December 04, 2005
I found my Word file of April 2004 entries, so I can get those posted quickly. After that, I've got to go back to the originals.
It looks like Bill-the-Veep's letter in Magic Smoke has been the final push for a lot of folks to plan a final exit from AOL. Patrick, Coy and I are probably just a few of the many. Those AOL loyalists who keep telling people to shut up and leave already have no idea of the work involved for people who have been with AOL for a decade or more. Aside from transferring all this writing from Musings to Outpost, and relinking to all these photos, I have web sites attached to my kfbofpql screen name, and email addresses to update with who-knows-how-many companies and correspondents. Where am I going to find time to finish my Heirs edit as well? I'm just going to have to schedule it in somehow.
Meanwhile, I've spent a few hours tonight catching up with the comments on Magic Smoke, related journal entries on and off AOL, and the latest follow-up on Blogspotting. Just keeping up with the news is a job of work! As of this morning, Ayn's list of AOL-J bloggers who have set up elsewhere stood at 150. I was going to add it to my sidebar, but it's already out of date. Judi reports that "We have been adding [links] all day" to the list. I'll take a shot at this moving target later tonight.
I'm a little embarrassed now that I responded semi-favorably to Mr. Schreiner's letter, even though it left me in tears and sent me scrambling to prepare my departure from AOL. See, I tend to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, which is generally pretty helpful for avoiding misunderstandings and hurt feelings. When someone appears to snub or insult me or one of my friends, I'm the one who finds an interpretation of the facts in which no snub or insult was intended at all. Call me naive, but I usually turn out to be right. So unlike virtually everyone else, I didn't see this letters as insulting or condescending - at least, not intentionally so. I'm sure the guy had no idea he was exacerbating AOL's relations with subscribers even further, any more than he understood why a banner ad above "Your Thoughts. Your Blog" was a terrible thing to so many people.
But really, that's the problem. It's not that he understands that he's alienating subscribers, but would prefer that they just leave because the advertising dollars are all that matters. Yes, he probably does consider the advertising dollars more important than a few disaffected subscribers, but that's partly because he just doesn't understand what the brouhaha is all about. He doesn't get what a blog means to its author. He knows people care, but doesn't know why. He doesn't understand the difference between a blog and a message board. He doesn't even understand that a large proportion of active J-Landers (both those who are staying and those who are leaving or have left) are upset, not just a vocal few. And this latest firestorm probably won't endear him much to his own bosses - unless, of course, they deliberately threw him out there as a scapegoat, to take the heat off John and Joe and Susan and maybe even the guys at the top of the foodchain. Y'know, I almost pity him.
Meanwhile, Musings from Mâvarin has begun its slide on Technorati, from a rank of 25,000-something and links from 70 sites as of last night to a rank of 26,213 (429 links from 68 sites) tonight. Someday it will have almost no links, and then it will no longer exist. Meanwhile, Outpost is holding steady at Rank: 106,474 (72 links from 23 sites). Yeah, I feel a little petty for watching these numbers so closely, but it's just another measure of what this mess is costing us in terms of readership and goodwill, at least in the short term. We'll rebuild - we are rebuilding. But it's sad to have to do it - not because of the work involved, but because of the reasons why it's necessary.
Posted by Karen Funk Blocher at 12/04/2005 10:39:00 PM