I wrote the following to him in comments:
Thank you, Mr. Schreiner. That was a well-written, respectful letter. I feel about 10% better about AOL than I did ten minutes ago.
I'm also crying.
Two and a half weeks on after Black Tuesday, after technical glitches major and minor, after big, visually noisy ads and a tiny, belated disclaimer, after the previously unimaginable trauma this community has suffered, this wonderful letter is a small bandage over a gaping wound. It can't do much to stop the bleeding, but it's a noble effort.
The difference between ads on message boards and ads on journals is that the boards are a shared venue. There is no expectation of autonomy, no illusion of ownership. I thought Musings from Mâvarin was something I created, using the tool that AOL provided and hosted for $23.90 a month.
I was similarly upset when banner ads first appeared above my home page years ago. Only that time, I sort of blamed myself. Having posted it under http//members.aol.com/kfbofpql/karen.htm, I clicked on something that said my pages could be indexed under the new "Hometown" area. The ads are what came with that. It was an unexpected displeasure, but I figured what was done was done.
And again, what's done is done. What comes next, I think, is a parting of the ways.
Karen Funk Blocher
This followed an announcement earlier in the day that the glitch on AOL Journals that had made it impossible to post the word "Mâvarin" there had finally been resolved. I tried to feel happy about this. Really, I did. But I didn't do very well. My entry on Musings was called
Small FavorsAOL's "charset" fix has been installed, so I can finally display this word properly again:
Do I feel better now?
No, not much. I could probably live with the ads, if they stayed above the little line, and if that were the only problem. But it's not. There's always some new annoyance.
I'm thinking seriously about investing the hundreds of hours of work needed to port my home page, my Madeleine L'Engle pages, etc. over to www.mavarin.com, and over 500 Musings entries to Outpost Mâvarin. Then I'd need to prod husband John to get me on his Cox connection. That would enable me to cancel AOL. Heck, I've only been here since 1993. That's a quarter of the time I've been on this planet.
Is it any wonder that leaving AOL is hard for me?
KarenI did get the title and description area fixed at last, and added the VIVI winner graphic to the About Me area, and posted a new link here. It helps a little. but only a little.
I don't know what else I can say. Two hours ago, I was happily planning an entry on the exploitation of Ebeneezer Scrooge. Now it will have to wait. I don't have the heart to write it.
I'm almost ashamed to be crying tonight. It's the first time I've cried over the AOL Journals controversy. I think it's because I'm pretty sure now what I have to do, after 17 days of fence-sitting. The fact that I'm seriously sleep-deprived right now isn't helping, either.
It's not a huge tragedy. Compared to the sufferings of people with major health issues, who have recently lost a relative or who expect to lose one soon, compared to all the big, awful things that can happen to people, that actually have been happening to other journalers, my life is blessedly trouble-free at the moment. I'll be fine. I've survived the death of my high school boyfriend, my parents' divorce, the deaths of two dogs, and of course the death of my mom. Compared to all that, this loss is a small one.
But, as Carly reminds us, it is a loss. And I'm in mourning tonight.