Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Exile to Outpost Mavarin

Mavarin flagHey, I had plans for tonight's entry.  They weren't great plans, but still, they were plans.  I wanted to do a photo essay about Sleeping Beauty's Castle and Cinderella's castle, the history of both and the differences between them.  Instead, I'm at the relatively calm center or a maelstrom of mercantilism, marauders, malfeasance and mishaps.

If you've been on any AOL Journals at all today, you know about the major controversy du jour.  AOL added banner ads to the journals of paid subscribers overnight.  People are livid about this.  There have been over 100 comments to a By the Way entry asking for feedback, nearly all of them outraged.  Becky has gone on strike, Carly has made her journals inaccessible, and lots and lots of journalers have changed their journal names, descriptions and About Me descriptions in protest. Even AOL's biggest booster, Vivian, after whom the VIVI Awards were named, has filled her journal with the red of anger and many repetitions of a single sentence.

Many journalers are diverting traffic to non-AOL blogs--or will be, once they get them up and running.  I'm one of them.  Until AOL relents, if ever, my main blog will be Outpost Mavarin at http://outmavarin.blogspot.com.  It's not set up just the way I like it, with all the links and stuff, but many of those links are likely to change anyway, because of AOL's poor business decision.  Eventually I'll get it under control - or I'll be back here.  Maybe I'm naive, but I think AOL underestimated the reaction to this, and will step back from the precipice.  If not, well, it's been real, froods. Either way, Musings will stay live for now, so that you can still follow the links and read the 500+ back entries.  Archiving and reposting all that is gonna be a heck of a lot of work!

Personally, I'm not all that upset about the banner ads.  This should have been a predictable response to AOL's shrinking subscriber base.  What I resent is that AOL didn't take into account the fact that adding such things, without warning, without an opt-out, without subscriber input, without a choice, would irretrievably damage the company's relationship with the active journalers, the very people whose efforts made AOL an attractive venue.  Add to that the major glitches that accompanied this dubious enhancement, and we've got the ingredients for wrecking over two years of J-Land community building in less than a day.

But that's not the only bad thing to happen in the last 24 hours.  Not by a long shot.  Also:

1. My friend and co-worker had her house broken into - in MY neighborhood!  There was nothing valuable there except lots of papers to go through for identity theft purposes.  Judging from the fact that the papers had been disturbed, that was indeed the purpose of the break-in.

2. Another co-worker reported today that her daughter was in a car accident last night.  She wasn't hurt,  but the vehicle was undrivable.  She waited four house for the police to show, gave up and went home to her baby--and then the cops complained about this.  This is the same co-worker who is waiting to return to her house after a fire in September.

3. On my way back from lunch, I assed a five car pile-up on Wilmot, not far from the infamous intersection where I take my life in my hands every day, trying to cross the street between my car and my office.

4.  Yet another co-worker had her vehicle stolen today from a parking lot near that same intersection.

Does that give you any perspective, folks?  These banner ads in and of themselves are a mere blip, compared to the stuff that really counts.  The community that's being lost here - now, that counts, but that doesn't seem to be fixable except by AOL.

That's it for me for here for now.  Come see me in my new digs.


P.S.  Okay, now I am ticked off.  The word Mavarin, with the accent, worked in the Other Journals section - until tonight!  Now it comes out
Mâvarin, both there and in this entry.  Aargh! 

Main blog: 
Outpost Mavarin

Fiction blog: 
Messages from Mavarin

LiveJournal:memes, writing process, personal: Mavarin and Other Inspirations

If you have a new non-AOL blog, please leave a link!  I'll add you to the Outpost sidebar.  And if you're sitting on the sidelines right now, come see an idea I've cooked up to help. - KFB


tehfifthfeather said...

Meh. I don't think I'll be moving, if only because AOL Journals is an acceptable format for me to blog in with respects of keeping the parental units happy. AOL is familiar to them, so happening upon my blog would not be a shock. Meh. Anyway. In reference to the accented letter issue - I've found that when I copy and paste an entry from my word processor into the entry section, which I've taken to doing because of AOL Journals' occasional penchant for saying "We're sorry, AOL Journals is not currently accessable" and allowing me no way to retrieve what I've typed -- well, yes, to make a long story short, now when I type three periods in a row, or add quote marks, and paste that entry into the box, when I submit it, all of those segments show up as weird little characters that I then have to edit the entry to get rid of. BAH! Ahem.

Good day!

globetrotter2u said...

You are always such a welcome voice of sanity! I appreciate it tremendously. It is so sad that AOL has chosen to do this and break up a wonderful community. But as you said in your post there's other stuff going on in the big picture that far outweighs this affront to our sensibilities and dignities. I need more time to digest all this. I am not the best person to make decisions in the heat of the moment. I am so f#$%^&*king mad that I see red too... and I can't even see the blasted ads because I have version #8! I am not the most computer literate person in the world . The idea of backing up files and starting over is daunting to me right now. I am still hoping for a miracle from AOL but I sincerely doubt that it will happen.
We'll keep in touch one way or the other. That's the main thing.