β€œIn life we all have an unspeakable secret"

Ande Bliss

Ande Bliss
November 04
Essays, poetry, opinion and short stories. Free lance on line and in print. Favorite quote: "In life we all have an unspeakable secret, and irreversible regret, an unreachable dream, and an unforgettable love.” ― Diego Marchi Personal Website:


Ande Bliss's Links
DECEMBER 5, 2011 9:08AM


Rate: 13 Flag




I am a bit confused. Didn’t we all come to OS for the same thing? It is the land beyond and many the residents are either fictitious or needy. We write here for ratings and front-page accolades. Our compensation is comments. It is a form of entertainment and in some cases, therapy.

My friends on OS will neither feed, clothe, nor offer any personal care. But they offer attention. (I admit, I like it!  )We wear costumes and have made up names. We are not fully accessible, but we allow ourselves to care what perfect strangers have to say. If I knocked at your door you would not know me? If I called at 2 AM...with a dire need, could you help me? 

I think that OS is fine, for what it is. For me it is a place to “publish” my stories and for the most part they look pretty good, compared to other sites. I am using OS, as are we all for something.  Internet publishing is big business. The competition for print is fierce. Soooo, we come here and hopefully have a little fun and we get our stuff out there.

 It is always popular to put down the publisher whose job is to make money so he can keep the site up and running. Me? I really don’t give a crap. My serious world is on my side of the computer screen. Sorry, but OS is a tool. It serves me well but it is not perfect.

Can’t get on ..on the weekends? Find something better to do. 

 I am truly sorry for those who come to here with serious problems which need professional attention. But then sometimes I wonder..are they real, or am I reading chapter 13 of an unfinished novel. I try to believe they are in search of help and are reaching out, because they have no where else to go. 

 I am happy to receive some excellent advice from foodies and techies. I love my coffee with Jon. I read him right after Megan McCardle. (hope he likes that).  And I am often inspired to find new themes for my essays and columns by grousing through the posts and comments.

OS is an OZ of sorts. It is like a Olde Antiques Shoppe. You will go through piles of junk before you find treasure. I’ve made some good contacts and I appreciate the help and advice I’ve received.

 So…OS members, don’t blame the publishers, they didn’t bring you here…and if this whole dust up is a spam/scam… then I just got sucked in!  Beware Dorothy!

Whoops, I meant to say, Beware Ande..





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I hope that I have not offended. Being a middle child, I am always trying to make things nice. My purpose in writing this is as a query. Making no judgements, I see the whole blogging thing an adventure and sometimes it produces good stuff. Other times I am left wondering.
Ande I do largely see your point.

At the same time, any serious web site, particularly one owned by a parent group wanting to be taken seriously (Salon Media Group in this case) simply does not allow an ancillary arm to appear to be managed this shoddily.

Of course we can all fine other useful things to do when, like clock-work, Open crashes.

But I'm not sure that's the lens most useful through which to view this.

For me, the lens through which I view it isn't the user's; it's the hosts'/owners'.

It's simply irresponsible practice.
Thank you Jon. Right to the point, as always. I did stray from management to content. I was hoping for more at the beginning of my foray into the site but have just accepted it for what it is. Perhaps the continuation of this discussion will have some positive results.
The host says "Come and play in my back yard and leave a few of your toys here."
So we come and the gate is locked and we can't get in and we look through the fence and there all sorts of interesting toys there left by all sorts of interesting people and we look and rattle the gate and then go home and wonder if the gate will ever open again.
Ande, I agree with you. I try not to complain since I freely chose this site, not to mention it's free. If it's simply too slow for me, I go on to better things and return later. Meanwhile, I don't allow OS's imperfections bother me.
Hello Jan, thanks for commenting. I think that we are all so used to having things done quickly that we have forgotten how to have patience. There have been many times in my life that I had to wait for the gates to open.
As my father would say, it is free and worth it. I agree with all that you have said here.
I love life...
I love to say that. And thank you. I wish for a lot of things. Every day there is stuff that doesn't work as I would wish. And I agree with Jon that the publisher is not providing the level of professional proficiency that is obviously lacking from the site. It is just that "where" I just isn't a big concern. I like the site and I like the members. My need for immediate gratification is waning. Life just isn't like that. Remember the old rabbit ears on TVs???? That was really annoying....;)
Yes go do something else and check in later...I did. Free = ? now-a-days. ( you get what you pay for) I said it yesterday I'll say it today...the "staff" all had something better to do yesterday and most Sundays.
A couple of old sayings.
The wheel that squeaks gets the oil.
You don't get in life what you want, you get what you settle for.
" I think that we are all so used to having things done quickly that we have forgotten how to have patience. There have been many times in my life that I had to wait for the gates to open." And rabbit ears...

Thing is, Ande, it wasn't always like this. The flood of spam is newish, and the week-end lock-down is even newer. Hell, Saturday night used to be something to look forward to!

Yeah, it's free - but it's a source of revenue for Salon, and also we are their farm-team: They pick free pieces from here for Salon that suit them (do OSers whose pieces are run on Salon get paid?) And for Salon it's cultivating their readers and potential writers. It's not just some freebie thrown out to us for which we should be grateful no matter how awful it's become...

And some of the mess here is (according to computer-savvy people who should know) totally unnecessary.

And finally: we are human, therefore we gripe.
Myriad, so true. We are human and we do gripe. After all, who at home wants to listen? I should expect more, but then I am not really savvy about such things. I just move on and play golf. Oh, by the way...I have tried to show my kids some OS stuff on Saturdays and admittedly it was very aggravating. Keep reminding me...I'm getting riled up.
I totally agree with every word that Myriad said in her comment. I couldn't have said it any better. Of course, being who I am, I always have more to say...
For those of us who were here before the hideous SpamBot invasion, which made the site entirely unusable and inaccessible on weekends, it's quite natural that we would feel piqued at the state the site has gotten to. Many of us remember the "glory days" and long for a return to that. A lot of us are not simply "internet friends." We have made the effort to meet in person, stay in touch over the phone, FB and via email, and visit each other in faraway cities. OS was the impetus for these special friendships and it's sad to watch the site fall into such disrepair.
That's my take on it, FWIW.
Just to make sure I'm being clear...I don't disagree w Andy and Amy.

I'm looking at this from the perspective of someone looking at the company itself and I remain puzzled, at best, why any business that wnts to be taken seriously behaves this way particularly w.o anything close to a satifactory explanation to its users.

That this is a free service is irrelevant bc the SalonMediaGroup made it a free service w business ends in mind. That's not a bad thing. Most non-profit agencies would be ashamed to present themselves this shoddily, let alone a free service of a for-profit business.

The situation's at best confounding.
Baltimore, there isn't a human being alive that does not have serious problems...we are all born and that is the stating point. I do not take it lightly. If OS is a good place to come, then, that in of itself is worthwhile.
Delays are mildly annoying but I agree with you, Ande.
I'm with you. I'm on this site for personal entertainment, and for the pleasure of occasional "payback" in the form of comments from other thoughtful writers and readers. If the site didn't work over the weekend.... well, geesh, I missed it, because I didn't post my latest piece until Sunday night, when all seemed well and fine.

Seems there is and always has been a degree of grumbling on these pages -- I suppose it goes with the territory - as there are those who write very close to the bone.
Miguela, Thank you. I know I offended some, however still haven't figured this whole thing out. I am hearing that...

1. some of get shut out of the front page..( me too)
2. the site is slow and lots of weekend bloggers slow it down even more.
3. the editor and chief is not being straight with the members
and living up to his professional title.

4. there are many uses for the site, including making friends and learning new recipes.

5. There are some teachers among the group that give us good advice and "open"the door for discussion.

6. There are some folks who like to use a lot of profanity to gain attention

7. On-line blogging is an addiction.

8. I'm here, so I must enjoy the adventure. Walking on eggs is not my thing. Ask my husband!
Vivian thanks. I was curious to see if this brought ratings for content. Not too many. Kind of like my exclusion post. OS does have its own groups. Interesting.
Yes it is free and it is worth it. But sometimes it's downright discouraging. You just learn to deal with it.
Best said, Christine. Dealing is what we do.
* ......friends on OS will neither feed, clothe, nor offer any personal care. But they offer attention.*

*Can’t get on .....? Find something better to do. *

Exactly! Thks.
Thank U back, d white. Nice to hear from you.
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. 10 years from now, I expect this process will be quite different. We are still in the covered wagon stage, right? Lots of varmints and bad weather. Still...we're all heading toward the promised land, and as long as your name isn't Donner, all should be well.
Well said, Elizabeth. Who knows where this will go. Thank you for commenting.
Hmm. This is interesting. On one hand, I agree completely. OS was down for the weekend, so I found other things to do. On the other hand, this is a place I care about. I enjoy being here. I value the writing and the people. There is a lot of talent here. So when it's "down" and overrun with spam, it makes me wonder why the place I care about so much doesn't care about itself.
OS is a beautiful place to visit. I want the people behind it to care about it as much as I do.
Joan..lots of things go down for a period of time. We can be do thank you for your comment. All of this is valuable and I hope the Salon folks are listening. Wish they would have they would weigh in.
Larry, I love them too.
Middle child here.

I swore I would not comment tonite, just get on, get off, then I get this PM and here I am.

I think MOST writing comes from darker places than the average Joe none writers. Any talent that requires the trick of the mind comes from deep inner space.

Ray Romano, a very talented comedian,(Everybody loves Raymond) said "If my father had actually hugged me, even once, I would no doubt, be an accountant today"

If anyone I have found to be interesting on OS, I actually really want to know them. An intellectual mind is always the more favorable for company.

And my friend Jerry worries that I am too trusting, and maybe too reclusive for the company I prefer here.

If I have something someone else needs, I will give it up with no thought, just like I would shelter anyone.

My pain on my site is Genuine. So much so, that, and I am not looking for attention if I hadn't learned about blogging, I would probably be dead. My last incident MUST be the last. I was born, raised and married into abuse. But I am so tired. And I have held it in for too long. I had to put it out there, whether anyone was interested or not.
I had only heard the word BLOG and never heard anything good about them. Only that they were a frivolity of sorts.

Yet, when I watched Julie & Julia that made me go to Salon since it was the site Julie used to cook and comment on her adventure cooking ALL of Julia Child's recipe's.

I had never been a victim to emotion in the way I was this last year. I didn't know what to do with all that angst. I am still, daily, trying to come out of that deep black place.In the beginning, I didn't talk to anyone on Salon. I read their work, but I didn't want to have interaction. But then I got more comments, more ratings, and PM's from other OSers helping me work through my initial crude fashion of writing.

The nice thing is, there is so much diversity here, you don't have to stay in any one place. I have a preference for certain people and though I show many as fav's, I still have my dozen or so. You, Jon, Scy and so many more.

And aren't we all really looking for some attention? There are enough "blank page" journals to go around for all of us to write, but we chose to be here, we chose to write, read and travel through our own personal web that is OS
Hi Dianne,
I did expect to hear from you which is why I began this blog with a caveat about not offending. Of course, most of us want to be recognized. I write about the lack of genuine attaboys in our culture and too many off hand attaboys to level the playing field. Comments are our currency.

And I am glad that you have found support and help on OS. I walked in my own Hell for a period of time. But my devils are still hanging from a tree limb and some days are better than others. Here is what I believe. The internet is a public forum. When people get tired or leave, your problems will still be there. Forgive me for this, but when you are in agony, chances are they are out to dinner or sleeping or working. Friends who really love us and support us are always there. On the other hand, I am amazed and heartened by the good will which is so prevalent on this site. What I speak of is a kind of dependency on OS which is akin to addiction. I wrote an open letter to my grandchildren, published in June, in which I exercise my right as their grandmother to suggest that the internet is a "tool" not a way of life.

I am going on way to long and I
To Dianne continued: "I am going on way to long...however I want you to know that I am writing this to you, because I genuine do care about other people." In wandering I have departed from the intent of the original article which is that OS is not, nor should it be a substitute for the life on your side of the computer. If it has changed then so be it. Nothing is perfect and everything changes. Take care of yourself and remember that you must be your best friend.
Hello Kate, thanks for your comment. There is no question that the internet is an addiction for me. I use it continually when I work. Which is from about 7 AM until noon. I write continually. And if my computer fails me, I a get very annoyed. However, blogging is another thing all together. I've already stepped into it ad nausea. Sooo...again I thank you and am going to try to post my essays and stories again...and stay away from controversy on OS. And yes leave your computer home when you travel. I feel an essay coming on :)
Idon't generally return to a post...but just saying your ratings here seem way outta whack with the comments. (when i take the time to comment, i also leave a i would expect your ratings to be far higher, anyway...)

One of the tech difficulties with this site is that ratings don' t always stick...or whatever they do to tally. I was told this by Emily, who incidentally lamented that there have been times when her e.p.s don't come thru as well.
Thanks Vivian for taking the time to let me know.
Myriad said it best and Jan Sand's quotations are very apt. If they were not making money, off the writings, then it would be fine ,but if they are then they should shape the hell up. It never fails that when someone voices righteous disatisfaction that someone pipes up to make the dissatisfied seem petty or ungrateful. What is that about?

For those of us who have been here awhile it is just very funky all this spam and these inexplicable tech problems. Complaining about the complaining isn't fair, in this instance.
We are entitled to our opinion Fernsy. Life is not fair. Lots of companies and services make money but don't deliver the goods.
My point is, if you don't like it, opt out and go somewhere else. I get the feeling that there is a priority point of view for the "first bloggers" and your opinions are certainly welcome and interesting. Gathered from the beginning that this was 'Open Salon'. I totally agree with the disfavor of members who are not happy with the spam and other problems. It is really beyond our reach as OS will find other members. I don't think they have any allegiance to old members or new members. Problem is, as I see it, that the members think that they do. Thanks for you comment.
Frankly, the general nature of the comments disturbs me. It is somehow related to those who prefer to sit back and permit miserable conditions persist and not try to do something about them. Very much related to the people in US politics excusing Obama's incompetence in permitting the country to go down the drain without any outcry because the opposition is so totally dismal. This may seem to be dragging in something unrelated but it is basically a bitch about a parallel attitude. If you don't scream about incompetence, it will persist and probably get worse. If you permit yourself to be kicked around the kickers will assume they can keep on kicking and will kick harder. The way to make things better is to be intolerant about being mistreated. If you don't complain things will get worse.
Frankly, the general nature of the comments disturbs me. It is somehow related to those who prefer to sit back and permit miserable conditions persist and not try to do something about them. Very much related to the people in US politics excusing Obama's incompetence in permitting the country to go down the drain without any outcry because the opposition is so totally dismal. This may seem to be dragging in something unrelated but it is basically a bitch about a parallel attitude. If you don't scream about incompetence, it will persist and probably get worse. If you permit yourself to be kicked around the kickers will assume they can keep on kicking and will kick harder. The way to make things better is to be intolerant about being mistreated. If you don't complain things will get worse.
Sorry about the double post. Computer glitch. It would be nice if the site would permit one to remove one's own bad comments.
Ande, I have mixed sentiments here.'s spend time writing and posting....does that count as payment of some type?

But we have a different piece of the puzzle here too.

Pronouncement that the site will be faster and less of an adventure, only to have the opposite occur....and then vast amounts of time with no communication

In managing expectations here, the editors overpromised...dramatically.

Dramatically as in weeks and weeks past the pronouncement, and dramatically as in the site actually got a LOT worse rather than even moderately better.

Even "free" can be an issue if a promise is made and not met, and if explanations of why are never forthcoming.

I think I saw a small blurb today about how the spam surprised the management here, and please be patient.
More such pronouncements would go a long ways.

But more importantly, don't make bold declarative statements to the blog world, have them blow up, and not expect some vocal dissapointment.

I appreciate the site,..the freedom...etc....but talk to me more. If this site is run on a shoestring budget, and fixes are off in the distance, just allude to it.

I am a writer...I communicate through words. The readers do too.
It makes sense the managment would use for words as well.

And perhaps the biggest thing of all, I like to think of myself as part of the team here. If the site has issues, I feel bad for it and the people that manage it and the writers and readers that employ it in their lives.
I'm not going to bash the crap out of OS if they are having issues, and admit to some issues, and every once in a while let us know the issues are still on the radar.
After all, I am part of the team.

But cut me out...never talk to me....never give me a reason to feel allegiance to OS, and what happens?
It's called a dust up...and it is no fun!
Jan, thank you for staying with this. Important to be heard. I think that this is what we are doing. Perhaps we are occupying OS.
JD..I am glad that you got into this. If, indeed, the OS management folks are reading this, they have had an opportunity to hear you/us.
You have not been cut fact this forum has given many of us the opportunity to talk about how we feel....I've made my case. I like the substance. If this was an opportunity for many to speak to the problem, then I am pleased. What I intended to say was there is more....if this does not please you...go forward. And thank you for your comments. It is good to learn from each other.
There is a vital difference in attitude that should be acknowledged. One side says hell, it's free so we shouldn't complain. The other says that the contributors are those that make the site worthwhile and they deserve high respect. What would the site be without them? And to keep and attract great contributors the site must be responsive, not only to basic competence but to be eager to make the site even more attractive to get even better. Critics are essential to get this place to be an easy, convenient and totally rewarding experience.
Good evening Jan. I do not think that anything on OS is miserable. I think it is inconvenient. Miserable is a lot worse. In this case I did not elect OS nor are they contractually connected to me. I came here freely, if I do not like what is happening, I leave. The internet and blogging are not that life altering, however, I do admit that after all of this, I am convinced, more than ever that there are people, good people, who are connected in a way, more than I ever realized. Obama is another issue. Rarely are all of the people pleased with the elected officials. You see, and I know that you know, that promises are easy....fulfilling promises is an entirely different story.
Ande, perhaps it is the difference between being attached to OS vs being able to detach from it.
You seem to have no issue detaching if need be, and for you that is a wonderful and good thing.
I have come to feel a part of a community here that includes the team running it, and I have a passion about the site that does not make it easily "detachable" for me. (my word, not yours)

Perhaps I have too much passoin for it in the eyes of others, but it is none the less a driving force for I wish for the site to work and be successful.

To wish success for a site I do not pay for is not a bad thing in my mind.

I respect what you write here, and merely point out that there may well be a large group of people here who feel as I do...not all...maybe not even most....but a large group none the less.

The fact that I can call them out by avatar name and even their avatar pic well as what they write of and evidence perhaps of the passion I feel for the site.
I think I see this as a community one that listens and doesn't talk over you, a group of people I have never met I would trust with my life. I do hate when the site is down but mainly because I worry I may miss an event in someones life where they need support. To me that is what this place is about. The rest, up, down, all around is just life at it's silliest.
JD, having a commitment to making things better is worthwhile and admirable. I am pleased that you feel that way. I am "rounding third base" as it is said, and may see things a bit differently. I love intelligent discourse and I do appreciate your comments. Please stay in touch.
Nice bit o' meta but let me say

"My friends on OS will neither feed, clothe, nor offer any personal care."

Oh but they do Ande Bliss

"... they offer attention. (I admit, I like it! [me too! ])We wear costumes and have made up names...[some do] We are not fully accessible, but we allow ourselves to care what perfect strangers have to say. If I knocked at your door you would not know me? [maybe] If I called at 2 AM...with a dire need, could you help me?" depends

... you may be (obviously) surprised at the reality of this community..
Lunchlady...yes! So much important and so much silly! It is like a recipe. We need some sweet and some sour. Thank you. I am glad that you took the time to read the blog. I was concerned.
There are, no doubt, creative people who find themselves bathed in a torrent of fascinating ideas and this deluge compels them to put out a continuous stream of impressive stuff. I am not like that I write both poetry and prose and play with graphics and it's great to have a place to put it. But I am no genius and when the occasional lightning strikes if I don't immediately take that energy surge and put it to work it dwindles and leaks away and if this site blocks my efforts to lay it out easily and quickly it becomes fugitive and something gets lost. That hurts.
Ande, I don't think we all came here for the same thing. I know I didn't come here to "write here for ratings and front-page accolades". I came here to learn and share essentially. I also hoped to make friends with others across the world.

I have no doubt there are many who came here hoping for accolades but I also have no doubt there are many here who are here for the same reasons as I.

There are a number of people I have met here who are way beyond being viewed as "contacts" but rather they are indeed "friends". They ARE friends who DO offer personal care ... they are friends who COULD help me if I called at 2am. Believe it or not ... but for me, it is true.

I have visited and participated in a number of other writing and poetry sites ... but, for me, OS offers much more in the way of a caring and sharing community. I am passionate about this site and do not want it to fail.

I respect your viewpoint, Ande, and I truly appreciate what you say and am glad you wrote of it here. I have a different viewpoint of course. But, gee, I'm so glad we can share those viewpoints here, chat about it, and learn a little more of each other.

Thank you, Ande. : )
Good evening Tr ig. I cannot debate what you have said. Nor would I. I should have phrased that a bit differently. And at some time I will write about caregivers and words vs actions. I know nothing of your life. I do gather that the OS community is giving and caring. I came here with trepidation. But here is the thing...unless promises are kept, they are only words. I do not promise what I cannot give.
We can follow that to our marriages and friendships or to commerce. Thank you for your you remember Poems, prayers and promises? It about sums up life.
Little Kate: I would hitch a ride in the belly of a beastly whale to come and help you with,... anything, at two in the morning or otherwise.
You being in Australia makes it a bit more difficult and all

Over time we develop deep affection, or sometimes dislike, for each other.
I prefer the affection side. OS is way beyond a fantasy land
Hi Kate, I am trying to answer everyone and I know from reading prior comments from your readers and friends that you have an abiding friendship and relationship. I do thank you for weighing in on this. I am learning and I do think, that although it was not intended the outcome of this blog has great significance. Thank you for your input.
Tr ig...I have to turn out the lights soon. Been up since dawn but would like to answer. I wish I had something new to add but I think I have exhausted my point. Your faith in friendship is admirable and no one can debate or denounce that which is good.
@ tr ig: I am smiling here, tr ig ... and that's EXACTLY what I am talking about! Yes, I am on the other side of the world and, therefore, you would imagine that there would be no way that most of the people that I have connected with here could provide me any sort of personal care ... or true friendship ... but it is true that they can and do. There is indeed deep affection for many here ... caring and sharing ... and everlasting friendship. Thank you, tr ig. Still smiling about you riding in the belly of a whale all the way down to this Land of Oz! (Or should that be AUS???)
Ande, yes, I have made lasting and true friendships here and if it were not for the nature of this site they might not have ever been possible. So, yes, OS has provided me with all that I was seeking here. Not accolades ... not EP's ... not placements on the front page ... none of that has any real interest for me at all. If OS wasn't here I could maintain those friendships and relationships but the sense of community ... of family ... would be lost.
AUSS... I'm in OZ silly
Oh! Yes, of course you are!!!!
Who said you weren't entitled to your opinion? Not all of us come here for accolades and ratings and it is presumptous to assume that we all are driven by such needs. I'm glad respected old timers like Rita and Kim voiced what so many of us were feeling. The disregard of those editor people has reached a comment worthy level, at the very least.
This "Love it or leave it," mentality leaves me cold.