FEBRUARY 21, 2012 7:33PM

An Open piece goes viral; a Salon scoop's backstory

Rate: 22 Flag

Wanted to commend Sarah Fister Gale on her powerful piece, "Why Rick Santorum would have killed my daughter." You should read it if you haven't already. It's the type of story I love, a response to big news that's uniquely personal,  but also, broadly impactful. I love featuring those stories in Salon; I love even more when they show up on Open Salon. The personal is political -- and vice versa. (Also, awww, Andy Richter tweeted it, too.)

Also, Glenn Greenwald's great, probing look into Mitt Romney finance co-chair Frank VanderSloot, and his history of going after journalistic critics, gets a nice response at Jim Romenesko's indispensible site, here, where I also gave some background on our story planning. It's a post I'm very proud to have published. 


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Well. It's good to know you have the capacity to love . . .

Well. Now we know what to emulate? Yes. Silence ...
When silence is not an option. "Frankly," write Hunter
S. Thompson . . ."I have no taste for either poverty or honest-
so writing is the only recourse for me."
Kerry Laurermen? Who delted all my avatars @ Salon? huh . .
You give refunds?
That totaled:


You can send to the WETA radio fun-drive? Give to a politico?
You mature?
a four year old
losing a tug-of-war
with a cute poodle
Respect . . .
I'll read.
btw -
I can't read
@ Salon
My fault?
Oops . .
2 X $45.
That's a`
goat gouda blueberry
(they were free avatars)
What am I doing wrong?
The comment button broke?
I can't read any Salon letters.
a preschool reader sitting
in the a closet
weeping, pouting
the 25 things learned about opening a bookstore is friggin' viral. Y'all just put that mediocre post about Santorum on your front page of Salon.

It wasn't even a valid criticism of him, and this is Rick Santorum we're talking about. How do you miss the mark on effectively and properly criticizing this douchebag? You can't hit the broadside of a barn if you miss that mark.
I dare you to read my post today. Put something like that up and it will go viral - I guarantee.
Want to guarantee that someone never reads your post?

Dare him to read it.
What did?
What did the carrot say to the wheat?

"'Lettuce' rest, I'm feeling 'beet'"

What did the paper say to the pen"

"I feel quite all 'wright,' my friend."

What did the teapot say to the chalk?

Nothing, you silly . . . teapots can't talk.
I tried to comment a third. Why not go?
(turn computer back on `gin. Dare you?)
public defender
wanting a career making
balloon animals
Thanks Kerry. I appreciate the opportunity to share my story in the Open Salon forum. It's exciting to be a part of this site.
awesome news big one!
You'd never read my post anyway. I tried a weak reverse psychology tactic that put what I wrote in the same place it was before I tried my contrived sleight of hand. I'm cool with the results if you are.
Also, mine was the only comment to which you responded, including one from the author whose virtues you were extolling in your post.

All in all, I'd say this was a successful dialog, if only because it was the only dialog on the page.

Good night, and may you dream of Double Dares, green slime, and plasticine child stars on basic cable networks designed for nothing else but their worthless half hour marketing bonanzas (but not Bonanza, because that can get a little weird at various points in the evening)
It is a wonderful piece.
The OS story is well-written but inaccurate. He didn't actually say what the post alleges he said. Accuracy never has been a very high priority for cover posts, so no surprise there.
I will check it out, Kerry.
Nothing like the Success by little know writers of merit.
.°•.¸.•°❤ PEACE ❤°•.¸.•° •.¸¸.•*`*•❤
Just read it. Thanks for the lead, Kerry.

Every week I stumble across pieces here that I think deserve a broader audience; there's some real gems here. I think making the cover as attractive and professional as possible is key as well as having pertinent, relevant and hard hitting news reside there (as opposed to human interest stuff. Since that's what I tend to write, I'd shoot myself in the foot a bit, but whatever.)

And I've preached about this before so excuse me for doing so again: more and more pieces are being passed around via FB, etc. When an OS writer shares a link to a piece via FB, a fuzzy Salon logo appears (as opposed to a photo thumbnail from the piece). It's visually unappealing and I guarantee you that less people click on the links because there's not that visual invitation of a photo.

It's a small change I've requested for some time but to no avail. I will take you out to a lavish lunch if you don't see a higher readership just from making that simple change.

Off track a bit. But somehow it all ties in. When the cover looks captivating and hard-hitting and the stories are shared more readily via social media, pieces like the one you mentioned get even more attention.
I left my comments here; don't think I'll be posting it to FB.
Beth -- that's a really good point. I noticed this the other day when Roger Ebert shared Keka's great Houston post (http://open.salon.com/blog/keka/2012/02/19/for_whitney_sleep_little_darlin_do_not_cry).

Let me ask our Tech team what the obstacle to fixing that would be.

And you're totally right: Social enables vastly more pick up than it used to. No. 1 on my list for Open would be just adding a Twitter share button to the top and bottom of stories -- but even little things like that can take a while. You wouldn't think so, but . . .
"Let me ask our Tech team what the obstacle to fixing that would be."

Stop asking your tech team and go outside and yell, IS THERE A TECHIE HERE WHO KNOWS WHAT THE F*CK (see, I censored myself!! Teehee!!) THEY ARE DOING!! WE COULD USE A FEW!!!

Hell, if the Canadians can do it, you, the all powerful Kerry Lauerman, CAN DO IT!!!



And give Art back his money!!!!!!! You don't need 90 bucks that bad!!

~wanders off~
Beth, Kerry, most of my readers seem to come from my pieces shared on FB, and I've gotten all manner of weird thumbnails. I get the logo, I've--oddly--gotten the thumbnails used by other authors here, etc. I think it decreases the credibility of Open Salon, the author, and those sharing the piece when you have to try to explain why a stylized pic of a cat or an old man's head shows up on a piece about the foreclosure settlement. And, as Beth said, it makes potential readers less likely to actually click on and read your piece.

I also agree with Beth about the cover, to some degree. Recently, we've seen some really feel-good heavy [or feel-like-hanging-oneself-heavy] covers. I don't think hard-hitting is what OS is all about, but I'd like to see a little more variety in terms of basic style/content. Diversity, please!

On another note, I think it would be interesting to add a feature [maybe for the weekend cover] with "dueling" posts; two posts on the same topic that take opposite positions. Basically, debating without the benefit of knowing what your opponent is going to say.
A closer look indicates that the thumbnails I've been getting appear to be those of the authors on my Updates. I've gotten Cranky Cuss's quite a few times, for instance.
I appreciate these kinds of updates because I like to support my fellow OSers and sometimes I miss things Tx
How come that story got so much attention and Zanell's story about her having sex for a pancake didn't?


You media types wouldn't know a hot story if it hit you in the face --covered in maple syrup.

Great probing by Glenn. You can get arrested for that these days you know.
Salon has some of the best writers anywhere. And definitely the greatest community of readers!
I always have Trouble @ Salon & Open (closed) Salon.

I just visited Nikki Stern's personal Blog @ (no saloon).

I agree with what the last commenter here wrote. Amen.
Nick Leshi . . .
Literally . . .
Thus. Ay, and:
Thus So Be It.
Let's anticipate.
Bunny hop along.
She hop down thee:
Chimney Flue. Huh.
Oh, and we Heehaw.
editor sip red paint.
paint thinner, gin,
hicks moonshine,
boondocks brew,
and 'mud-slider'
So - hillbilly-blues
singer sings tunes:
I am through with you.
I am through with you.
I am through with you.
Last eve @ Kim Gamble
Mu respect to authors,
and those who sketch.
Buy Kim Gamble and
Anna's Child books . .
See @ Kim Gamble . . .
Who tried to block that?
That comment I posted?
It almost didn't get-goes.
Why respect the editors?
I am researching lost avatars
via Google
ay Wonder
I hum the song . . .
My Sunshine - My only Sunshine . . .
You (not a editor) make me happy . . .
When skies are grey. You'll never know
Deer, how much I Love You. Please no do
Take my Sunshine away. You're my only
My happy
Thank you
. . .
. . .
My Sunshine . . .
O Ay . . . Sunshine . . .
This was on Google.
Maybe I'll write Goggle.
editor has been nasty.
if cruel in one aspect?
be best assured. Oy!
I am just Thinking about You & Your disposition.
We send you our best dirty dishes? You wash up?
I Googled to access my ` Deleted Salon Old Post.
I must move my P.U. truck. It's full of gold hay.