hi all. april 10th is the 3yr anniversary of my blog here. yep, Im an old timer. do the wrinkles show?
its been a bit of an adventure. I started open salon on a bit of a lark. my main issue I wanted to talk about was new scientific evidence about 9/11. yes, it was my agenda, but certainly not hidden. at the time I was vaguely hopeful that this information could cause an awakening. in some ways it has. however, there is still a strong membrane separating this from the mainstream. it has not cracked the MSM except in a reactionary way, eg the van jones resignation, media hyperventililation over ron pauls comments on the subj, etcetera.
at the time I was a bit nervous. it was incendiary info & I knew its the kind of thing that could get me kicked off a blog site. you see, Ive had a long colorful history in cyberspace now spanning decades. my online persona tends to veer toward the gadflyish. take off all the social constraints & I let it all hang out.
but, here on a place like open salon, one can only have so much impact. when the site was smaller it was definitely more possible to stir up a commotion with concerted effort (Im speaking hypothetically here of course haha). but it appears to me that as the site has scaled larger, the dynamics of flamewars has decreased substantially.
frankly Im quite surprised about this. from what I can tell a small site does not stir flamewars nor does a large one, but there is something about a midsize one that leads to cliques and flamewars. I havent seen a flamwewar on here in quite awhile when previously they were quite common. an interesting phase change.
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I think when the site was young there was more enthusiasm and a sense by people on here that they were participating in a potential gamechanger. moreover huffingtonpost had a tendency to reject intense comments. thats one reason I came here instead. I must say Im impressed with the overall tolerance of the editors. they tolerate a lot but yet the site is still fairly orderly. quite the feat given the mass flux of humanity through these corners & walls.
open salon is a great way to decompress at the end of the day. I used to read more news. now I read the news through open salon. this sounds kind of crazy but actually I think its actually quite sane. open salon is a filter of the news from the personal perspective instead of the corporate, filtered perspective. I was reading on here about the trayvon case long before it started resonating in the MSM. the MSM is gray compared to the rainbow of a healthy, lively, thriving blogging site. open salon is in that category.
yeah, sometimes it does seem like Ive killed way too much time here. but the site has been engaging. Ive sometimes stayed up a little too late engaging in long-forgotten dialogs & exchanges. but Ive seen amazing payoffs. there are some very elite writers on here. some are professionals but even the amateurs have flashes of brilliance. its literally the voice of the man on the street, the everyman.
theres nothing quite like it in the entire history of the media. its a revolution on the level of the invention of the gutenberg press. I believe it is still gradually playing out. it meshes with the social media revolution, and the user-generated-content revolution. its a confluence of multiple waves.
stuff that I really have noticed/enjoyed/remembered--
- writing comments on a blog & then getting an IM back from the writer.
- some incredibly colorful, articulate and intelligent analysis of current events, politics, history,various other topics.
- engaging in ongoing debates eg on posts with many comments that strike a nerve.
- finding really intense or raw writing.
- getting in a strong disagreement & taking an opposite position with a highly articulate and opinionated writer.
- finding/discovering new writers who just joined that are obviously quite talented and accomplished, sometimes before anyone else does.
- writing about current events & putting up unique opinions not seen anywhere else.
- writers who write about highly personal, sensitive experiences (although I personally find it risky & tend to avoid it).
- gorgeous photography of faraway places that fires the imagination.
- really funny humor, satire, parody & cartoons. taking goring the sacred cow to new levels.
- beautiful young women who talk about their personal lives in a funny or intimate way.
- accounts and picture of all the open salon meetups that have occured over the years. it would be cool to do a post on that but it would be a huge research project trying to hunt them all down.
- demonstrations of compassion, humanity, empathy, community. eg a blogger on here died around the time I started, she had been to a meetup, and there was an outpouring of sympathy on the site. the time scanner got a mass donation from the crowd.
- the julie powell "julie & julia" movie phenomenon and the mass influx of new bloggers as a result.
- some highly eccentric [to put it diplomatically] writers.
- occasionally running into near-famous or very-famous writers & feeling like one has a personal/"insider" line to the stars bulletin board.
- total lack of inhibition on topics that were astonishingly once considered not suitable for "polite company"-- politics, religion, sex.
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and yeah, one has to be careful about a blog site, and not attribute to it more than it can give back, not getting burned out. its easy to do so. its easy to get in a love-hate relationship or have poor boundaries with it. (surprising thought, but its apparently quite prevalent.)
people can make friends on here, but generally, I certainly wouldnt recommend joining for that reason. it would be a little like hanging out at a bar trying to make new friends.
also, somewhat counterintuitively, one cannot really expect a response. I feel Ive been blessed to get significant & sometimes enthusastic response on many posts. even a few comments is a great return compared to average. I get a very respectable number of hits, and in cyberspace often that is the most response one gets. vast nameless crowds silently nibbling at your content. there are many posts with zillions of comments, but these are rare. there are many, many blogs with zero comments. to even get a few can be a breakthrough. but, ultimately the response is silent. its fun to go through a list of posts & see which ones are highest rated or hit.
the other intrinsic feature of the site is the massive turnover. its said that more than 90% of blogs are "abandoned". this is a cyberspace-wide statistic and open salon is probably not far from average. I prefer the word "dormant" but either way, its a bit staggering. the implication is that this site is not so much a destination but a waystation for the crowds. people arrive, stop here for a time & then move on. its the challenge of the management to make it more "sticky". but stickiness is not necessarily something to aspire to is it? if you step in gum, and it gets stuck to your shoe, thats "sticky" also. :p
cyberspace feels at times to me like a high tech graffiti wall. electronic graffiti. its more meaningful than graffiti, but in someways, even as transitory and impermanent. I remember the 1st sting of discovering my comments had been deleted by a blog author! or how about entire posts with all their comments, maybe even highly trafficked, deleted into the vapor? vaporized. even more intense is when entire users are deleted, which happens occasionally. one guy I engaged in very long debates with on my own posts, and I thought I was safe-- but he caused too much commotion on the site & was deleted, along with all his comments, and I believe all his IMs to me also.
pretty wild and crazy how that works, huh? but ya gotta just roll with it. cyberspace is a beautiful modern illustration of the ancient theme of impermanence and transitory nature of reality, referred to as "maya" by the hindus. its also called the principle of "purusha and prakriti" which is a sort of idea of 3d pixels lighting up in the universe to create all the forms of matter, all the shapes of reality.
Im sure quite a few of my favorite posts have been deleted by the authors. and even after making this list, a significant fraction are going to disappear into the ether. ouch!
as kansas sang years ago, "all we are is dust in the wind".
as the old greek sage said, "you cant step in the same river twice". it seems nowhere is that more true than cyberspace.
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so here is a selection of writing & other content that I found personally engaging and "worth it" to find it among the stacks of chaff. the few gems stand out. the personality bubbles over. people are colorful and it shows in their writing. they dont always color between the lines, so to speak. I enjoyed putting the list together. as usual with my posts I spent more time than I should have.
this selection is of course highly personal & reflects my own eccentricities, but think it will be compelling nonetheless.
heres my methodology. I went thru all the ratings Ive ever made page & that also lists total # of ratings on those posts. I focused on the ones with a fair number of ratings, say at least 10 or more. I also went through my list of favorites, picked some of my favorites among them, and then looked at their highest rated posts or highest trafficked posts, and picked my favorites among those to represent them. unfortunately I think I missed a few of my favorite posts which Ive commented on but forgot to rate. oh well! I also went thru the last 40pages of EPs and looked for anyone Id missed.
so yeah, the irony of me with no EPs pretending to be an editor. [of course there are no hard feelings about that, HA.HA.HA.] cyberspace is like that, you can put on different hats and try out different roles or personas.
and of course I invite you to comment, Id be happy to trade a few comments on the contents. feel free to let me know if you think there's someone Ive left out.
and Ive made various other posts of my favorite links on open salon that you can find in the left column.
Ive organized this into sections for your browsing convenience.
- Megan Fox Is An Idiot - Max the Communist - Open Salon
- Is Jane Austen Overrated? - john blumenthal - Open Salon
- Health and Swellness: Coping with a World of Extroverts - Ashley Holt - Open Salon
- Free-Range Children - Ann Nichols - Open Salon
- Fifteen Reasons I Don't Read Most Blogs - Caitlin Kelly - Open Salon
- Video Games Make Men Shiftless, Boring Wimps - Man Talk Now - Open Salon
- Why I Hate Self-Help Books - marytkelly - Open Salon
- Warning: Moral Hazard - Nikki Stern - Open Salon
- I once loved Ayn Rand - Steven Rockford - Open Salon
- Confession of an Ex-Cable News Junkie - William Hazelgrove - Open Salon
- College: An Overpriced Monopoly - Kent Pitman - Open Salon
- The Leaf Blower and the End of the World - Steven Axelrod - Open Salon
- Narcissism Is Not Self-Love - Malice Fery - Open Salon
- Stop Thief!? Examining the originality of Pixar's movies. - Scott Mendelson - Open Salon
- Is Your Blog Stalked by Trolls? Here's Why - divorcedpauline - Open Salon
- When a police officer wants to talk to you about your blog. - OEsheepdog - Open Salon
- Stone Age Psychotherapy II - Brassawe - Open Salon
- The Evolution of a Rock Star Dream - An Online Love Story - Beth Mann - Open Salon
- Hollywood East. Naked Ambition. - Linnnn - Open Salon
- Advice Needed: My Parents Disowned Me For Being Lesbian - Dana Dangerous - Open Salon
- My Own Private Bollywood - Sarah Khan - Open Salon
- alcoholism, it's what's for dinner - femme forte aka candace - Open Salon
- Undeniably American in Paris - Alysa Salzberg - Open Salon
- Coming up for air - Dave Cullen - Open Salon
- To All The Girls I Semi-Liked Before - Sheldon The Wonderhorse - Open Salon
- In Search of a Cliché - Steve Blevins - Open Salon
- How to Earn an Editor's Pick on Open Salon - Arthur Louis - Open Salon
- Drive-By Flamers Brighten On-Line Experience for All - Con Chapman - Open Salon
- 15 Things Middle Aged Women Love to do on Facebook - Kate Geiselman - Open Salon
- Is God a Prom Queen? - Michelle Motoyoshi - Open Salon
- Goldman Sachs Announces Candidacy For President - K.M. Breay - Open Salon
- Why Can't Teenage Girls Enjoy Sex? - fingerlakeswanderer - Open Salon
- HAVING SEX AND WORLD PEACE: My Delusions of Grandeur - Valencia - Open Salon
- Hysteria! Why women's need for orgasm is still misunderstood - Kat Hudson - Open Salon
- Marilyn Monroe: A Sex Goddess Searches For an Elusive Orgasm - Lilith Land - Open Salon
- Am I supposed to be offended when someone calls me a MILF? - Wilson Diehl - Open Salon
- Mars and Venus revisited: How deep do sex differences go? - Judy Mandelbaum - Open Salon
- What Kind of Girl Are You? - Lauren J Barnhart - Open Salon
- Disney Princess Nightmare - Lauren J Barnhart - Open Salon
- HOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR HUSBAND IS ALWAYS INTERESTED - keiko alvarez - Open Salon
- Seven Levels of Adultery - keiko alvarez - Open Salon
- WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE, LOVELY - PART TWO - Bliss Warrior - Open Salon
- And the Award for Best Performance During Sex goes to... - Razzle Dazzle - Open Salon
- This is What a Sexless Marriage Feels Like - And yet - Open Salon
- Marge Simpson Poses (Semi) Nude For Playboy - Robert Brenner - Open Salon
- SEX--When is it appropriate for a widow? - BuffyW - Open Salon
- Why I Hate Monogamy - Sirenita Lake - Open Salon
- Confronting Your Rapist - Hayley Rose - Open Salon
- What Many Sport Writers Will Not Say About Tiger Woods - Catherine Forsythe - Open Salon
- Wow, Richard Dawkins is Clueless - Ashley F. Miller - Open Salon
- Let’s Not Kid Ourselves About Manufacturing Jobs - Steve Klingaman - Open Salon
- When A Job Offer Is A Joke. And You're The Punchline. - Margaret Feike - Open Salon
- The Rise of the Corporate State - SheilaTGTG55 - Open Salon
- I worked at McDonalds for almost one whole day - Duane Gundrum - Open Salon
- Shattering the class warfare taboo - Jimmy Zuma - Open Salon
- Gingrich pulls back curtain on "predatory" capitalism - Ted Frier - Open Salon
- Contract to hire? Nope, contract to FIRE! - Gary Fandango - Open Salon
- Is Capitalism Destroying the Learned Professions? - Rw005g - Open Salon
- Here's To All The Good Men - marytkelly - Open Salon
- OS COMMENTARY - Diversity & Perspective - Cathy GF - Open Salon
- When I Fell In Love With Lady Gaga - LaLicenciada - Open Salon
- Beautiful Bloggers of Open Salon: friends and fiends - Oryoki Bowl - Open Salon
- Congress Admits Lee Harvey Oswald Didn't Act Alone - Rw005g - Open Salon
- A Very Disturbing Book - old new lefty - Open Salon
- CLASS WARFARE IN ANCIENT ROME - Rw005g - Open Salon
- The Hidden Truth Behind the Chilean Miner Rescue - Rw005g - Open Salon
- Thor's Hammer and the Problem of the Drone - Jan Sand - Open Salon
- Lying Or Incompetent - Either Way, Geithner Needs to Go - David Sirota - Open Salon
- Quitting 9/11 - Nikki Stern - Open Salon
- Not My Ground Zero - Nikki Stern - Open Salon
- JFK and the Unspeakable James Douglass - zacherydtaylor - Open Salon
- When Julia Became Julie, Content Lost Its Throne - David Sirota - Open Salon
- The Media Business: It's the Perspective, Stupid - David Sirota - Open Salon
- FOX News top source of voter misinformation, study finds - Jimmy Zuma - Open Salon
- Manufacturing Consent Through Reality TV and Sitcoms - Rw005g - Open Salon
- The US media cartel - Steven Rockford - Open Salon
- Evolutionary Psychology Deserves Criticism - DudeinHammock - Open Salon
- Arguing with Your Crazy Uncle About Climate Change - David Brin - Open Salon
- Nothing can stop breakthrough artificial intelligence - Gary Fandango - Open Salon
- Doorway to a Stone-Mason's Dream - Algis Kemezys - Open Salon
- Dawn at Prada Marfa - bbd - Open Salon
- A Photo Tour of Buenos Aires' Bohemian Side - Nicole Trilivas - Open Salon
- NUDE - Knucklehead Painting of the Week - D Art - Open Salon
- How Old is Your Profile Pic? - Maria Scrivan - Open Salon
- Online Love - liza Donnelly - Open Salon
- Anatomy of a Cartoon - Graham Sale - Open Salon
- New iPad Accessories - A Zillion Dollars - Open Salon
- The Difference Between Rich and Poor - Farleftside - Open Salon
- Itemized Deductions - Ed Stein - Open Salon
- This May Take Some Time - Ed Stein - Open Salon