"A conclusion is simply a place where someone got tired of thinking."
Before the official AOL email arrived in my inbox yesterday, the word had already gotten around. AOL Journals is closing it's doors on October 31st of this year. You know, I wasn't terribly surprised. AOL announced over the summer, July actually, that they were doing away with AOL Pictures and so it crossed my mind that the Journals community probably wouldn't be far behind. It was just common sense in that it would make it more difficult to be creative with the journals. Still, when I heard the news yesterday, I felt sad to a degree. Not for me, but for all the folks who have shown such fervent loyalty to AOL over the years. A lot has happened, and I think that AOL has once again that they are dead last in terms of customer loyalty.
When the mad Exodus To Blogger happened, on November 15th 2005, some things changed. Pardon what I am about to say, but AOL (the corporation) displayed a FUCK YOU attitude toward their customers, and for many of us it was the last straw. A Journal or Blog is a very personal thing for most folks. It represents an important part of a person, and to not be given a choice in something as important as to who is advertising on one's blog, or even if someone is advertising on a blog is also a very important thing. To some folks it wasn't a big deal, but to others it represented selling of one's creativity to the highest bidder. AOL never got that. It was merely another place to sell advertisements. Period. Money, it seems, will always... always be the bottom line.
How AOL (the corporation) felt didn't make any difference to me, but how AOL (the people who made up the Journals Community) did. I was saddened by all the hard feelings that were expressed. I never stopped loving the community, but I didn't love AOL and somehow, at times, I felt like... well... I was some kind of turncoat for doing nothing more then changing my journal address. I stopped letting it hurt my feelings that some folks decided not to follow me over here. Folks were always welcome to come and visit, or join in the Round Robins any time they wanted. And eventually some of my dear friends did comeback to me. I am hoping when folks make the next big exodus, they will look me up, or send me their new links. There is a good chance we can repair whatever damage was done, by doing nothing more then extending our hands to each other and saying "Welcome Back Into My Life Old Friend, It's As If No Time Has Passed." At least that is my hope.
I imagine that most folks over on AOL are a bit shell shocked today. I know how they feel. It can't be easy to find out that you are being evicted, and you have 30 days to gather up your memories and get out! For some it will mean 5 years of memories. The part that makes me just heartsick, it the loss of Pam's journal, and Frank's journal. I loved those two people very much, and even after their deaths I would visit from time to time just to be close them. To read the words they wrote. At the end of the month, it will be like they never existed on AOL at all. I wish there was some way of bringing them along, but there isn't. And it probably wouldn't be right to. Sigh. I still miss Slomo It's going to be hard knowing that I will probably never hear from her again.
It's a very sad situation. However, it doesn't have to stay a sad situation. If you are about to become a new AOL refugee, please know how very welcome you are over here on Blogger. Please know you are more then invited to join us for the Round Robin Challenges, and the Monday Photo Shoot. It is the very same project John Scalzi ran for years, and as always, everyone is invited to play. I would like to see some wounds heal, and I am here to help in that. If you are going to be new to Blogger, and need some help, send me an email and I will do my best to help out. The neighborhood might be different, but the community is what's important... right?
My 2017 Reading List
7 months ago