Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Photo by Dawn Allynn

I just realized something. I thought I was bothered by this whole AOL thing, but I am not. Not for myself anyway.

My concern about what is going on with the ads bothers me because it is effecting the people I care about who journal in AOL, I know some people who are really bummed and dragged down by this whole thing. I know there was a time it would have floored me as well, so I can understand the reaction. As a loyal AOL Member for ... dang ... eleven years, I had a lot of emotional stuff vested in AOL for a long time. So I empathize with my friends, and hate to see the impact it is having on some of my buddies.

But for myself, I cannot say that this is a bad thing.

When I first came to AOL I was into Chat rooms, and role playing. After awhile the chat rooms became crude and the people in them were immature. AOL had decided to get rid of the chat room moderators, so people who like to start trouble had nothing to fear. Role playing was also invaded by the immature crude crowd who liked to jump in and start arguments for the sake of it. (Called flamers... it is best to ignore these guys, but not always easy to do.)
Later I belonged to "lists" where I traded graphics and tutorials and poetry and recipes with like minded people. Made lotsa fun friends. That was great for awhile, but like everything else, gets old after awhile. I only have so much room on my computer for all the cool stuff people can send me, and four hundred emails a day can grow tiresome.
Then I began participating in Forums... mostly the short story and poetry contests. That was a real highlight for awhile. But again, AOL decided to cut back and get rid of moderators, so the whole thing kinda went away.
I discovered journals about three years ago, and though I considered outside blogs, I decided to stick with AOL and go that route. I have been bothered by the fact that I am a paying customer, yet non-AOL customers could have journals for free. Now they are advertising on my journal.
At the prices I have paid for AOL it just isn't worth all of this frustration. Besides the constant cut backs and changes, I am always having posting issues, email that won't send or save, graphics that won't save in the right format. Billing issues, nasty customer service guys I can't understand on the phone, and software that frankly screws my computer up more with each upgrade.
I like these journals. I like the ability to manipulate HTML, and add photos easier, and have more of a say so about what goes in it and how it will look and sound and feel. I like that I have a wider group of people I can meet and who can visit and post. It's a challenge and an opportunity, and I am excited about it.
I am concerned I will end up here alone.
Yeah, that's true. Maybe I'll write here day after day and nobody will come visit, and that would be sad. But I have to think maybe I have made enough friends that this won't happen. And Lord knows there's lots of great new people out there I am looking forward to meeting.
In any case, I have never been the kind of girl to settle, and I was settling at AOL.
This will be good for me, I believe. Moving into any new home and neighborhood is scary.... but it always involves new doorways and new opportunities.
::grins:: I think maybe I'll have a housewarming after the holidays...lol. Anyone wanna come?

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