So I’ve done it. Officially.
Anyone who goes to the original version of “Patrick’s Place” over at AOL gets the “blue page of death:”
This time, I’m the one who deleted it. It wasn’t AOL’s Terms of Service police, acting against their own stated policy, deciding on a whim to delete all of it for a “violation” that didn’t really exist or a portion of it for an inexplicable violation that may not have existed.
Nope. It was me. It was time.
There was a bit of sadness in hitting the “Delete Your Journal” link. But it didn’t last as long as I thought it would. Maybe I’ve made it through the stages of grief that Carly has recently explained so well and I’m to that point at which I’m just “over it.”
Or, maybe it was the fact that before I called AOL customer service one last time to officially cancel my account, knowing that they’d find a way to offer me the service I had been paying $9.90 a month for at an even lower monthly rate, I wanted to make sure that my content was gone. Even if I’m gone, I don’t want my words in an active journal advertising businesses I can’t control.
So I called and got a nice, English-speaking person who was ultra polite and easy to understand. No language barriers for people whom AOL thinks are just mad enough to actually leave. I suppose, if you have a limited amount of phone support staff that had English as a first language, that’s where I’d put them, too. He asked why I was leaving. When I asked him how much time he had, he said, “Plenty.” So I told him. I was honest, but not rude. It wasn’t his fault, after all, and I even acknowledged more than once that he was at the disadvantage here: part of his job, no doubt, is to try to “rescue” a lost customer and keep them from leaving. I told him upfront that this was not an option.
For now, the deal is done. Here I am. Here. Not there. And already, I’ve gotten this reply to an email from a close friend who I just gave my updated, non-AOL email address to: “dropping AOL is a brilliant move!” I wonder what her horror story is all about!
I have added, to my ever-growing sidebar, a few new things. First, near the bottom, there is a world map graphic that puts red “pinpoints” indicating where recent visitors are located. For the life of me, I’ll never understand why this blog would be of interest to people across the street from me, much less to people in places like Australia, France and Mongolia. But there they are, probably by total accident.
Second, midway down, are two new sets of links. I included the list of AOL Journal Relocations that Ayn and Vince provided. I’ll be adding to it occasionally as I get updates. (It’s the entry right before this one, but that link takes you directly to it.) Just below that, are the entries from this year’s Vivi Awards. Even though some of those journals may no longer be there, I wanted to recognize the nominees and winners, as they originally appeared, for the nods they received from their peers. I hope you’ll visit them just as you always have.
You see, whether you won a Vivi Award or not, whether you were nominated or not, whether you even voted or not, it doesn’t matter. It also doesn’t matter whether you’ve ever played an edition of the “Saturday Six” or one of the others. A couple of people have had their less-than-nice things to say about those weekly memes of mine recently…one even called them “boring.” (I didn’t think his blog was boring, but even if I had, I’d have the manners not to say so.)
But anyone who makes such a statement, I’m afraid, is really missing the point of these little features: it’s not about the questions…it’s about the responders!
The point of all of these things is to visit other journals: to explore the blogosphere. These days, those who are playing might represent a chunk of the blogosphere that’s more outside of AOL’s product than it used to be, but that’s all right. You don’t have to play to benefit from clicking links and finding a “hidden gem” of a blog you never knew existed before. Sure, the questions are silly sometimes. But sometimes, a silly question’s answer might reveal more about you. And if a reader who doesn’t want to give answers himself clicks your link and discovers your journal, likes what he sees and becomes a regular reader, that, in my opinion, is a win for everyone concerned.
What, exactly, is wrong with that, silly, boring questions or not?
The quietus — a word that happened to be a recent Merriam-Webster “Word of the Day” that hit my email box at just the right moment to be incredibly useful — has happened. (And in case you’re interested, definition #2 seems particularly appropriate with regard to the original version of this blog.)
Now we move on. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you stay a while.