The Quietus


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.


  1. Bravo Patrick ! Someone told me you cancelled your account and I wanted to come here to give you kudos. You know alot of people are upset about the ads but very few are unwilling to put their money where their mouth is. They are all blogging here but still have their AOL accounts and to top it off are still participating in the weekend assignments etc.

    You are one of THE VERY FEW who have actually backed up your fight with an action that speaks louder than any comment or words on an AOL employees journal. Although your weekly questions were never something I wanted to participate in, I am sorry that things with AOL had to come to the point of you cancelling your account.

    As I told you before in an email, my outlash was never about any one journaler or whether the ads were good or bad. It was about the way everyone went about the fight, making it look more like a circus than a fight against a wrong doing. I hope you find journaling here better and I really do wish you well. Peace


  2. First, thank you for all you have done for the community. It is appreciated.

    Second, I love my new blog. I started it a month before the fiasco, but I like it better than AOL journals and I’ve met some great new bloggers.

    Finally, see the “blue screen of death” reminded me of when my father took me to downtown to watch the Mayflower Hotel be imploded. It was the end of an era but new growth took place.

  3. Congratulations on your finality of a move.. I hope others post when a full move is made.. (my journal list is twice as long as normal since i have aol address and new address just waiting to see if one or the other gets deleted)

    I don’t “always” play your games but even when i don’t i enjoy reading the response of others.. you are soooooo right about the fact that how someone responds lets you learn something about that person.. keep up the games!

    ps.. if you want to see the absolute KING of the banner ads from aol check out my aol address.. it’s what i found on more then one journal I was reading this morning

  4. I love this new place we are playing and I really love it that all my friends are here.

    I am secretly happy that AOL messed up.

    Is that bad?

    I mean….go check out my new template, I couldn’t do that at the old place!!!!!

    or this:


  5. Patrick, it’s not a matter of manners: endlessly hashing over the same points ad nauseum is by definition boring. You had nothing new to say after your second post on the subject, and to make matters worse, you continued not only to write about it, but to write at length.


    Had you read the whole post, you would have noted that the person I mentioned was referring to the MEMES, not my general topics, as “boring.” That’s why I then explained what the real goal of the “Saturday Six,” “Sunday Seven” and “Tuesday Two” is.

    Maybe you found this post — like the others — so boring that you didn’t read through it all the way.

    Sorry you find me boring and long-winded. Maybe you keep coming back because you’re a glutton for punishment? When I find a blog that I think goes on ad nauseum about topics I don’t want to hear about, what I usually do is just stop reading it…but maybe that’s just me.

    Here, I write about what I want to write about. There are plenty of other blogs out there that would no doubt be of more interest to you. Why not go to the meme blog and visit some of the ones that have left their links: that’s what it’s all about, after all.

  6. I deleted my old AOL j-space the day that the ads came out, but I still have my account there. I wanted to wait one month to make sure I have changed my e-mail address on everything ‘important.’ I have used AOL for more than 10 years… oh well. I don’t need it anymore.

  7. Patrick, it’s not a matter of manners: endlessly hashing over the same points ad nauseum is by definition boring. You had nothing new to say after your second post on the subject, and to make matters worse, you continued not only to write about it, but to write at length.

    I’ve gotten the feeling from reading your blog over time that you have a strong element of passive-aggressivism in your personality, and this non-issue with AOL has been a prime example of that tendency at work. It’s taken you forever to get to the point that was foregone from outset: leaving AOL was the best decision for you. Maybe some people really enjoy watching a painfully slow process of realizing the obvious, but I find it dull.

  8. Hi Patrick

    Thank you for the kind words about the grief series. Miss you. Hope your new ISP home will be a happy place for you. Take care.

    Always, Carly

  9. Well, you know, Patrick, if nothing else, this debacle has healed a few riffs in this community. I’ve seen links in sidebars that I never thought I would see. And that tiny little thing brings me more joy than I could ever ever explain.

    (I have an addition to your relocation list, but I’ll email it to you.)

  10. I’m so sorry to see you leaving AOL. I’ve added this current addy and will visit often.

    I’m staying for a while longer at AOL, but have always had journals/web pages off-site. Once I get past health issues, I’ll focus on less-critical issues.

    you’ll find me at with links to other blogs (blogdrive).

    M’best to you!
    Gullspirit (I have no idea what my bloger identity is!!! LOL)

  11. I suppose you’ll be shocked to see a comment from me. I happened by while tracking links to my blogs and saw a link to Creative Endeavors. Don’t worry, I don’t mind. Given the AOL exodus and the reason for it, I’m offering up an olive branch of a cyber sort.

    We’ll never be friends. We just don’t view things/life/whatevers the same way and that’s okay. But given the whole mess and what happened with AOL (I, too, cancelled my account and am now piggybacking on my hubby’s), I’ve been trying to help folks out as the ones who moved to Blogger settle in.

    A number of folks, mostly Karen, link to Presto Speaks! ( where I blog about blogging, but since you have a large readership, I thought I’d offer up my blog for you to link to, if you want, for folks looking for help. I may not know how to do everything, but I’ve been playing with blogger for 20 or so months now, well, since March 2004, and might be able to answer a question or two. I’ve already posted a few tutorials.

    If you choose to not add the link, or if you delete this comment, no biggie. Just thought I’d make the offer.

Comments are closed.

Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.