September 30th is not yet here, so VOX is not yet dead and gone. But many users are writing their goodbyes and leaving their forwarding addresses, or URLs, that is.
I had some experience with WordPress before. There was a user at VOX that, in my opinion, was trying way too hard to get noticed at WordPress. I participated on that WP blog for a bit, but grew rather tired of the controversial topics that were hashed and rehashed just for attention. I explored other blogs a bit as I learned of them, but there was not the sense of community I came to love.
But I did set up a presence here when I got very excited about a blog that was on the subject of technology. Hence, an old blog of Michelle’s that she was leaning towards letting go of became TechsWrite. It was going to be a collaborative effort, but that never really caught on, and she got busy with work for the last Winter Olympics. I got handed the Admin keys. So exporting my other VOX blog about tech into TechsWrite was a very natural step. I wrote “hackjobjak” to a more general audience, while TechsWrite was very much described in tech speak, but I figure the combination of the two will eventually be something stronger.
This blog I created because I knew some of my VOX friends were getting fed up with conditions there and I wanted to keep some connection to them. I figured at the time I might as well create it as a placeholder, but never did I think it would become the home to some of my VOX material.
I e-mailed an ex-6A employee who had been fighting very hard for us at VOX, asking what was going on. Out of discretion and courtesy I will simply say the gist of it was that VOX had been languishing for two years and she had been the only one who cared to tend to the community (as some of us suspected). VOX had simply been another stepping stone to reach marketers.
I passed on the news to another VOX friend, who explained she had migrated from Pownce, and Pownce had been a similar experience for 6A– another stepping stone. I think I understand now that LiveJournal (LJ) was probably much the same, although I like to think they passed it over to SUP quickly because the users sunk their teeth and claws into them.
I won’t take up a ton of space explaining why I came to VOX from LiveJournal, or rather, why I came to LJ in the first place. Suffice it to say, however, what drew me in was 6A’s spin on LJ’s privacy controls. Many LJ users fretted and stewed that VOX would split away the adults, and that was half of the appeal to me. VOX privacy controls were missing the full customization LJ has, but it was presented with a folksy, neighborly feel. To be blunt, when I came to VOX, there was none of the melodramatics that had come to plague LiveJournal. Oh, I won’t deny that drama still happened, but generally, there was a good community spirit.
6A’s apathy became rather quickly obvious down the road. That 6A employee I mentioned? Yes, some of us quickly noticed that she was the only one that could ever be bothered much to respond, and she would respond very personally to us. I cannot say I was especially enamored with how she blogged about lots of alcohol and every random crass thought that popped into her head, but her sincerity and concern has always been genuine.
So naturally we were shocked when she said she was leaving 6A, but not the VOX site. Jack, I think, was pretty sure the handwriting was on the wall, but I still hoped. Nevertheless, when the closing announcement came, my base response was to shrug my shoulders and say, “Figures,” although this bothers me a lot.
I know I’m not alone in saying that VOX had been the perfect combination of features for many of us. But I suppose this development will lead me in productive new directions, even if I don’t see them as positive right now. I suspect I will finally write up those tech pieces I said (and wrote) I was going to do, now that my blogs dedicated to that subject are now consolidated. I will probably be more introspective and write more seriously here.
But I will treat my TypePad export like junk food. Already my title there reads “a kite tail made out of TP?” with the tagline “TP stands for Toilet Paper and…” because yes, I think Six Apart wiped their butts with us. That’s really how I feel right now. I won’t begrudge my dear friend who finds TypePad an acceptable fit for her blogging style, no, I can clearly see that. It will remain swinging and vivacious and I imagine she won’t miss the privacy much, as she explained she doesn’t need it that bad.
(feel free to correct me, hun, if I am not paraphrasing well)
I suppose I just feel a little bit guilty that my presence there is snarky so far. I could say that it fits in with the rather snarky style of 6A employees, although I am still quite shocked that Steve Calderon so very publicly ranted about blogging complaints. He started about Facebook, but proceeded to the shit 6A got with VOX and LiveJournal. How diplomatic. But… he’s tweeted about basically puking his guts out with a herniated disc, and I can empathize with that, although I’m still tempted to uh, virtually smack him. Or maybe it’s the pain talking? Dunno. Check the dates- they are weeks apart, between post and tweet.
Damnit, the tears are coming. I must be really tired.