the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero

About the closing of VOX.

12 Comments

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.

Author: jaklumen

Wherever you see "jaklumen", that's me- the username is still unique as of the current year. Be aware that the facet you see, is only a small part of the me that is me.

12 thoughts on “About the closing of VOX.

  1. Awww….((hugs))
    It’s sad.
    I’m still not certain what to do with my Tyepad site. I find it a little awkward to navigate but that’s due to the newness, I’m sure. And the annoyance with which I plunked my stuff down into its grasp. I’ll probably use it for marketing once I get settled in. WordPress my daily blogplace. I never learned much about its tools because all I ever did was type and run. Not many readers, no time to visit other people. That’s going to change now that Vox people are here.
    The Posterous site is even more strange, so far. But I’ll spend time working with it, too, when I can.
    I’m glad to see you here!

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    • It seems to me that you are keeping your options open– that’s good!

      I went back to LiveJournal last night, just to see how some friends I had left behind were doing. Then I looked at some other things and remembered why I had left.

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  2. Hmmm…LiveJournal. I logged in there a while ago to see if I still could. I always felt claustrophobic there. Not sure why.
    Isn’t that the place with the Goat?

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  3. That was a good post jak. So many people are so hurt by the closing of Vox. I have to say though, I think WordPress has a lot more to offer. Once we all get used to it and find each other, I think we will all be happier here.

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    • A lot to offer, indeed, but it’s not the same. The concept of the gated community has been destroyed, at least those of us who came over from LiveJournal knew it.

      6A did not offer full customization of post access, but this was the dangling carrot as I saw it: come to VOX, and you’ll get a real neighborly feel without the high school drama games. And the LJ kids weren’t dummies. They were totally aware that they might lose their adult friends, probably thirtysomething on up, to something cleaner and safer. Something that didn’t reek of teen angst. They could smell that the adults might actually weary of their immaturity.

      If you’ve never used LiveJournal, I don’t know how I could explain it well. I could describe a very visible segment of the community as a fangirl orgasm of sorts, complete with all the weird stuff the writing community begat, especially with prose-based roleplay: slash, Japanese yaoi manga, and other fan fiction. Oh, and furries, which may be platonically portrayed or may be yiffing. In other words, boys aren’t the only pervs with girl-on-girl porn– there are girls that seem to get great pleasure out of making their favorite male fictional characters explore homoerotic fantasies.

      I mean, good grief, I went back to see what shinga was doing with the Head Trip webcomic and yep, she had comic book superheroes doing slash. Bow-chika-wow-ewwwwwww.

      Since Brad Fitzpatrick kept the LJ source code open, there are a lot of alternate sites that use the code. Most of them still have much of the same audience, although the focus of their individual communities vary a bit. But a couple of ex-LJ staff decided to fork the code and take a different path and created Dreamwidth. It looks a lot more polished than those using the base LJ code, but they still have tweaks to straighten out, especially picture hosting. I am watching them to see if their community is broader and more mature than LJ.

      WordPress, to me, sometimes, feels like taking a cruise to see friends on their private islands, rather than taking cookies to the new neighbor in the house down the street or sending out invitations to a block party. And the rest of the blog community at large… well, I’m an apartment dweller. Reminds me of living here at the complex. No real privacy, y’dig? And if any of the blogs aren’t “private parties”, there’s always someone showing up that’s like the stupid or shitfaced drunk that no one can remember inviting.

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  4. Read the new post I did tonight. I wrote to WordPress and told them they had flocks of people moving in from Vox and that our main concern was the loss of the “Neighborhood” feel that we all were going through. I got a nice response back today and posted it.

    On another note though, I need some computer help. I have a little glitch on my laptop that is driving me crazy. Every time I hit the letter “y” my cursor jumps to another line and keeps typing. It usually takes me a couple of letters (because I’m a very fast typist) to realize it has happened and I then have to stop and delete the letters that are in the wrong place and then put myself back where I belong. What the hell is going on to cause this? I have no idea where to even begin to look to figure out what is happening! Please help if you can.

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    • I’m usually a terrible help if I’m not standing right there beside you.

      It’s hard to diagnose computers just on human-described symptoms. We usually have to take them to the back room, put them under bright lights, and get them to spill their guts, err, generate a log report or some such thing. Sometimes we have to torture them… err, I mean, do some stress tests. Sometimes we have to cut them open and make them bleed a bit… err, I mean, open it up and get rid of some dust.

      Really there are so many things it could be, most of the time we spend hours figuring out what it’s NOT. I really have no idea just on that description alone.

      At the very least, I need rank, file, and serial number.. err, laptop manufacturer, OS and version, hardware specs, etc. and then I have to figure out how to tell you to interrogate it… err, I mean troubleshoot. Gah. Yes, it is that painstaking and exasperating sometimes even on our end… and that’s when the machine is in our hands. Describing it virtually? That’s like putting on the blindfold and tying my hands behind my back, sometimes!

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  5. I like how, when I go back to LiveJournal, I feel like I’m at a quiet table in the back of a busy room. But I loved how I could structure my posts at Vox. As I’m getting to know TypePad, I’m figuring out how to do things similarly, but of course it’ll never feel like the neighborhood. I do like the photo album feature; it was a bit easier to figure out than the pages here, though I don’t understand either page set-up, truthfully.

    I used WordPress in 2006 for a photo blog of the town we lived in that year. But hosted all the photos myself, and then never relinked them when we moved. All those blank icons are here: http://woodsylph.wordpress.com, with small bits of text. During that year I never really figured out how to use most of this place, and in September, I moved to Vox.

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  6. I still have so much to do over at Vox, but I’ve been dreading it and feeling very guilt about it. I now realize it’s because it’s very sad…..like I’m leaving a part of my life behind. I just don’t want to say goodbye.

    I had the same feeling when Daisy left 6A, and like you I hoped it wouldn’t happen. Do you remember that mini blogging site that came out with about a year ago? I have a feeling that went nowhere and I’m sure it was a huge investment.

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    • I’m not sure I remember. I remember them releasing tools to blog from mobile devices and Facebook– Blog It was one of them, and I did test that.

      It’s hard. 6A has had a few throwaway things, some of them moderately forgettable, others that left a trail of unhappy users (VOX not being the only one).

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  7. ((hugs))

    You’re so right about Vox’s appeal- I loved the folksy style, and the fact that there were mostly grown-ups trying to be grown-ups in the neighborhood- and that everyone knew everyone else. Ah well..being an immigrant has its compensations.

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