I’ve said very openly that I didn’t like certain aspects of VOX as a blogging platform: the interface which was easy to use at first for simple, casual blogging but increasingly and frustratingly difficult to use for more specific, complex blogging formats. While the privacy and post restriction system adopted from LiveJournal was nice, allowing some granular levels of trust with a reading audience, it unfortunately encouraged a lot of melodramatic tension that LJ was infamous for.
But I would be insincere to say there wasn’t aspects of the community I loved anyways. As it was a small pool, so to speak, it was easier to encounter a wealth of cultures, languages, and world-encompassing viewpoints.
I miss the Hispanic contributions especially. For a time, there was a [esto es genial] group, that ran completely independently of the main [this is good] segments, or that’s what I was given to understand when I asked Daisy. As Spanish is my second language, it was a new world that tended to be hidden from my typical surroundings narrated in English. Perhaps I still have one example in my archives, but most of my interactions were not documented: the Latin American young girl who said my avatar looked like a ancient Chinese emperor (my head was shaved with a fu manchu handlebar moustache in that photo), and the Spanish woman who wrote beautifully in English, but I would repeatedly ask that she allow me to practice my secondary language skills.
I do not speak any French, unfortunately, but there was a friendly and warm group of bloggers from France at VOX. They wrote a fair bit about music, so Vu and I highlighted their blogs a little bit. Perhaps a few of you will remember Apolline; her English was rather good but I still had to parse her posts through online translators since she wrote mostly in French. Sometimes she would write concurrently in French and English. She was very sweet and I think she is still around, but she went with the TypePad community, as a few others I interacted with did.
Warm friendly relations with Jack Yan endures. I am grateful to have met Jack. He challenged my paradigms on world identity, for one: he is ethnically Chinese with a mixture of British (by way of Hong Kong) and Kiwi cultural views. Perhaps that is not the most accurate way of putting it, but I can confidently say he reminded me of the importance of a multicultural world view. Jack’s day-to-day experiences are different than mine, with high fashion, interactions with mass media, and business sense that underlies his career, but there have been no separations of socioeconomics between us that I could tell– Jack is still personable, gracious, attentive, and I am pleased to call him a friend. (As of right now, I see he has a Wikipedia entry… wow!) I suspect that if we were to meet in person, I would see more of such, with no online facade that would cover a more private, in-person self.
I could list other examples, but I hope the gist of it was understood. I enjoy it here at WordPress, but it could be some time before I encounter an experience like I had at VOX again. Maybe, just maybe if I get a WordPress server running, and explore website applications…