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The recent exodus of posters from Huffington Post brought back to me my own status as Displaced Blogger from two virtual communities I absolutely loved.

My first blogging home was Open Salon. It was the perfect place to learn the ropes among a group of excellent writers who raised commenting to an art form. In fact, I was able to pose a writing game where we began with a photograph and one comment, then took turns commenting to produce a story around the photo, ala Ken Kesey who espoused community writing. I still remember many people there such as Freaky Troll who was a comic genius as well as our acknowledged OS Goddess. There was Chicago Guy whose muse was Studs Terkel and who proposed a WPA-like writer’s project.        

It was there at Open Salon that I first fully observed how a virtual community could be as real as your neighborhood or town. We had one wickedly brilliant poster who appeared to have gone off his medication. He was more than mean and took to cyberstalking several women at the site with private messages saying he was coming to their town and would look them up. This upset all of us considering the level of civility we had achieved. When we complained to the editors, we were told that “Open” was part of the site, so they would not ban him. We countered that OS was a community. They countered with the fact that it was not a community but a commercial social site. I have to confess here that I was the one who led the revolt, contacting my voluminous list of friends overnight to email the editors about it. They did and the editors, at first, were not pleased. (Who likes getting 200 emails the first thing in the morning?) However, the problem blogger was removed within hours. What was even better is that the editors not only acknowledged us as a bonafide community but joined in the general fun of enjoying the site. Those were halcyon days.

Then it was sold. There were rumors of our imminent demise. During these doubtful times, I decided to jump ship and established myself at Newsvine which had a similar format to Daily KOS. I thrived at the new site, finding more political content which I realized I needed. I am glad to report that the rumors of OS death was greatly exaggerated, and it still exists as a real community of wonderful writers.  I still miss all of them and occasionally wander back to see what everyone is doing; however, I eventually was glad that I had made the move.

Then Newsvine radically changed their format which fractured the community. The easily accessible front page became a social media nightmare. Most disconcerting, there was no single place to post but a collection of “nations” where you could post in some kind of multiple universe of alternate realities. This loss was wrenching. Again, I had belonged to a community of people with a shared conversation history and real friendships. It was swept away. I rarely return there because seeing the format change is just too painful.

So I came to Daily KOS. Here I have been welcomed and made my third home in this virtual community. There are “pie fights” as any real community can have; however, I have learned to avoid them and continue to enjoy the dialogue and writing of a tremendous group of writers, cartoonists and photographers. I feel that, together, we make a real difference and that is important to me.

So those of you who find yourself refugees from a place you love, take heart. Many of us here have suffered a similar loss but have found a home here. You are welcome here, so unpack the boxes and plant some flowers out front. We look forward to meeting all of you!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Congrats! Our first non-admin post: A DOOZY (8+ / 0-)

    Here is what I liked-

    -you reminded me that our experience with HP is not unique, not unusual, not even new.

    -you reminded me that beginning again while disconcerting and disorienting also opens one to discovery

    -and you reminded that DK is a rather special place that seems to be a force for good in the blogging world because WE are a force for good in the blogging world.

    Well, done and thank you for our first member post! Love the flowers. I garden. A lot.

    2014: Progressivism vs. Plutocracy

    by murphthesurf3 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 03:39:00 PM PDT

    •  Thanks, murph! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mopshell, RiveroftheWest

      Each move brought me lessons and forced me to learn new skills. Also, its like the kid who moves a lot and changes schools. You learn how to make new friends.

      Nothing is constant except for change it seems.

      We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

      by occupystephanie on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 08:28:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Still in denial (3+ / 0-)

      Checking in here, but I have more grief to deal with first.

      I can't tell for sure if I am still in denial, or if i have moved past that and anger and am now bargaining.  I have retained hope that HP will see the folly of its decision and reverse it, but people rarely admit mistakes.  

      So I guess I will bargain with this site and see if it fills that HP sized hole.  My favorite pastime is to prove Poe's Law, but I need a sufficient number of gullible trolls to do that.  I once had a subscription to Billo's page, but they figured out I was an impostor and kicked me out.

      The most useful tool to me is once that links back to responses to comments that you post.  HP was good at that, but it is no longer available there even if you post under a Facebook account.  

      I can't see how that works here.  Yet, anyway.

      •  Amalek, very curious to see Poe's law in action (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        Always interested in new ways to deal with trolls! I write about community rights over agriculture, so any time you mention GMOs, the trolls appear like fruit flies over an open pickle jar.

        I do know what you mean about the grief. Leaving Newsvine was so difficult. We'd gone through Obama's election then Wisconsin together so I felt truncated. It seemed to be such a stupid decision and I hoped they would relent, but it still looks messed up. Business decisions rarely take in the human element.

        I hope you will find the commenting here to be to your liking. We do have trolls so am looking forward to seeing you in action!

        We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

        by occupystephanie on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 04:57:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I sent an invitation (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          occupystephanie, RiveroftheWest

          Here's what I said:

          "Hey there, join the group. The assistance here is very real and the company is good. I have been impressed. I do not think you will find the kind of trolling here that we experience at PPOV- the crew at DK is just too bright and they take on crap when they see it in ways that you and I used to do at HP- argue them to the ground.

          I am looking for a troll rich site where I can still exercise those muscles but finding one where I will not be banned in no time at all for being too logically liberal is hard.

          We can look together.

          Hope you say yes."

          Your encouragement of Amalek spurred me on.

          2014: Progressivism vs. Plutocracy

          by murphthesurf3 on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 06:10:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Invite on the way (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        occupystephanie, RiveroftheWest

        Hey there, join the group. The assistance here is very real and the company is good. I have been impressed. I do not think you will find the kind of trolling here that we experience at PPOV- the crew at DK is just too bright and they take on crap when they see it in ways that you and I used to do at HP- argue them to the ground.

        I am looking for a troll rich site where I can still exercise those muscles but finding one where I will not be banned in no time at all for being too logically liberal is hard.

        We can look together.

        Hope you say yes.

        2014: Progressivism vs. Plutocracy

        by murphthesurf3 on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 06:09:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Amalek: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        occupystephanie, RiveroftheWest

        Perhaps this will help.  There are links here to some general knowledge about the site and to groups willing to help navigate new users and diarists through the process.

        But to answer your question click on the "COMMENTS" link in your welcome box (on the top right hand column of the page) to take you to every comment you have ever posted.  Or you can use this link.   That will allow you to see responses and comment ratings you have received from other site members.

        Welcome to Daily Kos. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Community Guidelines, the Knowledge Base, and the Site Resource Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.
        ~~ from the DK Partners & Mentors Team.

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 11:45:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oddly, I too came from somewhere else. (8+ / 0-)

    There was a site called Buzzflash. And it had a back room.
    The basic site was a three column list of headlines that linked to article published on other sites (so no copyright issues). The back room was a place where users could put up a link to an article that we thought would be germane to the front page, everyone would read it and vote on whether it should be sent up or trashed and there was a comment function.
    The Comments!
    When I started I was functionally illiterate as far as writing (I could read, but forming a sentence of my own was too much like work). But in order to defend your submission, you had to write. And to either defend or drive down someone elses submission, you had to write, convincingly. The discussions got deep and sometimes fun, often very enlightening, occasionally harsh.
    Some really good writers, good thinkers, people with amazing knowledge and backgrounds...
    No moderation, no ban hammer, no holds barred brawling from time to time.
    This was at the end of the Clinton years and into BushCheney.
    Over the course of a few years, I wrote some 16000 comments, I learned to write, to use the language economically, sometimes as a weapon. I made several friends and several enemies. I learned a LOT.
    I became a keyboard warrior! Troll sporking!
    I bought a Buzzflash hat that I wore to demonstrations.
    I feared actually meeting some of the other Buzzards F2F since I had had such vitriolic exchanges with some of them and I am convinced that several of them were dangerously unhinged.
    Mark Karlin, the owner and editor of the site eventually ran down somewhat, the cost of keeping the site going, with no ads, no dues, no revenue at all, and since the site had expanded, he had to get bigtime professional help with the site software and hosting, he eventually merged with Truthout, William Rivers Pitt's blog. Pitt had found a fundraising formula and was able to hire Karlin as a writer, Buzzflash continued to be a headline aggregator but the backroom went away.
    So many of us moved to Truthout's comment section.
    No longer had input to the content, still no moderation and the comment section was run on Disqus.
    After a couple years and several thousand more comments, I amassed a formidable army of trolls that descended on every comment I made and all I was doing was fighting, day in, day out.
    If ever you hear me winge about purity trolls, it was because of that. The 2008 election was horrific! The split between the Pure Left, the Hillary Faction and the Obamabots became toxic. When Hillary was defeated in the primaries, her partisans launched in on Obama as "worse than Bush" and much much more. They were hating on Obama as much as the Far Right was, maybe worse (since the whole TeaBagger thing hadn't started yet). I hung with that for another couple years after the disastrous 2010 election until I couldn't take it any more.
    Completely disillusioned with the woodenheadedness of the Pure Left, I drifted for a couple months and ended up here, not writing, just lurking.
    I don't remember what finally drove me to sign up (and I don't know how to get back to my first comments) but in August of 2012 I did and 11344 comment later.....

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:29:22 PM PDT

  •  Hi Stephanie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occupystephanie, RiveroftheWest

    Whatever it took, I'm glad you are here.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 09:52:03 PM PDT

  •  What a lovely diary. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occupystephanie, RiveroftheWest

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 03:40:08 AM PDT

  •  Change (3+ / 0-)

    You reminded me, my Dear...of what so many of us have been through...so many times. Thank you. I, too, have been welcomed at Daily Kos...and cannot wait to begin writing and interacting for/with everyone.

  •  Things are looking up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occupystephanie

    I know the transfer from a long-time home is difficult, but this may have been for the best.

    While on Huffington Post, there were a lot of commenters I enjoyed seeing and writing with.  I had particular haunts where I knew where specific people would be and what kind of conversations to expect there.

    However, the move forced a lot of people (myself, at least) to re-evaluate our relationship with the rest of the community.

    It was the people, not the place, that I valued more and the thought of losing all that affected me in a way I didn't expect.

    And despite the jarring shift, we decided to stick together.  Imagine that!

    As much of an adjustment as DailyKos and MSNBC has been, it's worth the effort.  =)

    •  Welcome, mflroian! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mflorian

      It is amazing how it affects you, isn't it? These sites are peopled and become a real place without our even realizing it.

      I'm sure you will find some good groups to join and enjoy many conversations here. It will be interesting to see the influence that all of you will have here as your join the stream.

      We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

      by occupystephanie on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 06:23:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cantorpalozza (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occupystephanie

    I'm not sure which is more historic...

    My finally having a new non-HuffPo home to comment w/like minded people, or...

    Celebrating the END of eric cantor's ill-advised career of political destruction!!

    Either way, it sounds like a Win-Win to me!!

    99% OF THE REPUBLICANS MAKE THE REST LOOK BAD

    by BarryWolk on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 06:59:47 PM PDT

    •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

      Lots of good news today!

      Cantorpalozza!
      His American Dream of being the next Speaker of the House is dead. Their embrace of the Tea Party has returned to bite them in the butt!

      We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

      by occupystephanie on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 08:07:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Election Justice (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        occupystephanie, RiveroftheWest

        The fact that cantor was at a national fundraising event in Washington, DC on the same day as his primary yesterday says it ALL, occupystephanie!

        His district was merely 90 miles away! Less than a two hour car ride.  Just get in the car, Eric!!

        I only wish that ALL arrogant people suffer the same fate as cantor as they set a very poor example for the rest of us!

        99% OF THE REPUBLICANS MAKE THE REST LOOK BAD

        by BarryWolk on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 08:56:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He got too big for his britches, as they say! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          They get to be such big wheels with all their corporate donors and forget that does not necessarily mean returning them automatically to their seat of power.

          This was a great lesson for all plutocrats. I hope they are shaking in their boots!

          We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

          by occupystephanie on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 02:02:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  In recognition of the first... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      occupystephanie

      thanks for joining our conversations here. This may help you navigate your way through a new "home".

      Welcome to Daily Kos. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Community Guidelines, the Knowledge Base, and the Site Resource Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.
      ~~ from the DK Partners & Mentors Team.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 07:22:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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