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Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Demise of a Place Called 'Journalspace'

Happy New Year!

I’m not so much into resolutions. Instead, I tend to make key promises to myself. This year I’ve made a vow to take nothing, absolutely NOTHING for granted.

To mirror this very fact, I just discovered the other day that Journalspace, a site I’d been blogging on for close to five years... is suddenly no more. Gone. POOF! Finished. Finis. Kaput.

Back the early days of my netdom, a young friend hipped me to the world of blogging. He sent me to his page on this strange new place, a website called Journalspace. I read his political rants and poetry, and I thought: This is kinda interesting… like keeping a diary, online. I’d always been a cat who narrated my thoughts on paper. This was no different— only I’d record my emotional terrain on a screen. Cool. So, I tried it. This was back in late March of 2004. It was a very freeing concept.

In about a month’s time Journalspace became MY SPOT, my hang, and my joint! Soon I was getting my blog on daily. It was my BOOM, and my BIP, my religion, my habit, my purge place, my safe space, and my literary jones. I’d write early in the morning and post my cries, my moans, my hollas, my groans, confounderations (I made that one up) my ponderations (that one too), my hilarities, and my celebrations on the regular. Mainly, I did this for me, to gain a sense of clarity and self-discipline. I treated it much like a job, a gig with a deadline, and I’ve always been a stickler for the all-mighty deadline. I didn’t write with an eye on entertaining anyone. I didn’t even have an audience, and this suited me fine. Gradually, folks rolled through and read me. This was a slow process, but a gratifying one, as people I didn’t know and had never met related to something I’d written. Such is the human experience. We are all more alike than we are different.

And still, I blogged.

My page was called One Moanman In Time. My tag, my nick, my personna there was "Bluemoaner." He was very much ME, amplified, poeting, prosing, ranting, riffing and such. When readers left a comment, I‘d go to their blogs, read them, see what was going on in their lives, and leave a comment as well. It was akin to meeting a new friend who lived on the other side of my screen. It was fascinating, educational, enlightening, heartwarming, and sometimes even harrowing and depressing.

I ‘met’ some interesting characters, some fantastic writers, some like-souls, some confessional poets, some not-so-desperate housewives, some prime connections and even a precious handful of people whom I now consider friends forever… or as long as forever lasts.

And still, I blogged.

Journalspace became my second crib, and the folks there, a second family. As time passed, I actually DID meet a few. We vibed in a most cool and uncommon way.

And still, I blogged. For nearly five YEARS!

If you think back on your life in the past five years you’re bound to have gone through some major changes emotionally, physically and spiritually. Think about it: people who started out alone are suddenly no longer alone. Some find love, some have their hearts broken, some find God, and some stop believing in Him. Some heal, some get married, some make babies, and some lose babies, some get divorced, and some suffer the demise of loved ones. In that time frame, kids start college and graduate, find new careers, settle down, and people grow in innumerable ways.

Five years. Half a decade. This too shall pass.

And Still, I Blogged.

Five years ago, I was a starving poet/artist/budding novelist with one book published, and a disappointing love life. In the time since, I’ve three books published, a small but loyal following, a promising love life, and have just finished another book, which, to date, has an uncertain future.

About a year-and-a-half ago, Journalspace (which was often problematic) suffered a major snafu and lost priceless entries, and thousands of comments made over the years. Many of those comments read like a story of how I became acquainted with my net-friends there, how those associations grew, prospered and bore new fruit. The loss of those exchanges signaled the beginning of the end for me. All things come to pass. Something changed. If blogging were a kind of marriage, that breakdown in communication would lead to our eventual separation.

Things transitioned. I spent less time reporting and narrating the events of my life. I had books to write, literature to create, and dedicated my energies in that direction. Afterward, when I took time out to write something new on Journalspace, only the most faithful few would stop by to read me. People have short attention spans. There was a lesson in this, too. It signaled that online, much like in real life, only a rare and priceless True Blues will care about you, and really treasure and honor your relationship.

Yet, to this very day, I still blog… and just as I did in the very beginning, I do so for me. I do it for clarity, for emotional purging. I do it to make sense of the world around me. I do it to explain me to ME. If no one reads it, it’s aiight. If no one comments, it’s all Kool and the Gang. Blogging isn’t always necessarily a shared concept.

I’ve lots of stories under my belt, a few life lessons, and load of new knowledge and stuff I didn’t possess before. Everyone’s got a story of how they made it, survived from point A to point B, and the journey of getting there is what makes us all unique.

And so the death of Journalspace feels strange to me.

People who didn’t save their entries have now perhaps lost them for good. Without warning… POOF! Their writing, their stories, their shared joys, their confessions and their cries have all disappeared into an uncaring cyber black hole. Journalspace has died a quick mercy-free death because there were apparently ghosts in the machine (the servers).

If you’re still reading this long-azz entry, there is actually a method to my madness. The lesson is this:

Save your entries! Backup your work! The net is not infallible. Things fall apart. If you’ve made a real connection through blogging, request that person(s) email so you’ll remain connected. Don’t allow your associations to dry up and die, simply because the gods of cyberspace failed you!

If you’re a serious blogger who records your life, your work, your cries, your whispers, your screams to the world, and the moderator of this or any other site loses your stuff, shame on them!

But if you fail to back it up so that you still have viable evidence of it, well then, shame on YOU!

And still, I’ll blog.

Take nothing for granted!

Happy New Year!



thegayte-keeper said...

damn I started saving all of my entries...just in case

Dorrie said...

and still, I blog...

I was hoping to find you...thanks for commenting in my new cyber home.

Sally said...

Hey Lin, I found you without you even answering my question on Myspace. :) So beautifully written. I had really gotten fed up with all the problems and such over at JS, still I loved it because of some of the friends I had made and of course, my sisters. But we're mostly all here now. Time to move on. I am one of the dumb butts that didn't backup my entries. Really I don't know how. I had tried using the JS backup feature but it didn't work. Nice to find you! (((hugs)))

Mizrepresent said...

Awe, i hear you...after finding you here i found a link to your other blog...never heard of Journalspace before then. So sorry to hear about your loss. I'm hoping blogspot don't disappear like that, bc this place is my journal, and depicts my journey, but i will take heed and backup!

And still I blog!

Green said...

good message..
Lovin ur blog...

Oh and I like that pic of Eartha Kitt on the other post.....

Yeah Im backing up all my work now...

Happy New Year

Marvin D. Wilson said...

Good admonition. Also interesting to read your blogging history. I'm only a one year old blogger myself - well, actually started Free Spirit blog in '06 but did not take it seriously or do anything with it until I got bit with the blogging bug and started taking it big time seriously in mid-summer last. Bloggers are the modern day essayists and I ALWAYS got something to say (smile).

Backing up is prudent and wise. I actually store all my posts, including some of the better comments. I have a book coming out soon with All Things That Matter Press, an anthology of the best of Free Spirit posts, titled "Between the Storm and the Rainbow." Got a few choice quotes from the old moaner himself in their, Lin (smiles)- oh and also that wonderful poem you wrote and granted permission to print - What was the title? "Whore?" Really great.

Lovebabz said...

I think I was supposed to read this.

I will back up...once I figure out how....

Happy New Year!

greeneyes67 said...

I know what you mean. Take nothing for granted. I am so sad about JS but happy to find you :)

QH said...

This made me want to start backing up more files on The Blend, thanks for this story. I too have a personal space I've had since 2005, it is interesting to go back read what was happening with me then.

Time waits for no one. Be well, & Happy New Year!-QH

Faith said...

Great post. Sorry to hear about Journalspace. I hope you were able to back up what you had there.

I made no resolutions this year...but I think I will keep close to me the words "Take nothing for granted". Thank you for this. And thank you for your comments on my blog. You have given me a lot of encouragement.

Keep on blogging. I always look forward to your words.

And Happy New Year :)


joaquin carvel said...

take nothing for granted....what a simple and potentially life-changing non-resolution.....thinking about that kinda makes me head spin...

beautiful piece on Eartha, too....oddly, my introduction to her was her (brief but memorable)turn as a mythic oracle in an odd little Tim Robbins movie called "Erik the Viking"...soon after, i found her music...been a fan ever since.

Fitzgerald said...

As always it was good to read you again. Your voice comes shining through in every word that you write.

I hope you and yours are having a wonderful New Year so far, and that the rest of the year is even better.

Keith said...

Point Taken...To tel you the truth ,I often wonder about Blogger
doing the same thing..just going kaput. It's a scary thought. I think I will start backing mys stuff up.

becomingkate said...

Well said Lin!