Tuesday, November 15, 2005


(I tried posting something like this earlier, but I had drafted it in Word so it posted with all them "bonus characters."  Besides which, it probably came out a little pissier than I'd intended.  So, if you happened to see the earlier version via Alerts, you can probably pass this one by.)

Warning:  This post is about AOL only.  If you're reading this and you're not an AOL user, just pass this by.

Item:  I've read a lot about people "boycotting" journals because they don't like the banner ads.  To you I say, if you want to leave in protest, leave.  If you want to stay, suck it up and stay.  These are your only two alternatives.  Personally, I'm still waffling between the two (and probably won't make any final decisions until January).  But here's the thing:  saying that you're going to "boycott" Journals in response to the banner ads is ridiculous.  Think for a minute -- what message are you sending AOL when you're not journalling but you're still making your monthly payment, like always?  You're not hurting them one bit by just not updating your journal.  AOL doesn't care whether you journal or not -- and the amount of potential revenue that they might lose because your journal isn't being updated and therefore isn't being seen by more people who might conceivably click on the banner ad is so astonishingly insignificant it defies words.  If you're so upset about what AOL is doing to journals that you can't take it any more, pack up your toys and go someplace else.  Leave in droves.  Perhaps losing a whole lot of members will make AOL reconsider.  But the fact that you all are (temporarily or permanently) not using the Journals service -- yet still using AOL -- means nothing

Item:  Stop emailing me.  And by "me," I mean "anyone on AOL who won't recognize your screen name."  Including me.  Especially me.  Look, I can understand when someone I know is leaving AOL (or planning a boycott, or just wanting to share some thoughts) and they think that, rather than sending separate emails to everyone they know, they'll just send one big email and cc: everyone they know.  I understand.  And I certainly don't mind receiving a bulk email from somone I know.  This does not mean, however, that if you are one of the many people who received that email, that you can just "reply to all" to get your particular take on the incident out.  Because, to tell you the truth, just because we both have a friend or acquaintance in common, doesn't mean I know who you are or particularly care about your opinion.  I don't mean to be harsh here, but it's the truth.  Take the trouble to send your own mass email to your own friends, if that's what you want to do.  Don't take the lazy way out and just email everyone who was copied on the last thing that happens to be in your inbox.

And I really am saying this on behalf of other people -- because right now, about half of the emails I'm receiving are of the "I'm boycotting AOL-J so here's the URL of my new journal" type (from someone whose journal I have never read) and the other half are of the "Stop spamming me with your boycotts and new URLs" type (from someone who I have never spammed -- but who was, apparently, spammed by the same email I was).  And no, it does not make it ok if you preface your message with, "I know some people are sick of all the spam, but..."  If you know it, don't send the message.  You know what?  There's a place where you can put messages that you want to send to everyone who cares -- it's called YOUR JOURNAL.  And if you're "boycotting" your journal, make a post to that effect in your AOL-J, post a pointer to your Journal's new home, and leave my email address the heck out of it.

(Honestly, this is the less pissy version of this post.)

You have no idea how much it disappoints me that -- during this time when I should be full of frustration at AOL, I am instead forced to redirect my anger to my fellow journallers -- because they don't have the common courtesy to not fill my mailbox with all their crap.  We are all disappointed in the banner ads and we should all be doing something productive toward a solution.  The first step in that direction, I submit, is not to spam each other.


thinkingoutloud said...


Now... can you post the more pissy version of this entry?

ha ha

Thank you for putting my sentiments in writing.


jeffcomedy said...

I, for one, am doing a boycott of AOL, which I like to refer to as a "sit-in", because the whole reason that the AOL over-lords decided to put up banner ads is because they realized they had overlooked a viable source of ad revenue.  Unfortunately, they forget that it is on what most consider personal property.

AOL is constantly promoting J-land amongst many other services.  Silence that community, and the point of j-land existing ends.  That ends, the point of ad banners end.  One journal, or two, silencing itself might not mean much.  But a whole community together can make a world of difference.


helmswondermom said...

For now I'm keeping my journal where it is, because it gives me great pleasure to write in it, and I don't want to take the trouble to move it.  And I agree with you.  Not making an entry doesn't hurt AOL.  But I think I'll post my own advertisements for the businesses *I* like.  For example, if there is a BOA ad at the top of my journal, I may put in a good word for a bank that I like.  And I will have a disclaimer about the ad banners that AOL is forcing on my journal.  Because, honestly, it's bad enough that I'm paying for that ad banner's space, but it's even worse that it may be for a business/entity that I do not support or patronize.

swibirun said...

I haven't sent you an email....I'm sorry:)

I'll get around to it, I promise.  One day.  maybe.  

ha ha!