Sunday, 9 October 2011

An Open Letter to Salon.com

In spite of the name - which is half tongue-in-cheek, and at least half deserved - SalonFugly is not an attack on Salon.com, nor intended to replace it or damage it in any way.

The author has been a follower of Glenn Greenwald for several years, and became a Salon reader and subscriber - aka "Salon Core Member" - as a direct result of Glenn's work and presence there.

Glenn is the sole reason I am a subscriber at Salon.com. I suspect the same is true for many of his followers and regular commenters.

The frustration and anger you will sense in the posts and comments here have to do with the perception that as paying customers we have been treated with a dismissive disdain that is both offensive and unwarranted.

But all of us, paying and non-paying alike, have these frustrations because we want Salon to be a fully functional forum for discussing the political issues that Glenn blogs about and that we care about very deeply. Some of us begin to suspect we want this more than you do, which would be a depressing conclusion indeed.

We dont want special treatment.

We dont expect anything other than what is the standard state of the public website art today.

We are not asking for more than you can find free at many sites - like this one hosting this letter - all around the world.

We are asking to be told in advance about changes to the system that affect our ability to follow the conversation, to comprehend the evolving debates around it, and to comment as we would. Not being informed about such disruptive changes as have occurred recently also affects our desire to follow the conversation, as you will also glean from several comments here.

We are asking that we not be fobbed off with second-hand excuses about the under-capacity of the IT team. As a 25 years + veteran of the IT industry I understand more than you will likely ever appreciate just how heavy is the load they're asked to bear, and that there are never enough resources to do what is demanded of them.

I do not see this as being a valid rationale for the total silence of the management in the face of widepsread dissatisfaction amongst your customers.

Thus far, apart from the initial announcement of impending changes by the CEO, the only public comment we've seen on the problems introduced by these changes has been by Glenn in his normal engagement with his regular UT commentariat.

Somehow, as a demonstration of commitment to customer satisfaction, this leaves something to be desired.

Rest assured that we do desire it, and that we will continue to say so.

I would rather say so at Salon.com, in the Unclaimed Territory comment threads, but that's not really proving very satisfying this week.

Please, whoever you are, come out in the open and engage the matter at hand with the people directly affected by it.

That's what a Chief Executive would do ...


17 comments:

  1. Good post. It is the guys and gals at the top that should write an open letter to the customers of Salon and explain where we are now and were we are going to be in X units of time.

    If this goes like I expect, there will be such a letter but it will come so late that it does no good.

    I also expect that the 'tiny minority' (as Glenn pointed out) that regularly post letters to UT will get over it an adapt to whatever the situation is. (and I'll give odds on that wager!)

    Oddly, this is much like the Wall Street Protesters --- everyone is mad as hell but we don't all agree on what it is we are mad at; who we are mad at; or what the solution is.

    This is a lesson in politics for those who keep an open eye. (there is a saying about no situation so bad that you can not learn from it; but I forget the exact words just now)

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  2. By sending some posts and analyzing data and event viewer I was able to note the following.

    On my XP
    Salon installed a Browser modifier win32/search settings
    this program changes various web browser settings without adequate consent

    C:/Program Files/CommonFiles/Spigot/SearchSettings/SearchSetting.exe

    process:pid:3084

    There are many other new files and programs but I'll look at them later. (many in windows temp and in C:/.)

    On vista
    (I run a double system from the same computer but different hard drives)
    There are many new programs. I'm working on them.
    The event viewer shows that since install on my computer (runs all day all night) prior to signing in to salon with facebook I had had 200 errors over 2 years not bad.
    To day I have had 20,405 errors and 52,516 in last seven days.
    I hope this of some use to people.
    I think some programs are switches that can turn on scripts even if you have then turned off.They appear also to turn off the computer like a hot fuse, more later.
    When signing in to salon Vista's Network inspection System stops effectively no firewall. Lovely Salon. Microsoft has no solution at present.


    http://www.windowsecurity.com/articles/Network-Inspection-System-Enhances-Security-Microsoft-Security-Essentials-TMG-Firewall.html

    Published:Feb 02, 2011
    Updated:Feb 02, 2011
    Section:Articles :: Intrusion Detection
    Author:Deb Shinder

    jfw.

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  3. Gets better.
    Now network Inspection Ststem stops by my just going to Salon.com. I dont have to sign in for what ever is happening to turn off my firewall. No N I S no firewall.
    Why are salon turning off my security?
    I think I will reformat my drives and reinstall both systems a weeks work Salon.
    Any one interested in a class action for damages?
    jfw

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  4. regarding Salon handle showing up on other sites ...

    I had this happen on YouTube and discovered that I could eliminate this by logging out of G-mail. (I had forgotten to log out after logging in to retrieve some mail).

    fwiw.

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  5. Heru-ur,
    You've gone from calling people on Salon "whiners" for pointing out the same problems that ScuzzaMan has pointed out in his letter, to calling ScuzzaMan's letter about those same problems a "good post". No apology for or acknowledgement of your rash and obnoxious insults in between "whiners" and "good post".

    Among other contributors at Salon, I posted not only about the problems with the roll out, but also about the arrogance and inconsiderateness of Salon's management for not posting a front page explanation. You posted on Salon that that was "whining". Now you've shown up here to call the same expressions of concern and disgruntlement as a "good post".

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  6. has anyone been able to make href work?

    or the expanded:

    [ A href= "chapter2.html"> chapter two </A] style?

    for some reason it inserted Glenn's column's URL into my link ... which I KNOW I did not copy or paste

    oh, and navigating around really really just sucks, scrolling scrolling, scrolling, back to page 1 ... sucky sucky sucky

    Agree -- people bitching about whining do.not.get.it.

    particularly since part of the reason to compile a list of suggestions/request was to try to minimize "a million people with a million complaints" effect ...

    Salons letters STILL sucks ... I'm going to have to limit my "attendance" ... just tooo annoying to "enjoy"

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  7. has anyone been able to make href work?

    Yes, for some reason though it's really easy to mess that one up. That's where preview would come in handy. I reposted your link with the href, and it worked. I don't know where you went wrong, but it took me two tries to get it right. I could see where I went wrong before the second try.

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  8. It appears Salon is set up to jigger your links so they get linking "credit" from Google and similar redirection accounting mechanisms.

    That is why some of the links have worked ok, and some have seemed to be looping back to the page of origin.

    Just one more of those things that isn't quite perfect yet ... lol.

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  9. Kitt whines even here!

    Damn! The fellow does not understand the differences in various posts I have made. A god damn silly-willy. (was thinking harsher things)

    Let us be clear --- YOU are whining and SuzzaMan is not. He is right that the CEO should address the issue.

    Got it now?

    By the way; why do you feel the need to speak to me knowing that your hate-filled little mind always gets in your way.

    Scuzza made a good post; and he has a good perspective. You are just whining.

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  10. Salon needs to make their "community standards" more accessible (I'm pretty sure they have them written up somewhere) though I haven't seen them for years. I suspect plenty of folks also are essentially oblivious, particularly since "enforcement" has been haphazard to nonexistent.

    Seriously, imho, Salon is AT LEAST as responsible as the individual posters for the slug-fest letters culture... A perfect time would have been this recent relaunch. Oh well. Just one of those, "I accept" end-user agreement box-thingys.

    The site may be faster .... but the circular clicking process to get to most recent post is wasting my time and patience most grievously.

    Oh, re Href -- yeah, I got it to work later ... still confused about why it didn't work ... it's a mystery

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  11. "Seriously, imho, Salon is AT LEAST as responsible as the individual posters for the slug-fest letters culture... " -- Susan S.

    Well, in all fairness, only Glenn Greenwald may police his letters section. He is the ultimate authority on how much "slug-festing" goes on in his back yard.

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  12. An exact quote from me posted at Salon a few days ago:

    This has to be addressed, Glenn, and fixed. Salon has, to use the words of the street and the words that many who typically might comment here, fucked up. Someone has to tell them in no uncertain terms to either fix it or lose out.
    ______________________________________________

    That's my comment at Salon. It's the same thing as what ScuzzaMan and what so many others have posted. Not using the exact letters "CEO", does not alter the comment at all. Anyone with an ounce of honesty wouldn't pretend that that comment qualifies as "whining". It's very clearly a comment that is pointing a problem that needs to be fixed. Same thing so many others have been doing, since we're all seeing and being confronted with the same set of difficulties with the screw ups at Salon.

    I have no idea why you are incapable of admitting that you've posted disparaging and completely unreasonable insults and have been rude for no reason at all.

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  13. Kitt, I agree completely. I am getting seriously annoyed about this meme that some of us are whining. My posts have been clear, direct, respectful and pointed. I have not whined, despite having been put to enormous trouble.

    I'm serious about this: what's wrong at Salon is what is wrong with this country. Those who speak up are accused of not being "good" players. We continue to demonize the messengers rather than the message.

    Sad.-- MM

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  14. I've emailed Salon more than once now. Today I brought ScuzzaMan's letter to their attention. I hope that many of you have done the same.

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  15. Currently Salon again has a bottom half white screen for me even after emptying cache..

    They seem to have "decided" to hang tough and NOT communicate -- probably rationalized by "not making promises we may not be able to keep" etc.

    Still there is so much contradictory anecdotal information -- people saying they have access to THEIR archives ... but I still don't and I don't have access to anyone else's archive or even my own or anyone else's JUST since the relaunch...

    Today for a long time Glenn's number of letters upper/lower did not match for several hours (40 letter difference at one point) ... what is this discrepancy mean and why is this happening?

    Regarding posts "lost" on this site -- yeah, it feels "lost" when it says "your comment has been published" -- you actually see it -- and THEN it vanishes. so, "now I know better" that it's not REALLY LOST, it's just inaccessible to anyone but admin.

    whining about people "whining" ... yeah, that's productive.

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  16. Susan, I've been baffled by those vacillating numbers, too. In fact, they have almost never been aligned, and in some notable instances (the mother lode that broke the ship)the discrepancy was more than 1,000 letters (showing 1, 488, actual/able to read 148) Hmm...

    There just isn't a narrative pull any more. I'll comment on occasion, but it's currently far more work than is worth the effort.

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