Surviving Having a Fork Stuck in Your Passion
For those of you who didn't know, I am an AOL Surviver. Not as an AOL Member, but as a CompuServe Business Partner who runs The Broadcast Professionals Forum, one of the largest online communities of broadcasters when CompuServe was the king of the online services. Once AOL bought or was given CompuServe by Worldcom, (for cash and a player to be named later,) there was great hope the forums would evolve into something more global. Hell, the world was clammering for well educated online community mangers of experience. The CompuServe Forum Managers had an average of 10 years of experience, but AOL treated us like leapers.
Despite good mid-level managers who had all the best of intentions, Steve Case and most of the AOL management never understood the CompuServe Forum structure, and systematically stuck a fork in our future. To this day they still don't understand what they've lost. To make matters even worse AOL never cared about the loyal members who supported the forums with their time and pocketbooks. (However every Forum Manager appreciated each and every member. And we still do.)
With Bob Pittman and Bob Kington gone I fear the what remains of the CompuServe Forum Structure will be gone shortly. Pity it was the best of it's breed. God knows we tried.
AOL is as clueless a company as it gets. If Doc and the Cluetrain Posse ever needed a model of a clueless corporation AOL is the poster boy.
From where I sit now, I have little or no regrets about my twenty year adventure with CompuServe. I have met many wonderful people and business associates whom I am closer to than many of my family members. People like Doc, Chris Hayes, Pat Phelan, Scott Loftesness, Brian West and other forum mangers and members are people I still count as close friends, associates and virtual family.
The exposure and experience has given me a wonderful position inwhich I've helped other companies to launch technical online communities and knowledge managements groups. It's also given me a position in the online world as a resource for my passions and interests, which have changed with time. I know it's about to change again, and this time everything I do with my passions will be under my control. It should prove interesting as interesting to some as the "big-assed" solar winds and auroras we may see in the next few days.
Editorial Comment: #1: Since Dave and Doc have linked to me today, I'm hearing from a lot of old CompuServe members. If you want to leave a COMMENT below, I'll keep you posted on some Alumni and breaking news of who's who and where the old tribe are today. In intend to post more about this over the next several weeks. So hit the HOME Link. Thanks Doc and Dave for pointing people this direction.
#2: Scott Loftesness checked in today and came out of the closet with his reasons CompuServe's Forums failed as well. Thanks Scott.
#3: Thank you everyone who've landed here:
I'm getting ready to head out to San Diego later this morning... now TOMORROW morning.
For those of you coaching me thru' ye old HD mirroring. Keep sending your comments and ideas. I've got a couple days before I have to execute the big move. (The cables will be in tomorrow.) Later kids!
[Yes I do edit my posts. This is because my grammar and spelling isn't as good as it should be, and I prefer to be correct it vs. letting the blown shit lie out in public.]