Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Burned to the ground...

I was talking with someone, and was reminded about NoWonder, a community I once was part of. We provided free tech support on any topic we could to anyone who had a question. It was volunteer-run, and it was beautiful.. another part of the old internet, razed by investors. We had something that people were willing to give their time to, voluntarily, to help others out, and, like usenet, thirst for profit destroyed it.

NoWonder is now ePeople. The site is packed with deceit, with lies about how it started, who founded it (no mention of Scott William or the volunteers at all), and of course the regular corporate fluff. It disgusts me how corporate, contentless, and useless it has become. Here's some quotes from Anthony Lye (the President/CEO who took and ruined the company) I dug out of my archives..

One area that will not change, and that we consider an integral part of the
site, is free support. Fast, friendly, free support is NoWonder's legacy and
will continue to be essential to who we are and who we become.

I'd like to share my thoughts with you about how we will move forward
together to become the largest and most important customer support web site
in the world. While this sounds like a lofty goal, keep in mind that
NoWonder is already well on its way to accomplishing this.

First, I'd like to thank Scott William for being such a creative and
inspiring leader. Scott's vision is instrumental to our ongoing success,
and he will continue to be deeply involved in all facets of the company.

A bit later, a snippet from Scott William (the founder)..
But you know what... things are changing around the NoWonder world. I know
moral is low, and I could go on and on why it should be much higher, but the
fact is... you all feel much the same way I do. Your not knowing what's
going to happen tomorrow with No Wonder, comes from my confusion on the
exact same topic. It is weird to not be running the place anymore. To not
making the final decisions. To not even have control over the web site
anymore. Now that is weird. For example, there are two issues right now with
our volunteer sign-up forms... they were filled with bugs after a weekend
over haul, and still tonight the issues are ongoing.
*PS* - DON'T tell anyone with the new company I wrote this message. It's not
all corporate approved and everything. They are kinda touchy in that way. :)

(just kidding, take care everyone - oh, and it really wasn't approved)
I never saw another post from him on the mailing list.

Here's a snippet from someone who needed my help (I was one of the peoplewho administered the box)

> >There are several users complaining to me that they can not get
> >through the feedback web site. One said that he couldn't use IE but
> >got through using Netscape. What is going on and can you guys fix
> >this?
> >Cheryl
>Cheryl, admittedly I might not be competely up to speed on things,
>but last I checked I couldn't log into the box anymore, and I'm
>presuming NoWonder's new management is handling sysadmin tasks
>itself. Under Scottw's direction, I was volunteering to administer
>the box for quite a long time, and did a lot of useful things for
>the system.

I have anger, disgust, and sadness in my heart over what happened to NoWonder. I wonder where all the volunteers went... I resigned from my duties a few months afterwards, as it became clear that things would only get worse. Looking at the site now, I see absolutely no trace of what was there. I wonder.. did they ever even intend to continue with the work we all put into NoWonder, or was it part of some corporate ploy? It caused a lot of pain, and destroyed a community. Either way, Anthony Lye and friends are either incompetant or pillagers of a dream. I only wish that I could rub their nose in what they have done.


I'm feeling moody. Maybe it's excitement for the move, and my beckoningfuture. It's odd... I'm going to miss phoenix, my workstation. I wonderhow long it'll stay phoenix. I wonder if my old phoenix, at McLeod, isstill around. If I were to try to match the metaphor in the name to reality,I might spout something like "Phoenix is an ideal in my mind that isactualized when I'm settling into a workplace". Again, there's thatconflict between factions in my mind.. the artist and the rationalist.To misquote Nietzsche,My mind is a rope, tied between artist and logician.. a dangerous goingacross, a dangerous looking back. What is great in me is that I am abridge and not an end.

Well, I misused that misquotation. *shrug*

Oh, an interesting site I ran across recently.. it's about the Sufi flavor of Islam. Here. Always interesting to slurp down more knowledge in an area I'm interested..

Tags: philosophy

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