Saturday, November 23, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Happy One-Month-A-Versary

Photo by Arnhold Reinhold, via Creative Commons

by Peggy Robin

It’s been exactly one month since the Cleveland Park Listserv moved to its new home at – We’re fully moved in but still not completely at home. For example, it’s not entirely clear how the algorithm that compiles the digest works to set the order of the twelve messages in each digest. And what’s the deal with those hashtags? There’s a whole learning curve to understand what that’s all about. Then there are photos: this new service seems to handle them well. But we’re still not sure how many can be included in a message, and what different image formats will work, and how large they can be. Yes, there’s a lot of explanatory material available on the web, and it's not hard to find --it’s just going to take a while to go through everything.

I’m coming to feel that it’s like the first few weeks in a new place, after moving out of an old, crumbling homestead. The shiny new apartment in the big complex of buildings is fine – but so different! There’s a lot to figure out. The appliances in the kitchen are bright and gleaming – but with so many buttons to push and instructions to read! And the light switches! It’s not just on and off anymore - there are dimmers and color-filters, and who know what else? So you work on learning the basic operations of your own living space before you go off exploring the other parts of the complex. We’ll get to that rec room in the basement later. And find out the rules for picking up from the package room. Later still,  we’ll get to know some of the other tenants who may tell us about the finer points of living in the complex.

For now, it’s enough to have found a place where the mail actually gets delivered on time and the elevators don’t break down, and you don’t get locked out at odd hours because your key stops working. Even nicer to know that if you do have a problem, you can call the management and they will actually answer the phone. Well, no need for that yet -- but that’s what I’ve heard.

It's such a change from the old place, Yahoogroups. I still go back there, multiple times a day. I have to: there are always a few people each day who would like to join the Cleveland Park Listserv but they arrive at the old address. I need to redirect them to the right place. And a few of our long-time members are not sure how to post a message here at our new place. They still send their messages to the old address (which is boarded up!) and it bounces back to them. I need to let them know the new posting address, which is (Please make a note of it, if you haven’t already done so, and add it to your “trusted sender” list or email address book, so that messages from the CP Listserv won’t end up in your trash. You can go ahead and permanently delete the old address, so that you don’t send a message there by mistake.

Eventually, I’ll stop these daily checks of the old space – and that will be a relief. I have not a speck of nostalgia for the fading, failing, old  platform that Verizon took over a few years ago and now has decided to abandon. (It will delete all old content from its site on December 14, 2019.) It was in bad shape when Verizon bought it and they did nothing at all to to improve it. The last couple of years, there have been random outages, lost messages, and frequent appearances of the dreaded purple error bar – bearing the grim message, “Sorry, there was an error uploading content.” And never any tech support to let you know what was wrong or how to fix it.

Just last night I went back to the old site to see if any would-be new members were there…..and couldn’t get the site to open. It wasn't just the old Cleveland Park Yahoogroup….the entire Yahoogroups system was down. Not sure how long this most recent outage went on, but I can tell you, when I saw that “Oops, there’s something wrong” error message pop up on the screen, I was feeling....well, let me be honest ... pleased with myself. Because I no longer had to worry about it. I'd done the right thing at the right time, and got this group out, all in one piece. 

Now it's up to other group moderators to save their own groups, in the little time that's left. I do hope they succeed. And if they make it over to our shiny new digs at, I'll be here to welcome them. It's a fine new place and there's plenty of room for all!

(Next Saturday – It’s the 20th anniversary of the Cleveland Park Listserv!)
Still Life with Robin is published on the Clevleand ParkListserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

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