Closing UKA - Thanks for past times!
I don't think it can be saved though it would be good if it could. Emails were sent out asking for help in running the site but it seems not enough was offered. I'm not saying people weren't interested in the site, only that they were unable to give the help that was needed. I know that was true for me anyway. One thing I have noticed in the replies on this thread is that it is all old members so maybe nostalgia for what was is playing a part. The way forward may be to create a new site but again that depends on having people who are capable and willing to do what is needed behind the scenes as it were.
@jolen I had to change my email address afterwards, it was a total ball ache. I didn't give it to him but he had it. Not too long after I removed everything from my profile because I felt that the site had let the trojan horse in as we slept and this news of the end is not a surprise. Its a shock because of how long it has been around and how good a place it has been for so many writers.
@gothicman I have always been jay12 mate, I would've been jay but if I recall, it was taken. I should have been jay123 but my typos were plentiful back in the day as many old users would know.
Also I want on record that I do not harbour ill feeling towards anyone who has done wrong here or upset me. Some people do require help and some care and attention that we cannot always afford to give them. People require support sometimes and they don't always get it. Peoples mental health can be fragile. Its just a shame that what has played out has. Things could've been dealt with better or sooner but its easy to look back at events and say that. I'm sure everyone has always made the best decisions they can at the time. The site closing is a very sad thing and its made me look at my own use of the site and realise I am part of the problem too with my absence. Its easy to blame recent events but I've been popping in and out for 17 years and in the last 7 have been missing. Its a very horrible realisation for me and we all have to accept our part in what is now going on. Its not the fault of just 1 or 2 individuals. That is the painful thing for me. I'm a tiny part of the problem.
@ruadh - I remember you from there too. It was a lovely place with great people and you were one of the kindest there. Yes, that would be Empty Eyes. I was writing it in installments when something happened there and it was on hold for a while. I finished it but I was never really happy about the ending. Once I do, I'd love you to read it.
@jay12 - I remember the work you put into things. You were constantly coming up with articles to help people navigate the site. I hope you know how much that was appreciated.
@Gothicman - the problem is with keeping the site going (and I would so love that to happen) is how to stop this horrible cycle we're caught in and make it a working site again. You would need admins and I would suggest, even if just at first, that membership be approved and not automatic, the forums and shoutbox taken away and any personal or abusive comments be deleted with a warning to the member. Richard doesn't have time for that but maybe a few of us could deal with that just to keep the site. It sounds strict but I feel that's what we need at the moment.
Finally to all - I'd love to keep in touch. My email is geemagicspell at hotmail.com. (not using the proper @ form here in case of spam).
I was so very, very sad to get the email saying that the site is closing, but – dare I say it – not altogether surprised. I was aware that there have been problems for quite a while.
This site means – has meant – so very much to me. I joined at a time when I was just discovering the internet and also discovering that I was feeling compelled to write poetry, which astonished and confused me. I was also going into the hardest part (so far) of what I can now say looking back, has been a difficult life. The period between 2005 and 2010 was hellish, in terms of deaths of people I knew, my physical health (5 operations in 3 years) and my mental health. The support that I found on this site helped me more than any of you will ever know. It was on this site that I found the confidence to call myself ‘a poet’; to accept that writing poetry was ok and to begin to believe that I might be half-way good at it. The comments on my work were so warm and honest and constructive, I felt a support here that I had not known anywhere else.
In particular, being able to post what I called my “black” poems here, and have them well received and with understanding and gentleness, was so helpful at the time. I can see now, with the benefit of hindsight, and having gone though more than a year and a half of regular psychotherapy sessions – Lord! just being able to write that out loud! – the kind responses here were part of the long, hard road to facing up to the damage done to me and I will be forever grateful for that.
Like many who have responded in this thread, I feel guilt along with great sadness. Like many of you, I felt that the unpleasantness in the forum, began to overwhelm the site. So often I would look in forums and there were three individuals writing diatribes and, given everything else I was coping with, I didn’t want that, so I backed away.
My writing slowed down too – partly because of the psychotherapy – and I found myself more involved in writing a novel, a part time project which has become much more significant in the past couple of years or so.
Could I have done more to support the site? – I honestly don’t know, but that question will remain with me. I do know that I will always regret that we have all lost something which was once so good and positive.
To Andrea and Richard, my most grateful thanks. You provided me, and a great many others, with something unique and wonderful. I hope that you both feel it was worthwhile and wish you both all good health and happiness.
@gee I know any help I gave was appreciated. I just wish I could have done more and been more active in the past few years. We have to be thankful for having the site for as long as we did and understand the hard work put in by R&A. They couldn't have done any more than they did.
Yes, the forum's 'discuss general topics' was not liked by people who didn't like getting involved with debates on current issues that were affecting our lives, and who couldn't resist going in there and being passively offended each time as their own views were not the ones winning ground or being defended well, neither there nor in reality? And let's be honest, in the last couple of years, it's only Brexit that's been hotly discussed.
Being personally involved with politics then, as a researcher, I tried to contribute what I was learning fresh daily to the discussion, and of course I'm pleased that most of what I argued for, trying to keep it factual and on-topic, eventually materialised. If other people's views on political events are not your own, but important enough to rile you, then either don't read them further and don't venture in again, especially if of a delicate disposition, or promote your own opinions passionately yourself as a valid viewpoint in the discussion?
Other forum topics contained discussions and activities, that were used variously, some sparsely, some very actively like UKA site-improvement thread and the musical quiz, but all tried to keep the site, diverse, dynamic and lively. But, I agree, a revived site, if that should happen, should have fewer open forum topics, excluding those where a rise in pulse rate is an intergral risk!
The health of the main writing site in terms of contributions and supportive comments, its openness and friendliness was always going to determine the site's viability though, and here all must look to themselves inwardly and be honest. Although I contributed avidly, I'm not sure I come out of it too well doing this as far as friendliness is concerned, allowing myself to be provoked by someone not prepared to seek appeasement when offered many times, when I shouldn't really have been arsed with it all at that stage of site dereliction.
For, six months ago, in his absence, the site started to pick up and to thrive once again with contributions from c:a fifteen + members, including new members. Then the saboteur was allowed back in, with a user name that should have flagged up trouble ahead. Far from being a delicate poetic soul, used by some to excuse their lack of oppositional action, his contributions were driven solely by hate, except when manipulating. There has been a discussion on the relationship between mental health and evilness since time immemorial, some even think there is only mental ill-health and that evilness does not exist; afterall, we're all God's creatures!
I would like to join with everyone in extending thanks to Andrea and Richard for UKA. It is truly an enormous blow to discover that this wonderful site is about to disappear. Also, I would like to thank and send appreciation to all the beautiful people who have been my virtual friends and writing acquaintances. I am convinced that UKA is absolutely unique. I have never found another site, associated with writers, that feels as much like 'home' as UKA does/has.
Several other commentators have made mention of 'names' that I too have fond memories of. I often think of them too, and send blessings and love with the most sincere wish that they are all safe and well.
I am fortunate in that there are several members I am still in contact with. They are precious people to me.
Is it a futile dream that the huge positive love and appreciation that exists for UKA will transmute itself into a means of reanimating it? I dream.
Blessings, thanks, and love to everyone.
Griffonner (AKA Allen)
PS: Don't take any notice that I am described a a 'new member'. I'm not. 🙂
It's very sad but I can understand why Andrea & Richard have had enough.
Many of us remember when this was a thriving community and there was very little unpleasantness. Unfortunately the behaviour of a few members began driving a wedge into its foundations and there wasn't enough firm moderation to stop people drifting away. We probably all know who the offenders were and they should have been turfed out permanently. We lost a couple of very experienced (and published) old hands as well due to some members not taking critique of their submissions in the spirit intended. The whole point of posting pieces was for writers and poets to improve their work by listening to constructive suggestions as well as accepting compliments. Well, after that, some posters ended up with few or no valid responses at all. I limited my comments to a small circle after seeing that and let the others go their merry and unimproved way.
Some very skilled writers have moved onward and upward, such as bluepootle (Aliya Whitely), Sirat (David Gardner), the lamented griff (John Griffiths) and Simon Leigh, all of who freely gave a considerable amount of useful advice. I miss the old regulars like Alison Stormwolf, Glenn-wolf, Romany, Bradene, Chrissy, Gee, Kat, kazz, Rupe, Franciman, Kipper, Skeeter, Geezer, Savvi, Ruadh, discopants, Jay, Jen, Clair, Dazza, Shackleton, Karl, Shadow, Flash and others whose names I forget. Some gems stuck it right to the end, like Luigi and Amman; excuse me for not mentioning others but our writing and commenting paths never crossed.
My writing has improved massively since I joined UKA in 2003 and its social side was something to look forward to. I'll miss it but the experience I've gained will always be with me. I hope that's a good testimonial.
Thanks to everyone who put something in.
Well, he’s spreading his malevolence again. I got this by email from someone called “Royston White”
The author of the post is Alfie.
I didn’t bother to read it. I only mention it because some may wish to know.
I’m not sure if anyone else received this or if he’s targeted me because I called him a coward. Either way, he really should get a new hobby.
Well, he’s spreading his malfeasance again. I got this by email from someone called “Royston White”
The author of the post is Alfie. I’m not sure if anyone received this or if he’s targeted me because I called him a coward. Either way, he really should get a new hobby.
Oh Jolen, that's just ridiculous. He really seems to feel everyone must give him attention and it's silly and boring. I hope you blocked him.
People will read that and laugh at his perceived superiority and defensive ramblings, Jolen. It cries of foot-stamping and being a hard-done-by victim. Enfant terrible or just an infant... it's an easy decision.
No doubt he'll be back to fire his offensive parting shots at anyone who dares piddle on his laurels. I've had a couple of run-ins with him in the past, like many others, and he follows his usual immature pattern of calling those who don't worship him' talentless'. Well, you (in your many guises, Alfie Shoyger) played a large part in ruining this site. Digest that when you're looking for somewhere new to post your bitter poems and spiteful opinions. A university education doesn't necessarily stop one from being uncultivated.
There are some great people on here that I (along with others) would like to keep in occasional social contact with. Thoughts about someone volunteering to hold a confidential email database of interested ex-UKAneers?
I hade to get admin at ABC-Tales to take off sneaked in abuse to me from him a couple of weeks ago, which they did directly to their credit.
Looks like it's a forum-based site, like R & A were toying with about four years ago during the many UKA site changes. I remember both Luigi and I posted a trial poem on it a few hours before it was abandoned for WABD, and then on to the next version. Was this site too technically difficult to work with, is that what kept our membership down?
They have over three thousand members, so I suppose it's popularity comes from its crude presentation and being so simple to use, and most amateur poets and writers woud appear to be digitally illiterate, apart from copying and pasting?
I still think Richard made this the most attractive and technically versatile writing site on the whole Internet; an enormous achievement no other site will equal or surpass. Did R & A really give 'Gammon' admin privileges? Must have been a death wish for the site, as strong as the one that jerk gave me? But then I'm not a feelings poet, so not sensitive to such declarations of hate...... at least one here would say that. But, I do feel sorry for him though, and the two ex-girl friends he's treated so badly in posted verse.
I see his Scottish mate is a member there too, the one that put that same drivel on one of our forum threads here, on view for far too long before deletion; it did a lot of harm to potential new members.
Perhaps other members have emigrated there too, who gives a monkey's, his attention craving will eventually be his undoing, depending on what they tolerate and for how long.
The quality there seems low standard? Even evil Archie Mk II, with his limited, but mostly brilliant poetry skill still undamaged at least, won't stand not being understood or highly applauded for long; he'll outstay his welcome very soon, sad to say. I wish him well for the future though.
Six days left.