Saturday, June 16, 2012

When Social Media Sites Go Away

I’m just now mourning the loss of EONs, the social media site aimed at Baby Boomers. I didn’t use it all that much, but I loved the groups that talked about the iPhone and the iPad. The people my age and older using those devices were so knowledgeable and so willing to share their advice that I felt that no question was too irrelevant or just plain dumb. 

And some of them were using their iPads for very sophisticated things that I could never replicate. One of the members of the group always put up great videos he edited on the iPad. Another talked about how he used the device for many business applications.

 And one of the members of the group gave me a gift by letting Tech and the Baby Boomer use the story of her mother, severely impacted by arthritis, who could touch the iPad with her knuckles to tap out emails to her family and also to view photos from grandchildren. As you can see, these people made a real impact on me. 

So my question now is where did they go? Where are you OldMike? Louscraps? Techie44? SkeeterThompson1? LBretired? Where did all the posts go? Where are those great discussions? And the photos? I know many of the members of this group uploaded photos and videos to the site. If they were smart, they kept copies.

Officially Lori Bitter of Continuum Crew, who purchased Eons a few months ago, blamed the problem on the company’s service provider. This is what was posted on the Facebook page for the group in early May:

To our Eons members,

We know many you have all been waiting patiently for news on the future of the site. As a team, we have been working to resolve the business issues with our service provider. We have negotiated in good faith to restore the site and move forward. Unfortunately our provider is demanding a financial commitment that we cannot make at this time. We are at an impasse. While we have worked behind the scenes to try to come up with an alternative to get the site restored, none of those have worked out either. For the foreseeable future, the site will remain down.

As Matt stated before, there is no reason to worry about your personal data; it is secure. We will continue to pursue all avenues available to bring Eons back.

Also, the company Crew Media in Texas is in no way affiliated with Crew Media who owns Eons. Please stop the calls to their president immediately, as there is nothing he can do.

Thank you,
Lori and the Eons Team

If you are “into” social media, and that includes Facebook, the people on the sites become if not friends, then people you are looking forward to hearing from. You enjoy their discussions. You like what they have to say. 

Perhaps you’ve gotten involved on a gaming site where the same people play the games you like, and you’ve grown to enjoy playing with them. Or perhaps you like to talk about golf or baseball. In social media, the people who have similar interests to you become closer to you than you realize.

That is: you become close to them until the server is shut down, and all their conversations, past and those you might have had in the future, are unreachable.

For me, this brings up a larger question. What if Facebook went away? What if they closed in the middle of the night with no way for you to retrieve your Timeline? Or see your old status updates? How would all the millions of you who spend time on it day after day feel?
They say that nothing really goes away on the Internet. Somewhere in cyberspace those discussions about the iPad and iPhone will exist. Yet finding them will not be easy. So Lori, if you are reading this, and EONs doesn’t return, please at least make your archives accessible in some way and provide a way for the people who liked to hang out on your site to find each other.
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