Voices from Russia

Friday, 18 November 2011

18 November 2011. A Chat with Your Editor: “The Fruits of Four Years of Blogging: Discretion and Good Sense, Above All Else, in ALL Your Internet Affairs”

Filed under: internet — 01varvara @ 00.00
Tags: ,

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On 7 November, it was the fourth birthday of this website. To put it anther way, we’re now in the fifth year of our operation. A day or so ago, we went over three million hits. According to Quantcast, I have about 36,000 monthly individual readers (not hits). Look at the graphs:

VFR monthly readership

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OCA official website monthly readership

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Click here to check it for yourself, if you must… and here for oca.org, as a comparison. Do note that I’m being “transparent” and that the OCA (and their Renovationist/rightwing claque) is NOT. In short, the OCA skulks around as if it has something nasty and low to hide. Unfortunately, I fear that it does (the whispered history of Dmitri Royster is proof of that).

Let’s sit down and talk about “Internet Savvy”… “Internet Street Smarts”, if you will. In the beginning, I’ll admit that I was green as grass and made many errors due to trusting people overly much. Sad experience has taught me much. Not only is the virtual world as “fallen” as the “real world” is, it’s more so, as it’s much easier to conceal one’s identity on the ‘net. Trial and error (a lot of the former and too much of the latter) has taught me that there are evil and nasty sorts out there who use the Internet as a weapon against their perceived foes. For instance, it’s much easier to spread calumny anonymously on the web than it is by using any other method. It isn’t necessary to expose yourself as Ray Velencia did in openly passing a parishioner’s e-mails to the OCA Metropolitan Council… the more clever sorts use “sock puppets” and compliant trolls (such as Al Green and “Hank Leaf”) to attack dissident/unwanted parishioners.

What can one do? Firstly, trust no OCA or ROCOR clergy. NONE. NO… they’re not BAD men… they’re just ordinary weak ones, and a Karlgut or Lebedeff could lean on them, and they’d cave in order to “preserve their priesthood”. The rationale of the weak-reed priest is, “I can’t compromise my ministry for the sake of one person. It’s better to see one person suffer than to see my whole parish suffer”. This is the “Caiphas Option”, and it’s all too common. Some are more untrustworthy than others are… I’d say that the least trustworthy are OCA clergy from the Dioceses of the South and the West (they were under the thumb of Nikolai Soraich and Joseph Fester, need I say more?), followed closely by ROCOR clergy in Southern California (those within Lebedeff’s reach) and OCA/ROCOR clergy in the District (you have “double trouble” in the shape of JP and his puppeteer Potapov). Be careful what you say to priests… it can end up on the internet via nameless “sock puppet” posters. Velencia was a doltish exception… I have no doubt that Karlgut and Piggy Iggy told him how to do it “right”, but Velencia arrogantly went off and did it “his way”, which led to a legal settlement. It’s sad to have to write it, but that’s what I see, and I’m going to tell you the truth of the matter.

Secondly, guard your primary e-mail address. I give it out to no one… no one. You should do the same thing. Malware can come piggybacked to an e-mail, and that’s no lie, ask any geek. I won’t open “strange” e-mail… I trash it without mercy. If a clergyman tries to natter you to death… spam them. DON’T ARGUE. There are too many liars, enthusiasts, and careerists amongst the clergy… PROTECT YOURSELF. If a clergyman becomes argumentative, spam him, and forget it. If anyone asks you for someone else’s e-mail, particularly clergy, refuse them. YOU SHOULD NEVER GIVE SOMEONE ELSE’S E-MAIL ADDRESS TO ANYONE, PARTICULARLY NOSY CLERGYMEN. You don’t know whether they’re on the up-and-square. I’ve stepped into one too many “virtual cowpats”… I’m passing on my sad experience (I don’t want YOU to end up with shit on your boots… that WILL happen). Remember… weak people, not wicked people, commit most evil. Don’t hate the overly-inquisitive, but don’t “feed” them, either.

Thirdly, sign all communications with your proper name… I do! Fr Vsevolod Chaplin, who’s the main confidant to His Holiness (have you noted how the ignorant konvertsy NEVER mention Fr Vsevolod?), correctly points up that all anonymous posting is pernicious. I agree. That’s why OCA Truth, which is run by the gutless cowards Jesse Cone and Rod Dreher, is fundamentally unbelievable. Mind you, you shouldn’t put up too much information in your “About” page on your blog either (if anything at all… I learned the hard way on that one, too).

Fourthly, and finally, NEVER answer personal questions from an internet interlocutor, and never ask them yourself. I found out about that by answering such questions innocently, and seeing my confidence raped. NEVER answer personal questions and NEVER ask them. As far as my internet interlocutors are concerned, I don’t ask them personal questions… if you want me to know something, you’ll tell me, and that’s that. I won’t pry.

In short, use your good sense and discretion. An internet Nosey Parker is no different from their cousins in the real world. If we all refused to answer such creepozoids, the ‘net would be a safer and saner place. There be dragons out there, kids… take a care, and do take my hand, it won’t be so lonely that way…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Friday 18 November 2011

Albany NY    

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

27 September 2011. A Whole Lotta WORK Goin’ On… Makin’ It BETTER For YOU…

Filed under: internet — 01varvara @ 00.00
Tags:

Lately, most of my effort’s gone into Art in Faith, getting the tags and links up to snuff. As I stated earlier, I’m going to extend that to all my sites until anything that’s obscure for the general (Orthodox) reader will get a link. One of my acquaintances teaches a Church School class and she was telling me that if I could “link” explanations for the feasts and bios for the saints to the artwork, that’d help her considerably. THAT was a GOOD idea… another time when the “good idea” came from someone else. I’ve “frozen” the graphics and image layout, and it looks like the tagging and linkage policy is fairly well set now, too. You can’t “tinker” with things incessantly… that’s barmy. However, I can see where my earlier posts would benefit from tagging and linking. So… that’s where most of my online effort’s going for the time being. I’ll cover the important stuff… and if a major story breaks, of course, I’ll drop all to cover it, as per usual.

It’s all to make it easier for you guys to search and “navigate”… and that’s the NAME OF THE GAME. Be good, smile, and pass me the jug! Detail work is THIRSTY work! Ciao…

BMD

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