I have noticed that as a few really close and important people disappear from MI, I have not kept up with knowing how to contact them outside of MI. I did get to know SS outside, and we even had a couple of video calls, and will hopefully stay connected to him as a friend, but that brought to mind an oversight on my part. I have a lot a people I care about here now, both as MI friends, and I hope as friends outside of MI. I am going to ask anyone who would like to send me a direct message, and I will send them my direct home email address, so we can exchange information. I understand people coming and leaving this site, I just would like to keep some of the friends as still friends through the process. I don't have any plans on leaving, and will be more active and less active through the cycles of the year.
Thank you for posting this. I am fairly new to this site, so have not traveled the Insiders mountain tops and valleys with the many folks who have had a home here for years, and thus I am still learning to recognize the patterns of ebb and flow here. I don't like to mention names in my posts/comments unless I am giving them a "shout out," but I will make an exception here, and only because anyone who is a regular here is undoubtedly familiar with these two very prolific and valuable contributors. A couple/few weeks ago, Jasper all but disappeared for a while. It turned out he only disappeared for perhaps a week or less, but it seems a lot longer because we are used to his prolific posting. I was starting to get concerned, like we lost him, and then suddenly - he was back! Turns out he was at Disney World or some such thing? Anyway, having "learned" from Jaspers absence that there is not always or necessarily an 'immediate' concern for alarm, when SS disappeared for a few days, I wasn't concerned at first and was patient with it. However, my comfort level with his absence began to grow, and about the time that I started to consider sending him a direct message, I read that he had requested to have his account disabled. I was shocked (still am) and disappointed. I love that guy!! (You know what I mean.) I am glad I have his private contact info too. It would feel quite sad and frankly disillusioning to just up and loose someone I considered a friend, even if it is just a "cyber" friend. A friend is a friend. Or so I thought. And that's the lesson that I'm working through here. This is the first online forum that I've ever participated in (aside from Facebook, but on Facebook all of my 'friends' are people that I personally know and have a relationship with in "real life" with the exception of a few special friends that are friends of friends that I've met on-line and clicked with.) Online friendship can be quite a wierd thing! Are we really friends? Or aren't we? It seems like we are. It feels like we are. We have a connection, our mutual passion for travel, our pleasant banter and our hopefully positive and valuable contributions to other's travel planning, experiences and memories. We put our best foot forward online. Here, our mostly best and highest self comes out. I am invested in my connections here. All here have contributed to the quality and beauty of my life and my world. To have a friend here just up and disappear is deeply disappointing. It's truly a loss. (I know, I should get a life, right? Truth is, I do have a life and the folks here are a very cool part of it.) It's like someone disappearing and then later being presumed dead. You never get any closure. It's the same here when someone leaves unannounced and with no good-byes or 'Thanks for the memories.' It is a loss. I will very much miss SS here on insiders.
I would be happy to share my personal contact info with anyone that I regularly interact with here as well, if interested.
pluto77, I sent you a direct message with my contact info, and yes, I agree with all of what you said. Sometimes some of the MI members leave us, not because they don't enjoy the relationships, but more because of the site not fitting their needs, the way it is currently designed. I do understand that, and hope we can find a way to be able to chat about little things via a non-thread vehicle (such as a chat-type feature), keeping some threads more in line with the original topic, without needing the high overhead of trying to keep conversations "on topic". I know this was one of the things that drove some away from the site (like Pingreeman, maybe SteppingStones, and others). NathalieF Andy, is there a remote possibility that something like this could happen? Thanks.
Greetings tryt53 - there isn't a true IM type of communication available that I'm aware of but I will look into this further. In the meantime, you could send and reply to direct messages for a similar result between Insiders. You can add multiple recipients on a direct message as well so off topic or personal exchanges aren't part of discussion threads.