You asked for it, you got it! This is Sage, Uncensored. Here, you will find my innermost thoughts and opinions about ABC soaps and life in general. This page is not for the light of heart or faint of breath. It is definitely not for those on the verge of or already well into a white hot hatred or even mild dislike of Sage. You aren't going to dig it most likely unless you are an avid fan. This particular segment is about Sage's view and does not necessary reflect the opinion of Eye on Soaps, its staff, yourself or other rational, sane folks. Not much gossip here, just ranting and raving. If you accidentally stumbled onto this looking for the other side of Sage that is far more civilized and focused on gossip, click here. This column will be updated on an as-inspired basis.
Color Me Inspired - July 26, 2004
Little known fact about Sage: I read every column on EOS. I have very little computer time in this part of my life, so little that I had to pretty much decide I'd answer almost none of my e-mail. I knew it was a concession I would have to make when I came back because before, I spent pretty much my entire day and a good bit of the night on the computer in between taking care of Mom. As many of you know, my life changed completely and abruptly when Mom decided to travel around for a couple of years. I had a wonderful 6 months that was totally computer- and for the most part, TV- free. It was very clarifying, because as a virtual home recluse for several years, it showed me how much of my time I was occupying with worlds other than my own. It wasn't that I loved my online friends any less (if anything, it made me startlingly aware of how much they'd kept me sane), but it was more of how clear it became that I was missing interacting with people face to face and doing things that didn't involve my butt being lodged into a chair. When I came back to Eye on Soaps, it was with great excitement and anticipation, but I did know I'd have to make some changes and concessions in order to do it. Katrina was extremely accommodating of that and I am so grateful for the home she makes for the EOS staff (and me) here.
One thing I knew I did want, however, was to be in close touch with how the energy of the site was flowing. I was told it was out of sync for a scant few weeks (fortunately, it was barely a blip on the radar screen) and I'm glad I wasn't here for that fluctuation. I value this site and the way it feels, the way the people interact and the type of reader it attracts. I decided that I would read every column that posts here on Eye on Soaps and get to know through their words each of our columnists. Most of them I already knew, having either already been here when I came on board in 2001 or arrived during my time here. There are a few new faces and they are all a valuable asset to what we do.
I have been constantly amused and inspired by Coggie. I've been forced, kicking and screaming, into my better self by Kathy. I have seen the minor details I otherwise missed in the show, as well as reduced to tears of laughter, by Sherry. I have had to tip my hat to Kate more than once for her literary and acerbic wit. I've howled with laughter over JenJen's posts. I've read everything, even the archives, that Katrina (I'd link to her, but she's everywhere) has ever written. The one who moved me this week was Carolyn. There have been so many times when I have been touched by something one of our columnists has written and I have been remiss to not let them know personally more often. I plan to correct that in the future. I am very proud of all of our writers and what they do here.
I know that some of my readers link to my page without knowing there's a whole site attached to it. (www.eyeonsoaps.com) Be sure and explore it and see all that it has to offer. Coggie, Carolyn, Kathy, Sherry, Kate, Katrina... I couldn't possibly pick favorites. We're all friends behind the scenes as well and I'm excited whenever any of them posts. I know a good read is at hand as soon as I see their name on the updates page. Our new muse writers are also wonderful to read. I love reading Dayna and JenJen when they post.
Carolyn's current column is about the differences in soap sites on the net and as a former (limited computer time gets in the way of my surfing these days) peruser of sites, I have to agree with her completely. Each site operates in a different way and brings with it a different energy. Some embody class and professionalism and others are the equal to "Weekly World News" who make up their scoops or troll around the net stealing from others like hyenas because they don't have the sources (or the balls) to get their own scoops. If a site markets itself purely as gossip (Hey, I'm a gossip guy who happens to have a good source here and there who comes through for me), then it makes sense that info would consistently be repeated. If a site touts itself as the best spoiler site on the net, does so with a straight face, and then just rehashes the same scoops from other sites or obviously invents or speculates info and calls it spoilers, then that's something totally different. The readers are smart enough to see that and anyone who reads the message boards can see that fans, by and large, know the difference. The bogus scoopsters just want to see their names in lights and pretend to be important in this soapy world. I mean, as it's been said a hundred times on the net, if you base spoilers on your own speculation, you're bound to get one that pans out now and then, right? Mostly, the soap internet world (the smart reader, anyway) is onto them and the posts on message boards following their "new scoops" release reflects that to a strong degree. They are the sites that believe "any press is good press" and feel vindicated even if people are talking trash about them, pointing out their ongoing inaccuracies and discussing all that they don't like about the site or the person running it. They are the geeks of the carnival, biting off the heads of chickens and smiling through the blood running from their teeth, simply because people are looking their way, even if they are looking on in horror and disgust. Hey, at least they're looking, right? (And if that makes good sense to someone, it's a pretty scary world in which they live).
People will always go to sites like this, if for nothing more than to see what they are going to say next. It gives them material to laugh about on the message boards and a guilty pleasure to tuck into their hidden "favorites" file. It doesn't give the site any more legitimacy. It just means the traffic goes a little more slowly past the train wreck so the staring may commence.
Of course, if a site is feeding on hatred, cruelty and just plain mean-spiritedness, there will be those who are drawn to it who like that kind of thing. In any generation, there are kids who pull the legs off of insects, tie explosives to cats and dogs and knock other kids around just to feel like they matter in this life. Those kids grow up to run these kids of websites. If, as adults, these people still feel disempowered because they are lacking in character or spirit, it's easier for them to attack others and be loud-mouthed bullies than to attempt to grow and evolve themselves. Those people inevitably find one another, grouping together in tight little clusters, feeling that if they have numbers, their own spiritual and societal wretchedness is somehow justified and acceptable. In reality, it just makes for a bigger side show, a gorier train wreck, to watch as they each try to outdo the other.
I've been thinking a lot about Eye on Soaps this weekend and all that it means to me. I'm very proud to be a part of such a wonderful site and to be in the company of talented, inspired writers who don't have to prove anything to anyone. Katrina gives us the freedom to write about anything that is on our minds without reservation. The only request she has ever made, to my knowledge, is that we not attack our readers or the people who take the time to discuss what we have written on a message board. I don't think any of our current staff would ever even have to be told that. They're professional and evolved enough to know how to behave and not turn our site into a place where people go just to watch the freaks in action. For that, I am eternally grateful.
So what do people get when they come to Eye on Soaps?
1) They will receive insightful, well-written, spell checked, intelligent commentary on ABC soaps (and soon, on other networks' daytime drama as well!).
2) They will find off-topic columns on a myriad of subjects as well. Our writers are of such a talent, that we feel we would be cheating our readers to limit these people to only writing about on subject (soaps). Our off-topic material is clearly marked (see for yourself) as such on our updates page and we are very certain that our readers are smart enough to identify what is off-topic and what is about the soaps. Our writers are talented and verbose enough (we have a LOT to say, which is the hallmark of a good writer) that the off-topic material in no way bites into our soap writing time. There is every bit as much soap commentary on our site as there would be if we were not including off topic material. Statistics don't lie and ours say that our readers enjoy the off-topic material just as much as the soap columns...and the numbers are growing by leaps and bounds.
3) You get a site whose staff is very up front and frank about the fact that with the traffic we receive, we need reader assistance to remain on the net. Would you rather we were quiet about it and then just went away one day? Most of our readers, in a poll some time back, said no, they'd rather know when we need their help, so once a month, when the expenses are due, we let our readers know that it's time and they respond accordingly. No one gets rich, but we invariably come up with enough money to pay our bills and that's what's important to us. We also have readers who care enough to come up with a myriad of ways to raise money for the site and increase donations. We had a couple of days of down time last month because Katrina was at the fan weekend and was unable to cover the expense or let the readers know we were short. It was the first time in EOS history that we have been unable to meet expenses. It may not be the last, but I have no hesitation in letting our fans know that we depend on them to stick around. It might be a different way of doing things than some sites, but we don't pretend to be like other sites. We simply wish to be honest and upfront about the importance of reader donations to the continuance of our sites. It's not about guilt or manipulation whatsoever. It's simply about letting you know that we need help to stay here. If we were only getting 8,000-10,000 hits per week, it would be easy to say that we could handle it on our own, but EOS literally gets millions of hits every month and that bandwidth adds up.
4) You get REAL spoilers/scoops from REAL sources. It doesn't mean that other sites won't report the same info at the same time. It just means that you'll see news here that isn't simply invented in our minds or stolen from other sites. You've likely seen plenty of original scoops here at EOS. Sure, most sites report on the same information, but you, the reader, can see over time what proves out and what doesn't. Most of you read all of the main sites and can say, "Wait, I just saw allllll of those scoops at this site or that yesterday or the day before."
5) Commentary from a number of different angles, all with different perspectives. Our writers reflect a variety of different voices and personalities. There is literally something for everyone.
6) We really do update very nearly every day.
7) We value a fast load time and do our best to make sure that is the standard at EOS.
8) We are one of the very, very few sites with spoiler commentary posted each week.
9) We provide on the spot coverage of the GH Fan Weekend each year.
10) Above all, we like to have fun with what we do and not take things
too seriously, while still enjoying a healthy and vibrant respect for the
show and its viewers.
...And what will people NOT see on Eye on Soaps
1) Tons of pop up windows to wade through to get to the information.
2) Misspellings and grammar atrocities in every other sentence.
3) Every other spoiler punctuated with "as we told you last week..." "as we've said all along..." and "as reported here blah, blah, blah..." to show you how important we are. Also, our "longstanding traditions" have typically lasted longer than 2-3 months.
4) Continuous reminders of our sexual orientation, "I'M A GAY MAN!" "I'M A STRAIGHT WOMAN!!" Um, yeah, that's really important for the reader to know, much less be reminded of it on an ongoing basis! We are WRITERS, plain and simple. If a person has to keep telling you their sexual orientation, you have to wonder if they're trying to convince you or themselves!
5) Attacks on our readers or those who write about us on the message boards. We're just glad you were here and honor your opinion, even if you disagree with what we say in our columns! There are a number of writers on our own staff who have different opinions and we feel that makes EOS stronger. People who disagree do not worry us in any way. People who are bitchy, defensive and ranting when others disagree with them are the scary ones. If you are truly confident in your own opinions and impressions, you don't need to attack those who disagree and you don't need masses to back you up. If you are a sociopath in need of serious mental health counseling, you'll rake them out publicly in your column and rant and rage and whine and call names. It's easy to distinguish between the two and intelligent readers know the difference.
6) Site or column mailing lists that are regularly used to denounce, insult or attack other people or sites.
7) A single-minded agenda. Our writers are fans of the soap opera genre, not of any one couple, storyline, actor or character. We love the shows for what they are and as a whole rather than being directed to any one focus. One writer might have nothing but praise for a certain couple one week and give them a "pfft" the next. We judge the show based on what we see in front of us, objectively, on a day to day basis.
8) Ostracizing from other sites. We enjoy a warm and friendly relationship with the majority of the foremost soap sites on the net. Most of the reigning soap sites on the net are run by good and gracious people with whom we would be friends even if we didn't all run soap sites. (Their personalities prove out the idea that in the long run, playing nice with others is the best way to achieve any kind of longevity.) We are honored to know and call friends a large number of wonderful soap webmasters on the net. Thanks for being there, folks.
9) Infighting amongst the EOS staff. At current count there are, lessee, about 15 Eye on Soaps staff members (counting the muse writers who post regularly) and we all love and respect one another immensely! Sniping at one another just doesn't happen here.
10) Staff begging their readers to post about and promote their updates. If you enjoy what we do, you'll talk about it. If you don't like what we do, you'll talk about it. We trust you to know your own mind and whether you agree or disagree, we're glad you stopped by. I have been with this site for three years now (minus my 6-month walk-about) and I have seen on a consistent basis that our regular readers are of the sharpest on the net. We are very, very blessed to be here, to have the readers we have and to be working with the people who are on our site.
As Carolyn so wisely pointed out in her column, readers with a careful eye and discerning mind know what's going on and what's legit and what's not. I refuse to believe that the average soap net person is in such dim-eyed pursuit of just any lame-assed spoiler (true or not) that they can't tell what's real and what isn't. I trust you folks to the extreme and it has been very rare that my optimism has been proven wrong. See? If you read Carolyn's column, you'll know that she and I are polar opposites in this regard. She expects the worst and hopes for the best. I expect the best and grimace a bit when I'm let down, then shrug and move along. Even though we view this subject from very different perspectives, our message is basically the same.
Thanks for the inspiration, Carolyn.