Millennial Star, no more.

Some of you may notice that the blog Millennial Star is no longer operating. I’ve received word that the site officially shuttered this morning.

Even though we’re all mormons, I didn’t find a lot of social or political commonality with the Millennial Star. Sometimes the posts there made me want to tear my hair out. At times we even positioned ourselves as enemies (albeit in an extremely petty, insignificant, and nerdy sense).

But now that the blog is no longer there, I kind of miss it. The roster there are people worthy of respect: Ryan and Davis Bell, Clark Goble, The Baron, Bryce I., Grasshopper, Matt Evans…. the list goes on. Many of these are names that are indelibly linked in my mind to the nascent days of the Bloggernacle, primordial heroes of the Blogs. Many of them have their own sites, and I hope that we haven’t seen the last of them. It’s a pity that the blog only lives on in the Google Cache.

Raise a glass with me and drink to the bloggers of the Millennial Star.

Comments

  1. Raise a glass with me and drink

    Toast ‘em with Postum?

  2. Just a note that the site is down due to the current host is having problems. We don’t know why. But yes, M* is no more. But it might be up for a short time. I don’t know.

  3. Maybe a phoenix will arise from the ashes at M*.

    A good number of the core bloggers there have amazing talent and intellect. It also should be mentioned that real life, family/kids and entrepreneurial endeavors often trump blogging.

  4. That’s what happened. Almost everyone (including myself) just became far, far too busy. Geoff, who’s done a wonderful job, was bearing most of the load. And there were a ton of technical glitches as well. Bryce did a great job fixing a lot of them, but he wasn’t technically blogging there and had his own life intruding.

    My thanks to everyone who helped.

  5. Cheers, Mates!

  6. Best wishes, guys, and good luck.

    Hey Steve, now that Geoff B isn’t doing anything, don’t you think its time that we had him guest blog here?

  7. Steve’s ‘Utah strategy’ appears to be working. Another rival eliminated–soon he will reign supreme . . . unless a talented group of misfits can work together to take him down.

  8. Steve Evans says:

    Mat, that’s already been tried.

    In all seriousness, I wish things could have ended on a more positive note with M*, but I wish them all well.

  9. greenfrog says:

    cheers to M*.

  10. Good luck to all the real human beings that posted at M*.

  11. Dang it, I need closure on the whole “Mark Butler, who or what is he” melodrama…

    So how long do we need to wait before we can steal the name M* and make another blog? It is a great name for an online forum after all…

  12. D. Fletcher says:

    Really? I am surprised, actually.

    Though I started my own blog just a 2 months ago and I’m tempted to close it down too. Too much work.

  13. I must have missed the stage when it became the Millennial Red Giant, and then the Millennial White Dwarf. Apparently it just collapsed into a singularity straightaway.

  14. Oh man, that’s too bad. I suspect that a good number of links in the bloggernacle are now broken.

    I have to say that I admire the way Geoff B always responded with kindness to pointed attacks. I also wish them well.

    (BTW, I’m a small fry, but I guess I take some satisfaction in the fact that my little operation outlasted one of the big blogs. M* came online about a month after I started blogging.)

  15. M* will certainly be missed. There was a good group of people there, some of whom I sometimes disagreed with. And they built up a nice archive of posts and comments which I hope will not be lost forever into the ether. Even if the blog ends as an ongoing enterprise, I hope that an M* archive remains available.

  16. …that was the first blogernacle mormon blog I ever stumbled upon. Cheers to you all. Thanks.

  17. So, the bloggernacle now has a void in it. I guess it’d been there a while though.

    When I first came into this “bloggernacle” I felt that M* was the blog for fundamentalist christian lds members online, BCC was the blog for radical seperatist lds members online, and T&S was the blog for members who didn’t fit the other two camps but had a PHD or equivilant in something. I have gotten to know everyone better since than and also since then BCC added J. Stapley and Kevin to it’s ranks, which seems to add a little more balance to it. So M* is gone, does this mean the bloggernacle has jumped the shark?

    Also, where is the Blog for normal members? And don’t say meridian magazine.

  18. Steve Evans says:

    Matt, you have two interesting questions:

    1. “M* is gone, does this mean the bloggernacle has jumped the shark?”

    It already did, in October 2005.

    2. “where is the Blog for normal members?”

    We’re all normal members. That is the great secret. Despite all of the posturing and fictional camps that form online, we are all nothing more nor less than ordinary mormons.

    Although I have to laugh when you called us a bunch of radical separatists. To this day I just don’t know why people think that way!

  19. “Where is the Blog for normal members?”

    Your best bet is probably Feminist Mormon Housewives or Mormon Mommy Wars. But even those folks interact enough with the rest of us weirdos that it’s probably best not to consider them as fully normal, either.

  20. Steve Evans says:

    ….and now I see that I have been threadjacking myself. See here.

  21. Steve- sorry for the tj, but I think that is what blogging is all about. and no, I mean real normal members, you know, people who think and feel exactly like I do about everything all the time and would never say anything I don’t agree with ever….never ever. But good point.

    Kaimi- no way, FMH is pro-masturbation. That’s actually the one blog I avoid. Just thinking about that one thread makes me uncomfortable. I wish I were joking, but I’m not. This makes me a lamer, but hey, I am a lamer.

  22. Even though we’re all mormons, I didn’t find a lot of social or political commonality with the Millennial Star. Sometimes the posts there made me want to tear my hair out.

    There’s probably more of a back story here for you and them, but this comment confuses me. My experience at M* is that it represented what most members believe and think, but of course said it with more intelligence and thought process than most members go through. I guess I’m asking, then, if you don’t find much “social or political commonality” with most of the membership. Or is my assumption of M* being representative of most of the membership wrong?

  23. I really appreciate the kind comments. Most of us will probably continue to hang around the Bloggernacle in one way or another. Why did M* die? Not enough technical knowledge on the part of a group of well-intentioned bloggers. Our one technical guru, Bryce, was running things by himself, and that wasn’t fair on him. Jon Wilson and the Bell brothers were the heart and soul of the blog in many ways, and when they left things began to go south. I will miss M* a lot, but life goes on.

    FWIW, I really do think Mark Butler is/was a real person. If he fooled us all, he spent literally several hours a day on his posts and that is quite an effort for a practical joke.

    I have really tried over time to have the light of Christ in my comments and posts. I know many of them didn’t go over well with my liberal brethren, but I really do think that over time I managed to find a way to respond with kindness to the people who disagreed with me. I can say that my conscience bothered me early in my blogging career , but that I’ve found a gentler way of handling contention lately, and my conscience has been pretty clear the last year or so.

    I hope Steve Evans will find a way to forgive and forget. I certainly have.

    I respect all of the people at M* and hope it was a positive experience for everybody. Thanks to everybody for the thoughtful comments and the positive exchange of ideas.

  24. Steve Evans says:

    jimbob, don’t confuse what members “believe and think” with “social or political commonality.” On matters of pure doctrine, M* was (for the most part) representative of the membership. However, as you know, lots of what we talk about in the bloggernacle has little to do with doctrine, and lots to do with mormon society and culture and politics. On those playing fields, M* was often worlds apart.

    And yes, there is plenty of backstory.

  25. Steve Evans says:

    Geoff B., I wouldn’t have written this post if I hadn’t forgiven and forgotten!

  26. Tanya Spackman says:

    I raise my glass in farewell to… myself. I’ll miss me :-)

  27. I’ll miss you, Tanya.

  28. Instead of M* kicking Mark Butler off, he should have kicked them all off! Especially if they were going to do it to themselves in a weeks time anyways.

  29. Back in its hey day, M* was my favorite blog. I can’t really explain why. I think it was because it was the one blog where I always felt compelled to comment, and it’s not like I’m a radical separatist a la Steve Evans, but post after post over there seemed to work some kind of magic on me, and draw me into the fray.

    The only bloggersnacker I ever attended was hosted by M* regulars in Provo one summer. It was nice to meet Ryan Bell (who, by the way, has a great story posted over at Popcorn Popping), Adam Greenwood, and the inimitable Tanya Spackman. It was a warm reception. I even got to witness a Jonathan Max Wilson puppet show.

    I wonder if you can’t draw some conclusions from this about whether it’s more difficult for conservatives to sustain an interest in blogging than liberals. Some mediums, like talk radio, for instance, have never been able to sustain liberal talk shows very easily. I wonder if there’s not a similar dynamic when it comes to LDS blogging. In any case, although I hated the term “big three,” I always appreciated how M* brought some balance to the ‘Nacle, off-setting this blog and that other snooty one. Less conservative voices equals a less interesting bloggernackle in my opinion.

    To me it does seem a little bit like the golden age is over, or at least some significant chapter has come to a close.

    In any case, thanks for the memories M*!

  30. I don’t think so Brian. Look at the turn over at BCC. I think it is a matter of having reasonable turnover and always having someone around willing to drive it.

  31. Steve Evans says:

    I agree with J. Blogging is cyclical; people burn out or lose interest and move on, and there’s no need to think less of them for it. There are plenty of people (real ones) M* could have brought on board and continued to provide similar content, but too many key people left too quickly, and momentum seemed to slip.

    As for Air America Radio, well, that’s not just because libs are lazy – it also helps to have corporate sponsorship, and Air America was famous for all the companies that withdrew their support. See here for example.

  32. Matt W. writes:

    “FMH is pro-masturbation . . . ”

    Yes, and the rest of us are mere amateurs.

  33. Any predictions as to what will be the next blog to fall?

    I haven’t been hanging around the Bloggernaccle as long as many of you, but during the time I’ve been watching, it seems the output and participation level is less than it once was. But maybe that is just my impression/imagination. BCC and FMH seem as strong as ever, though T&S seems to have slowed down. Again, just my impression. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Which blogs that have gone the way of M* do you miss the most?

    Obviously, I miss some of the more liberal blogs… Mormon Stories, Various Stages of Mormonism, Issues in Mormon Doctrine, Bob and Logan… even Spinozist Mormon seems to be going the way of M*. Ned Flanders output also seems to have slowed to a trickle.

  34. Steve Evans says:

    I think discussion of nacle trends in general are best suited for the thread I indicated in comment #21. Let’s keep this about M*, folks.

  35. Steve, no one is saying that we should think less of people who lose interest in blogging, or that libs are lazy.

    The fact is that blogging like all media needs a certain amount of conflict to be compelling. Mormonism is a predominantly conservative culture, and therefore it seems at least feasible that there will be less conflict on the pages of a Mormon blog that leans conservative than perhaps another blog. Less conflict, less comments, less motivation to keep blogging. That’s one possible explanation.

    Similarly, many bloggers in the ‘Nacle are motivated by finding and developing community with like-minded people. I would posit that it’s possible that for conservative Mormon bloggers it’s much easier to find a much more rewarding community of like-minded people in real life, as opposed to the Internet.

    These are just a few ideas that could explain my hypothesis which you guys seem to be rejecting out of hand.

  36. Steve Evans says:

    Brian, I wasn’t trying to dismiss your hypothesis out of hand. I am not sure that conflct is an essential part of interesting Church discussions, and I’m also not sure that conservatives wouldn’t find good questions or conflicts if they wanted to — M* in its heyday found plenty.

    I am not convinced that it is ever easier to find like-minded people in real life. The costs of admission to internet friendships are very, very low…

  37. Funny. I’d put the FMH masturbation thread to which Matt W. refers in the Bloggernaccle Hall of Fame. Of course, I may be biased. After all, Tom called me “the Galileo of Masturbation” in that same thread, possibly the most charming sobriquet ever directed towards me.

    Yes, Matt W., you are lamer. :)

  38. Steve, I think that the cost of admission to a chapel full of like-minded conservative Mormons is nothing.

    And interesting Church discussions do, in fact, frequently require distinct viewpoints and opinions. It’s a constant refrain in the bloggernacle that Church is typically boring because of a lack of different opinions.

    There was plenty of conflict over at M*, you’re right, but that brings up another interesting point, as Geoff B alluded to in his earlier post, many of the M* bloggers felt uncomfortable with the contention inherent in blogging discourse. If you take the scriptural concept of contention being of the devil closely to heart than it is likely that blogging would be hard to continue at for long, and even enjoy.

  39. Steve Evans says:

    “blogging would be hard to continue at for long, and even enjoy”

    That’s right. That’s partly why I am chalking the whole thing up to general moods and trends in individual human nature, to find something interesting one day, then drop it the next. In particular I’d really hesitate to draw general conclusions about conservatives or liberals from the demise of M*. I think you do too, Brian, but even more than you I just don’t see a lot of non-admin lessons in M*.

  40. Steve Evans says:

    …in other words, I think I agree with Geoff B.

  41. Instead of M* kicking Mark Butler off, he should have kicked them all off!

    Like the last episode of Mary Tyler Moore, where everyone gets fired but Ted.

  42. Goodbye, M*. I find myself feeling that a small part of myself has died…

  43. Did M* kick Mark Butler off?

  44. I hope someone keeps the M* domain registered so it isn’t hijacked.

    That has already happened with a few blogs. They have lots of in-links, and somehow the spammers know that, and somehow the spammers get lists of recently expired domains (or subdomains on Blogspot.com) and scoop them up and use them for link farms.

    I would even contribute up to $20 to host a milliennialstar.org “archive”, that keeps the same page URLs as before so all the other in-links from search engines and the rest of the bloggernacle still work.

    Of course, they would have to disable all the message-post buttons to prevent comment spam.

    But I’d love to see the last “snapshop” of M* stay on the net for a quite while. Mixed in with some of the BS, there was a lot of good writing and spiritual insights on there, in both the posts and in the comments. Plus the out-links to other blogs and articles have worth.

    Godaddy.com has hosting with high-bandwidth and high storage limits, for $3.19/month. And even if the bandwidth does get used up, it resets the next month, so the archives will at least have a home.

    Scripts could be turned off and would not have to be maintained. And if comments are disabled, then no maintenance should have to be done. If someone wants to be “trustee” or outright own it, they could also help pay for it via Google Ads if contributions didn’t match the $3.19/month cost.

    Anyone up? I pledge $20 (one time) towards the effort.

  45. Proud Daughter of Eve says:

    Aww. Goodbye, M*. Now I’m sad. :(

  46. Farwell, and best wishes M*.

  47. Great.

    Where am I supposed to rabble-rouse now?

    Thanks for the good work Clark, Geoff and Co.

  48. I’ll gladly host the M* archives for free. I use my brother’s server for my blog(which he gets for free in exchange for services rendered) and I have almost unlimited bandwidth.

    I haven’t been using my personal blog lately, so I can easily put up the archives. I might need some help, but I will do it for free.

    You can contact me at bl.duffin (at) gmail.com.

  49. Brian, way to go!

    I hope they’ll let you transfer the domain name too so all the links work.

  50. Thanks, guys for your contributions.

  51. Prudence McPrude says:

    1 down, 99 to go. The power of prayer is real, people.

    Next, I will implore our Heavenly Father to afflict each of the BCC permabloggers with leprosy, so that this site also collapses. He will surely oblige me and my righteous desires.

  52. Aaron Brown says:

    I actually thought that M* often had some of the more ideologically balanced (and thus interesting) discussions in the Bloggernacle. I hope we will be able to continually access the archives.

    Sorry to see you guys go.

    Why doesn’t someone start of an “Evening and Morning Star”? Hasn’t been taken yet.

    Aaron B

  53. AB,
    Seeing as Morning Star is “Lucifer” in Latin, I think BCC has already done that.

  54. After Mormon Stories, Millenial Star is the second quality production that goes off-line. In both cases, the producers could not square their involvement with their obligations to their families and careers. Does it take a business plan to sustain the bloggernacle?

  55. Aaron, my wife and I have a podcast about Mormon history (two episodes so far — but some more coming in the next month) named “The Evening and the Morning Star.” Doesn’t preclude a blog, of course, but the name is at least in use…

  56. Hellmut,
    I don’t think we need a business plan. MS was a one-man show, always exhausting. As long as a blog has a core group of friends that run it, things will tick along nicely.

  57. M* is back up, at least for the time being.

  58. Steve Evans says:

    Great, ben — is this to give people access to archives, or is this a full-blown resurrection?

  59. After Mormon Stories, Millenial Star is the second quality production that goes off-line. In both cases, the producers could not square their involvement with their obligations to their families and careers. Does it take a business plan to sustain the bloggernacle?

    I’ve never understood why some of these bigger blogs don’t use Google ads. It seems like it would help offset the cost, even in a small way.

  60. Bummer – they had the best Priesthood session summary on the net.

  61. It’s still up in the air what will happen to M*. We’re discussing this and will put up a post explaining things when a decision was made.

  62. Steve Evans says:

    Interesting, Clark. Even in death, the drama continues! Keep us all posted.

  63. Clark, et al, I’d also be happy to archive your site for free should it actually be archived. I serve the pages for my sites and support what you have done.

    It will be missed…or not…depending upon what you decide.

  64. Firefox can’t find the server at http://www.millennialstar.org.

    That’s too bad.

    Guess I should have gotten my next guest post finished sooner.

  65. Hey, so apparently they’re going to try and make a go of it, at least according to Geoff B. Well, I know better than to bury someone who’s only “mostly dead.” Good luck, guys!

  66. My hunch is that religion bloggers need to be driven to write. I work on two blogs and it is a time and energy drain to keep them up. Perhaps LDS bloggers need to have a bone or two to pick to sustain their blogging efforts. Those on the “liberal” side of the Church usually are unhappy about about several aspects of Mormon life. Also, they have few places to take their concerns for discussion with like-minded individuals (Gospel Doctrine class having been proven a very unsatisfying place to attempt such discussions). The bloggernacle is really perfect for such folks. People who are a bit more content in the Church don’t find blogging about LDS issues that interesting. It’s not a matter of better or worse, just different.

    Reviewing the above, I see that some might see in it a condescending or judgmental tone. Not intended!

    Lowell

  67. Mark D. Butler says:

    Matt W. (#11),

    “Mark Butler” is my real name. Ask Ken Jennings.

    Jack (#44),

    Formally, no. I quit posting there for two reasons – first, because it was too much of a hassle dealing with the comments my posts were generating, and second because the administrators were unhappy enough with the situation to delete my last two posts completely. So I figured easily enough that I wasn’t welcome there anymore.

    Geoff B. (#24),

    As I told Clark, I was between projects at the time and the situation wasn’t likely to last very long. Back to reality…

Trackbacks

  1. [...] The news flash, apparently official, The Millennial Star no longer shines. The Star’s bloggers were an eclectic group, producing some interesting reading during their run. The Advocate bids adieu to a sister namesake.   [...]

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