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GarettMaggartOnLine -- Identifying Self

Wow, go off for a week and a half to cruise the Mexican Riviera, and all hell seems to break loose! That'll teach me to try to escape the 'cold and wet is my world' life in the Pacific Northwest!

For the GM_Online behind the scenes story from one of the team's creators, read more.



I was already, literally, at sea when we received approval on our proposal to provide web-based support to Garett. When I received word of that approval, well, I burst into tears, actually, so grateful was I to think that I'd have a chance to do something that would be of service to him. Sigh. ::shakes my head:: Foolish soul that I am, I had no expectation of the uproar that would shortly follow. I haven't seen all the correspondence on this subject and probably never will, as I'm not a member of some of the lists where it's occurred but, via ship to shore and shore to ship telephone and web communications, I've seen and heard enough to understand that we've had quite a bit of drama going on for the past few days.

Thanks, Aly, for bringing a good deal of clarification, and to others, particularly StarWatcher, who thought that just maybe we weren't all evil manipulators, and were willing to see what unfolded before casting bricks. The big question is 'why be anonymous' so, in the course of this note, I'll answer that question and explain how this team came into being and why.

First, let me clarify that in no way was our initiative to provide active support to both Garett and the fandom meant to denigrate the great work done by Shar in the past on her website. However, the site wasn't updated from November 2004 (until very recently, I gather) and no explanations were forthcoming despite numerous enquiries (including some expressing concern for her) both to the site and on lists, to determine if the site had been abandoned or if something had happened to Shar.

Nevertheless, before any proposal went to Garett's managers to provide a new, actively maintained site, emails were sent to Shar's webpage addy, specifically emails which offered to help her maintain the site (with no expectation of any formal acknowledgement publicly for doing so), and later to offer to pay for the domain names. Both offers were made because of rumours that Shar was ill and facing financial challenges -- and both offers were sincere, simply to help maintain an active presence for Garett online. None of the emails were answered -- well, until recently in public diatribes. Since obtaining the go-ahead on our proposal to Garett, I understand that an offer was made to Shar to buy the domains, not out of meanness, but still from the perspective that there'd been no update or other response at that point, and we simply wanted to give the ownership of domains that bear his name to Garett.

Flog us if you will, but we thought up until the point that Shar resurfaced recently that maybe the site had been abandoned. And we thought that was a shame, as it is a very good site, or had been, and Garett deserves active support.

At this point, 'we' means me, a web designer and a graphic artist.

In the absence of any indication that Shar intended to keep the site current, or any explanation (not to suggest she owed one, only that one was not forthcoming) that she only posted when and what the office or Garett gave her directly, we felt the only way to proceed was to offer a proposal for another website to Garett. We presumed that if Shar's site was going to continue as the official site, that our proposal would be declined.

Shar has since renewed her ownership of the domains in question, and has begun communicating again, both on her site and in the fandom personally, so all the offers we'd made to help and support her are now moot. I can only assure you that, however brusque you may have read the tone of some of our team's communications, we've done nothing with any malicious intent, and you can either believe me about that or not. Personally, I'm not sure hoping to be able to give him ownership of sites that bear his name is such a terrible crime.

Further, I expect we misunderstood the go-ahead from Garett to mean that he was approving our proposal to provide an active web presence as also approving our offer as the new 'official' site. While we are awaiting clarification on this, I personally suspect that he and his managers have decided that having a number of sites, rather than one, can only provide better coverage -- hence the confusion of more than one site owner thinking there was or is an 'official' relationship. Again, personally, I don't think it matters so long as we all ensure we first clear what we're posting on the sites with the office for accuracy. It's ultimately up to the managers and Garett how many individuals they wish to work with in providing him with solid web presence.

Specifially, our proposal offered to create and maintain a website to ensure up to date information about Garett on the web. We also thought that having a coordinated, multilingual and multinational web presence would be helpful to him, so we invited the participation of others, who expressed interest in working with us in aligning the respective international sites. All of us offered this support purely from the perspective of giving him a service that we hoped would reflect our respect for him and our gratitude to him for the impact he has had in our lives -- specifically, for the joy we've had in the fandom and in the friends we've made that have enriched our own lives, and that we would not have experienced except for his talents and skill as an actor. Providing this support was a way of giving back to him, a way of saying 'thank you' and, hopefully, a way of assisting him in bringing his dreams into reality.

In addition to supporting Garett, we thought we might also be able to provide a place or places for the fandom to 'play', so we created the LJ site, the email addy for contact and intend to create a mirror website for fannish things -- like photos or Moonridge trip reports -- aside from the more professional webpage that would formally represent Garett as an actor seeking work.

Yeah, yeah, I know. You want to know who 'we' are. Well, unfortunately, we really do need approval from Garett's managers before we can abrogate the agreement of anonymity that we made with him.

Why the anonymity? Simply because we had heard that he was wary of individuals making such offers with the agenda of simply getting to know him or to have the cachet or self-aggrandizement of claiming personal connections to him. Accordingly, as part of our proposal, we offered to undertake this support anonymously, so he could be assured that the site reflected upon him and him only. Some members of the group do have personal connection with him, others like me have only the usual fan relationship in that I've been lucky enough to participate at Moonridge gatherings and at the Cascade Con, and I frankly don't expect any more personal contact to arise from this webbased relationship. Who we are, beyond informing him of who was making the offer, really isn't relevant to providing support -- or so we innocently thought.

It's unfortunate that, in this fandom at least, anonymity has come to mean something suspect or trollish, something to be challenged and castigated, as opposed to being seen as perhaps humble, not wanting personal aggrandisement, which was how we'd intended it to be. I guess we're guilty of being naive and of thinking that we'd be given a chance to be of service before being summarily judged and found wanting.

However, that anonymity IS part and parcel of what we offered in our proposal, so turning around to blithely announce our names in the community violates that proposal and his agreement that we proceed. By identifying myself, I may now have to resign from the team for having violated that commitment to him. We'll see what guidance we receive from his manager on this issue.

Given that anonymity is one of the central aspects of the proposal we made to Garett and which he has accepted, I have strongly advised my colleagues in our small team to remain incognito unless or until we receive a go ahead from Garett or his managers to set aside that guaranteed commitment to him. Whether or not Aly and I will be able to remain on the team at this point will be determined by Garett and his representatives -- but we have no technical input; site owners, web designers and graphic artists are critical to setting up and maintaining the sites, so if they abrogate the agreement with Garett and his managers, violate their trust in this, then the project is dead in the water. Hence, their continued anonymity.

For the record, I don't know Deb Warner, have never to my knowledge corresponded with her or met her, came into the fandom after the DUG fiasco, and have nothing to do with whatever projects she's working on at this time. So, any concerns that our team is currently affilitated with Deb's initiatives can be laid to rest. HOWEVER, if we were to receive guidance from Garett or his managers to support a project that he'd engaged in that also involved Debra, then we'd accede to his wishes. After all, it's his website and he decides what he wants on it. Should such an instance ever arise, we'd be clear on the site and in our LJ community so that readers would know who was involved in what.

So, frankly, it's up to you if trust or don't trust the coming websites, the LJ community we've set up, and the team. Up to you to determine whether you've enough faith in Aly (and some of you have indicated you do) or me to believe we'd not do anything to harm Garett and only wish to support him and this fandom, however we can. It's up to you whether you use the services and support of the site being created or the LJ community to post your photos or reports in the future, and up to you if you access the sites or not.

If you have further questions, please let me know and I'll do my best to respond on behalf of the team.

Respectfully,

Arianna

Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
juleself
Feb. 22nd, 2006 10:47 pm (UTC)
Arianna, thank you for this. Another account that sheds some light onto the whole fiasco. It also answered a couple of my questions.

The whole anonymity issue... I can understand it to some degree, but quite frankly, together with the IMHO very strong-worded public announcement (I do believe your sincere intent behind it, but without the background info you provided now, that certainly read differently), it probably wasn't the best course to go.

A lot of things maybe weren't handled ideally, but that's not something that can be changed now.

I do hope that out of all of this, we (the fandom) will all profit from whatever we'll get. If it's one official site or two sites with official approval, I don't really care right now.

I just hope that everything will turn into something worthwile. For all parties involved.
caarianna
Feb. 22nd, 2006 11:06 pm (UTC)
Orion, thanks for your comment. Yeah, in hindsight, things could perhaps have been handled differently ie getting firm clarification about 'officialdom', but we're all fallible and were just trying to keep people informed while also respecting the terms of our agreement. Believe me, we had NO idea of what a problem the offer of anonymity would turn out to be. Best laid plans and all that ....
caarianna
Feb. 22nd, 2006 11:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, sorry, meant to add that I also hope this will all turn out to be good news for Garett and for the fandom. Having multiple sites does increase his presence on the web and that's all to the good. We'll see. Some of the folks involved are quite new to the fandom and are feeling a bit bludgeoned right now. I'm feeling a bit guilty about that, as I encouraged their engagement in this and then was lost at sea when it all broke loose. Since they're the technical experts on the project, if they choose to pull out, then the project is dead. As you can imagine, I and Aly are encouraging them to take heart, that this controversy will pass and all will be well.
trislindsay
Feb. 22nd, 2006 11:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I think we all needed to hear from you and Aly.

I sincerely hope GM realizes what great fans he has, and that he takes advantage of what each of you is offering.
caarianna
Feb. 23rd, 2006 02:54 am (UTC)
Hey, thanks for your support and good wishes. I don't presume or pretend to be someone who talks with Garett personally, lol, but I have heard that he really appreciates the support of the fans. So far as I know, his office confirmed again today that what we'd understood was correct and there will be more conversation over the next few days.
kungfunurse
Feb. 22nd, 2006 11:39 pm (UTC)
Heya. Just wanted to stop by and offer my support and encouragement for your new project. I'm regretful about all the misunderstandings, and I'm really excited to see what you guys will come up with for the site. I sure hope that GM and his managers don't feel it's necessary to ask you and Aly to leave the team - I think it's normal to have spokespeople in place for just this sort of Q and A. Good luck with everything and keep us updated!
caarianna
Feb. 23rd, 2006 02:56 am (UTC)
Thanks for your good wishes. I'm hoping you'll find the websites fun and the LJ community a fun place to play. Aly has just posted a list of all our group members so, yeah, I'm hoping the anonymity thing won't blow up on us. As far as I know (remembering I'm still lost at sea and all my telecommunications are haphapzard), everything is fine and all systems are go!
jessriley
Feb. 23rd, 2006 12:21 am (UTC)
Thank you for your explanation and although a couple of mistakes may have been made it just goes to prove that we are all human. In the grand scheme of things its not really a big deal -- so, we might end up with two official sites. I can only see that as a good thing for both the fans and for GM.

So, can't we all just make up and get on with the good that this fandom has to offer!



jessriley
Feb. 23rd, 2006 12:45 am (UTC)
So, can't we all just make up and get on with the good that this fandom has to offer!

Oh, and I meant this as a general fandom 'we' -- it wasn't aimed at you of course :grin:
caarianna
Feb. 23rd, 2006 02:57 am (UTC)
::snickering:: I didn't take the comment personally! But I love the sentiment. Way too much drama over this! I really hope everything will settle down now and we can all get back to having fun.

Thanks for your support, Jess.
patk
Feb. 23rd, 2006 10:23 am (UTC)
>>Foolish soul that I am, I had no expectation of the uproar that would shortly follow. <<

*g* Well, I can't speak for others but life taught me to be careful with people who promise me something good but want to remain unidentified - usually it's "too good to be true and the other shoe *will* drop at some time". So yes, I personally would have expected this kind of uproar simply by former experiences. People usually don't tend to trust anonymous people. If they do, they often end up in the local news as victims of the latest case of fraud. And since people behave in fandom similar as they behave in the so-called "real life" I would have pictured this reaction of suspicion and mistrust at least as possible, even likely - at least from my POV. It's what a lot of us learned by experience - "don't trust strangers, all the more if they don't want to tell you their name". :-)

>>First, let me clarify that in no way was our initiative to provide active support to both Garett and the fandom meant to denigrate the great work done by Shar in the past on her website.<<

Well, I think this was the other point who stirred up so much trouble: the wording of the initial announcement. To me it sounded simply scary. From my POV: there was an anonymous group who wanted to take over ownership of an existing site that's around for years and claimed to be chosen to maintain any online presence of Garett in the future.

Again, I can't speak for others but to me this sounded really frightening. Remember, nobody knew anything about this and here was this bombshell, dropped by somebody nobody knew. Yep, scary - at least for me.

>>Flog us if you will, but we thought up until the point that Shar resurfaced recently that maybe the site had been abandoned. And we thought that was a shame, as it is a very good site, or had been, and Garett deserves active support.<<

A reasonable idea and nobody deserves to be flogged because of this thought, but again, the team was the only ones who knew about this. To everyone else, who hadn't a clue about anything - except for the disembodied voice booming down from the sky (so to speak, figuratively, it felt like that) basically "We're here now, we're offical and we're taking over" - the whole idea and motivation behind it was left in the dark. I think it's no wonder people reacted cautiously in varying shades of politeness. Personally I think there was a lot of feeling defensive involved. Someone unidentified tried to take over something that was around for years (Shar's site) and hadn't done anything to bring that down on it. That's what it looked from my perspective - and that was why I wanted names, very urgently.

I read everything above about the intentions and motivations of the group and on every statement regarding supporting Garett I can only agree. Yes, his carreer deserves support etc. etc. no doubt about that. But the initial announcement smacked more of "wielding power" than "support" - at least to me, making me all the more mistrusting. I'm not criticizing here right now, I'm trying to explain some of the strong reactions from people. And bear in mind, the rest of fandom still didn't know who was behind it and therefore unable to judge the possible intentions/motivations etc. by former experience with known names.

Regarding the offer of undertaking the task anonymously. I think the motivation behind that was honorable but to expect that it would be accepted well in fandom was... well, naive, I guess. :-) Of course, having it offered this way, there was not much choice for you (generic) to keep the promise if you wanted to prove yourself reliable. I see that but I still think this particular part was a not well thought-through idea and caused more trouble than necessary. JMO, of course.

caarianna
Feb. 23rd, 2006 07:37 pm (UTC)
Pat, I can't take issue with anything you've said and, indeed, have to agree with the points you made. You're right, we hadn't thought the 'anonymity' through, particularly from the perspective of LJ and email communities. If a website had gone up, had reliable data, etc, it probably wouldn't have been as worrisome as an online group of unknowns suddenly seeming to be wanting to take over. We very much regret the wording of that particular note.

Thanks for your comments. We live and learn as we go along. We all feel badly about the bitterness that has emerged around this when all we want to do is provide support to both Garett and the fandom. I'm sure things will eventually settle down and we can just get on with providing the services we've offered and that Garett and his team have accepted.
patk
Feb. 24th, 2006 08:44 am (UTC)
>>If a website had gone up, had reliable data, etc, it probably wouldn't have been as worrisome as an online group of unknowns suddenly seeming to be wanting to take over.<<

Yes, that's what I meant, thanks for summing it up so properly. :-)

>>We very much regret the wording of that particular note.

Oh, boy, how much I can see that. :-) It's always very disturbing and unsettling when seemingly good plans fire back and go straight in the direction one did *not* want them to go.

>>We live and learn as we go along.

Well, what else can one do to get something positive out of things that have gone wrong. It's the best policy to take that philosophical stand and go ahead, striving for better results by putting former experiences to use. :-)

>>I'm sure things will eventually settle down and we can just get on with providing the services we've offered and that Garett and his team have accepted.<<

Yep. After all, there's a good goal to reach. *g*

PatK
:-)
patk
Feb. 23rd, 2006 10:24 am (UTC)
Part 2
>>It's unfortunate that, in this fandom at least, anonymity has come to mean something suspect or trollish, something to be challenged and castigated, as opposed to being seen as perhaps humble, not wanting personal aggrandisement, which was how we'd intended it to be.<<

Ah, I think one can't blame fandom especially for taking anonymity this way. I wouldn't trust an anonyme source in RL as well and it's my RL experience that made me this way and made me take it with me into my fannish life. I think one can rather blame life in general for providing experiences that causes this kind of thinking, no matter where. :-)

>>HOWEVER, if we were to receive guidance from Garett or his managers to support a project that he'd engaged in that also involved Debra, then we'd accede to his wishes. After all, it's his website and he decides what he wants on it.<<

Correct. You clearly wouldn't be able to do otherwise without going against what he wants.

>>So, frankly, it's up to you if trust or don't trust the coming websites, the LJ community we've set up, and the team.<<

And knowing who's in the team now makes it much easier to decide. :-) Which was the main point all along - at least for me.

Thanks for this explanation, it clears up a lot and I'm grateful for the information.

PatK
:-)



caarianna
Feb. 23rd, 2006 07:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 2
Pat, thanks again for your comments. I'm glad that Aly and I have helped to alleviate some of your concerns and I appreciate you letting us know that.
craftypug
Feb. 23rd, 2006 12:31 pm (UTC)
Wow, I really am out of touch with Sentinel fandom. This is the first I've heard of any of this. So without having heard all of the uproar and bruha, here are my humble comments based solely on your post.

If a website is sitting stagnant for two years, it is a reasonable assumption that the website has been abandoned. If the website is supposed to be an "official" website, then yes, the owner does owe people some sort of explanation of why there are no updates. If that is the fans main source of information, the owner should at least post a note as to why the site is not updated.

As for maintaining a site anonymously, I can see why you would want to do that. Fans get weird about actors. Yes, I speak from personal experience. I have friends who have run fan clubs in the past. Fans in group B get weird ideas when they know that fans in group A have even a passing access to a popular actor. ::shrug:: Maybe though, instead of announcing the group as an anonymous group, you could have created a psuedonym or something. Or just have come out from the beginning. While I see your idea and even agree with it, it may not have been the best way to go. Hindsight is a bugger. :(

Most of all, *please* don't let this spoil your love of The Sentinel. You are trying to do something good for GM and for the fans. I, for on, will be happy to see an source of current news on what GM is doing. Yes, I trust you and Aly to provide that.

{{HUGS}}
caarianna
Feb. 23rd, 2006 07:48 pm (UTC)
Kayra, thanks so much for your observations and comments -- and especially for your encouragement and support. Yeah, in hindsight, we've learned a lot from this new venture, LOL. The anonymity, in particular, while very well meant really has created a brouhaha of sorts.

Again, thanks for replying and for understanding why we moved forward and what we hope to provide over time, both to Garett and to the fandom.
gardendoor
Feb. 24th, 2006 04:05 pm (UTC)
*sigh* It sounds so simple... but fandom rarely remains simple. I'm so sorry this blew up in your faces. Thanks for adding a second voice of reason to the whole mess, and I hope you and Aly get to stay with the project. Whether you are the only site or one of many, it sounds like a wonderful proposal, and I'd love to see the site come to life with everything you guys hoped to accomplish.
caarianna
Feb. 25th, 2006 02:22 am (UTC)
Hey, thanks so much for your support and encouragement. It's very much appreciated!
garettgal
Feb. 24th, 2006 08:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing further information with us. It makes a great deal much clearer and I hope that the obvious disappointment that you Aly, SuziQ, Peter & Sylvette must be feeling does not:

a)detract from your future interaction within the TS fandom.

b)prevent you from starting and maintaining another website for Garett.

I had already said that I felt the tone of the announcement was heavy handed but, as has already been mentioned, no one is infallible and hindsight is a wonderful thing. Both you and Aly, as well as Suzi, have all gone to great personal lengths to show the honest heartfelt motivation behind the group and I regret that your wonderful plans were met with little enthusiasm.

I sincerely hope that the whole negative experience has not put you all of the idea of going ahead with a new site. I firmly believe there is more than enough room for another site providing information about Garett and wish all of you luck with this enterprise.
caarianna
Feb. 25th, 2006 02:14 am (UTC)
Thanks for your comments and good wishes. I'm just home from San Diego, but so far as I know, we're going ahead with the site.
fluterbev
Feb. 25th, 2006 10:53 am (UTC)
I'm just catching up with LJ after being out of the LJ loop for a week, and I was going to comment here, but saw that Garettgal had articulated my own thoughts perfectly :-).

I'm just going to add: so sorry you've had all this flack. It always impresses me greatly when people stand up and take responsibility for their actions. I know that you all have only the very best intentions - your account and Aly's leave me in no doubt of that - even if some things could have been handled better. You're a gerat group of people, and I'm sure you'll deliver something amazing. For what it's worth, you have my support :-)
caarianna
Feb. 25th, 2006 11:36 am (UTC)
It's worth a great deal, Bev, thank you. I was pretty discouraged earlier this evening by your comments and those of several others in your LJ, I think because by the time I got home this evening, I was too damned tired to think when I read it all. I should have just gone straight to bed ::smiles:: I know we did some things wrong, in the heat and excitement of the moment (in large measure because when we got the message that Garett had approved our proposal and to go ahead, we thought ... well, I won't go into it all again) but the firestorm that erupted was incredible. I'm so glad I'm not on Sentenalia, and didn't see it all, though I understand that there were some encouraging posts. I think if I was, I wouldn't still be in the fandom. I'm particularly upset by the attack on StarWatcher, that I read about in your LJ. Sounds like it was really awful. It made me wonder, once again, why I'm active in the fandom (as opposed to just writing and reading), when someone as decent and reasonable as StarWatcher gets hashed simply for stating a level headed opinion. But then I remind myself that those doing the most aggressively negative assaults aren't the whole fandom.

Thanks for your note. I really appreciate it. We know we have the endorsement of the project, so we're forging ahead. Hopefully in the next few weeks, we'll have the sites go live, and then people can judge for themselves as to whether we'll be providing a service they'll use.
fluterbev
Feb. 25th, 2006 11:50 am (UTC)
It's worth a great deal, Bev, thank you.

I'm glad, and you're welcome :-)

I was pretty discouraged earlier this evening by your comments and those of several others in your LJ

I'm really sorry about that, hon. The last thing I want to do is add to your stress. As you know, I'm a person who likes to speak my mind, but I do always try to do it in a way that is fair and non-inflammatory (not always with total success, I have to admit LOL). As I said on my LJ, my only issue with the GMO team, for the record, is that some things could perhaps have been handled more diplomatically in the beginning, but that's easy to say in hindsight, and it's also something the team themselves have said since. I know all of you to varying degrees, and I trust and respect you all. Plus, the case you have put forward rings of absolute truth to me. And, as I also said in my LJ, the major issue I have is that I simply can't understand the extent to which people have got bent out of shape over the creation of a website - which fans are at liberty to look at or not. It makes no sense to me, and smacks of people trying to create drama for the sake of it.

So, as I said, I wish you all the best. I think your project will prove to be an excellent one, and I am really looking forward to seeing it in action :-)
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )