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Passions in Poetry

Writer's Residency Program

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since 08-10-2003
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0 posted 08-10-2003 10:41 AM       View Profile for mariella   Email mariella   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for mariella

We are accepting applications for a new Writer's Residency program in the Azores Islands. Please pass this information along to other writers and artists of all genres. Visit our island at
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since 01-31-2003
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1 posted 08-11-2003 02:17 AM       View Profile for KristieSue   Email KristieSue   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit KristieSue's Home Page   View IP for KristieSue

My computer detecteed Spyware from this site... beware all who visit.

Failure isn't failure if a lesson from it is learned ~ KS

passing shadows
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since 08-26-99
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2 posted 08-11-2003 02:31 AM       View Profile for passing shadows   Email passing shadows   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for passing shadows

thanks KristieSue
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since 08-10-2003
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3 posted 08-11-2003 10:44 AM       View Profile for mariella   Email mariella   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for mariella

Hello Kristie-

I am Maria Murray, and am the founder of the Residency Program.  A number of people have told me that they get a spyware popup when they go to the site. I am not able to get it & neither is my internet host. If you would do me the biggest favor, please send me the URL for the pop up message & your ISP. Value web, my host needs this info to be able to figure out where these popups are coming from & how I can rid myself of them.

I really am simply trying to provide a wonderful space for artits & writers to create away from the rat race. These pop ups are so contrary to my entire theme...

Not everyone gets these popups. About 10 people have complained.

Our residency site is paid for, and we do not want to do any advertising, I hate pop ups, so I am ver concerned. My host did assure me that the pop up is only a nuisance, and cannot hurt your session in any way.

I would appreciate any help you can give me on this. i have another page that can be used to view our residency program, would you mind terribly trying that one and letting me know if you ge the same problem.
It would be great if you could see if you get the same pop up here. The code for the screens were clones of one another.

Again, I appreciate the notification & would love additional help from you.
Please forgive any inconvenience this has caused you.

Best Regards-
tel 617-549-2452
Marge Tindal
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Florida's Foreverly Shores

4 posted 08-11-2003 12:52 PM       View Profile for Marge Tindal   Email Marge Tindal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marge Tindal's Home Page   View IP for Marge Tindal

I visited your lovely site ... and got no popups at all~

And you might want to edit the second link you placed here ... there's a (.) at the end of it ... and it prevents one from finding the site~

Good luck to you ... just love the peaceful surroundings of your writer's residency retreat.
Oh, Oh ... don't I wish I could !!!

Thanks for coming in to the Passions forums~
Hope that perhaps you'll also post us a poem or two~

~*The pen of the poet never runs out of ink, as long as we breathe.*~

Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US

5 posted 08-11-2003 01:42 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

KristieSue, when you said "my computer detected Spyware," what precisely did you mean? Have you, in the past, specifically installed software on your computer to do this? Are you absolutely certain the message came from your computer?

Here's why I ask.

I looked at the source code for the page and determined there is only one entry point for anything other than plain ol' HTML to appear on the screen. Apparently, Mariella is using a hidden counter, from, that calls an external JavaScript program. The service is designed to track the number of visitors who see the page, much as our little rainbow icon at the bottom of this page does. Okay, I said to self, it's at least possible that Nextgenstats was serving advertisements, so I went to their web site and examined their Terms of Use. Here, in part, is what I found:


The NextGenStats administration has determined that spyware is a serious problem to all users of the Internet. Spyware is software that is secretly installed on your computer for the purpose of recording user behavior and/or displaying unwanted advertising. Accordingly NextGenStats may scan your web site's visitors for spyware. If spyware is detected then the user will be offered a link to remove it. Otherwise the scanning will be completely transparent to the user and will in no way interfere with the normal operation of your website.

Their program talks to your computer and if it finds an indication of Spyware, tries to tell you about it. If that's what happened to you, KristieSue, you may already be infected and it was just trying to warn you. You might want to visit a third-party site, like AdAware, to find out for sure. Anyone wanting more information about how spyware works might like to visit

Mariella, you might want to consider finding another, less intrusive source for a page counter. While I commend their intent, chances are that NextGenStats is just going to scare people who don't understand an explanation that is obviously limited by the size of a popup. At the very least, there should be something on your web site with a more detailed clarification of what a visitor might have happen to them when they visit. As it is, you're leaving the fate of your visitors in the hands of someone you don't control.

As to your site and the concept behind it, I have to admit to being a little skeptical. The island is beautiful, the promise of serenity is very enticing, and the $20 a day is downright cheap. My first inclination was to check my calendar and immediately book the first free six-month span I could find. Or, at least, the winter months.

Frankly, though, I long ago learned that when something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Unless I understand how something works, and why it's being done, I get a little nervous. I noticed there's a $20 application fee? What's to stop someone from collecting that twenty bucks from several thousand people and then give virtually nothing in return? "Sorry, but you weren't accepted. Better luck next time."

I'm not saying that's what you're doing. I'm just saying there is nothing on the web site to convince me that's not what you're doing. There's no information about you. There's no information about anyone connected with the organization. There's no history, no explanation of how this is financially feasible, no details of legal structure. The domain name was registered only a few weeks ago, on July 27. You give a mailing address and phone number, and that's a darn good start to establishing trust. But I don't think it's enough. Twenty bucks isn't a lot of money, but no one wants to feel they were scammed regardless of the amount. No one wants to feel the fool.

I hope you don't feel I'm being too critical, Mariella, but I wanted you to understand my concerns and why I would be reluctant to recommend this to any of our Members. Writers, more than most groups, are too often targets, and your web site is too sketchy to convince me this is legitimate. To establish trust, there needs to be more openness and candor.

If you are participating in a scam, I sincerely hope I've scared you away from our writers. If you're not, I just as sincerely hope I've given you something to consider.
New Member
since 08-10-2003
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6 posted 08-11-2003 03:46 PM       View Profile for mariella   Email mariella   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for mariella

Dear Ron-

This is Maria Murray, the creator and founder of Footpaths to Creativity. I want to hire you!!!
1. the POP up
It had not occurred to me to check the whole nextgenstats portion of my site. I had been working with valueweb to try to solve it.
I will check with nextgenstats to see if perhaps they can remove this from my counter.

I agree it is a good thing to be warned, but the method is way too crude for my tastes. I will address this ASAP.

2.The offer seems 'too good to be true'.
It had not occurred to me that people might perceive this residency as something too good to be true. There are many other residencies all over the world and the US, and some do not charge anything. Completely free residencies are my ultimate goal, but I am not able to do it at this time. (but it is coming...) I am in the process of charting Terra Incognita Foundation, once this is completed, Residencies will be free. Retreats will still cost $20/ day.

The home(s) for our residency are houses that I inherited from my family, I am originally from Flores island, and immigrated to the US when I was 8 years old. Over the years more and more relatives have left  houses. I go to Flores every summer, and in the last few years I've taken groups for walking/ painting etc... It has always been word of mouth until this year.
I so adore the island, and love sharing it with people.
This whole RESIDENCY concept started a couple of years ago.
A friend of mine who is an artist, was having problems working & doing his photography.
He was doing more and more weddings to pay for the bills... I suggested he save some money by actually seeking out weddings.
Then we conjured up a plan for him to go to the island to stay in our home for an extended stay. He did just that, subleased his place & spent 7 months in  Flores. In his case, he ate at my aunt's house every night, this I cannot offer to the residents.

It is my dream to be able to provide a place for people to be inspired and create without the worry of the fast track.
I can completely understand why you are suspicious though, now that I give it some thought.
The $20 fee is because I cannot riffle through all the applications that we receive by myself, already I am overwhelmed.
Despite the fact that the site has only been functioning a short time, other residencies have been recommending applicants to us for a bit longer.
We very carefully check out all applicants whose work we like. It is imperative that I do not send anyone to this tiny island that will go there and disturb the 4,800 people that make it their home. I have a person that is helping me with administrative work. I have a few Professors from the English dept. and a couple of published authors, that gather to read the submitted manuscripts, poems etc. I also have 3 artists from Boston that gather to help in the selection of the visual artists.
I try to provide refreshments, and sometimes dinner. If there is an applicant that we all love and that person cannot afford the fee, then we try to round up the money to make their residency possible.

The site is brand new, as is the Residency opportunity for the general public of artists and writers. Up til recently only 2 friends have gone there, the photographer and a friend who is a scientist and went there to  write a paper that was latter published in the journal Nature. Both adored it.

My partner in life and in this adventure is a professor at Harvard Medical school and is very well published. He has spent much time on the island writing grants and papers.

Perhaps what I will do is put together a page about them, the people who have created their work on the island.
I really do not want anything there about me, I want the project to be about the artists/ writers, and the island, and not about ME.  I am actually quite a private person.

You bring up EXCELLENTTT points.
You make me see how naive I am.

I  wonder if you might be willing to have a look at what I come up with to remedy some of the authenticity problems you bring up. I cannot imagine there is someone better out there to help me out with that aspect.

Please contact me directly if you have a moment.
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