Salon Table Talk

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Salon Table Talk
Salon Table Talk - Welcome 1306346734374.png
Status Offline on June 10th
Archiving status Saved!
Archiving type Unknown
IRC channel #archiveteam-bs (on hackint)
(formerly #tabledtalk (on EFnet))

Tabletalk.Salon.Com closed at the end of Friday, 10 June 2011 (around 23:59:59 PDT). The site now redirects to a goodbye article on

Download the archives at

Archiving [archived]

Archiveteam is looking at duplicating Tabletalk.Salon.Com, which has less than a month's notice to live after 16 years of existence.

We'll have more up here soon, but for the moment, if you are a subscriber, please start saving threads as fast as possible. The system is hysterically hostile to outside forces and programs working with it, and we can't subscribe to work from the inside. So for the moment, it falls to you. Please do as much "save as" to documents as possible, with the flattest threads and the most data you can get. We'll have more opportunities and discussions shortly, but time is of the essence.

There are 2973 discussions on the site.

Discussion ids

Topic file Discussions Messages Claimed by Status
attic.Books%20Attic.html.ids 112 185972 alard Downloaded
attic.Computers%20and%20Gadgets%20Attic.html.ids 25 76080 alard Downloaded
attic.Health%20Attic.html.ids 43 49978 alard Downloaded
attic.House%20and%20Garden%20Attic.html.ids 39 158918 alard Downloaded
attic.Imagination%20Attic.html.ids 115 624478 alard Downloaded
attic.Issues%20and%20News%20Attic.html.ids 81 226418 alard Downloaded
attic.Mind%20and%20Spirit%20Attic.html.ids 46 112880 alard Downloaded
attic.Mothers%20Attic.html.ids 147 958922 alard Downloaded
attic.Movies%20Attic.html.ids 80 155990 alard Downloaded
attic.Music%20Attic.html.ids 63 94153 alard Downloaded
attic.Politics%20Attic.html.ids 65 463451 alard Downloaded
attic.Private%20Life%20Attic.html.ids 140 1151462 (yipdw) alard Downloaded
attic.Salon%20Central%20Attic.html.ids 49 100084 alard Downloaded
attic.Sports%20Attic.html.ids 30 25401 alard Downloaded
attic.Television%20Attic.html.ids 64 551785 alard Downloaded
topic.Books.html.ids 63 29913 alard Downloaded
topic.Business%20and%20Work%20Life.html.ids 29 20225 (no2pencil?) alard Downloaded
topic.Families%20Who%20Think.html.ids 166 297148 alard Downloaded
topic.Gadgets.html.ids 31 10252 alard Downloaded
topic.Health.html.ids 98 55033 alard Downloaded
topic.Home%20and%20Away.html.ids 57 58054 alard Downloaded
topic.House%20and%20Garden.html.ids 141 202618 alard Downloaded
topic.Imagination.html.ids 137 87706 alard Downloaded
topic.Issues%20and%20News.html.ids 150 77262 alard Downloaded
topic.Mind%20and%20Spirit.html.ids 55 32321 alard Downloaded
topic.Movies.html.ids 85 101155 alard Downloaded
topic.Music.html.ids 59 34161 alard Downloaded
topic.Politics.html.ids 100 121838 alard Downloaded
topic.Private%20Life.html.ids 192 386561 alard Downloaded
topic.Salon%20Central.html.ids 51 67267 alard Downloaded
topic.Sports.html.ids 44 24411 alard Downloaded
topic.Television.html.ids 168 164601 alard Downloaded
topic.Welcome.html.ids 8 2507 alard Downloaded
topic.White%20House.html.ids 240 395284 alard Downloaded

Scripts, list of discussion ids

The git depository contains scripts and lists of discussion ids.

You should be able to run ./ FILE_WITH_DISCUSSION_IDS to start a download. From time to time you will be blocked by tabletalk. The script will then exit. Start it again after some time and it will pick up where it stopped.

Site structure


The discussions on the site are grouped in a number of topics. These topics are listed on the tabletalk front page: Books, Family Life etc.


(Note: the URL of the topic is not always the same as the topic's title, see Families%20Who%20Think vs. Family Life.)

Each of the topic pages has a full list of the discussions in that topic.

Most topics have archived discussions, which are moved to an 'attic'. The list of topics in the attic can be found via the attic link on the topic page. For example:

The attic page has, like the topic page, a list of the discussions.


A discussion has a starting post (which appears on each page) and a list of messages. A discussion has a discussion id, a sequence of letters and digits. The messages are paginated: 50 messages per page. The index of the next message is given in the URL, starting at index 0 for the first message.

Simple URLs to get the messages of a discussion:[DISCUSSION ID]/[MSG INDEX]


These URLs do work, but the URLs that are linked from the tabletalk pages look slightly different.

The last page of the discussion can be recognized by grepping for the LAST link. If this link is not on the page, you have found the end of the discussion.

Protection message

Most of the time Table Talk will just block and ignore you for a while, but sometimes you get this:

To protect Table Talk from aggressive search spiders, hyperactive bots or automated spammers, we take measures to suppress heavy repeated activity. If you are reading this, we may have misidentified your actions as that of a robot. We are Sorry for your inconvenience.

You will be unable to access this site for the next 60 minutes.

This restriction is a defensive response to excessive activity or other inappropriate use of system resources. Contact if you believe this to be in error - the restriction is automated, and we want to know if you feel a mistake was made.

See you in an hour!


Goodbye Table Talk[IAWcite.todayMemWeb]

Gail Williams - 10:26 am Pacific Time - May 11, 2011
Director of Communities at Salon, plus key grip and bottle-washer.

When Salon Magazine was launched on the Web in 1995, the grand opening had to be delayed slightly while the forums were readied. It was critical that there be a way to make the new web-based publication a living gathering place, in the way that traditional media had never been. The idea was that most of the discussion would relate to articles, but from the beginning much of the concern of those in the new Salon Table Talk section was about hanging out with other interesting people.

As years went by, some of the social tools that Salon had envisioned from the start, such as interactive article writing with a social component (now at Open Salon) and direct comment on fresh stories (now at Salon Letters connected to each story) became available.

The Web evolved in various ways, and search engines began displaying results from forums, which changed the context for Table Talkers. TTers asked that Google and other search tools not supply results from these forums, and Salon listened. While that preference cut both traffic and possible ad revenue, it made Table Talk feel comfortable to many.

As Table Talkers told us many times, you liked a lot about the way TT had been created and had evolved. TT saw a decline in sheer quantity from its peak, but never in quality. For a long time it was possible for Salon to let the community drift pleasantly in the background.

This year, we've undertaken the process of re-evaluating and modernizing everything about Salon's technical infrastructure. Looking at the issues involved in bringing TT forward, and at the resources of the technical staff, it became clear that the long-anticipated closing of this forum has to happen now.

I'm deeply sorry, personally, to have to make this announcement on behalf of the entire Salon team. We looked at many scenarios, and at the end the best thing to do was to tell you what was going to happen so that if you want to plan to connect with your TT contacts at Open Salon, Facebook, The WELL or any of the forums that have informally spun off over the years, you have a month to do that.

If you want to make personal copies to preserve your favorite posts or historic threads, this is the time to do that, as well. After June 10 they will no longer be available.

It's been a rich, unique, compelling conversation. Each TTer who has posted has made this place special. Mary Beth Williams, the former TT sysop and sporadic wielder of the virtual "bossy stick" of forum management, can also be credited with several years of the survival of this place due to her intense respect for the Table Talk community. Here's to her and to all the posters who you would thank for making this long-running feast delicious for you. TT has been an inspiration to so many of us.

May the friendships and the knowledge generated here continue in many places and resonate over time.

Gail Ann Williams, Director of Communities, May 2011