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Help Yourself, Help Me

 |  Interwebs

I was having a discussion in the quilting bee IRC channel last night about users (in general, not q*bee users). A specific type of user: the user that complains constantly that X or Y is not suitable for their tastes/what they want to do, but who do bugger all to resolve that. Perhaps it’s just because I own and run so many sites, but I see this constantly and it’s gradually becoming one of my biggest annoyances on the web.

Take for instance, rev.iew.me. Things are quiet there at the moment because I had to put new features on hold, but generally speaking there are new users and new reviews on a daily basis. Despite this continued activity, there’s always somebody bitching that their site only has X reviews/begging for more. In every single instance, these users have completed approximately half the amount that they’ve received.

The whole “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” ethic that I want the site to maintain lasts for about as long as it takes for a user to get their site added. (And don’t even get me started on the lame-Os that flounce the second they’re warned not to write junk reviews; and threaten me with “online cops” who “hack websites”!)

It’s not just rev.iew.me; Snark was mentioned too. Some users don’t like that the most active thread(s) are the random threads. Of course, when questioned, none of these people have made any effort to create other threads with more specific topics, or start a conversation on something that will interest them.

With little exception, even users of my scripts find it impossible to give feedback so that each can be improved upon, and this is the most frustrating because it’s the users that benefit most from my free coding time, not the random visitors I eventually harass for input. I publically shout out for e-mails, tweets and comments on what the user wants, and it’s not until they’ve given up using a script that they take the time to rant about it (and even then, not to me).

I think this attitude that “someone else will sort it” (that problems will magically fix themselves) goes hand-in-hand with the assumption that people deserve something for nothing (something I briefly touched upon through Julie’s “Paying For Free Things” entry last week). If you can’t summon up the energy to put a little effort in to solving your problems, don’t expect others (me!) to have a clue (or care) when things don’t work out.

I know us webmasters are a talented bunch, but generally speaking we don’t have time to wipe everyone’s arse, nor have we mastered the psychic arts yet.

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

58 comments so far

  1. Clem said:

    I agree. I don’t find Snark too unbearably heavy on the random threads; for awhile there it was kind of boring, but I think lately it’s picked up a little. But I do find it kind of ridiculous when people complain about it, because they could always start their own thread. (I don’t really mind either way; I like idle chit chat, but I also enjoy debates/extended dicussion.)

    Unrelated: There is a strange indent-type thing happening here. http://ohclementine.com/shiz/jemindent.png

  2. Cristina said:

    If you can’t summon up the energy to put a little effort in to solving your problems, don’t expect others (me!) to have a clue (or care) when things don’t work out.

    Amen!

  3. Vera said:

    Oh good, I LOVE being agreed with bwahahaha!
    On a side note, despite being used to it, sometimes I can’t help but feel like such a waste having spent 3 hours on a review, when 2 minutes later the reviewee will beg for more reviews on the tagboard. Not even having bothered to reply. Ah well, I’ll get used to it… I hope… eventually :P

    As for complaining about Snark’s randomness… weren’t you the last one who did that? Or maybe I have a really really selective memory.

    Oh and yay for fixing the indent :)

  4. Jem said:

    If you mean my response about the post count thread being pointless, that was an observation, not a complaint. If it’d bothered me I’d have just deleted it :P (*insert cackle here*)

  5. Hev said:

    Hee, hee I thought Jem was still around here somewhere. Jem seems to be getting a little soft these days. Though I do understand why. I agree with you about feedback (even though I am one that tends to forget to give it to you & makes you remind me).I promise to try & do better. As soon as I load Bellablocks I will give you feedback.

    Oh, you can forget about the email asking about the baby room. I found something that I am going to do for you that is simply perfect & oh so cute. So I don’t need it answered. There is one email taken care of for you, lol.

  6. Kitty said:

    Aaahh..interesting topic Jem. It actually reminds me to ask you on the matters of your PHP Mail form. I’ll mail you the details soon.

  7. Jessi said:

    I don’t bad trash your sites, so don’t trash mine. I’m staying away from drama which is why I quite. I can post all the nasty links about you that I want, but I’m politely asking you to take my link down.

  8. Jessi said:

    I’m not doing this to entertain you. I wanted to be left alone, and I thought that was going to happen but I guess not. It’s called cyber bullying. :] Learn what it means. You can be arrested for it. And it just so happens, I’ve dealt with these things before and my best friend’s dad is an online cop. He’s arrested someone I was dealing with before. I’m sure you think I’m bluffing. Too bad for you. (:

  9. Jessi said:

    Sorry you’ve never heard of one. He. Hacks. Sites.

    I’m going slow so you can understand what I am saying. :]

    He’s done it before, he can do it again. He gets paid to do it so it won’t be a problem for him.

    I just want all drama to stop. In case you reconsider, I’ll take the stuff off my site if you do the same. Believe it or not, I have the same power in blogging as you do. I’m not trying to be rude, my only wish is to withdraw from the drama.

  10. Jem said:

    LOL, that’s a new one. An online cop that hacks sites. Wow, I’m being educated today.

    I can’t wait to see your power, though.

  11. Jessi said:

    Kay, you’re obviously retarded. Look it up when you have a chance. I don’t expect you to apologize when you figure it out, as I’m sure you’re just dense.

    But my goal isn’t to stoop as low as you, so I’m sorry for my comment. I guess.

    I have actual friends, and I’m not going to care anymore. I’m sure I have more supporters than you, and if I want to withdraw from drama, I can’t expect idi– *scowl* people, to do it for me.

    So with that, you can insult me all you want. But I’m glad that I’m the one rising above you. :]

  12. Jessi said:

    Just one more point, I’m glad you put that on there, I was afraid that I was being meaner. Now I’m proud of being so calm. Thanks for keeping our conversation! :D I’ll put it on my site too! (:

  13. Lauren said:

    I’m trying to work out why an "online cop" would hack websites… isn’t that illegal?

    I agree entirely with the "scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours" ethic. At the end of the day most of us who own websites are people doing it for a hobby and a way to relax and are creating content and services purely out of the desire to share and help. Of course if you’re offering a service there is some standard to be expected, whether it’s for free or paid, but the number of people who seem to expect a free Blogging script that will also answer their e-mails, wash their car and cook dinner for a family of five is staggering.

  14. Angela said:

    OH NOES! Everyone run, it’s the CYBER COP!

    *dies laughing*

    If they exist, send him on over, I’m sure Jem would think it a fun time :D!

  15. Aisling said:

    Oh dear, really? … Jessi, those things seriously don’t exist for things like this. Sure there are cops who use the Internet for… catching child molesters, and such, but NOBODY is going to give a damn that you are being "cyberbullied" by someone you don’t even know. If you were being "cyberbullied" by someone from your school, maybe. But some random girl, who really hasn’t done anything except link your site and post a conversation? Nope.

  16. Melissa said:

    People who beg for more and then want it for free are pathetic. You can’t expect the quality of anything to be good (whether it’s a review, a product, etc) unless you are willing to invest at least a little into it. Those who don’t invest (be it time, money, "scratch your back" thing, etc), really don’t have the right to make demands. :P

    As for the "cyberbully" threat… zomg bring it ON plz. As Aisling said, you can’t get someone arrested by your BFFFFFFs dad for simply remarking on how flouncy you are (especially if they are in a DIFFERENT COUNTRY)… your life isn’t exactly threatened is it?

    By the way, attempting to childishly debate with and insult Jem always fails. She never takes petty and tweenish remarks like that personally, which is why she will forevermore… pwn you at the Interwebs. ;)

  17. Eka said:

    "I have actual friends, and I’m not going to care anymore."
    That’s a ROFL-copter! How many times have that comment been left on this site?

  18. Nicole said:

    I love how she like keeps going on and on and on with you even though she kept pretending like she didn’t care. Also, I pray to goodness her, lyk omg BFF’s, dad has better things to do with his time than look at something like this online. If he doesn’t chances are he would tell her to just stop commenting back. But, she had to get the last word in. Oh well, she’s a petty 14 year old girl who has nothing better to do with her summer than banter with someone superior in life an on teh intertubes and fail.

  19. Sarah said:

    Sometimes I find it hard to understand people. Jessi is one of those. I mean come on, who uses black text on a dark grey background?

  20. Trish said:

    I try to do as many reviews as I have time for and I try to make them somewhat decent, unlike the "wow i lyk ur syte so ill give u 1 star" reviews I’ve seen. I have asked if anyone wanted to review me on the tagboard, but I only wanted feedback on a new layout (and only 3 or 4 people reviewed me while I had 29 reviews I’d done). I definitely don’t beg, though. :/

    It really irks me when people make comments and at the very end they type, "mm kay, bye. :] ". My site has never had drama… o_O

  21. Anna said:

    I do believe that you cannot hack sites legally, Jessi.

    And it’s only cyberbullying (well, this is what I think), if the person asks to harass the person in the link. I’m not quite sure.

    There’s some sites about cyberbullying, that let’s you contact some people about your case. I’ve used it before and they’re very quick.

  22. Anna said:

    "but NOBODY is going to give a damn that you are being "cyberbullied" by someone you don’t even know."

    I think there is a bill about cyberbullying people on the internet. Something about going to jail, etc.

    And cyberbullying is a VERY big issue. It’s not just from kids you know.

  23. Jem said:

    Which is all well and good, but I don’t think Jessi coming HERE and commenting on MY site trying to get a rise out of me counts as me cyberbullying her, no?

  24. Chans said:

    Unfortunately the ‘I won’t do it someone else will’ mentallity stretches all the way to the work floor in some cases. I hate it when people leave work for others to fix because they don’t feel like doing it but meanwhile complain they a) have nothing to do or b) want to go home early but can’t because the work isn’t done yet (for them).

    Everyone needs to pull their weight, and if one wants change they have to start with themselves.

  25. Rosemary said:

    Wow, I wasn’t originally going to comment, but Jessi…considering what YOU were saying back at Jem, YOU’RE the one "bullying" by your seemingly broad definition.

    Anyway, it’s not cyber-bullying when all Jem said was "And don’t even get me started on the lame-Os that flounce the second they’re warned not to write junk reviews." She didn’t trash-talk your site at any point. She just called you a lame-o. That’s not even an insult that warrants the label of "bullying." If that was all it took to get the police to bust "bullies," we wouldn’t have such demented children getting abused by their peers. And after reading the conversation that occurred between the two of you on rev.iew.me…the FAQ explained the exact reason why your account would NOT be deleted, and yet you still continuously asked for an account deletion. Can you not read?

    Seems like what her friend’s dad really is is just someone she complains to, fabricates lies about how she’s being bullied online, and gets them to "hack" their site without even finding out the truth. What a bunch of bull. Though, you can definitely report her to the police for aiding an online hacker, since that is quite illegal in the US and is a lot worse than silly insults being thrown around. Do you still want to claim your friend’s dad is a hacker, Jessi? Hm?

    And I agree, many people have that kind of mentality nowadays, and it’s quite annoying. You want more interesting posts? Find some interesting topic starters yourself to encourage others to do the same. Want more reviews/comments? Comment/review others. Don’t SPAM, properly do so.

  26. Carl said:

    HI

    First time to this blog so ill just say what I see.

    First off, I cant understand why people complain about other sites/blogs if there is no malicious intent i.e racism, threatening behaviour or illegal activity etc, people who cant understand that the web is the only source of ‘real’ free speech, need not create a blog at all.

    Secondly, bad mouthing on other peoples blogs/sites is not going to sort out the situation is it, wouldnt it be better to just e-mail the owner and politely ask to be removed and give constructive reasons for doing so, im sure in most cases blog/site owners only want contributions from people who are interested or support their blog/site anyway so people who think bad mouthing or threatening will do the job, simply dont understand it will get them nowhere.

    Finally, I agree with one of the posts above that snide spamming is definitley on the up and is causing chaos on some blogs. I dispise the way people leave 2 or 3 word answers just to get links, why not just be constructive to the discussion and add value, just no need.

    Anyways, theres my 10 minutes worth…will definitley be back to comment again. spk to you soon

    Carlo

  27. Christina said:

    Wow, I’ve been following jemjabella.co.uk on and off for years now, as well as other sites whose designers I respect. I have to wonder if I was that immature and childish when I was 14 and designing on the internet. I mean, I know my layouts were THAT bad and amateur, but would I ever have humiliated myself the way Jessi has here? That #*&% needs to piss off and find something ELSE to do with her time, something other than wasting Jem’s time with her little spoiled &$^# antics.

    If anything, Jessi, try to learn from Jem. She’s got a lot, lot more class than you do.

  28. Nicole said:

    "Which is all well and good, but I don’t think Jessi coming HERE and commenting on MY site trying to get a rise out of me counts as me cyberbullying her, no?"

    Agreed

  29. Vera said:

    Hi Carl! You completely misunderstood Jem's post. But hey, no sweat, the Internet is free for all… to make an idiot of themselves as well.

    Hint: next time read the blog (more) attentively. ;)

  30. Carl said:

    hello all

    I was referring to others who bad-mouth on blogs i.e the person on here who was threating the owner of this blog.

    Many thanks for giving me the hint however I always read blog entries and comments before i leave my responses as otherwise i wont waste my time responding however i understand your point – sorry if i never made myself clear enough.

    Kind Regards

    Carl

  31. Jem said:

    Hi Carl, no worries – I think it's very easy to misinterpret meaning behind words on the web :) Thanks for clarifying.

  32. Mimi said:

    Oh my god Jem, I love you!! I think you can single-handedly force most of the worst sites/owners on the net into hiatus. It's fucking hilarious. I think some pants should be taken out of the dresser drawer… :D

  33. Meghan said:

    It's past midnight and I have to be at work at 5am but I had to finish reading this blog and all the comments before I went to bed. HILARIOUS!

    *props to Jem* :)

  34. Cristina said:

    Thank you so much to helping me out figuring with tutorial. I didn't saw this thing. Now it's fixed^^: http://xdinna.info/tutorials-1/csshtml/validate-a-psp-9-image-map/

    Well many people wants they receive reviews/comments but they don't want to work for them. What you give that's what you receive. Those things doesn't happen in reviews or forums. Also with comments. Some people wants their blog being commented, but they doesn't comment other, or if they do it, they leave 2-3 words where it';s included "visit my site" too. It's kinda stupid. You have to make people like you, your site and whatever you do(comments, blogs, threats, reviews etc).

    Many people find more simple to ask others about their problems, than trying to solve them without help. But they don't wanna learn and don't wanna make effort for their websites.

  35. Veronica said:

    LOL I love you, Jem.

    We don't know each other that much yet, but I'm enjoying you more every new piece I find. ^_^

    Anyways, do something for me, will ya? If someone tells you that they don't care and aren't going to continue the drama any more, yada-yada… and then you ACTUALLY never hear from them again… Blog about it! I want to know if that actually ever happens. ^_^

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