Thursday, 18 November 2010

There IS a Cyber Hell!

CARTOON Pictures, Images and Photos

I am in a mood, so pardon me while I bitch for a few moments.

I had something happen to me this week that was just plain, unadulterated rudeness. And since it made my biscuits steam, it urged me to get up on my cyber soapbox about it—and honey, there isn't any Tide or Gain in my soapbox, only fire and brimstone!

I've said it once, I'll say it a hundred times, I stay off of most of the Yahoo loops because the crap that I see happening on them disgusts me to no end. I'll post blog announcements on the promo loops, but discussions (if it's not a chat, which I seldom do anymore either) are kept to the two loops I own and one nice li'l group I've been hanging out on the past few weeks. The petty crap that I see happening amongst authors is mind boggling. Note, however, I'm not saying all authors do mean and rude things. For the most part all the authors I encounter are nice. It's the people who walk all over everyone else who make me shake my head and think, "Oh, yeah, that behavior is really endearing h/her to everyone in Loop World."

So, what rudeness happened to me this week, you ask?

Well, it was a simple matter, really, but it still pissed me off. Never hijack someone's thread because A) you're too damn lazy to write your own thread header, or B) you see an opportunity to steal someone's thunder to promote yourself.

Why do people stoop so low? Do they truly believe that by undercutting someone that it will benefit them in some manner? Make them more sales (if an author)? Present them in a golden light with a li'l halo?

All that unprofessional behavior does is make the offender look like donkey's butt with devil horns.

Look, blatant promos aside, in e-Bookville people take time to compose posts that will grab attention. They want readers to come to their blogs, visit their websites, and check out the contest page they might be posting about. Matter of fact, I visit author sites all the time (and used to do it a lot when I was a managing editor and scouting for talent). I love to look at the various site designs, glance over book covers, read blurbs, and investigate blogs that are unusual, entertaining, thought provoking and humorous. When I see posts put together nicely and they're attention grabbing, I often visit the links within those posts.

It's no different than being at the park showing a crowd the new pair of Jimmy Choos you were given by someone special. Suddenly a bully stomps past, throwing mud and slush all over your nice shoes. Then she turns with an evil glint in her eyes, grins, holds up a pair of stilettos and says, "Look at my sparkly new Gucci heels. Now these are special shoes."

{Yeah, special shoes that will look really pretty stuff up your...! Ahem!}

I can't count the times another author has commandeered one of my posts to put themselves in the limelight. I've had it happen on blog posts too. One thing that will piss me off in a nanosecond—and I'm not speaking of it just my posts/blogs but anyone's site I'm visiting—is someone who comes into a blog to leave a thinly veiled promo post or go off on a spiel about their book and then leave a flippin' buy link.

There is a cyber hell for such people. Oh yes, indeedie! One with flaming pitchforks tipped with the poison of bad reviews, and a big fat, sweaty dude covered in the world's worst e-book covers who eats pickled eggs and farts constantly as the offenders are charbroiled in the flames of his ass.

And don't even get me started on cyber cliques. For God's sake, I left high school twenty years ago.

Readers will buy what they want to buy. No amount of hijacking threads or stealing someone else's thunder is going to change that. And when readers see authors backstabbing, undercutting, and badmouthing other authors, it makes an impression on the reader and it's not a good one.

Writers should support one another, not stab each other in the back with sharp, spiny apostrophes and exclamation marks. And never hijack someone's loop post because it's too much effort to start a new thread with your subject. After all, don't do to others what you don't want done to you. In other words, if a person has committed this crime, then don't cry and bitch when your post or blog is hijacked one day. Karma is a bitch (and so is my muse, but that's a post for another time).

I'm getting down off my soapbox. The brimstone oozing out of it is melting my sneakers.


Tess MacKall said...

Someone should write a book on posting etiquette. I've long felt that way for sure.

Hijacking posts happens in more ways than one. It's not just a matter of an author promoting their work/blog/whatever and someone coming along and piggybacking off that post with a completely different subject and about them.

I have issues with the ones that are much more subtle. Those posts in which you are talking about your work and then one of those hijackers comes along and posts all about his/her work when you're the one who had the floor and it's YOUR POST.

Some people think it's all just about them and no one else. They can turn paint peeling off a wall into something about them. Drives me insane.

Faith said...

Yup, that's what I call stealing someone's thunder.

I'm firmly convinced that blogs are the way to go nowadays if you're an author. At least in a blog when someone comes in and tries to steer the conversation away and steal someone's thunder it's a simple matter of hitting the "delete" button.

Valerie Mann said...

Couldn't have said it better myself. I sure hope I wasn't one of the offenders though. Gulp! Hey, I have a new book out...LOL (I wish I did!). Great blog as usual, all of you are super funny and talented. This is one of about 3 blogs I go to regularly.

Megan Johns said...

Interesting post, Faith.
As a moderator, it is sometimes difficult to separate the genuine from the blatant promo posts. You would be very welcome to join in our Thursday discussion at where we would love to hear your views

Faith said...

Glad you enjoy hanging out with us, Valerie. We're working really hard to make this a blog that's super popular on the web.

Faith said...

Hi Megan. I'm a member at An Alternative Read, but I mostly read AAR digests and post info I hope is interesting to other members. AAR is one of the few groups I've kept my membership with. It's always been a nice Yahoo Group.

Tony-Paul said...

I agree. Nothing gripes me more than seeing a header I posted (usually with some question I need answered) and upon reading it, finding it has absolutely nothing to do with my subject. I've even been so "rude" as to protest that a couple of times and suggested the person get her own post. Guess what? I was ignored every time. Quelle surprise!

Anthology Authors said...

I agree, Faith. This happens everywhere. It's not limited to the loops.

When I used to act on stage, or screen, people who upstaged you were frowned upon. (They still are.) Whenever I am part of a panel or attend a workshop, I do my best to bite my tongue. I like to talk and have people listen, but when I am there, I am not the only one people came to see or participating. The more who participate and stay on topic, the more everyone learns. But you start a new thread, you don't take someone else's and make it your own. You don't purposefully upstage someone for your own benefit.

Faith said...

Tony-Paul, I sympathize so much! That's what happened to a topic I posted the other day. There were several comments to it, but it was all due to the jerk who hijacked my topic thread and it had nothing to do with what I posted.

Marci, I guess it boils down to common courtesy, but it's a dying trait.

Anthology Authors said...

When people are so enthralled with these reality shows like Jersey Shore and there are TV shows marketed to teens and young kids like Gossip Girl, can we really be surprised that people have become less considerate?

Melissa Bradley said...

What a great post. I've seen thread headers that started on the actual subject, but then the replies go on into infinity and have nothing to do with the original post. It is so annoying, especially when the original thread interested me and I have to back track through a million posts.

I also hate when people don't agree with your point and they fly in your face like a raging pterodactyl. People have differing opinions, don't slam someone down with Thor's Hammer because they don't share your view.

I look at the Internet as one big convention center. Courtesy still applies even though we are not actually in the same room.

Anonymous said...

I know this is going to make me sound really naive, but.....people do that?

That's terrible!

I've never seen it happen personally, but then I'm not on the loops much anymore (no time). The thought of doing that would never even enter my head.

I do know about the 'cliques'. There have been a few loops that I have unsubscribed from because of the 'clique'. I always thought those were nasty.

Great post!

Kate Richards said...

I immediately thought what Valerie I guilty? I try not to be. But I have seen it too, esp when they post their own links, like coke posting a link on a 7up site!

Faith said...

Reality shows bore me, Marci. I've seen some doozies just surfing channels and I groan and click to the next channel.

Casey, I've seen some things on the loops that would curl your toenails. I've unsubbed from many of them too do to the cliques.

Faith said...

LOL, Kate, you must've been posting the same time I was because yours wasn't there half a second ago!

I'm speaking of people who deliberately go to rude lengths to steer a conversation away from the topic to promote themselves. It drives me crazy, and I know it does other professional writers too.

Faith said...

Melissa, I love your "and they fly in your face like a raging pterodactyl." comparison! LOLOL!

And I so agree with you re courtesy.

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah Masters said...

Sorry I'm late! Insane day.

This is why I like asking a question at the end of my blog posts so readers know it's "safe" to write about their experiences in comments. I'm paranoid when writing comments, thinking: Will this sound off? Did she mean for me to put my pov across too?

I don't mean on this thread, but others. Not that I mean yours don't matter. Ah, shit, you know what I'm saying. I'm having one of your "phone in the fridge" days. LOL


Brindle Chase said...

Great article Faith! Ya got me paranoid! I tend to be long winded, and like to toss in my opinion. Now I wonder if I've stepped on someone's thread by accident? I hope not!!! If I did, I am so sorry! *cringes at the thought of being "that guy"*

Cassie Exline said...

Totally wrong and very inconsiderate. Never understood why the person couldn't start their own topic. It's not difficult and it is bad Karma.

Dana Fredsti said...

Whether it be posts, panels or stage shows, upstaging is rude, irritating, and it kills me that people with good manners and who try to share the spotlight are the ones who tend to get shoved out of it.

Faith said...

Good point about asking a question at the end of a blog post, Sarah. I do it a lot as well. However, it helps with getting readers to interact too.

Hi Brindle, Cassie and Dana! Thanks for stopping by!

A few days ago, I posted an announcement about a blog and someone replied to it stating they knew it was off topic, but...and then posted a question about something totally unrelated. Is it that hard to start a new thread? And just because the person put a "I know it's off topic" didn't make any dif. It was still rude.

It's like we've all said here in comments, it's just a matter of having common courtesy.

Becca Dale said...

I cannot believe anyone would do this intentionally. I must not be important enough to have anyone piggy back on my posts yet. LOL I am with Val and Kate in my worries that I might do this accidentally - mention my work as support for the topic and such; however, it would be beyond me to hijack another link. 1) I am technologically inept, and 2) you are right; it would be incredibly rude. Such behavior has to turn off readers as well as put up red flags to other authors and publishers. Do these people not realize they are shooting themselves in the foot? Probably not.
I love soapbox stages even if they are filled with fire and brimstone, so thanks for the interesting rant. I hope it made you feel better at least.

Faith said...

LOL, hi Becca!

Yes, ranting on my soapbox does make me feel better, and when I throw in my warped humor, I even have a li'l fun with the rant.

I don't see anything wrong with mentioning one's work to support a topic. It's when an author goes on and on about their newest release that has nothing to do with the topic or it's obvious h/she is trying to steer the limelight away from them that I get really irked.

And as for loop posts, I'm a firm believer in starting a new thread if it has nothing to do with the initial post. And it's common knowledge that if a discussion veers off the topic to start a new one like "New Shoes (was: My car broke down" because that's how we show courtesy to the initial thread poster.

Thanks for popping in for a few, Becca. I hope you'll be back.

Jennifer Johnson said...

Thank you. One Christmas day I blogged about the Word made Flesh and had a PETA person hijack it. I couldn't believe it. Obviously he'd only read the title and that was it. Recently I had it happen again-more deliberate, but you're absolutely right. It just makes them look bad. Thanks for giving my righteous indignation a voice here. I feel so much better that I'm in good company.

Faith said...

Hi Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by to read one of our older posts!

This is a topic that gets me fired up in a hurry. And I think I know what recent incident/post you're talking about. I groaned and thought, "there goes another one using her limelight to make themselves look good."

However, all it really does is make the thread/comment hijacker look like a jerk.