Archive for the ‘Websites’ Category

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A Little Tiny Change Of Heart

May 2, 2011

In reading my old posts from last year about FaceBook, I realized that my feelings towards the site was a lot harsh. I will admit it! But, no… I’m not saying that all of my points on the subject was rash and untrue. But, I will and do admit when I’ve had a change of heart on something, in the rare times that I do. I am honest, after all. ;-)

But let me start with what I haven’t had a change of heart on. One, I still feel that the app-game drama on FaceBook is a trip and a half. People are still very selfish, when it comes to sharing items in app games, yet demanding items from others. Two, there are still plenty of superficial mass-photo sharers, who do so to prove how much fun they’re having in their lives, instead of just living out that fun without stopping every five minutes in a club or party to post pictures. And no, I’m not talking about those who post a lot of  pictures of their children, family gatherings, and so forth. I’m talking about the party-crowd who have a flip-book of any given party night, desperate to prove that their lives are grand. This is only annoying to me, because their massive posts of pictures often drown out the low amount of messages and pictures of my friends and loved ones, within my news-feed. And before you argue it, this was my gripe and post WAY before FaceBook added that handy new feature where I can select which group of people’s statuses I wish to see in a news-feed. So this point and annoyance is no longer relevant. :-p

And thirdly (this is the huge gripe), there are plenty of people who still post offensive/racists/political rants in statues. I believe that people do have a right to their opinions and soap-box, that’s what personal blogs are for. But, I don’t think it’s fair to me, a person who is minding her own business and drinking coffee in front of the computer screen, only to do a spit-take because someone decided to post in their status (which also comes up in my news-feed, btw) “Mexicans GO HOME!” for their morning greet. :-(

However… even though my past rants of the flaws on FaceBook is true and this kind of behavior is quite easily found within the web-community, I had unfairly judged the entire site on a lot of crappy members there. And for that, I am truly sorry.

What I had failed to realize is, unlike other web-communities out there, each individual has a say on what or who they allow within their account. In other words, I wised up and learned how to use the damn site,  simply deleting all ranting racists from my friend list… problem solved. And if I had added another one to my list, without knowing it, I remove them again without issue. As for the party-photo people, if they become too annoying (which they do) I remove them. Really… I don’t know why I thought I had to keep them on my list, being that they weren’t good app-gaming pals or people that I was friends with otherwise. And if people want to be selfish within app games, then I just remove them and the game itself. I have a new policy on Facebook apps now. If people aren’t fair with sharing items, then the game is no fun to me. And if it’s no fun, then I don’t play it anymore, simple as that.

So, in all of my rants and frustration of before, the answer to my gripes of last year would have been: delete, delete, delete.  :-p

But in deleting over fifty people last autumn, this has made FaceBook a more pleasant place to log onto. I actually had fun within it, this winter! So, I may not have changed my mind about the site completely,  I will still gripe about the site and it’s flaws, from time to time. Especially when the admins screw up things, while trying to add new useless features that no one wants or uses, and everyone is screaming at the same time “I can’t get into my inbox here! Can you? What’s going on!?” But, I did learn to work with the site and make the most out of it. And in this way, it doesn’t seem so harshly bad as my last year posts claimed. This is where my heart did a little turn around. For me, FaceBook is not crap-on-a-stick anymore, but it’s not the best site in the world either. WordPress still rules all! :-p

I guess there’s a lesson within this, somewhere. That sometimes it’s not the idea of a site that’s bad, but the quality of people within it or the ones you choose to keep on your list. Of course, this doesn’t clear all other sites and forums, being that people have access to you, regardless if you add them to a friend-list or not. But for FaceBook, it’s one of the most user-controlled type of sites, making it a lot better than other web-communities. ;-)

-D

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I’m Not A Lamp Post!

February 17, 2011

The problem with forums nowadays is that anyone can own them, anyone can be a moderator in them, and anyone can join them. I use to be an avid forum-rat, enjoying many forums in my hayday, back before social networks came to be. And no matter how much I complain about the issues within social websites, I believe that forums are now ranking higher on the list (above even MySpace or Tagged) for cesspools of socially inept people. In other words, the freaks and weirdos… but not the quirky and charming kind, the  “still living in mother’s basement” and “cats missing in the neighborhood” types. And sadly, WritingForums.com is no different. :-/

I joined the site, after reading someone’s nice post in Goggle passing. Since I was trying to get my novels published and was feeling a little overwhelmed (which was the title of my post there, btw) with self-doubt, I wanted to find other writers to speak with and maybe gain some answers to some questions. Simple, right? So I joined and asked about the conflicting sites I had seen around. Some sites had claim that self-publishing is bad and some sites say it’s good. Some sites claim that you get no rights with a publishing house and more with self-publishing, and some sites say the opposite. And one site said that a story synopsis should be fourteen pages, when really it should one. So, I asked them simply which was true or not. A very simple question…

Instead the moderator replies without answering my question, just listing how to write a successful query letter… which I have done and knew that much, months before I ever found this cursed forum. But he added in some encouragement of “don’t give up”, so even though he didn’t answer my initial question, I did thank him for taking the time to post what he did, and stated that it had at least confirmed that I wrote my query perfectly enough. Even though he told me nothing new, I was nice enough to thank him for taking the time to reply.

Then a second person actually replied with answering my questions, which I really thanked him for his time and helpful reply. But in this  guy’s questions towards me, I mentioned that I wasn’t giving publishing a try with an agent. Not at this time. I’m not Pro-Agent, by my own personal choice… and even if I got nowhere in the publishing world without one (which I know for a fact is a myth, plenty of writers get published without an agent), this was the way I was going to do it unless proven otherwise. Anyone who knows me, especially my readers here, know that I’m a very stubborn woman and must try things my way first and not follow the herd. I am not a sheep!

Anyhoo, this is when all niceties went out the window and it sparked a free-for-all argument of people arguing that I was throwing away my efforts and works, dooming myself to a life of obscurity without an agent. Plenty of times, I kept saying, “Fine, I may be wrong to go without one… but it’s my choice to make. Besides, if things get rough without one, then I can always hire an agent later. But for now, I want to try this alone.” And instead of letting it go at that, they kept pushing and pushing, insisting that I was stupid and dooming myself this way. Hmm… Stephen King is anti-agent and doesn’t have one, after being screwed over by them in the beginning of his career. Even to this day, he’s agent-free and doing just fine. Not to mention other authors I know of who are published without agents… and also huge publishing companies, like “Daw Books” who have it printed on their site, “You don’t need an agent to submit queries or manuscripts”!

But obviously, these forum people were very Pro-Agent and now they weren’t so nice anymore. They then tried to go at the angle of convincing me that I’ll not make any money, without an agent. Well… I bet you all are laughing at this point and thinking, “Gee, they don’t know Dani very well, do they?” I’m not one to care about riches and that’s not why I write. If I wrote to get rich, this blog and others I have written wouldn’t be posted. My writings here would selfishly be horded into a self-help book (as this is the current hot market these days) and I could easily sell millions of crappy books filled with only my common sense views on life, if I cared about money. :-/

So, I repeated a lot of times, that I don’t write for the money. My motivation for getting my books published was strictly to prove to myself that I’m not a crap writer. And to hand out copies to my family and friends. And why did I have to say that I’m not writing for a paying career for? This is when the biggest freak of all stepped forward with this post:

Hi Dani,
At the risk of beating this horse to death again, it sounds to me like you want two things: 1) Publication (and all the adoration, credit and notoriety that goes along with), and 2) no strings attached. You’re not the first! The problem lies with the business model of publication. The people who produce books are in it for the money. Even if the authors they represent are not. It’s going to cost them some serious money to print up your masterpiece. Then they’ll have to convince the world (somehow) that you are the next JK Rowling. That’ll cost a fair bit in the marketing department. Then there’s distribution, overhead, blah, blah, blah. In short, you are asking a for-profit business to spend MONEY on your gold-mine idea.
In return, you want nothing. More specifically, you’re offering nothing. No rights, no futures, nothing. I think you can see, from a business perspective, where this is going. (That’d be ‘nowhere!’)
From what I have read of your intentions and desires, I believe your best bet would be to publish your story on your blog. If you want a wider audience, print up a hundred copies on your printer at home and take them to the airport. Leave them in an easily accessible location (on top of the newspaper racks) where they can be self-distributed. Money doesn’t matter to you? Good. You’ve just taken full responsibility for the costs of production. Want to protect your idea? Good. Copyright it and send it out into the world. Need and want more protection than that? Then buck up and live in the world that the rest of us have to. Give and get. That’s just how it works.
HOWEVER, if you are successful at breaking that sticky little paradigm, you can sell your experience for a cool million! And we’ll all buy the story!
Best of luck!

Now, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back! Not only was he way off and not reading a thing I had posted, he didn’t make sense in his slew of insults… as not having an agent and not caring about money means that the house WINS… they get their rights and because I’m not picky, they don’t have to pay me a butt-load for my work. Unlike with agented writers, where the agent’s job is to make sure to squeeze every last red cent from the publishing house as they possibly can!

And here I was, expressing that I wished to try things my way, already alerting everyone that I wasn’t out to make a quick buck, and that I was feeling a tad overwhelmed. Did I get any good tips, help, encouragement? No… Instead, I get this from someone I didn’t know and they didn’t know me from adam. So… I went off. I posted that I felt like I was getting snow-job by everyone, on my choice to not rush out and hire and agent, where the publishing houses themselves said that I didn’t need one. And if it came to signing contracts with publishing houses, IF the publishers liked my manuscript and wanted to market it, I can get a lawyer to do that… not necessarily an agent. But, if in fact I would get nowhere without an agent, I would break my pride and hire one… but that wasn’t enough for these people. It was their way or the highway, even though it’s not their work in question. I pointed to everyone and asked, “ARE ANY OF YOU PUBLISHED?”

It was a very valid question, because I was getting the feeling that everyone was talking big here, about agents and the like, but really haven’t made it far in publishing themselves. If they had, why did they have so much time to spend on a forum online and not off writing books? Or living it up, with having agents who make millions for them? Wouldn’t they be too busy to comment right away to every reply I posted, in the matter of seconds, just to bicker and to be SO very condescending towards me? So chances are they are not published themselves, but paying agents, and it’s not working out for them.

So, to that nut-job who started off with the comment of, “I don’t want to beat a dead horse” (which usually means that maybe you shouldn’t do so then, not push forward with beating a dead horse anyways), I called him an “asshole” and a jerk. And said, “I’m a human-being, not a lamp post!” I pointed out, that even if he believed that I was doing things ass-backwards, how is berating and belittling me going to make me see things his way? And how was that constructive and helpful to a young woman already in a overwhelmed state and just looking for some advice?  Not on agents, mind you… but simply on if a story synopsis was fourteen pages or not and so on!

And guess what… the Moderator deleted my post and banned me for “flaming”. So, I’m the flamer for trying to stand up for myself and not taking the crap that people were tossing my way? Is it just me or is this forum a lot bias? And to add insult to injury, the first guy who started the wave of arguments in the first place, wanted to “warn” me that an injury lawyer is different from a literary lawyer. Because, I had mentioned that I had a family lawyer that could handle writer’s contracts for me, he had assumed that it must be a injury lawyer and not one who’s expertise is in business contracts and making sure that his client doesn’t get screwed and is given ample rights and money deserved. And that’s a tad racist there, I think. Because these people didn’t know me from Adam, but I did post my real picture there, and I kept getting hit with negative assumption after assumption. :-/

Even though a few agreed with me and said they understood my angle of it. But their pictures was of a different color than mine. And no one seemed to argue with them, but just kept addressing me.

Still, racist or just jerks… I got disgusted with publishing now. If the queries I had sent last month, come back with a positive, I will follow through with it. But if not, I don’t plan to send out anymore queries. I’ve lost my drive for it now, a lot discouraged. So, here’s a warning to all aspiring writers out there… skip this forum. It’s a lot damaging than good. The people of this forum love to start fights for entertainment, many are snerts and don’t give constructive criticism or advice at all. Joining that site will only result in being discouraged, insulted, used for sport by  “writers” trying to flex their condescending-snarky writing styles, and if you fight back with one swear word the Mod will ban you for it. :-/

-D

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Much Ado About Communities

September 13, 2010

Let’s talk about web-communities! :-p

I admit, I am highly bias on this subject and much about this post will be about the downfalls I’ve personally found in many of these web-communities (aka: another rant!). It could be that I didn’t fit in these social sites, got bitter with them, and it’s my own personal problem with each site. But then again, I doubt that as I’ve heard the same complaints from others too. I am not alone in my thoughts and opinions… so we could all just be losers, who didn’t fit in. OR we have something valid to say about these sites.  You’re free to make up your own mind! :-p

Okay, let me start with the current web-community that I am on: FaceBook. To say the least, it sucks! If not for the site’s glitches, security issues, and the whole app-game drama, this site seems to cater to the superficial at best! This is the site where people prove and show (in many pictures) how cool they are and how much fun they are having in life! I could be wrong, but having over one hundred self-centered people on my list and constantly deleting them, only to gain hundred more people to remove again, I’m starting to see an pattern. They get pissed off when I write statuses that is beyond the daily fluff of, “I just bought a cool pair of boots today and now I’m going to go party at a hot club tonight! Watch for pics of me having fun!”. No, and I don’t mean just my usual rantings about the politics of app-games are being snubbed. But, if I put something nice like, “be kind to each other today” or “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes”, I get silence… except from for a few people, maybe and sometimes. But when I write something completely flaky like, “I am now enjoying a new browser! Whoo-hoo!”, then everyone have SO much to say. 

Also, most of the “serious” postings seem very bias, if not racist, toward anyone else who are not “one of us” or “OMG! BFF!”. I never was the “Valley” type. So, I only use FaceBook to send private messages to a few people, whom I have known years before joining that site. Also to play two app games, in silence. :-/

MySpace is the pits! It’s a lot like FaceBook, but they also have the weirdos and the perverts there! I had long left that site, after I kept getting harassed by many guys with the same pick up line of, “What happens when my zodiac sign hooks up with yours?” and other more sexually graphic messages of what these guys wish they could do to my body… even though I had NO real picture of myself on there, only of one anime character who was fully dressed! :-o

The site called “Tagged”… well, I don’t even want to go there! It’s an brothel for teens! Lots of teens hardly dressed or naked, soliciting cybersex, webcam sex, or meeting offline for sex. And after so many “flirts” from shirtless (or sometimes nude, altogether) 14 year old boys, I ran the hell out of there! I am not a pedophile! :-/

MyYearBook… there’s something odd about that site… as there are adults there, but they act as bad as the teens, with the idea that adding them to my list means that they are my new “BFF”.  And the people of this site seem to believe that  they know ALL about me, based on a small profile. Some will get hostile and stalk you, if you don’t comply with these ideas!

Twitter… I didn’t get the point of it and I got bored of it! Same for Reddit too! Not that these aren’t good sites, but I got bored of both. : -p

IMVU was pretty nice, but I couldn’t find any adults there to chat with, just and endless sea of teens. I don’t mind teens, in general, but I am an old lady and want to chat about “grown-up” stuff, a lot of time.

Experience-Project… it started off as a very nice and sane place for adults. Children was once not allowed there. And it was a neat place, free of shallowness and full of honestly, lots of friendships to be made there, and lots of support! It was my home, for the longest, where I had enjoyed myself and met my best friend. But, as the rule goes, all good things must come to an end. The site advertised itself into mainstream media and the owners decided to focus more on getting numbers into the site, allowing children and pedophiles in there. Yes, that’s right! Pedophiles were allowed to join and add their own group of “I make love with children and they love me” group, boasting that sexual contact with children is OKAY and that it’s the rest of society that has it wrong. If that wasn’t the worse thing, many snerts and depressive-freaks joined it, harassing all the good members too… and one by one, we all left the site. The only good people left there are a few “die-hards” waiting for the old site to come back, but most are people with major psychological issues. This is the site to join, if you like being depressed or harassed. :-(

GaiaOnline once had it’s good points and sorta still do! It’s was a great place for any anime-lover, full of cool avatars and anime based games. Only thing is, it gotten taken over by spam and mostly teens hang out there. I’m considered OLD there, practically ancient! Heehee. So, I still have an account there, but I don’t log on much anymore. :-p

And there are plenty of independent forums that I have joined, which don’t need mentioning. Either they are full of clique-ish people, who don’t take kindly to “newbies”, or the forums are no longer operational.

I would love to find a NICE and wholesome web-community, other than WordPress. This blogging site is great, but not much way of socialization. I guess this is how this site stays golden. :-p

The sad fact is, with web-communities, it allows PEOPLE to join it, from all across the social-spectrum. A site may start out very good, like Experience-Project did, but then the bad-apples show up and ruin it for everyone. Not that this problem alone doesn’t have an compromise in itself! If only the admins of these web-communities don’t become more focused with the bottom line (of getting more members, quantity over quality,  in order to gain more advertisers) and focused more on enforcing the rules of conduct on those who break them, then maybe these communities would have a fair chance.

I do hope to find a new home someday, a place where the web-admins work to keep the site a good place (or at least TRY to!) for more than just a few years. Until then, I’m just a homeless wanderer in cyberspace…

-D

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FaceBook… Or FakeBook?

June 17, 2010

Yes, I am user of this site. Even so, I do find myself logging into it less and less, lately. When I first joined in early 2008, it was to stay connected with family and friends. Many of my past “friends” came and went, due to some issues (on their part), and there are only four left on my account now. My family contacts are growing, yet none of us really communicate on there… we simply speak face to face offline. :-p

BUT, I have over 100 people on my “Friend List”. And no, my family is not that large! :-o

Without a real reason to be on FaceBook, I fell into the trap of the site, application games… or app games for short. These are fun little games, that encourage a player to work with others, to advance in the game. In fact, it’s impossible to move forward or function much in these games, without a mass number of “neighbors” or “clan members” or “sisters” linked to your player account. Although, in order to add people to your neighbors list, they must be on your FaceBook friend-list. So, even if you have a lot of real-life friends and family on your list, if they don’t click “accept” to your app game invitation then they are not added and useless for the games. :-/

This why it’s common for people (who don’t know each other from a can of paint) to add each other and to gain more neighbors for advancement. Only problem is, now you’ll have a new list of strangers on your account and they can read and comment on everything that you post. Which can be a lot annoying, when you decide to post something that you don’t mind your friends and family knowing, but a stranger stops to add their two cents in on a situation you wouldn’t normally talk to them about. :-(

Not only that, people add strangers for the sheer purpose of the games, and they rarely want to be “friends” or get to know the neighbor they’ve added. They will only speak to you for gaming events and items of advancement. But the real rub is, many have a bad habit for asking for game items and help with events, but when it’s your turn, they’re no where to be seen! :-o

Not only that… with all of these app games, there is a gimmick… Special and nicer items for these games (buildings, avatars, accessories, animals/pets, etc.) cost special currency… app-coins or app-cash. And in order to attain this special currency, you have to pay real-life money, anywhere from $5 USD – $100 USD depending on how many app-coins you need. :-/

And yes, people DO buy the coins/cash, including me! :-o

It’s a very good evil plan. The makers of these games will dangle the items, just out of reach, of very pretty or helpful to advancement items. They advertise over and over, to encourage players to get the coins, using pop-ups in the middle of game-play often. And just when you think you have avoided temptation, one of your neighbors have the item that you’d like to have! So… you rationalize, “It’s just five bucks… just one time!” And your avatar gets something cool to add to their room, house, farm, café, town, or what-have-you. Then the creators come out with more and more items, better and bigger than the items you’ve previously splurged for. So, you break down and spend another five bucks. And before you know it, month by month, you’re spending $10, $20, $30, $40 at one time! Your gaming character is well taken care of, but when you look at your banking statement – you realize how stupid you are for paying so much money for pixels. :-o

Yes, my name is Dani and I am app-game-aholic. :-(

But, recently have avoided temptation, and the last thing I bought was an sushi-bar for my Pet’s house. I think I am done wasting money… I hope! :-p

Although, I am far from being alone on this, as many get sucked into this pyramid scam-like deal. My accounts and avatars are far from being the best of “The Joneses” of these virtual neighborhoods, many spend way more than I could or ever did. :-o

Beside the app game madness, many people just seem fake there, with profile statuses that go in two extremes: Either it’s a statement that tries too hard to give people the impression that one is inspirational or a free-thinker. Or it’s a statement so shallow that it makes you want to cry. :-/

But I guess in all social groups, online and off, there will always be the same social norms that are found in any high-school. There are the shallow types, where image and portraying perfection is their core importance (ie: the cheerleaders, beauty queens, and jocks). And the free-thinking poets, who like to claim enlightenment, a higher intelligence over all, and a deeper soul (the artsy group, the philosophers/debaters). And then there are the odd ducks, who just want to be accepted and get laid (the nerds, geeks, and weirdos). :-p

Did I mention that I HATED high-school???? :-(

But… I stay for the app-games and pretty much stay to myself. :-x

-D