Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Some things are better left unsaid...

OR INSTEAD - published on your personal blog because you really don't want to hit that back button on the Epinions message boards... I REALLY wanted to say this to someone in the general boards today, and I really don't need to start anything more in that thread. BUT, I really want to get this off my chest, so here goes:

It's very simple...

If you choose to treat Epinions as the business that it is, and you focus on writing or helping others to write solid, consumer focused reviews, you might eventually become recognized for those efforts. Your reward could likely come in the form of a TR or Advisor hat. You might even make some decent money in the process from a business that gives it to you despite your volunteer status.

If you choose to get involved in the community aspects of Epinions, and you focus on making friends, writing creative pieces aimed at members and working with others to make Epinions a more vital community, you might eventually become recognized for those efforts. Your reward could likely come in the form of a relatively large web of trust. You might even find that you are something of a celebrity on the site.

If you choose to blend both of the above, using your skills in writing to draw consumer and member attention alike, leading our membership by example, you might eventually become recognized for those efforts. Your reward could likely come in the form of a Category Lead assignment. You might even find that Epinions is a relatively important aspect of your life that you care about.

And if you strive to do your best in all these things, no matter how much or how little you participate, then you are a quality member of this community and your reward is the satisfaction of doing your best and being recognized for it by your peers.

Or - you could come in here making general statements (labeled as "jokes" to make sure that your FA is covered) about how awful people can be, how horrible you think you've been treated, and how you are going to take all your toys and go home

Toughen up, buttercup. Get with the program or get out.

For those of you who don't frequent Epinions, I'm sorry that this will go right over your heads. For those of you who are members or frequent readers of Epinions, all I can say is that some people need to get a clue and start contributing things of real value, rather than just creating sandcastles in the Epinions sandbox for the other clueless people to fawn over. Look, there's nothing wrong with participating in the community aspects of Epinions; it can be a lot of fun, and it should be fun for everyone. But when you start stirring up stuff out of ignorance and react badly when people who know more about how Epinions really works tell you that you're misinformed...well, maybe you get what you deserve. Sorry for being so blunt, but dem's da berries...


Anonymous said...

You seem like a decent fellow but your continued campaigning for all things epinions is really getting a bit old. Your poms-poms need to be refreshed. You're a bit full of yourself here, aren't you? The reason many epinioners stay out of the message boards was evidenced by the thread you mention. A certain person made some comments that the "haves" at epinions did not like to hear. It doesn't matter if he was wrong or not, or even if he was rude. What was illuminating was the rabid response of the haves (the advisors, moderators, the TRs, and the wannabes) so quickly and so vociferously.

Also, the fact that he was insulted by an epinions employee who likes to flame tensions on the boards is very telling and instructional. And, you wonder why so many long-time members have left or quietly go about their business?

The person was trying to hit a nerve and he did so, but ultimately, he paid a price with the shoutdown. And, part of his complaint is true: why is it so difficult for the "haves" on epinions to consider the possibilty that they are not all that they think they are: their status on the site is an illusion, a house of cards built on conformity and acceptance of the need to never rock the boat. It feels nice to be wanted; they get some extra cash; but it's all based on quantity and feeding the beast that is epinions. Once they stop, they will lose their benefits of station.

They are essentially allowing themselves to be exploited for extra cash and ego boo. But, outside of the little Internet high school cafeteria that is epinions (their community), that's about all they have.

Is that really what the "community" is all about? Strikes me as a lame and empty hobby, if not a life.

Mike said...

I would say that if the previous commenter had enough balls to make that comment, he/she should have retained them long enough to sign his/her name. Words mean very little if you're unwilling/unable to identify yourself.

Anonymous said...

What was once a vital community and safe heaven for self expression is now a growing wasteland. Sometimes it's better to not get involved because you'll just piss somebody off which can have unforeseen repercussions. The Epinions message board is the worst thing to ever happen and I contribute its discussions to the lowering number of active members today. It would be nice to do away with the message board and express reviews and perhaps return to the days of old when the main focus was on REVIEWS! At this rate Epinions will be nothing more than a bunch of dickless assholes ranting and raving about stupid little things that should not even be a topic of discussion in the first place. Anyone that takes Epinions seriously needs to get a life, there is more in this world than shameless ego-boo and mindless Epinions related debates.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think it is also telling that the first commentor here feels he or she has to post anonymously.

Given the oppression of free speech at the epinions message board, he or she is wise to do so. Those blue, red and green tags after elite members' names are not hats--they are dicks! Less than two inches long I might point out.

I have left epinions and now write for "Associated Content" where they actually pay a decent wage and reward you for your efforts--not your e-politics, or who you trust or who trusts you. At epi-onions, it never seems to be about the reviews. It is almost always about someone's ego who's on a power trip!

In fact, it is so bad at epinions, one member started her own message board. It is a pleasure to post there. I'm sorry, but I have to rate the epinions message boards a BIG FAT NOT HELFUL! They are easily the worst message boards I have ever encountered on the internet.

bob-tomatohead, get over yourself! Just because you have a tiny red dick doesn't mean you are all that and a bag of potato chips!

If you were a professional writer who makes a living at it, your opinion might be worth something. Right now you are just a tiny person with a tiny red dick.

Anonymous said...

"They are essentially allowing themselves to be exploited for extra cash and ego boo."

LMAO. You said it! Anyone who writes steadily for epinions is an epi-idiot! There are sites that pay more than a hundred times the pitance epinions doles out.

Anonymous said...


Who are you, exactly? You must be one dumb MF! Anyone who identifies himself on the internet should have his identity stolen!

Get a life, dipshit!

Anonymous said...


Your piece sadly reveals the truth about the epinions message boards. You unwittingly demonstrated that you can't say what's on your mind there. You even knock someone for expressing his opinion there. You unwittingly suggest that he get his own blog so he can write his true opinions.

Perhaps that is good advice, but what does that suggest about epinions.com? According to you, it is not a place where one can express his true opinion. A sad commentary indeed.

Andrew, I think you are the one who is clueless--not the member and his fans you are attacking.

Get a clue, Andrew. Get one today!


You don't have a clue either. Let me make this simple so even a clueless moron like you can understand: You see, your friend Andrew is the one with no balls. He does not have the balls or the brains to debate people on the message boards so he crawls down into his sewer-blog like the rat-faced chickenshit that he is and posts his clueless BS.

Anonymous said...

"Words mean very little if you're unwilling/unable to identify yourself."

Mike, you are indeed very stupid! Words mean very little if they are false, but mean a lot if they are true--it doesn't matter if they are anonymous. Many of the best parables were written by Anonymous--not some idiot named Mike.