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...