Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sour Grapes

I have been sitting on my review over at Ask And Ye Shall Receive for a few days now. I have been trying to figure out a way to blog about it without sounding crabby or whiny or defensive, but I just can't think of a way to do it. So, let's just get it over with.

When CMGD got reviewed earlier in the month, I was stoked. Her review was insightful, thorough. There were great points made, and it made me look forward to reading mine.

And I got mine. I meant it when I said in the comment section that I could settle for Blog That Doesn't Suck. But I did feel the need to add a few points of my own.

When she said in not so many words that she barely gave this blog a look, she wasn't kidding. If she had read past the first two pages, here is what she might have learned:

  • I actually have two kids, not one.

  • As for "all" those Thursday 13 posts--out of nearly a years worth of posts, seven of them are Thursday 13. Seven.

And actually, I can't even comment on anything else because that was the extent of the review.

As comments came trickling in, hope flared when I saw that Love Bites left one. Only to see that she couldn't get past the template. And yes, I did get the hint. But I won't take it, and here's why.

Yes, my template is boring. If it were blue, someone would hate that too. Or green. Or brown. For now, it works. CSS tweaks have obviously gone unnoticed, but that is cool. I know they are there. My take on it is why exchange one mediocre template for an interim mediocre template until I find a kickass one I like? I mean, if I had found one I liked better I would be using it right now. Nothing out there has bowled me over, and right now paying bills trumps buying a custom template.

When it comes down to it, I have one person who had a oh fuck, I have to do a review but I don't really have the time so let's just get this shit over with and be done with it so they are off my ass look at this blog, and the other one who couldn't get past the pink long enough to actually read anything.

This has left me with an excellent, excellent lesson. I appreciate the bloggers at Ask/Receive. Even though I got the shit luck of the draw on reviewers, I am glad I did it and would do it again. Why? Because it taught me that while looking for a fresh perspective is good, paying attention to your regulars is even better. The dialogue through comments and email with my regular readers has given me much more than an anonymous review site ever could. I think sites like Ask/Receive definitely have their place. They are human (for the most part anyway), and they have their ups and downs. They lay down the rules for their standard of quality, and what you see isn't always what you are going to get.

So yeah, I'm sure this is going to be seen as sour grapes. Boo hoo. Poor NATUI didn't like her review, too fucking bad. But the reality is I love my regulars, and since they keep coming back they seem to like something about this site. They don't let a little color get in their way.


buddha_girl said...

Listen up, pink, blue, whatever.

I care much more about what you SAY than what you look like. Got that?

I'm sure feedback from these peeps is good on some level, but I'm not blogging to make moolah. Until that happens, I only care about how I feel about my template. I think you should feel the same, sister.

Email me if you want a possibly free semi-custom template. I have a friend who dabbles in that shit when she's bored. She's done several for friends of mine. ringldr at hotmail dot com

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

I'm with Buddha Girl. I could give a damn what your template looks like. The only reason why I didn't keep this template on mine is I'm not CSS-savvy enough to figure out how to change the color scheme to purple, or how to change the banner to include grandad's picture. I'm a loser, so I had someone else do it.

I like what you have to say and how you say it, and the fact I still think we were separated at birth. So there. No matter what the reviewers say, I'm still here!

MilitaryMom said...

I don't care what your template looks like, I keep coming back because I like reading what you have to say. If it makes you feel any better, my template got whacked by them too. I know mine sucks, and I am working to change it, but that's my decision, not because of what they said. It was in the works anyway. I love your blog. Pay them no mind.

love bites said...


I reserve a special level of hatred for pink.

I don't hate the content, though. On the other hand, I don't usually read too far into archives when I review. I don't have time. I spend, on average, about half an hour reading. If I can't find something interesting in ten posts or so, I don't keep reading.

Here's my mini-review. Get a simple, not-pink template for now. There are tons of nice-looking freebies out there. Check out Lemonade's free site, for instance (see current post).

Get rid of the long blog description in your header. That should be no more than 5-10 words, max. Preferably not more than 6. Otherwise, with my limited attention span, I zone off (and I'm pretty normal).

Put the rest of the paragraph in your "about me."

And, keep writing.

p.s. We hate people who blog for cash. We're snobs like that. We think blogging is about two things: building a social network and finding your writing voice. If you are only here for the first, then don't submit your blog for review. If you are here for the latter, you need to work on tightening up your writing, not being so verbose, and writing MORE of substance.

Just my feedback.

I got a hideous review from a horrid person on another review site (on my personal blog) who didn't even bother to read beyond a single statement I'd made (that I was on vacation for spring break--with my kids). I cried when I got it, but it motivated me to really work on my site just to prove them wrong.

Chris in Oxford said...

Dude, that's a pretty harsh review. I think your site stands apart from typical mummy blogs - that's why I've added you to my blogroll! Oh well, everyone has a bitchy day I guess.

krishanna said...

1. Well, it's not THAT pink. I'm not nuts about Pepto Barbie pink but you've customized it so it isn't obnoxious.
2. I come here to read your words, not evaluate your design.
3. If it's interesting, makes me laugh or I can relate and is well-written and well-organized, it goes on my feed.
So fuck Calamity. A reviewer should probably pay more attention to content.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

Damn people. Thanks for the kind words. Like I said, this is why I will continue to blog. I have found a great band of people out there. I enjoy reading all your adventures, and I am glad you enjoy reading mine. Thank you for leaving your feedback!

@LB: Thank you for your mini-review, too. I could only go by the comment left on Ask/Receive, so thank you for setting me straight. I don't want to misrepresent anyone (besides my evil soul-sucking MIL, anyway). I will take your advice into account when I get the time to do more CSS tweaking, and I will DEF see about cleaning up my header description.

love bites said...

hey, hey, hey, that wasn't calamity (who is my close personal friend in real life).

Momma said...

Love your site! LOVE it. And I love that you found me because we were both pissed off about Tatiana being shot.

And because of you, I found GMGD, another great slice-of-life writer.

Yeah, I hate my template, too, but I haven't made it a priority to change it, and I'm not good with CSS. Someday I will pay for a custom one, if I get enough readers to make it feasible.

I'm afraid of a review! :-) I know that sounds silly, but it's true.

Love ya, girl - can't wait for a hockey game!

Peace - D

Connie said...

Why do you even care what she rated it. Her background is ugly, all red and nothing else. I like looking at pictures, she does not. You blog is very nice.

Major Bedhead said...

Uh, pink? I don't see pink. I see sort of a burnt orange. Which isn't my favourite colour, but I'm not here for colour, I'm here for content.