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Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.
- Pueblo Blessing

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Monday, Mar. 22, 2004 - 3:21 a.m.

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WARNING!!!! if you know me personally, you may read my diary, but if you do, you take the chance of hearing things you don't want to know, misunderstanding what I've written and being hurt by it. If you are unsure if it is ok to read, save yourself and me the grief and heartache, and ask first!!! Please note that this is a DIARY, ie my subjective feelings, hearsay, suppositions, and outpourings of ranting of the moment. It does not represent objective news, the whole of what I think of a topic or someone, or even a thought-out representation of any of the above. Keep that in mind. Thanks. * Here is a Diary Etiquette Read Me.

Reviewers want to Critique you but Don't Critique Them.


I have always wondered about review sites for diaries. If a diary is the place you write about who you are and what is up with you, ie your personal expression, why would you want someone to critique it? If you chose purpley blue cuz you like the color. ..And put a green Ganesha because it is something given to you by someone you loved, and is a symbol of overcoming obstacles, why would you want someone else's opinion on the color or whether the Ganesha represents you or not?

I don't know.

I also have been asked by several review sites to write reviews for them. Now I could do that. I have a pretty good handle on grammar and spelling. I read enough to know when someone is understandable. I have seen enough diaries on Diaryland to be able to recognize the four or six basic Diaryland templates, and so when I see them, I would wish for something more personal. But perhaps that just says that the person 1) is happy with that template 2) isn't someone who is into personalizing things and wouldn't have a custom paint job on their car either and 3) just doesn't find it important.

Besides the fact that all browsers read things differently. I have started putting the words beside the images I put in my diary into tables because in my browsers the words wrap around img src but in other browsers it seems to not do this without tables. I only know that from feedback since I obviously cannot see through someone's browser in Australia, which I do not use.

So feedback like that is welcome.

But how could I go about reviewing diaries? I have been surprised that a template I thought was personal turned out to be something stolen from someplace else when I bump into it months later. Two months previous I would have praised that person for a "personalized original template". Ebonics. Well if the person writes all their notes to themselves in ebonics, and to their close friends, why the hell SHOULDN'T they write in ebonics in their diary? If you don't get it, (like I wouldn't) maybe that is just your tuff shit. Asking them not to write in ebonics is like asking a rap singer to sing like Nana Mouskouri or Joni Mitchell so that you can understand their lyrics.

Extras. Well again, some people just are so into putting up images and extras, and other people are annoying (to me) in the number of links and buttons they have... it looks like someone wearing a nice matched outfit (their template and font) and then sticking advertising stickers all over their butt and legs. But others LOVE it, and most review sites INSIST that you have a link to them on your site (even if it fucks up the nice look they want to review). Some people are wordy, and write until all their thoughts and emotions are out. Should we judge them to be better or worse diarists than the ones who just want to list the music that they listened to that day (which was the emotional tone of their whole interior)?

I don't really understand review sites. I am sometimes interested in reading reviews to find diaries I want to read. And sometimes interested to see what kinds of reviews my friends get.

But invariably I will click on a 9/10 diary and hate it, and click on a 3/10 diary and find it charming and calling out to me.

But tonight I have had the fun to be actually SOLICITED to be reviewed by a review site who has no idea who I am or what my diary is like. I personally call this a spam note. Equivalent to "buy our pizza" and "subscribe to our newspaper" spam in my email inbox.

So I checked out this site, since I usually click on the links of the people who send me notes. Strangely enough the username was wft-reviews. Which sounds of course like "What the fuck"... a weird laissez-faire name for a review site indeed. I was expecting a bunch of young skater boy slackers who'd say "gee, yer template is way cool man" (sorry if my aged brain doesn't know the up to date way to say "cool").

Instead it was a rather bare but sweet site of a bunch of 14-16 yr old girls. I read their rules. Well, it is hard to take seriously rules that have typos, grammar mistakes, nonsensical directions (like "if you blah blah we are very likely liable to comment on it", which of course doesn't mean they are liable to comment, or that they are likely to comment, but rather that they are likely liable, and you could perhaps sue them) and simply contentless content. Case in point: "scoring content of the diary: this is where we look at your content and generally review your diary". Now THAT gives a LOT of clues on the scoring of content. Yup.

By the time I finished reading the rules I was just fed up. I wrote comments in their notes on their rules... ie "your" and "you're" are not interchangeable, and also the things I just wrote in the above paragraph.

Well, then I read their "bios" which weren't bios but actually were a couple paragraphs from each girl saying what to expect from their reviews. Now I was even more confused. They wrote things like "I have lots of opinions but am not opinionated. I am here of course to give my opinion". And "I am honest and blunt but I tend to sugarcoat what I think, so you might have a problem with that if you want honest and blunt. But I try to tell you my straight up opinon, and am very honest." Now geepers, is she honest or sugarcoated? If I want honesty do I ask for a review here or not? How can I tell what part of her review opinions are honest and what are sugarcoated? Again, more typos and more grammatical problems.

Well, I get a note back saying "I AM opinionated"... well, since there are three of them, who is "I"?? Apparently NOT the girl I had specifically named as having written that in her bio. Also the same "I" said that she knew the difference between "your" and "you're". Hard to understand then why every single page of their site was sprinkled by misuse of these.

I tried to reference my notes I had written them. Well, they erased the notes instantaneously. Strangely their "notes" are for review requests they say, and not for notes. Strange. There doesn't seem to be any guestbook or comments place to write notes other than "notes".

Anyhowz, I suggested that before requesting complete strangers to ask for their opinions that they put their own site in order. Personally I want the opinion of someone whose template does not have links missing, does not have the text running into the window (no margins), doesnt have typos when they KNOW the difference in grammar, and who can make a sentence that does not self-contradict four times. I want the opinion of someone whose opinion I value. I want an opinion that is understandable and doesnt contradict itself. Someone who knows that my links are functional not functionable.

I would suggest this is somewhat like insisting on an accountant who doesn't make simple math mistakes on his own invoices, and a proofreader who doesn't have a curriculum vitae full of grammatical and spelling mistakes. If you are soliciting the public to provide them a service, esp a service using your critical abilities and knowledge, what you use to present yourself to them must exemplify those qualities you are selling.

I am sorry that wtf-reviews deleted my notes so you cannot read them for yourself (perhaps they will provide a service whereby if you don't like their review of you, you may erase it so that no one will read about the mistakes they notice in your site?). Strangely enough although they have claimed in my notes that the mistakes etc just show their personalities, they have actually changed their site in accordance with my critiques, so they have improved due to me, and thanks to me but without any grace whatsoever. Instead they have left several quite smartass notes at my place which of course you may read.

One of the most bizarre parts of all of this is that they claim I must have oodles of time if I actually check my spelling and grammar after writing an entry. If THEY don't have time to reread and edit their own four pages, where do they plan to find the time to read, digest and critique YOUR entries?? This is just as puzzling as the buying names of stars. Personally I don't really have time to send spam to strangers asking to review their sites. And girls, if you aren't yet ready for the public cuz you haven't had time or energy to finish your site, WAIT to send out promotional spam, eh.

So, just for the record, if you spam me and ask ME to request a review FROM YOU, know that I will check out 1) your template 2) your spelling, grammar and syntax 3) your links 4) your reviewers 5) previous reviews you have done 6) your rules. And I hope that if YOU ask for a review you won't ask just anyone. Anyone can give an opinion. But the only good opinion is an informed one. End of annoying reviewsite rant.

Ps, I have gone back to look and they have now changed about 75% of the things I complained about. Now if you don't think the critique is valid, why would you correct it? And if you are going to use someone's input why bitch about it? I really don't know.

I just want to add, some people might say, if she is against reviewing diaries why is she critiquing this site? Well, a review site is more like a business than a diary. It is NOT the personal outpourings of someone' s private life. That's it.

So people, what do you think? I should offer a service of critiquing review sites? I have in less than an hour helped this one site eliminate typos, correct syntax, add in clarifying rules and think about their approach. hehe. Someone should pay me. tah!!

One final thing... I am NOT an English Professor, and that was not my professional opinion on their site. I actually have highschool english the same as these girls, and not one iota more. Yup, my English grammar lessons ended at 16, and so I expect fully that these girls can compete with me.

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previous meanderings - future past

Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Taking Care of Your Cows - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Saint Joseph robs the cradle and eats spaghetti - Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
sticky notes and broken irises - Friday, Jun. 12, 2009
The FOODCOMMANDER - Monday, Jun. 08, 2009


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