JJ's Commentary, page 4


Oh my, you are a brave soul, aren't you?  Coming in here,  braving my temper, and listening to my insane ramblings?  I hope you have a strong stomach, and lots of patience, because you never know what kind of drivel you will have to listen to in here....



July 12, 2007

Hm, well, all was right with the world for awhile, not quite as long as the last time, but once again some useless peon has managed to incite within JJ the need to spew the vitriol once again!  

And as before, this one got started because of a virtual pet site.  As always, I prefer not to name names, but I think enough of you remember the site I've been going on about for the last year or so, ne?  Today's rant isn't about pet sites in particular, rather something that I witnessed happening on said pet site.  Seems the owner had the impression he was invincible and could do or say whatever he liked, to whomever he liked, and not be held accountable, or suffer from his actions in any way, shape or form.  How quickly he learned just how wrong he was!  *chuckles*  

He decided it would be fun to steal a meme from a forum which is...shall we say rather notorious for being home to all manner of users, including some very volatile, and quite talented hackers. When these people got upset and threatened to take action, the owner just laughed it off and basically said do your worst.  He even went so far as to flaunt the use of the meme on the site, and paste taunts and insults in the source code for pages on the site, to further exacerbate the situation.  In short, the guy handled things like an immature teen who had nothing better to do than engage in a pissing contest with these people.  Unfortunately for him, he had no idea who he was dealing with.  But he found out when user accounts started getting hacked, the site suffered lengthy downtimes from attacks, and the owner himself had his SIN number posted publicly, and his credit accounts were accessed, causing thousands of dollars in merchandise to be purchased in his name.  

Now, ordinarily I would find this little story of come-uppance rather amusing, but not this time.  

Yes, here, at last, we arrive at the moral of today's story.  It's called Culpability.  Say it with me now, children.  Cul-pa-bil-i-ty.  It means responsibility in a situation, usually, a bad one.  
The owner of this site started this situation by stealing the meme, and he continued to make it worse by taunting the forum users, even going so far as to stage attacks of his own.  

Not only did he instigate, and aggravate the entire situation, but he refused to keep the users of his site updated on the situation.  Thousands of users were hacked, frozen, had accounts wiped down to nothing and never even knew what hit them.  The forum users even used the passwords of users on the pet site, to track their accounts on gaia with the same names, not to mention email and other accounts, and ruin these users on totally unrelated sites.  Still the owner of the pet site refused to stop using the meme, or even apologize.  He to this day never has given a clear explanation, even after the site suddenly had to move servers and insert an x into it's name in order to keep running.  Not to mention there are still hundreds of accounts that remain inactive because these users don't know about the change to the site's name.  I for one find the lack of transparency in this situation appalling.  This site isn't just a hobby, users contribute real money for this, and lots of it, if you read and believe the financial transactions the forum users posted about the pet site owner's spending habits, hundreds of dollars just for a few t-shirts and a couple of pairs of sunglasses, not to mention a pretty expensive sports car...  The site is a business, and as such the owner has a responsibility to his users, and said users have the right to know what's going on with the site and their accounts.  Yet the owner has continued to act as if the users have no rights in this situation at all, no right to complain, no right to recompense for their lost time and money, never mind the right to simple knowledge.  

Now, I have gone out and looked into this, and there are many stories, and endless rumors about it, from the owner being investigated by the irs, to him posting pr0n pics. o.o  The forum users even suggested the owner of the pet site himself GAVE these people a list of passwords and usernames to hack, in exchange for them no longer attacking the site directly, not to mention sparing his credit rating *snickers*  I'm not sure about any of those, but I do know I find the stony silence from owner and staff regarding this situation to be somewhat disturbing.

Staff have even gone so far as to post sarcastic verbal beat-downs on other forums and even on the yahoo answers service whenever people start speculating about what's going on!   Now, it's one thing to ask people not to discuss it on your site, but for staff to comb the internet, infiltrating other public domains that have nothing to do with this pet site, and start attempting to silence any and all discussion of the subject, that's going a bit too far for my liking.  

So I suppose in reality there are two topics to today's rant.  Culpability, and Transparency, particularly when one is running a business.  Your users, or consumers, always have a right to know at least some of what's going on, even if it is your screw up that's inconvenienced said users.  


Okay, that was my main rant for this year XD now let's move on.  I'm going to continue on in the general vein of responsibility after I treat you all to one of JJ's mini rants, yay! *watches as everyone runs and hides, again* << o.O;;

Alright, mini rant time! 

Why the hell is it so hard to find a beta reader these days?  I recieved help from a good friend for about...*thinks* 6 years, but then her situation changed and I lost my desire to write for a time. When I started getting back into the swing of things,  I searched over a year for a beta, without success.  I'd get a little nibble here and there, and even recently, I posted to one of the mailing lists I'm on, got several fast responses, but after an initial contact, and showing them where my stories were posted for them to read and beta, I never heard from most of them again.  This ties into the responsibility angle, when you step forward and volunteer to do something for somebody, you should either a) do it or b) if something comes up, tell them you can no longer do it/ can't do it right now, or c) if it's just not something you're really interested in because you don't get along/don't enjoy their main fandoms/writing style or whatever the reason is that you lost interest, just say something!    The worst thing is when people just vanish off the face of the earth, leaving you to wonder if you did or said something wrong, and offended them in some way. 

I will say I've been very fortunate though, my recent attempts turned up four wonderful people that I feel can cover everything, old and new that will need looking over, and not only are they great betas, but they're genuinely nice people to chat and hang out with.  So I guess this is another little lesson for today, patience can pay off.  I'm thankful to them for taking the time to work with me, looks like most if not all could turn out to be long-term friends and partners in writing *chuckles*.  

OMG, I think I just had a rant end on a pleasant note!  *dies of shock* 




The opinions expressed on this page are purely my own, and in no way reflect the opinions of yahoo, geocities or anybody else, so if you got somethin to say to me about it, bring it on! *chuckles*



WRITE to me