Sunday, February 08, 2009

A Review of a Review

About four months ago I saw a scathing review of a fellow reader. It was from this site called ‘Ask and Ye Shall Receive”. Upon learning that they offer up no-holds-barred free reviews on the quality and layout of any blog I immediately signed up.

And then I began to taunt them.

And taunt them.

I figured I’d get an incredible thrashing as a result. I had a vision of this group. They seemed very much like the record enthusiasts from the movie “High Fidelity”. You know, the ones that hung around and dissed every other record enthusiast around because they knew everything and were under-appreciated.

These reviewers…they love the shock value of swearing a lot. I find swearing to be a cheap way of writing. It’s too easy. It’s like trying too hard to be cool. I don't see a lot of literary classics needing profanity to make their writing edgier.

It would be easy to stereotype them as either they-want-to-write-some-great-piece-but-cannot-seem-to-get-noticed-for-their-great-written-word types and so therefore they review other peoples blogs to feel important or their just this inner circle of writers all one-upping themselves using this forum.

And then there was my own review. Consider some of the quotes from a few of their reviews on other blogs around the time my blog was reviewed:

"Look, I'd love to know what you did yesterday, but you can't be bothered to give me any fucking details. So, fuck you. No, really, fuck you. Your template is pathetic."

"…one piece of advice I can offer you in regard to your blog. Shut the whole thing down…"

"In short, I'm sorry you got me, because I FUCKING HATE YOUR BLOG….Your blog is everything that is wrong with the blogosphere, in specific, and humanity, in general.
Who would read this hot mess? I can't find anything, at all, in your blog that makes me care about you or want to know you."

Scary, huh? Who would want that kind of abuse? Well actually…I would. I figure if I’m writing dog shit posts then nobody reading my stuff is gonna say so. These guys would though. They don’t care; well, actually, it turns out they do care. They want to see some awesome material; it’s just that they rarely find any.

In a flip of what I had originally thought about them I actually can't believe they do what they do. I don't know that I could read through some boring ass blog and review it. Sure, reviewing a great blog is easy. Review a blog with promise is probably rewarding too. But bad ones? Why would you want to spend the time?

What I found from their review of me is that they actually tell it like it is. They have a good insight. You can read the review here. I'll give them the latitude that they couldn't identify that a lot of the visuals I actually did create as original and that with other pictures I am introducing some original humor with every one of them, not merely reguritating them. I give them that latitude because they can't tell the difference. The entire humor blog venue looks formula to them. And it probably is. They asked me straight out…how proud am I of the material I create here? In truth, I think I'm proud of only about 10% of it. Really. It’s not that I don’t like the rest; I just think it’s only so-so.

When I started my blog it was more of an experiment on whether I could crank out something funny or interesting and do it day in and day out. It was as if I were wondering what highly creative occupations might feel like. Would it become a drag? Would I suffer severe writers block? Would I end up like the Garfield cartoon strip and be unfunny but continue to publish?

In the end, there are still things I enjoy doing on my blog. I think I am just cranking out stuff on a schedule albiet a too frenatic schedule too. But I’m going to give them a try and interject some more personal writing into it. You’ll have to tell me whether you like it or not. I’ll sprinkle in some next week if I get the time to do so. In the meantime, I'm going to ponder my experience with the whole venue.

34 comments:

Chris Wood said...

People wouldn't read and enjoy your blog if it was badly done. As to those reviewers, well, I wish I was as cool as that.

Elizabeth said...

I wouldn't come back here if I didn't think your stuff was funny. And he dissed your blog roll. Screw him!
(And I noticed there were 48 comments after his article. 4 were about your blog, the other 44 were bizzare inside jokes from commenters. Like Chris said, I wish I were that cool)

The Incredible Woody said...

Thanks for wasting your time on this segment of the "LOL" audience!!

After reading a lot of their reviews, to be good in their eyes you either have to give explicit details of your sexual encounters or cuss like there's no fucking tomorrow!

Memarie Lane said...

Personally I'd love to see some more personal stuff.

I am Arizona; a person, not a place. said...

Meh. His review is only as good as his own personal bias. I clicked a few links from his site and ended up at a blog from some depressed, overly-dramatic woman named Raymi...her blog is supposed to be "perfect". Perhaps to the reviewer it is, which tells me the reviewer is young, depressed, and sarcastic. How boring. Blog about what matters to you. I'm a 39 year old mother of 3 toddlers and am really not interested in reading about the "troubles" of a twenty-something, so to me, Raymi's blog is not perfect. Its uninteresting. But to her audience of young, depressed, sarcastic folk, its fantastic. That guy would have a field day telling me how no one wants to hear about the boogers my son smears on my wall and that he has urinated on our couch twice. But, its my life and I write about what I want write about. You do the same. If you don't write fantastical nonsense, what will you rename your blog?

I am Arizona; a person, not a place. said...

PS: I'm not dissing twenty-somethings..y'all are great. But when you are a depressed twentysomething and blog about how life sucks and everyone else sucks, too, well, it gets a bit boring and redundant.
From,
One of the LOL gang

Beth said...

Some more personal stuff would be interesting BUT don't take everything those reviewers said to heart. Remember the "little people" - your regular readers who come back time and again because they enjoy your humour and what your write.
(I have never written "LOL" or "spewed" while reading blogs - or anything else. I take offense at how they view your audience!)

Megan said...

I read the review and the comments over there. Do they have nothing to do but scatologically insult each other? I mean, come on, "yo mama" jokes?

I think just threw up a little in my mouth, LOL.

That said, it will be interesting to see you move in a more personal direction. I look forward to that or to whatever other nonsense you think up.

ReformingGeek said...

I have not read their review of your blog yet as my Internet service today is sketchy at best. I read your blog because I know it will make me smile and I envy your ability to make something funny out of just about anything.

As for more personal stuff, that would be great. Interjections of your crazy life can't be anything but hilarious!

Giggle Pixie said...

There's just no pleasing some people. But you gotta ask yourself why you have so damn many fans if your blog is so awful?

Keep doing what you're doing, or add some new twists. We like you for who you are. We'll keep coming back!

Jaime said...

harsh review. i can't believe anyone would analogize blogging to performing home abortions...

although what you write now makes me laugh and smile, more personal stuff would be good too. you know you have us hooked. we'll keep reading either way

Quirkyloon said...

Oh VE, don't you already know what a successful blogger ye are!

Well ye are!

You heard it here first. I always count on my daily dose of laughter from VE...keep it coming dude. If you want to make us laugh about your life too...then I'll laugh about that too...I think! heh heh

You frawk! Don't let any other emo reviewer let you think otherwise!

Serena said...

Meh. There are review sites, and then there are review sites. That's not one. It's WAY too subjective and, well, angst-ridden. Or something.

Gladys said...

See I don't get the whole review a blogger thing. Who are they to review anyone? Are they Phd's in blogging? Are they the ones that spent 50 years in the industry to build themselves up to a position of authority? I don't understand.

You write and blog what you want and if your funny or intersting I follow if not then I don't. Kind of like the TV if I don't like the program I change the channel. Except when the president's on then I just go throw up, because you know it's not gonna be good.

Janna said...

You are far braver than I would ever be, willingly and fearlessly opening yourself to the possibility of scathing criticism.

I admire that.
I could never do it.

Kevin John said...

Writing without destroying the English language is tough enough, but trying to make other's laugh is one of the hardest jobs out there. And one of the most admirable.
No, I don't like everypost you write, nobody likes everyone of mine. Dean Koonz just had a major flop last year...yada yada.
The majority of the stuff you post is quality and imaginative and I wish I could become half as good as you. I enjoy coming over here!
I just wish you'd have more beer in the fridge.

Besides you're still young VE, be cool.

Bonnie the Boss said...

I'll be honest I like some things you post about better than others! But I am no judge. Which I am sure is not news to you.
For me personally my blog is for me only, if others read it and like it. Great! Maybe you need to re-define your reason for writing it. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Bonnie the Boss said...

Sorry, I am back. Maybe you need to cut back a bit, to give it the focus you want.

yellojkt said...

I got reviewed by them a couple of years ago. They called me the Whitest Blogger Ever. Pretty tough to argue with.

Kurt said...

First, sorry I haven't had enough integrity to tell you this blog sucks. Second, your critic can't spell "tendency," so there's that.

Alex L said...

I'm still waiting for my review if it ever gets done, signed up october I think last year. But to be honest I think their opinion is null and void, you have more readers than them so, well, you win...

And they didn't like Renal Failure, thats an automatic fail in my books.

Chris C said...

Some of those reviews do have some truth. In one example from my review I got trashed for calling myself an aspiring writer which does sound like something a middle school student would write on their profile.

Stuff like that, and mechanics/grammar is one thing, critique of a style of humor is another.

You are a very funny writer VE and the fun you are having shows in the posts.

Keep doing what you are doing because it is working.

Matt-Man said...

Ha. They reviewd mine last year. I was told about how ugly my site was and how infantile and unpolished my writing was. And yet the chick liked it at the same time. I think your description of them is right on. Cheers VE!!

Carla said...

I've got to check this out. Just for the fun of it. You know, I just don't get enough abuse.

Jacki said...

I'd like to see more personal stuff, too. I think your travels are pretty interesting.

Roy Scribner said...

Your blog is everything that is wrong with the blogosphere? That's quite an achievement if you ask me!

MJ said...

I wouldn't take it too seriously, hon. You still got one more star than I did, so that's not bad :)

I personally like your blog, and I think you should remember how often people comment on your posts. Also keep in mind why you started writing in the first place - was it to schmooze with people and to conform to some opinion of what some other blogger thought your blog should be?

They told me mine wasn't personal enough either, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have been happy unless I was talking about my sex life and the bodies buried in my backyard, all with interspersed curse words and italic font.

Grain of salt, dear. I love your blog the way it is.

Jeff said...

Bleh. I hate those review web sites. They're usually more interested in entertaining themselves through group bashing (with their inside peeps) than providing useful constructive criticism.

angie said...

Obviously their opinion doesn't matter. BUT, remind me not to ask them for a review. I don't think I could handle that brand of "honesty". :)

Uncivil said...

Is this a test?

Bunk Strutts said...

BFD. They have a blog to practice typing "kufc" in all it's glorious conjugations.

One of the better blog critique sites is "kufc" you penguin. Very ascerbic and profane comments about cutsey animal images on the web (NSFK).

unfinishedrambler said...

Amen to everything you said, and amen to all your commenters. No amen to the critique site.

Mrsupole said...

I think I like your stories, and as long as visitors to your site like them, then that is all that matters.

I got my blog link added to a website and they listed it as "An easily read Web Log". Now I chose to take that as a compliment, while I am sure those reviewers would say there is something wrong.

It is also all about what "YOU" think about your site that matters, along with your readers.

freetheunicorns said...

I'm glad you called out those formulaic tramps, VE. Why do they have such a hate on for humour? And what's with them saying, "inject some of your life into the blog." If that's not why you blog, then they can suck it. Clearly, you have a large following, and can write. Personally, I think they're just in it for a chance to pat themselves on the back.

Congrats on the two stars.