Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Virtual stalkers

There I was thinking that the blogging world - well at least the one I inhabit - is full of goodness, joy, shared emotions, shoes, chocolate and just really nice things. Like furry creatures.


Then I come across this post from How Publishing Really Works. And suddenly my blogging world feels a little vulnerable.


To summarise: the blog owner Ms Jane Smith has and is being - for want of a better word - harassed by another blogger - I'll call her Ms. B. Initially Ms. B sought out Ms. Smith for writerly advice and assistance and of course Ms Smith replied . [As an aside - the blog, btw, is a really good blog to follow if you are serious about writing and being published].


Ms B didn't like the response and continued to email, comment, email Ms Smith's friends, use her own blog to accuse Ms Smith of all sorts of things and blocked any of Ms Smith's ripostes. If that wasn't unsettling enough, Ms Smith then receives an email from Ms B informing her that her book has now been accepted for publication by a publishing company who wants £2,750. Ms B then ends her email asking what she thought of that?


If you read the note quoted on HPRW site, Ms B doesn't sound as if she's being sarcastic. She genuinely sounds as if she wants some kind of validation from no-one else but Ms. Smith.

And so it goes on. I think most of the commentators feel that this won't be the last of Ms. B. and some are even aware of her having been at her receiving end too.

It's just all so sad in a scary way. I shall pray very hard to all the goddesses and muses that this blogging world that I inhabit remain the nice lovely supportive thing it is for me and for all the gorgeous bloggers I've met so far!


31 comments:

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I've been blogging two years and I have had very few unpleasant episodes and nothing serious. I don't allow anonymous comments because I get spam comments if I do, and I moderate posts that are older than three days as I noticed spammers trying to leave comments in old posts. One time a blogger was annoyed because I visited blogs that she had listed on her side bar as her favorites. I was confused as most bloggers like to share good blogs that way? I stopped visiting her and she stopped visiting me. No harm done. So, all in all, I haven't had much trouble, and I hope you will also have good experiences Old Kitty!

Niki said...

That is scary. Thank goodness most bloggers arent like that.

Susan Fields said...

That is very disturbing. Thanks for sharing her story.

KarenG said...

I guess that's why some people have comment moderation and anti spamming devices.

I love your kitty drawing! Did you do that?

Kate said...

Don't worry Kitty, I'll only ever stalk you in a nice way :-)

fairyhedgehog said...

What a sad story. You just can't help some people.

Noir the Texas Tabby said...

That does sound scary. I'll HISS at the Bad Blogger.

I've been fortunate, with my blog and Tommy on her personal blog--and not had bad bloggers--well, she had somebody in Sweden try to sell something on her blog--so that was a delete.

Even tho, I'm a cat, I think some humans feel some kind of of power on the internet--because nobody knows them and they think they can do what they want. Yet their immaturity, and lack of self confidence still finds a way to come out...

Now time for me to nap.

Noir

Kea said...

This is why I moderate all my comments. I wasn't for a couple of weeks, had a some posts from someone offering their business number for cat meds. (In the U.S.) But fortunately no one psychotic or semi-psychotic. LOL. I really hope most bloggers aren't like that, I want to think that most people will be kind--or at least civil and respectful.

But I suppose it depends on what kind of blog and if insecure egos become engaged in a negative way.

I have one odd follower on my Fuzzy Tales site, never a comment, though. I went to his site and it's a little bizarre, can't fathom why he'd follow a cat blog. But if he ever gives any problem, I'll just block him.

Theresa Milstein said...

I've found the blogging community to be supportive and lovely - like you!

Lucky for us that our blogs are not offering advice because that probably opens up the floodgates. There are crazy people in the world, and some of them blog, I guess.

I recently came across a blog where the writer sends to every single person at the agency, even though most specifically say if one rejects, it means they've all rejected. Then she gets annoyed when a different agent than the one she writes to rejects her manuscript, not realizing there are junior agents that go through the slush first, and only pass on potentials to higher agents.

I worry that this desperation can lead to aggression. We'd all love to be published, but we can't take critique or rejections personally. In the last month, Mary at KidLit wrote a post about getting nasty e-mails after sending rejections. It's a shame.

Jenny Woolf said...

It is a good idea not to give our your real email address and definitely avoid real-life address and personal info on a blog. My blog has had occasional messages from creepies, which I normally ignore.

the difficulty comes when they are not easy to spot. Creeps occasionally seem at first to be seeking a serious dialogue about your subject - like the one with Jane. (and yes, her blog is brilliant. I hope it does not put her off)

It is only after their follow up that you realise how odd they are. I do not think there are any rules about dealing with them, but my policy is "one strike and you're out". As well as blocking them I avoid whatever subject they want to discuss, even if it means deleting previous postings on the subject (I had to do this just last week).

It's a bit like real life, isn't it. I guess one needs to develop a sixth sense. Worrying, though. :-(

Hazra said...

That is seriously weird and kinda scary! Thankfully I haven't had such an experience yet.

The kitty is adorable, by the way!

Ann said...

I have found nothing but support in the blogging world. I moderate all comments in an effort to avoid spam etc.

It is unfortunate that someone who offers genuine help has been on the receiving end of such behavoir. My motto, If you ask a question be prepared for an answer you won't like!

I hope this experience does not sour Jane to genuine requests of advice.

Melinda Szymanik said...

sorry - I know its off topic but I have totally fallen in love with the hamster. Does it have a name?

Amy and The House of Cats said...

We have been very lucky - in my whole time blogging I had one bad comment, and I deleted it right away. That is why I use both word verification and comment moderation. I understand if you disagree with something and can state your opinion in a useful way, but just being mean (or crazy like the lady in your story sounds) is unacceptable. We know other bloggers out there who have had more issues - we have to say we have been lucky so far.

Also, if that lady thinks that she is doing well because someone is charging her a lot of money to publish her book she is very naive - it sounds like she is getting scammed, unfortunately.

I do have followers,like Kea does, that don't really comment and when I check out their sites I don't get why they are following me, but like her I haven't had problems and would block them if need be. I think I am lucky because the cat and dog blogging community has so many wonderful people in it - they would never do anything crazy like that (no matter how many cats they have ;))

Sharon Mayhew said...

I think I've been pretty lucky so far...I haven't had anyone being mean or trying to sell stuff or posting in foreign languages. My only annonymus post is from my frien Di...she hasn't quite mastered the blog world yet. :)

Good post...I came to visit you via Susan Field's blog. :)

Old Kitty said...

Hi Pat@Mille Fiori Favoriti

Oh Pat - that blogger sounds so petty! What's wrong with her? Good grief.

Yes I'm really glad that we have the option of moderating comments. And that's good info about how to spot spammers. I hope I never get one because that'll just spoil it for me.

BTW,I adored your last blog piece about Green Wood cemetary. Such an amazing, amazing place. Thank you.

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi Nikki

Thanks for popping by!

Yes, I'm so glad too. There really isn't any need to be horrid in blogworld!

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi Susan Fields

Oh I wish I shared a nicer story! This piece really upset me. It was just so unpleasant.

But thank goodness for lovely bloggers like you!

:-)

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi KarenG

LOL! Oh I wish I drew that lovely kitty! Alas and alack it wasn't me. But it really looked how I felt yesterday!

:-)

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi Kate!!

LOL!

That's more like it! Nice stalkers!!

Oh your parsnips today really made my morning, really and truly..!

:-)

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

hi fairyhedgehog

That was the most upsetting one for me. Jane Smith went out of her way to help and this is the abuse she got!

It's all so silly!

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Noir you handsome cat you!

Yes, do hiss at these nasty bloggers! Especially ones who try to sell Tommy things from Sweden. Good grief!

I hope you had a nice beauty sleep!

:-)

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi Kim!!

Oooooh let's hope that strange follower you have is just the shy type!

But seriously - I was saying to Pat - thank goodness, thank goodness! really that we're able to moderate and block comments.

You are so right though - I hope too that most would be civil at best. I mean it's the old saying isn't it? "If you've not got anything nice to say, don't say it"! Life's too short, you know?

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi Theresa Milstein

Oh and I'm just so glad to have met you too!!

Really and truly!

You make a great point about blogs that give out advice. I think because writers are a passionate bunch at the best of times - they could also be the most passionately offended when rejected or told their writing isn't up to much. Especially by bloggers who aim to give out advice and help. Which kind of makes it more upsettig for me. These bloggers giving out advice, don't have to but they do because their advice really helps - esp when they work for the industry or are published -so they do know.

Oh here's to lovely sensible bloggers!

:-)

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi Jenny Woolf

Oh no really? See that's what upsets me! You had to delete one of your own blog entries because negative people just haven't got better else to do.

How awful.

Yes it's the insidiousness that you have to look out for.

I say this again. Thank goodness for being able to have some control over one's blog!

Take care and I hope you never have to delete any more of your blogs in the future!

x

Old Kitty said...

Hi Hazra

Thanks for stopping by!

Oh I do hope you never, ever, ever have to deal with unpleasant people like this!

Aww, the kitty says thank you!

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi Ann

Oh I hope so too!

I mean she was just trying to help - and she knows what she's talking about so if someone like her says your work needs revising, well, yes, it does!


:-)

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi Amy and the House of Cats

Oh furry and cute animal people are the best! LOL!

Oh but they are! I love 'em, really and truly.

It's so weird though you and Kim having these silent followers... so thank goodness for comment moderation and word verification!

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi Sharon Mayhew

Thanks for popping by from the lovely Susan Field's.

And thank you for making me smile about your friend Di...!

:-)

Thank goodness you've not had any unwelcome silliness being posted on your blog! May that remain so!

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi Melinda Szymanik

LOL!!! I call the hamster Furry Flopsies.

:-)

I got this from fairyhedgehog. If you want I'll send you the link where you can download him or her. You can choose the colour scheme, size.. it's really sweet!

Take care
x

stacy said...

It's sad running across these unfortunate souls. I just try to ignore them.