10.16.2011

I thought high school was over: "Hot Shot" bloggers

WARNING: This isn't a positive post. This is a lot of complaining, ranting, and personal opinions about hot shot bloggers. Feel free to skip it, especially if you're just going to leave hateful and rude comments. Cuz that's not very nice.

No matter how long ago high school was for you, I'm sure you can remember it pretty well. Your experience may not have been like mine, but I remember lots of cliques. Popular people, "losers," band geeks, drama nerds, super athletic, bookworms, punks, preps, skaters, and even racial groups. I don't know where I fell, I had friends all over the spectrum. I guess I was a floater.

The BFF and I at graduation. We hardly look any different....

And I don't know about you, but I sang hallelujah the moment I walked out of graduation. I knew the people I cared about I would see again (plus facebook was JUST coming out and that was all super exciting), and the others hardly crossed my mind. Especially all those hot shots. You know the type, the ones that are always tooting their own horn, stomping on people they think they are better than, pushing themselves up in any way they can, and honestly, just being plain rude. I hoped that by "growing up" a little bit people would realize that that is childish.

Boy was I wrong.

This isn't the first time I've dealt with hot shots, and of course it won't be the last. My naive 18 year old self was, well, naive. Maybe I am still naive, because I expected better from most bloggers. I mean come on, you can totally censor what you're going to say! You can delete and rethink a million times before anyone knows. I know, it's stupid, everyone will always deal with difficult people for the rest of their lives. But for some reason, hot shot, stuck up bloggers weren't something I ever worried about when I entered the blogging world.

There are a lot of craft bloggers out there that I would label a "hot shot." I won't name any, but I'm sure you can name a few of your own. There are a few things that bloggers do that lump them into my hot shot category. Please read all the way through and read my comments below BEFORE throwing knives at me. I am not knife proof.

  • A blogger with a lot of followers, but bases their whole blog around that fact. "Check out my facebook page, you should join the thousands and thousands that like me!" "If you are reading, please follow me and become a part of the 10,000 people that follow!" "Don't leave without subscribing!" Crap like that. It's like joining a cult.
  • A blogger who is totally stuck up and haughty. I don't think you need examples of this. 
  • A blogger who has way too many rules. "I would love to have you guest post, but X, Y, and Z need to happen and I must approve of it. And it needs to be original, and you can't post it on your blog ever." "You can do a giveaway but the fee is X amount, the giveaway item needs to be over $XXX, and you need to do XYZ to be able to qualify." "To link up to my party, follow all 10 rules or I delete it."
  • A blogger who is so obsessed with their own populartity it's all they talk about. "ZOMG I totally went to this blogger meet up that only popular bloggers can go to because they get to go for free and met all these other popular people and we all just soaked up each others popularness. (Mean Girls reference :D) Loser blogs need not come." I mean really, how often do you see blogger conferences/meet ups where all the hot shot bloggers meet up with other hotties and don't even mention awesome people they met that aren't as popular as them? Are us little folk not good enough for you? When do you ever see someone like me at a blog conference meeting up with hot shot blogger and that hot shot blogger blogging about it? (Run on sentence much?) It's popular people only talking to popular people because they are too good for anyone else. 
  • A blogger who is 99% advertising and 1% crafting. "Check out X, Y, and Z sponsor, who sponsored this post." "Look at this craft I had to do because so and so sent me materials to do it" "Check out all 10 of my giveaways going on right now and the 20 more to come tomorrow" "Do you advertising with me? Only a million dollars a month!" "If you want to do a giveaway, it must be worth hundreds of dollars"
I typically unfollow most of these haughties. Ugh. Advertising is what gets me the most. There is a pretty delicate balance with all of this, which I DO understand. It's perfectly fine to have a lot of followers. There are plenty of huge blogs I follow because they are genuinely awesome and actually have creative ideas and who just seem genuine. It's fine to toot your own horn every once in a while, especially when you're actually being awesome. Its perfectly alright to do a little self promoting. It's ok to have  a few rules. And it's ok to advertise. Everyone wants to get more numbers, there are a lot more perks that come with big numbers. But sometimes I want to scream "Seriously people, open your eyes!! There is more to life than numbers." Let me give you an example, the real reason I am writing this post.

{image via google}

Over the summer, there was a certain hot shot blogger than hosted a pretty dang big giveaway. Thousands of dollars in prizes, three winners, all pretty exciting! I rarely ever enter hugely gigantic giveaways like this, mainly because there are way too many rules and things to do. "You MUST do all fifty million of these things BEFORE you can enter, then you get ONE comment." Ugh, not worth my time.

I really don't know what possessed me to enter this particular one. (Maybe because one of the prizes was a blog makeover and at the time I was searching for one?) It was exactly one of "those" giveaways. This giveaway required you to "like" more than forty facebook pages for you to even enter!! And you got ONE entry. I mean seriously, what the heck? But I did it, I liked over forty facebook pages using my blog's facebook page, which just made sense to me. I am on my blog's facebook page more than my personal one, I use KC&A to help promote other bloggers and businesses, and I just like to keep all things crafty in one place. It gets confusing when I mix crafty life and real life too much, not to mention my news feed would get so overloaded with friends updates and hundreds of craft updates I would never want to be on facebook.

I liked so many pages and left so many comments I got banned from facebook for a few days. They thought I was a spammer! Once my ban was over, I slowly liked the rest of the pages I was supposed to. I made sure to leave comments, just in case they needed to verify my "liking."

{image via google}

Days passed. And guess what.

I WON. 

I won the second prize package!! I was at my parent's house when the winner was announced and luckily one of my friends told me I won so I wouldn't miss the deadline to reply.

I hurried over to the page, excited out of my mind, since the one I won had that blog makeover. Yay!! My heart sunk when I saw something that looked like this:

Prize winner #2 winner: so and so blogger comment number infinity. Congrats so and so!

What?? I thought I won that one! Did my friend make a mistake? I scrolled down a little more and saw something like this:

"You may have noticed that this winner is different than the one we announced before. She decided not to follow all the rules so we chose a new one."

WHAT!? "Decided not to follow the rules??" Are you freaking kidding me!? I got banned from facebook for liking so many pages!!! And why did she have to word it that way? I was completely humiliated, because I knew some people had seen my name up there and now they all thought I was some cheater. My cheeks were red with seething humiliation. I knew there had to be a mistake, I double checked because I got banned and didn't want anything to fall through the cracks. So I emailed the host. After I sent it, I felt like I should go back and triple check...just to be sure. I checked and checked and checked and checked and my heart fell out when I noticed that yes, somehow I had missed Groopdealz.

Crap. @#$%&! I can't believe I missed one. I finished checking to make sure I didn't miss anymore, and then I saw the real kicker. One of the sponsors had updated their status with something like this:

"I noticed that the original winner didn't like my page, what a bummer! She really missed out!!"

.............................................are you kidding me? I AM RIGHT HERE!! How could I see that status update if I don't like your page?? I went back and looked and I had even LEFT A COMMENT. I was right there, in plain sight. The sponsor didn't even take the time to really check, she wrongly disqualified me. By then I looked something like this:

{image via google}

I left a not very nice comment on her wall, but immediately deleted it. Granted, I DID miss one of the pages, so TECHNICALLY I shouldn't get the prize. (Though I very reluctantly admit that because I really wanted it.) But she wrongly disqualified me, and that really upset me. She squealed on me, but Groopdealz, who's page I had actually missed, didn't say anything. (In case you are wondering, my blogger name includes my blog name, so there shouldn't have been any confusion that I was KC&A)

What's worse? The host of the giveaway didn't even bother to check. If she had bothered to check, she would have seen that I did in fact like that page that said I didn't! But no, she just lazily chose a new winner anyway, being completely irresponsible.

What's the worst of all? Even though I missed Groopdealz on facebook, I already get their emails!! I am already one of their numbers!

Maybe it's just me, but I feel like I should have at least been emailed, or warned, or SOMETHING with a prize package this big. I would have, it I were hosting.

I emailed her, and told her in the nicest way I knew how, that she should remember that there are people behind each of those numbers. I tried my hardest not to be rude but still get my point across. Because I believe it's true. There ARE people behind each one of those followers, each one of those likes, and each one of those emails. I feel like we should be treated as such! I feel like it is extremely disrespectful to think of us as so expendable. Ugh. Once I sent that email, I unfollowed her blog, unliked her page, and stopped following her on twitter. I will not stand for this, I am not an expendable number. I am a real person, with real feelings, who is REALLY influenced by the way you handle yourself and your blog. If I have a terrible experience at a store, I am never going back, and I will tell all my friends about it. Same thing here.

She never emailed me back. Not even now. She didn't even bother to address anything I had said. Again, I was just a number in her inbox. I mean, I know I miss emailing back sometimes, things happen. But I don't overlook emails like this.

 {image via google}

Even two months later I am still a little peeved about it. And it's not JUST with her and this experience, it happens all the time. Maybe it's just me, but I want people to like my page because they want to. I want them to follow because they like the crap I post. I don't want them to like me just because they have to, that's just stupid. Sure I host giveaways and liking my facebook is an entry, but it's OPTIONAL. So when I see that you HAVE to like more than 40 pages just to ENTER, that just turns me off. When I HAVE to like something, post an exact tweet, and post an exact comment on a page, I just think it's crap. Why are we all just numbers? People are STILL doing this. Just the other day I saw a giveaway that actually had ten rules (no exaggeration) to it, some of which were:
  • "Like ALL the sponsors on facebook." Seriously, like 30 of them.
  • "Like them with your PERSONAL facebook page, NOT your blog's page, otherwise the number doesn't count" Yes, she actually said that you needed to become a number.
  • "Don't like and then unlike when the giveaway is over." Well then, make it optional and I won't!! I'll like them because I want to and you won't have to worry about me unliking them. 

I keep thinking, What is wrong with some people? Why is it all about numbers? I thought you were supposed to blog because you loved it. I thought you were supposed to open an Etsy shop because you love making things. I didn't know blogging was only about numbers and being the best or trying to make a living.

And that is my rant. If you read it, thanks. You get an internet hug. Unless you are going to leave a mean comment. In which case, I implore you to leave immediately.

Please tell me if I ever get like that. I will throw myself off a cliff.

30 comments:

Rangel said...

I totally agree with you and I would have reacted the same way! Not only was this a "jerky" way for this blogger to call you out it was extremely unprofessional!!

Sarah said...

Sorry to hear about your bad experiences. Those stuck-up high school girls just don't change much as they become adults.

I feel the exact same way about numbers. I am excited anytime someone likes my blog or FB page and WANTS to see what I write about and what I make. I appreciate every single new follower or like and know that there are real people that are behind those "numbers".

Too much advertising and sponsors turn me off to a blog. A bit is okay, everyone likes the idea of a bit of cash, but if you have a craft blog... I want to see a craft every now & then!!

Giveaways are becoming just lame. You should not be required to do a dozen things to enter. And I thought it was against facebook policies to require people to like your page for a giveaway...

There are sooo many link parties out there. If someone is crazy strict about there rules, I may just not participate and go to another one!

Keep your chin up. Don't let the crap bring YOU down and prevent you from doing your thing. I think your blog is fabulous!

{Sorry for posting a novel in your comments!}

Cheree @ The Morning Latte said...

I am fairly new to blogging and hope to just keep it as "for fun." I would love to get lots of followers (and may eventually add in some ads?) but if I don't, that's okay too. Being driven by ads, $, number of followers or whatever.... well, I guess there will always be those people. I think your experience this summer with the give-away just stinks! But I also feel sorry for the blogger because she has lost sight of what it's all about...just like those girls in high school. Me? Even more now than when I was in high school, I'm drawn to "real" people--and the more "real" bloggers. Oddly, I enjoyed this post because it was so open and honest and real. Here's to making it count; here's to a blog you can be proud of. [glass raised] I can think of a LOT of modern-day authors that toss out books left and right, basically writing cr*p because they just want to make the numbers and sell books. Isn't it funny how those are the same books that end up in everyone's garage sales??? It's the classics that remain on the shelves; it's the classics that will stand the test of time.

Brycie @ Reenie Jae Creations said...

I FEEL the same way! It's great to have a blog and it's fun to have followers, but I am not obsessed with having them! I've been blogging about 7 or so months and I only have 118 Followers, but the followers I do have actually GIVE A CRAP about my blog! And I am the same way when it comes to blogs I read & follow (including yours), I follow because I LOVE what they do, the creativity, the fun posts, the opportunities to share and meet new awesome bloggers, NOT to be a faceless number! I agree with you 100%, hot shot bloggers are poop heads for the most part. And more and more of the blogs I started to follow when they were tiny are becoming OBSESSED with being HOT SHOTS, and it's really sad! Thanks for doing such an AWESOME post Amie, this is something I think needs to be addressed MORE! Way to go for stepping up and telling it like it is! =)

CreationsbyJune said...

I know what you mean and agree totally! If I see a cool contest and then ready you have to do abc and 123 and get one entry.. I just by pass and forget about it.

By the way, keep doing what you are doing1 I enjoy your blog!!

heymudda said...

YOU GO GIRL! Finally someone after my own heart! I hate it when you have to do a ton of things for contest. so, several months ago, I stopped following blogs that focus on contests first and meaningful content last. I'm still following your blog, so, it would appear content won out over contest!

Kara @ Mine for the Making said...

You are not a number to me, my friend. I am sorry someone as sweet, kind, talented, giving, funny, and creative as you was treated so hurtfully. Internet hugs to you, Amie. xo

Steph @ Crafting in the Rain said...

Holy cow--what a mess! And how disappointing. The whole thing makes me feel better about not doing giveaways at all (I did a couple back at the way beginning of my blog, but then I read some stuff and it seems too tricky to make sure it's all legal) I'm with you. I'd rather get followers because they actually want to see what I'm doing. And then I'm not pressured to write when I don't want to, or create something I'm not really interested in.

Kitty said...

Amie,

I read your rant and understand your feelings. I will say I read your blog cause you have a quirky sense of humor that makes me smile. Even your rant has made me smile.

And on the note of that blogger, people like that are only in it because their blog is a source of money to them. It's not a personal source of self expression like yours is to you. Just remember when revenue gets involved you do become "just a number", sad but true.

Which is why I like reading your blog, keep it up!

Michelle Porth said...

Oh my goodness! I can't believe they were so inconsiderate :( I absolutely HATE when blogs become only about followers and numbers... it's so ridiculous. I have had my blog for about 7 months and have like 75 followers-- and I know several blogs that have started after me that have triple that amount. But I don't care. I write because I like to. I enjoy doing it, and if no one follows-- no biggy. But it's true-- so many blogs are becoming "millions of giveaways" and "sponsor posts" (more so than the actual blogger!) and product sponsor posts and advertisements for their own etsy shops... it's disheartening. And you are so right about the rules of giveaways-- they are so extensive!! I thought giveaways used to be to show appreciation for your readers; but now it's all about numbers. So frustrating. Thank you for posting this-- hopefully people will wake up a little and remember the true reason to blog. And, I kind of wish I knew what blog you were talking about just so I make sure I'm not a follower! :) Anyway, enough of me rambling.

Emily said...

That is incrediably rude and your a great person for not sending a really rude message to that person. I would have! Ugh that so bothers me and I don't like those giveaways where you have to like a hundered people either. I like it to be optional.

The Teachers Wife said...

I can't believe they didn't even respond to your email!! I'm afraid of becoming "too" big bc I don't want my site to be portrayed by just numbers either!! But it really is hard for me to keep up with everyone! That gives them NO excuse however to blatantly disregard your email - shame on them! I'm glad you unliked them - I would too!! (I HATE those stupid LIKE a zillion people to enter contests! I have been asked several times to join in on one and said NO WAY!)

kerrykatiecakeskeb43 said...

This really sounds like the bad side of blogging - giving the rest a bad name. Don't people realize that a little giveaway with no rules is worth way more than a huge one with a million rules? Is the object to annoy everyone and make them hate the sponsor or what?!

Jean said...

That's really too bad... but you know, now you need to un-like, un-follow... and take a nice big breath..... and let it out! Remember in High School when someone somewhere in school decided that for whatever reason they no longer "liked" you any more? And you had to move past it? This is one of those times! If we have leaned anything at all from High School... it's just that... that there are people out there that for whatever reason, just "can't" make it past High School... and for "them" nothing will get any better than that!
We know that your kidding (at least we hope so... we would miss you a lot!) if you threw yourself off of a cliff... besides... then someone somewhere would say something dumb like doesn't she know what that does to the envirorment.... (sorry no spell check!) all that blood and gore...! Life is too short... it's like when you get cut off while driving, you can go ballistic and plan a deep revenge or be the bigger person and just chalk it up to maybe that person had a bad day!
I'm far from being any sort of "joiner"... as far as I'm concerned all that time people require to try to win those things (and I've tried one or two... that's all) is less time I have to sew or read "fun" blogs! I'm not on facebook (my kids are always telling me that I ought to join) and you know... maybe I'm missing some things every now and again... but "not so much". Life is far too short to let the "hot dogs" in life bother us. One day... they will get the vinegar that they are handing out... and to be honest if they have nothing better to do than spend all their time coming up with tons of rules for one give away... better their time wasted than mine!
Hang in there... Hugs from this sector of the internet!!!

NIXNAX said...

I am so sad you had an experience like that. I am new to the "blog world" so this is like a fore warning for me. Thank you for sharing. Also i couldn't help but literaly laugh out loud at your pic of the women with the gun.

Megan M. said...

Well, first off, DON'T throw yourself off a cliff! Second, I really like your current blog design. :-) And, third, I'm so sorry that you had that experience. I've come to the realization that most of those giveaways aren't really worth my time. I love winning, but every minute I spend "liking" something is a minute I miss with the hubby or kids. Here's a big internet hug back at ya!

Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims said...

i read this whole post and now i am so mad!! urgggg. That is SO RUDE. let it out girl. i feel ya. props to you for taking a stand against all this!!!

Sam @ The Junk House said...

I completely agree! Please slap me if I ever think I'm too good to reply to questions or comment on other people's blogs!

And I would have been mad about the giveaway...that was really rude! She should have confirmed that the winners "liked" everyone before she even announced who won. I guess it wouldn't have mattered since you did "like" the page who said you didn't...lame.

Mindy said...

How frustrating. I'm so sorry you were treated so poorly!

I agree with the frustrations about facebook, especially since I don't do FB. If that's a requirement for entering, it won't be for me. But that's irritating when it sounds like a really great prize. =(

Lisalulu said...

yes LAME is a nice way of putting it. most contests now a days when you have to 'like' so many things... what if you don't have a facebook???? anyway sounds like they were just too big for their britches. I like your blog, you "keep it real" thumbs up (like) for real people like you.

Kimberly from "bugaboo" said...

Dear Amie, I concur. With it all. But I now have a confession. I sometimes find myself thinking: Why don't I have 2000 followers like so and so? My stuff is just as good. I have fewer typos." etc, etc. Why do I continually hold myself up to these " ridiculous arbitrary numbers? I try not to pay attention to them and sometimes, sometimes... I just can't help it and I suddenly start to feel bad about everything I do - and contemplate deleting my entire blog. At those times I try to remind myself why I ACTUALLY do this. Because I love to write. Because I love to create. Because I like people I've connected to. (Well, some of them, anyway...)
I had a somewhat unhappy experience with a hot shot blogger myself, back when I was a younger blog. It was my first guest post ever, and there were a lot of turn offs, but the biggest thing was that she actually made me CHANGE part of my project before she would post it. It didn't fit her "reader demographic" - because it was my first one I went ahead and changed it and the post went up on her site. And there was no nice introduction or conclusion to me or my blog or anything. I decided after that that if someone wanted me to change for them, they weren't worth it.
I also hate it when people follow you and then say "Hey, I followed you, come follow me back!" Like they only followed you to guilt you into following them...
I sure do hope my blog isn't one of those that peeves you off. I try consistently to keep my giveaways easy to enter for the exact reasons you mention. I have worried and worried many, many times - especially since I signed on with social spark - that I am a sell out. I would cry if people thought that.
Anyway, consider this my virtual hug of solidarity.
You go girl.

Kimberly from "bugaboo" said...

PS - you just gave me the kick I needed to go and unsubscribe to that blogger I mentioned's blog. Yes, I have still been following it all this time. Yea, you!

(Who's the meany behind the giveaway? I want to unfollow her too. For your sake.)

Caroline @ Artfully Caroline said...

Go Amie!! Go Kim!

Jaymie said...

I love your rant! I've noticed that there are several people, especially in the craft blog world, who have gotten rather inflated opinions of their own personal worth. No matter how great their stuff is, if they're rotten, it's not worth the headache (or the steam pouring out of your ears) to try and interact with them. Thanks so much for sharing!

Sourkraut said...

Ooh, this makes me so mad on your behalf! I am the queen of entering giveaways all over the blog world but have encountered a few like that where the requirements are just ridiculous. I skip 'em and move on to something a little simpler because I don't want to clutter up my Facebook feed. Now, of course, I'm dying to know which blog this was as I certainly don't want to be a fan of someone like that.

Ami w/AliLilly said...

WOW! I'm pissed for you too! I totally understand! TOTALLY! I decided after a few of my own "do these 437 things and comment for each" giveaways that I would ONLY do simple giveaways now! I'm so sorry girl! I would be so angry! I won a giveaway last year for a custom made wood monogram sign and the maker claimed she sent it to me 3 times and I never received it. But....oh well! Just so you know, you are NOT a number to me.

Nesty Girl said...

Wow! I'm really sorry that happened to you. But it's a funny thing...the longer I read blogs, the less often I check in with those "hot shot" blogs for exactly the reasons you listed. You have a super blog with a real voice and funny, witty writing and that hot shot lost a great opportunity to be associated with you. Have a great weekend!

Art By ASM said...

I would of totally of reacted the same way as you did. I think too that the reason why she didn't email you back was because you caught her mistake. So sorry that happened to you. I get peeved off pretty hardcore too and it wasn't fair what they did to you. I enjoyed reading your post and I am happy you vented it out! I've done some joining of giveaways, haven't won any yet but I don't think I could of done all that liking and all the specific rules. It's crazy what they make people do. I hope you feel better now about it! I just joined your blog by another blogger's blog. Stop by mine if you like and join as well if you like. No one is just a number at my blog! =)

HUGS,
Annamaria

The Loops said...

I feel the same way. This is why I am so hot and cold with blogging. It's hard not to take stuff personally.

I have emailed a few of the popular bloggers with just general questions and praise and if they replied at all they were very short. It's like I'm just telling you I think you do a good job and had a question about a project. Yeesh!

Momma Bird said...

Wow. That totally sucks!!! I would have been so ticked off!!! Love that picture you put with it - ha ha ha. Blogging I have found can definitely be a "popular" contest - as you saw in my post - but I'm so glad that i've been able to surround myself with wonderful uplifting women :) Those are the ones we build a community with :)

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