When I came on board with IABB, which was back when G needed ideas with how to make it more interactive for readers, bloggers, and authors, I was immediately informed that he wanted his blog page to always be that one place people could visit and feel great - even if it seemed like the world was falling apart.
That was basically G's one request and it's something I have strived to achieve in his absence. I am not claiming it's the best blog or the most perfect one out there, but I do believe we have something unique to offer to the indie community. We are a close-knit community (at least I like to see it that way) and everyone who visits the blog page is treated as family.
Until you do something to screw it up.
Which happened recently.
Confessions was indeed my idea. They started about two years ago and we have worked really hard to make every Thursday a day in which people can stop by, read confessions, comment, offer advice, cheer others on, and ultimately, learn that they are not alone. You'd be amazed how many authors share the same self-doubt, or how many bloggers are frustrated for feeling so under appreciated. Sometimes the confessions can be a little more hostile than we like, but we have always used our best judgment on what gets posted. (We've had a few slip-ups in the past and people got hurt - we are so sorry for that.)
Every Thursday, much like every day in life, is an opportunity to learn what to do, what not to do, and how to better what we're doing. I am grateful that so many people stop by to read the words we share, to help others when they don't know how to do something in particular, or when they just want to offer their support for someone who's having a bad day.
Yes, in the early days, G and I did have to come up with a guidelines for confessions when things started getting out of hand. You can see those guidelines below, which, by the way, have not been touched since we first added them.
NO NAMEDROPPING* <-- see that star? Did you see what it said at the very bottom, right before the submission box?
*Your confessions will not be posted and immediately deleted if we find you have mentioned someone and your confession about that person is anything less than uplifting and positive.
Easy enough to understand, right?
As stated before, sometimes we get really heated and aggressive confessions. While I'm not a big fan of them for the most part, we did create confessions with the intent of allowing people to get stuff off their chest. And yes - they can do this completely anonymous because sometimes that just makes people feel safer. Do some take advantage of this just to be asshats? Oh yes, they do.
Which brings me to another point.
I'm pretty sure that's G's favorite word in all of existence, and if he were here to say it himself, he'd tell you that when he thinks of an asshat, he means the people who just come to pages and say things for the sake of being an asshole. These are the people who have nothing to add to the conversation, they just want to bring somebody else down. In this case, someone wanted to bring everyone down, but I was their easiest target.
Anyone who knows me knows I am a big goofball at heart. Sometimes I like to say silly things just for the sake of a smile, so when we got a less-than-pleasant confession yesterday, I stepped in to add some comic relief. How did I do this? By using the word 'totes'.
What did this earn me? Ah, just wait and see.
Now, because I am a person who was raised to respect people, I have blocked out names on these screenshots. But I'm sure you can get the gist of what happened.
So that's what I did, and then I went to bed because geez, who wants to deal with this kind of bull crap on a Thursday?
I thought it was over. I thought it was finished.
But alas, I woke up to this:
Well, it finally happened...I GOT BANNED!
I'd just like to say that it's never an easy decision to ban someone from any page. I don't want to do that, ever. But I wasn't given a choice this time. I was attacked. Everyone coming to my defense was attacked.
That's not cool, and no matter how old you are, you should know better.
I'm not going to post a link to the original blog post because I'm not giving anyone that kind of attention. It isn't deserved. But I will share some excerpts just so everybody knows what's happening. I want you to know that I've been called names, and for what reason? Because I dared to run my page the way I wanted to?
'Fuck you' was tossed in my direction, as well as a terrible muck-up of Castiel.
C-A-S-T-I-E-L. (Not sure which one offended me more, honestly).
It is a bitter pill to swallow when someone throws words like that in anybody's direction, but there you have it. And then this person went on to say that we're all douchebags. I was then called a douche and a pussy back-to-back.
FYI, this is slander.
And it was totally uncalled for.
This person came onto my page, a safe haven for the indie community, and had claws out, ready to scratch.
But allow me to be the first to say that those scratches will heal and I will move on. We all will.
I just wanted to make a blog post to show my side of the story, so here it is. I didn't do anything to this person, but they made sure to let the world know we infringed upon their first amendment rights and we're obviously the worst blog ever.
Yeah, well, I don't think you're so delightful yourself.
This world is ugly enough without people bringing that hate into the indie community. Books are the one escape people depend on to keep their sanity (or lose it, if you're a writer). Don't be like this. It costs nothing to be kind. IABB will always be around with arms open to any and all authors, readers, and bloggers who wish to join us. That's just how it is.
We're totes awesome like that.