Well. I hadn't planned on making a follow up to what was, after all, just a brief little rant. But it seems that a bunch of whiners take things way, way too personally. I have gotten dozens upon dozens of emails, IMs, ICQs, and various other comminuques just about this rant.
Most have been extremely supportive, from "I admire what you said" to "You have some good points" to "This made me laugh" and "I'm glad someone told me, because now I know what to change." You people know who you are. Thanks for the support.
But there's others. Most of them are either the owners of the sites I linked to, or people who have sites just like them. In the past few days I have endured some of the most inane, immature, and outright incoherent frothing-at-the-mouth nonsense it has ever been my extreme misfortune to deal with.. and yet at the same time I have been endlessly amused by it all.
I'll provide some links at the end here, so you can all read some of the emails and IMs, and laugh.
These people apparently feel that I made some sort of personal attack on them, and have taken it upon themselves to spew forth endless amounts of half-cogent gibberish in their defense. Most of their arguments, I addressed clearly and concisely in the original rant, but I suppose it's asking too much of people to, you know, read and comprehend before going off half-cocked.
Even worse, every single one of them has brought the exact same arguments to the table, none of which are even remotely valid.
As far as I can see, all the arguments come down to just a few points:
1. Well, your graphics suck too!
If you noticed, I specifically addressed that in my little tirade. This site is about having actual, real content - you know, like words? - and not just a display case for graphics that I change every three weeks. Looks like I have something to say with this site - something other than "look what graphics I can make".
There's plenty here to keep the casual reader entertained. But once someone has seen your NEW LAYOUT, they've seen everything you have to offer - there's no incentive whatsoever to bother coming back.
Besides, attacking this site is just ad hominem. I didn't say "So-and-so sucks," I just linked to some examples of what I was talking about. You're all ripping viciously into it like it was some personal affront against you. And whether my site sucks or not doesn't alter the meaning of what I was saying - who said the words is less important than what the words said.
2. It was rude and mean and nasty! It wasn't polite!
Well, maybe so. Tough break, eh? Do you know me? Do you know any of my readers? Then what the fuck do you care if they click through and see these examples?
Did you honestly expect everyone to kiss your ass like they do in your comment boards? It's amazing to me how someone can have a public website with public comment boards, so that their friends can come by and "ooh ahh" over "how great the layout is", yet ONE person says something you don't like and suddenly it's "YOU'RE BEING MEAN LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU".
Step outside your front door once in a while, kiddies. The world isn't sunshine and daffodils, okay? You're completely mad with hysteria that someone had the unmitigated gall to say something you don't want to hear, and then harping endlessly about how "rude" it was, like the entire world is some happy utopia where people's only goal is to empower you and make you feel good, and everyone holds hands and sings songs under bright happy sunshine while dancing in a meadow.
What your third-grade teacher told you was wrong: Your self-esteem is not the most important thing in the world, and the rest of humanity does not exist to support and validate you and append every criticism with disclaimers.
3. I make my website for myself, not for anyone else.
This is one of the most amusing ones. Come on, people - this is the internet, okay? Nothing is "private" and "just for myself". If you put it out in public, the public can and will form opinions on it, and not everyone is going to like it. There's no such thing as "just for myself" online. That's a fact of the digital world, kids - get used to it, or pull the plug on your net connection.
4. Those people worked hard on their sites!
Well, maybe they did. But if everyone just tells them how great it is, and nobody bothers to point out what's wrong with it, how are they ever going to learn? Or are you going to callously dismiss any criticism that isn't tempered with four pages of disclaimers about "I don't mean to be rude, and everything is pretty, but.."
Besides, how many of you can honestly say you've never said "This movie sucks," or "That band sucks"? People work a lot harder on movies than any of you will work on a website - yet that doesn't stop you from casually waving it away with "This sucks."
Can any one of you look past your own pride for two seconds and admit that yes, cramming all your text into a little square off to the side is a bad idea?
Can someone admit that maybe making your text in some illegible 8pt font is hard to read?
Can one of you maybe admit that, when I say putting obnoxious backgrounds in completely obscures the text, I've got a point?
Can one of you shove aside your knee-jerk reactionary lunacy and admit that there's more to webdesign than changing your graphics every month?
Can one of you admit that maybe having good content, and saying something worth reading, is more important in the long run than seeing how many iframes you can stuff into one page?
Can you admit to yourself that usability and functionality is more important than how many new toys you can shove into your page?
Can someone out there stand up and say "Not everyone uses IE with the exact same settings as me, and learning how to do things correctly might not be a bad idea!" God forbid you learn something even if you don't "need" to.
The world is not out to validate your feelings. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. Grow a thicker skin, everyone, and quit acting like a bunch of fourth-graders in a playground, running to the teacher because someone made fun of you.
Especially when your arguments are as predictable as the rising of the sun.
Some of the hatemail - along with my commentary - can be read here.
Caveat: The AIM logs are, to put it mildly, painful. They're long - though amusing - and the people talking to me are extremely difficult to understand, thanks to their utter lack of brainpower and cognitive functions. This is your only warning.
Seems some of the crybabies got even more upset, and in between their incoherent blithering about how immature and mean I was, decided to sign me up for some spam mailing lists.
I'll leave it as an excercise for the reader to figure out why this is both funny and pathetically sad.