Sunday, June 27, 2004

Surprise, Surprise!

Well, well, well!  Remember that journal installment I just made reference to in my last entry?  I THOUGHT it was odd that it was getting so much attention from people who were not members of the journal community.  I was getting these ungrammatical, misspelled, mean-spirited comments...and then when I would search for the journals of the folks who wrote them, I would find they HAD no journals.  Where were these folks getting the information about my journal entry, I wondered?  Just from punching some combination of words into an AOL search?  Did someone who regularly reads my journal post a link on a message board or something?

Mystery solved this morning.  A commenter mentioned that she had found her way to my journal via a link from an AOL site--one that dealt with Former President Clinton's new book.  What?  They provided a link to my journal without asking me for permission?  Or even warning me that they intended to do so?  I gotta say...this pissed me off.

I have consistently turned down requests to be featured by various "communities" on AOL.  The editor's top five picks, AOL's Small Business Community, AOL Local something-or-other, AOL's Women's interest pages, or whatever...  I just don't desire that kind of "recognition" of my journal.  But at least all these "interests" have had the decency to ASK me if I wanted to be featured, and I appreciate that.  But, damned if AOL didn't just go ahead and provide a link to my journal anyway...and in a place where I probably would have LEAST wanted to be featured.  For God's sake, I haven't even read the book!  (I bought it, I'm working on it...but, since it's over 900 pages, it will probably be awhile before I have finished with it and am prepared to make any judgment on it that I would want to share with ANYONE, much less people I didn't know...)

I know...I chose to put my journal on AOL, and I guess that meant I was giving up 99% of my rights to its content.  But there IS such a thing as common courtesy.  And it's obvious to ME that AOL chose to link to my entry because it would CAUSE controversy...just the kind of thing I was railing AGAINST in my last entry.  Like poking at a cobra to see if you can get it to strike.  Shame on AOL. 

Tell me, my friends in the journal community, am I being too sensitive?  Do I have a right to be pissed off about this?


  1. Weeellllll....I am just catching up after being on vacation, so I am reading backward and therefore haven't gotten through your other entries.  But I do think that, yes, once you post something in a public place, you have to be prepared for the fallout -- and anyone, not just AOL, could send off a link to your journal once it's out there.  Part of the whole idea of the internet is the linking of information.

  2. No, you've got every right, and I don't think you're being too sensitive. These are public access, and I think we're all aware of that, but I think some consistency is called for in the selection of journals.  Everytime but one I've been notified that my journal is being considered as a featured journal, it never went anywhere.  Then, twice I think, a link has popped up somewhere without any prior notification, but I had authorized its use elsewhere so I didn't think I had a complaint. I don't think it would be too hard for AOL to have a central file where permission to highlight a journal has been declined.  It couldn't be any harder than your basic search for an AOL employee to find your decline.

  3. Indeed you do.  
    But, frankly... let it ride, other than sending out a complaint to AOL journals saying you expect to be notified or that you do not grant permission to "pimp" you anywhere.  They will listen.  Same thing happened to me...twice... and when all was said and done, I realized it was no biggie.  The first time, they somehow disabled my IM catcher, and I was being bombarded with instant messages, too!  Bizarro!-- and that was a feature on some touchy-feely women's page or some such; hard tellin' what those strange screen names might have been wondering, but I assure you they were not in the least interested in my journal.  I made it clear to the two I decided to respond to that I had no intention of communicating with them unless they had something to respond to about my journal.  they didn't read it, you see, just IM'd me from the screen name given WITHOUT MY PERMISSION.  The next time I was featured was not on a chat page.  
    Do, indeed, register your complaint.  But then take a deep breath and enjoy the huff you worked up in those illiterate readers.

  4. I believe you should be asked.

  5. Yes, you have a right to be pissed.  I think they should at least give you fair warning so that you can accept or decline being featured.

    However, I think the best way to make sure you're never highlighted again would be for you to throw in some vulgarity in your entries every now and then.  That seems to really turn them off.  (perhaps have aN entry title be :  AOL ASSHOLES FEATURED ME WITHOUT MY CONSENT).  That should do it!

  6. Have you ever signed anything authorizing them? I think they take it as a standing authorization. But, if you haven't then it is doubly crappy. I recently had a request to be highlighted for two different things. One was several weeks ago but I continue to check because I have a feeling they'll just do it and not tell me. On this recent request, I asked that if they use it anywhere I am requesting notification. I think it is only the decent thing for them to do. Doesn't mean they'll do it though. So....I guess what I'm saying is no you are not being too sensitive.
    I would however love to hear (read) your take on the Clinton book. :-) ---Robbie

  7. Well.....Billy Bob and Jimmy Ray are a bit touchy you know.  But sooooo was Clinton.  (Tongue in cheeck)

    I would be mad too.  But oddly flattered.....I need therapy.  LOL

  8. Lisa!  I just got here, trying desperately to catch up and now I see I've missed so much.  

    Are the neo-crazed being mean to you?  Did you get flamed?  Good for you, girl!  You know you're right when the yahoos come out to flex their tiny little brains.  I wish I had time to read all their fascinating...thought...but I've got to run again.  Damn.  Catching up tomorrow...

    And yes, you should have at least been tipped off.  And I think Karen has a swell idea there.  Gentile vulgarities are like kyptonite to the editorial cabal... :)

  9. No, I don't think you're being too sensitive.  It would be very courteous and appropriate for them to ask your permission before linking your journal.

    Of course, I wouldn't turn down any links.  I really loved that time they linked my journal and put Colton's picture on keyword "backtalk."  If only I'd known how to take a picture of the screen then. ::sigh::

    If "strangers" came into my journal and started making mean comments, I'd feel very invaded, too.  In fact, I'd feel downright awful.  Sorry if this is your experience. :-(

    And 900 pages!! Jeez. lol

  10. um...I meant to say 'genteel' down there, not 'gentile' ~ I seem to be indicating that the editors find only non-Jewish vulgarities to be kryptonite, which is, of course...insane.  Once again, eating crow...

    People who live in tiny brains should not throw stones... :)

  11. IMO, they should respect your wishes and remove the link if you ask them to.  Of course, after what happened to Musenla a month or so ago, you could try placing a masked vulgarity in your next entry...I bet that would get them to leave you alone  :)

  12. I would be more than mad about it-- why do they go through the trouble to get your permission if they are going to go on and do it anyway?  You need to have a heads up on where your link is going out at so atleast you will be prepared.  Maybe they did it to you because you are a democrat? LOL :-)  Kristi

  13. greetings: i'm not sure if i fit into the group of people you are talking about in this entry...i try to be grammatically correct, am a fanatic with regard to spelling, and certainly don't intend to be mean-spirited...but, i also don't have a journal of my own. i just started reading journals, following the links from one to others, and find that i enjoy reading the thoughts of others. i do comment occasionally in 2 or 3 journals, although i read many more than that. i'm not certain that i have anything to say in a journal of my own. is it considered improper or rude to leave a comment in a journal if you don't have a journal of your own? if you'd rather i not comment in your journal unless i create one of my own, please let me know, and i'll stop.


  14. hestiahomeschoolJuly 1, 2004 at 8:29 PM

    Wow!  I go away for a day or two, and look what happens...maybe your clear thinking will help some of these idiots!  It might be a good thing over all....but it is a sort of violation, I a gree.

  15. Just started my own, and would be pissed if a fun thing was turned around. go get em,and stay the course.