Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

What I’m Reading OR Was I Wrong to Say Thank You? September 6, 2012

This post was supposed to be a compilation of beauty blogs and beauty related articles that I recently discovered (most of  the blogs I found through one of my favorite beauty blogs Gouldylox Reviews) when things took a turn for the worse for me on the very popular peer review beauty site Makeup Alley.  I’ve been thinking for days about how to approach this issue and if I should even blog about it, and I’ve come to the general conclusion that I should write about my experience  so that I can hopefully get some feedback and explanations from my readers about what happened to me and perhaps my experience might be helpful to others.  I also thought this might be a good opportunity to present some information about my motivations for writing this blog and why I like blogging.  (This is fairly long post so I hope people will hang in there until the very end.  I would love to get feedback on what I have to say here.)

Let me explain a few things about myself and my blog.  I started this blog nearly three years ago because I noticed that there was a real lack of concrete and true skincare information on the web yet there was a lot of misinformation out there, because I wanted a way to share my skincare knowledge with more than just my friends and family (at the time I was looking for a job as an esthetician and had few clients to share my knowledge with), and I found that having a blog was a great way for me to both research and organize my thoughts about skincare topics that interested me.  I also loved the idea of “meeting” people from around the world, hopefully, with whom I had a common interest yet no other way of finding one another.

When I started writing my blog almost no one read it except my mother and my husband, but slowly my readership began to grow.  Is my readership now large?  Am I inundated with free product samples?  Am I receiving recognition from outside sources?  Do I make any money from my blog?  The answer would be no to all four questions.  I even asked myself the other day – “if people stopped reading your blog would you still write it?”  And then I concluded “yes, yes I would keep writing.  I like writing a blog about skincare enough that even if no one read it I would still keep writing”.

Anyhow, I’m getting side tracked.  Because my readership isn’t large and I would love to see it grow I try to thank people when I see that they mention my blog somewhere.  I don’t know 99% of my readers and truly appreciate each subscriber and each mention of my blog since my great hope would be for this blog to be more successful.  Though my readership is small through my blog I’ve come in contact with really great people from all over the world; one of the things I had hoped for when I started this blog as I mentioned above.  Though at times I’ve received negative and outright rude feedback and comments from people for the most part my blogging experiences have been extremely positive.  (By the way, the rudest comments I have received have almost all been in connection to my post from years ago about Paula Begoun.  Some of the people who commented didn’t even seem to actually have read what I wrote before they attacked me, but since I wanted to be impartial I published their comments nonetheless.  Paula Begoun certainly has many very loyal fans out there.)

WordPress allows me to see what websites refer readers to my blog, and as such I always pay attention when I see that more than a few readers have found my blog from one source.  Quite a few months ago someone mentioned my blog in response to a question about favorite skincare blogs on Makeup Alley.  I was very pleased and flattered to see what was written and wanted to thank my reader in that forum but never got around to it.  Then just this week  the same question was posted and my same reader once again mentioned my blog. Yet again I was excited and flattered and decided that this time I really needed to thank the reader publicly.  And why not?  I wasn’t planning on writing something about my blog, I just wanted to let this reader know that I greatly appreciated their support since each mention of my blog on that forum brought new readers to my site and potential subscribers.  I genuinely thought a public thank you was in order.  I had done this before in other blogs that mentioned mine.  I wasn’t a member of Makeup Alley, something I had planned to do for a long time but never got around to, so I signed up for the website and posted my thank you.  A day or so later I looked back at the thread from the forum and was shocked by the comments that I found after my thank you.  Users accused me of using the site to promote my blog (all I wrote was thank you for your support and didn’t mention my blog or provide a website address for my blog) and that somehow me and the user who wrote about my blog were in cahoots together in order to promote my blog.  Then a user wrote that if I did not take my comment down it would be flagged for being inappropriate and would be removed.  And that is exactly what happened much to my great shock.  (You can see the whole thing for yourself here)  Once I saw what had happened I posted an apology and explanation in the forum, but received no feedback or explanation about how thanking a reader is actually promoting or advertising my blog.

Could someone explain?  I know that Makeup Alley has extremely devoted users who seek to maintain the integrity of the site.  This is the reason why I had eventually planned on joining and using the site; I just never found the time to do so (for more information about Makeup Alley see this New York Times article Someone Just Like Me Said, ‘Buy It’).

I am just completely flummoxed by why my thank you received the hostile response that it did on this site.  Have I grown too used to hearing nice comments about my blog and on my blog?  Am I being too sensitive?  Or was the response I received one that is normal for these forums?  I would love any response and/or explanation someone can provide me with.  Have other people had such negative blogging experiences as well?  Please share below.

I decided to contact my reader who posted about my blog on the message board.  Louise wrote me back a lovely and kind email.  In response to my question about why other users would be so quick to jump to conclusions about my intentions when posting in the forum Louise wrote the following:

 I think that is one problem with online discussions, you can’t hear a tone of voice or see a facial expression, and you can form an entire opinion about somebody that could be totally off. I am sure I am guilty of it myself.

I do know that I am not the only person to encounter unfounded negativity on forums and online chats.  Just as I was writing this I came across something that Gouldylox Reviews published about her online experience:

Question of the Week: – What compelled you to start a beauty blog?The power of Bare Escentuals compelled me, I suppose. My father had just passed away and Loxy sent me for a day of relaxation at a spa. Afterwards, I went to Ulta, where I fell in love with BE. I then started friendships with loads of ladies on chatboards about mineral makeup. Sooner or later, as they usually do, the chatboards turn evil and eat themselves. I only chatted with one, much smaller group after that, and sooner than later, fell away from my happy little group of mineral loving ladies. Not really having anyone else to discuss makeup with, I started blathering to myself on this blog, basically to hear myself chat about how much I loved this or that sparkly thing.

Ok – so perhaps it is a universal experience to find nastiness on chatboards?  But really – in the words of Rodney King (may he rest in peace): “Can’t we just all get along?”.  Truly I don’t understand it.  Additionally, I remembered the really great post that Rae from Scatterbraintures wrote about haters months ago (it helped me then and it continues to help me).  Here’s a section of the post that applies well to my situation:

Haters don’t care about you.  They might care about how you look, what you say, or what you do but they don’t actually care (in the real sense of the word).  Since haters don’t care, you don’t need to care about them too.  You can go about your life without giving a sh*t about them. The best part is, the world will not end even when they exist.  …

Learn from them
This skill is especially useful if you have internet haters. Real life haters normally won’t tell you to your face what they think about you. On the other hand, internet haters are behind a computer, where they get their audacity from to be able to tell you what they really think. This could be valuable information you can learn from.  Example: If someone called you a FAT bitch, maybe you should take time to think about your health, or better yet, think about why you got so affected. You might have self-esteem issues you need to work on.

So if I am to take Rae’s advice, and remember what Louise wrote as well, about learning from internet haters I realized that I learned, once again, not to jump to conclusions about the motivations behind other people’s comments and actions.  I learned to give people a chance and that saying “thank you” is still a good thing.  Tolerance is something we should all try to practice more often.

But let me put all this negativity aside.  I am trying to be more positive in my life as things change all around me.  I’m in a holding pattern now as I wait for the entire contents of my house to make it from my former home to my current home so in the meantime I have time to read.  Here are the beauty blogs I have discovered lately and some articles I’ve been reading.

Blogs

    • Fifteen Minute Beauty Fanatic  – the name of the blog alone just makes you want to take a look.
    • Makeup and Beauty Blog –  very funny and she constantly mentions her cat which I love.
    • Makeup Geek – I can’t wait to learn new makeup looks from this site.
    • Madame B Fatale – this blog from Australia has great make-up and hair style tutorials that are fun to look at even if the actual looks aren’t ones that I would try myself.

Articles

Happy reading!

 

Image from http://www.thisisyourconscience.com

Advertisements
 

15 Responses to “What I’m Reading OR Was I Wrong to Say Thank You?”

  1. I had the exact same thing happen to me in regards to a make-up blog of mine that was posted on MUA. I was accused of soliciting. (Really? I’m not trying to make money off of you people, I just want to have a good time and talk makeup with a bunch of people with a similar love/obsession.) Some people on that website are just downright rude and it really bothers me. I’m so sorry that you had a similar experience. I have asked questions before on the skincare question of that site and people have more or less called me stupid for questions I have asked or routines I have mentioned. I’m not sure why people are so cruel on there, but someone should take care of that.

  2. Rae Says:

    I’ve received a lot of traffic from that site as well. I’m a member and I go to the site to read product reviews.

    I was going to chime in to the thread (where my link was posted) to try and ‘contribute’ to the conversation but I never got around doing it. I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t.

    Here’s my theory:
    Maybe it’s ‘suspicious’ to them that you all-so-suddenly knew that someone linked to you. Before I owned a blog, I didn’t know that bloggers can see the webpages that linked to their blogs. I think those forum members are ignorant (and rude).

    Anyway, you’re not being sensitive. If I were in that situation, I would probably be dumbfounded and hurt too. It’s ok to feel that way but take it in stride as quickly as you can. Hope you’re feeling better by the time you read this comment.

    • Thanks! I am definitely feeling better, but I still thought it was important to point out that people misinterpret intentions all the time. It seems like people use that site to let their inner “mean girl” out and that is too bad.

  3. Keep doing what you are doing. People will definitely be haters and in your case it seems like it stems from jealousy because someone genuinely appreciated what you write. You did nothing wrong in publicly thanking her.

  4. I’m sorry to hear about your experience… I had no idea a simple thank you could stir up such commotion. Looks like some people have way too much time on their hands. With reference to your mention of publishing negative comments to be impartial, I say maybe don’t do that anymore! In my opinion, that’s only giving the negative commenter satisfaction.

    By the way, do you have an opinion on EWG’s skin deep cosmetics database website? I used their service to look up a bunch of my favorite products only to find out that they’re horribly toxic. Now I’m paranoid! Just thought you might have info or thoughts on how they rate products. No big deal if you don’t. Thanks and keep posting!

    • Hi Heather! Thanks for your feedback and question. I’ve written before about how the EWG really bugs me when it comes to their annual sunscreen report. I am still thinking about writing about that same topic again actually :). As far as the Skin Deep Database goes I think you can use it as one of many sources out there for information about skincare ingredients. Keep in mind that they are hardcore in the sense, as you already noticed, that everything is a problem or a potential toxin. I think they go overboard. Be sure to check out the website The Beauty Brains. Their take on things should balance everything out for you.
      http://thebeautybrains.com/

  5. Teresa C Says:

    Just to let you know, I discovered your blog while in school for Esthetics last year. I was researching chemical peels because I did not feel Milady’s offered the kind of information that would make me feel comfortable recommending or even performing them for future clients. Your blog came up when I Googled chemical peels and I can tell you, I printed the article for future reference and then recommended your blog to all my classmates and even my instructors. I look forward to all your post and will continue to refer to you as the “go to” whenever I or anyone I know has a question concerning skin care or skin care procedures. Keep up the good work and THANK YOU!!!!

  6. joy Says:

    This has nothing to do with your topic today. Just to say that i’m from Malaysia and i really really like your blog. Its very informative. Simply ignore the haters. There tend to be people like that everywhere. Just keep up the good work!

  7. Christine Says:

    Thanks for the shout out about my blog! I’m not always so good about posting only quick beauty things, I’m a very high maintenance girl at heart, but I’m still working on it. 😀

    Re: your experience with Makeup Alley- That’s pretty typical of ANY blog mention over there. The owners of the forum took a VERY hardline stance about mentioning blogs, and somehow it has mutated and become even worse. Any mention of anything you are related to, and if you’re in the same thread… people go crazy. I was very active on their nail polish board, and someone mentioned my general beauty blog… I didn’t even comment in the thread and still people said things. The boards there can turn harsh, I just stay away now, though I’m still in contact with many of the friends I made over there.

    Also, I read your post about Paula Begoun, and OMG, I 100% agreed with everything. I’ve disagreed with her in the past on her conclusions from reading studies even (I think this is the difference between her self taught thing and my many years of medical training), and when I’ve even hinted at disagreeing with her… wow. The response on my blog was unreal. I won’t touch her with a 10 foot pole now.

    I’m adding you to my RSS reader, thanks for a great blog, and keep up the hard work!

    • Thanks everyone for the positive feedback and the support! It sounds like Makeup Alley message boards are definitely something to stay away from unless you want to vent your negative feelings or let your inner mean girl out. What a shame since the concept of the site is great. Perhaps it time to create an alternative, positive site?

      Thanks Christine for checking out my blog. I appreciate it! It is very funny how Paula Begoun’s followers are so incredibly loyal to everything she says. In some ways it seems almost cult like. I’ll be checking out your blog as well in the future.

  8. Cheshire Says:

    Hello! Long time reader (and fan!), first time commenter. I can tell you were very affected by this experience, and that’s understandable given the unwarranted backlash to your simple message. While your posts are usually very clear and organized, your thoughts in this one were uncharacteristically scattered and a bit difficult to follow. I hope the supportive feedback has been helpful.

    Obnoxious commenters and abrasive chatboard cliques are universal norms in many online industries. I have been frequenting video gaming communities for a long time and I see the exact same wolf-pack behavior that has been described in the beauty communities. Something about the anonymity combined with shared interests gives clique members a false sense of power and identity, when they have none offline. Thus, they exert it by harassing other members of the community under the guise of defending their values. I pity those people for wasting so much time with their sad power play, but when I’m not careful, i can end up wasting time too replying to them. Best bet is to stay far away.

    Anyway, you have a great blog. The makeupalley incident was bad luck, but you’re doing nothing wrong. It’s hard to find a beauty blog by a real professional with no ulterior motives, so I value your insight a lot, as do many others. Thank YOU for running this resource!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s