10 Things it Doesn't Mean if I Add You to the WOT!

Apr 11, 2001

The Bottom Line Use the WOT to keep track of people whose opinions you want to read regularly, and ignore anyone who tries to lay down complicated rules for you.

I'm going to share my own perspective here, so you know what to expect if I suddenly "Trust" you tomorrow morning. Stop shuddering! The experience wouldn't be nearly so painful as you're imagining! Let me explain!

1. It does not mean I have read every single opinion you have produced on this site, nor that I am promising to do so in the future. Some subjects fail to interest me no matter who is writing about them.

2. It does not mean that I necessarily agree with your appraisal of any particular product, even if you check and discover that I rated a certain opinion as VH when I read it, before I decided to Trust you. That VH I gave you only meant that you made your case well, for or against the subject, and that I felt your opinion was informative enough to help me make an intelligent decision on whether or not I want to read that book, watch that movie, play that computer game, or whatever.

3. It does not mean that I necessarily agree with whatever philosophy of life you seem to be expressing in your comments about a particular book, movie, etc.

4. It does not mean that I think you are one of the most polished writers I have ever seen in Epinions (or anywhere else). Only that you are good enough with the English language to get your point across, and that you give enough details about your experience with an item to make me feel that reading your opinion left me a bit wiser on the subject than I was before, and reasonably entertained as I read it.

5. It does not mean that I have you on a deadline, and if you fail to reciprocate by adding me to your own WOT within the next 72 hours, I will drop you like a hot potato. I was on the receiving end of that tactic once, a couple of weeks ago, and I didn't particularly enjoy it. Not that I burst into tears; I just wrote it off to human stupidity and did my best to forget the whole thing.

6. It does not mean that I am going to spam you every week with e-mails begging/ordering/bribing you to go read and rate more of my opinions, and Trust me to boot, in exchange for which I will read and rate everything you ever did, or some variation on that theme.

7. It does not mean that I am going to immediately add you to this newly restored Email Alerts function. It DOES mean that I will keep track of your work by making use of ptiemann's site at "http://www.preview.org/cgi-bin/notify.pl". The major advantage it has is that when I log on to it, it shows titles (with hyperlinks) to all the opinions that have been written by anyone on my "Subscription List" within a given timeframe (anywhere from Today to within the previous two weeks, depending on my settings). So if you see I Trusted you recently, but you also notice that I'm not on the list of people who have asked Epinions to send out an email whenever you post another work of genius, please don't assume that I'm being so rude as to ignore you completely.

8. It does not mean that I have carefully examined the list of people in your own Web of Trust in order to decide if your standards in reading material are high enough to let you qualify for the greatest honor you could possibly hope to achieve - the grand reward of being added to my Web of Trust. (My tongue was firmly in my cheek during that comment, okay?) Do I really care which Epinioneers you think are the most interesting to read, or why? No, I do not! If I ever take a minute to look at your WOT at all, it's to see if there's anyone interesting in there that I haven't really examined yet, so that I can investigate their work and see if I have found another solid candidate for my own WOT. But even if I discover that I can't appreciate their work at all, I won't hold it against you. A couple of days later I probably will have forgotten the whole thing.

9. It does not mean that I was overcome by the beauty/cuteness/ruggedness/whatever of the photo you use in your Profile. Honest. For one thing, my memory for faces is not good. I have 35 people in my WOT at the moment, and I think I only remember what 3 of them are supposed to look like. Although if I clicked on someone's profile right now, I'd probably recognize the image that came up as soon as I saw it again. For another thing, my own Profile doesn't have a photo at all because I don't own a digital camera, don't own a scanner, feel no need to spend money on either one, and it doesn't seem worth the trouble of hunting down an acquaintance who might have one and asking if I can borrow it. Also, I'm a trifle shy about advertising my face on the Internet, even if I had the necessary equipment. That being the case, I'd be a real hypocrite to judge you by a higher standard than I have for myself.

10. It does not mean that I "trust" you so much that I would lend you money. Don't even ask. Granted, granted, so far no one ever has, but I figured it's best to make that clear right now and avoid hurting your feelings later. :)

In short, what it does mean when I add you to my list is very simple: I "trust" you to occasionally write opinions on subjects that could interest me, and to express yourself in a way that entertains and enlightens me so that I don't feel I wasted my time reading what you did. And that's all it means! If you expected more than that from me, you'll have to live with the disappointment.

Naturally, this works both ways. If you add me to your own WOT, I don't take that to mean that you agree with my tastes in literature, or that you think I am the most brilliant book reviewer you've ever seen, or that you are implicitly promising to read and rate everything I have ever done or ever will do on Epinions, now and forever, amen. I merely take it to mean that you feel that occasionally it is pleasant to read another opinion of mine, so you're making a note of my name for future use.

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About the Author

Epinions.com ID:
Location: Indianapolis
Reviews written: 149
Trusted by: 118 members
About Me: "Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories." (Arthur C. Clarke)