- Member Harassment
- Member Harassment
Posted March 7, 2012:
Thank you, goodbye and good luck
The Bottom Line: Epinions Community Manager Christal Calderon has told me to delete a piece I think is important and fair. Can't do it. After today I'll be in read-only mode.
That's what motivates the people who contribute to Epinions. They want people to benefit from their experience. They invest considerable thought, time and energy into crafting reviews to help their readers, many of whom they will never meet.
These reviewers are commendable, maybe even noble. They have been inspiring. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be in their on-line company for more than a decade.
Some people might come to Epinions thinking they will earn money and perhaps make a name for themselves. They discover that the site's rewards in the fame and fortune departments are modest. If they stay they do so for a higher reason: altruism.
Epinions has had and continues to have a legion of smart, dedicated reviewers. They share their insights on a vast variety of topics and the advice they give for free would be worth paying for.
Most of it, anyway. The site has its dolts. Every enterprise with so many contributors does. At Epinions one occasionally stumbles across their destructive handiwork -- a deliberately unhelpful review, a witless insult, a harsh rating with no comment to make it constructive. But the stumbles are rare. Far more often, one is able to stroll down smooth paths paved expertly by smart people with the best intentions.
Mixed metaphor alert: These people make Epinions shine. They light up the place with their intelligence, passion and generosity. Because of them, Epinions glows with wisdom and in many spots gives off a dazzling brilliance.
Even the dolts help in their way. The contrast they provide makes it possible not to take for granted the invaluable contributions of the site's thankfully not silent majority.
Now it is time for me to return the name eplovejoy to the spirit of the man to whom it has always belonged: 19th-century U.S. abolitionist newspaper editor Elijah Parish Lovejoy, who was killed by a pro-slavery mob trying to destroy his printing press. The real Lovejoy was a flawed but admirable man and a powerful writer. His memory has been a good guide as I've tried to light a candle or two to add a bit to the light generated by Epinions' luminaries.
In this space and with this deadline, I cannot thank individually the scores of Epinions members past and present to whom I am indebted. I've enjoyed their wit. I appreciate their directions to things that have enriched my life and am grateful for their warnings against things that would not have. I can only hope that through ratings, comments, e-mails and inclusion on my Web of Trust I have somehow conveyed to these many people that the following expression of gratitude applies especially to them.
To everyone who has made a good faith effort to make Epinions the rich resource that it is: Thank you. Thank you for how you have made my life better. Because I'm still going to be reading your work, thank you for how you are going to make it better still.
With fondness, farewell,
Peter (the reviewer formerly known as eplovejoy)
SOME OF EPINIONS' BEST
This page used to be packed with links to writing by some of the many exceptional writers with whom Epinions is blessed. Unfortunately, I deleted them accidentally. Some of them are preserved on something I call the Epinions Hall of Fame and Miscellany.
Provided below are other links, some of which are incomplete and unpolished but which nonetheless contain guidance that is worth at least considering.
EPINIONS ALUMNI ASSOCIATION: Links to terrific writing by gifted Epinions writers who also have posted on other Web sites.
COMMENTSMENT and COMMENTSMENT II: Two efforts to encourage Epinions newcomers. The first was quite successful, but the second suffered from bad timing. It took place too shortly after a protest against some misguided Epinions policies in which many writers wrote scathing reviews that have since been deleted from Epinions. Some of those reviews are preserved here: Epinions Blows Dog.
WRITE-OFFS VALHALLA: Often Epinions writers encourage people to join them to write reviews in coordinated efforts related to a specific theme. Past write-offs have celebrated Charles Darwin, John Steinbeck and women who visit grocery stores while dressed like French prostitutes.