Is design becoming a bloodsport?

This is what Mr. Drucker had to say. Listen to what we have to say. Then tell us what you think.

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I did read Mr. Drucker's letter. I too thought he was referring to the many negative blogger comments from the Bloomie's window contest as well as what is being said about rooms/spaces that we post on our blogs.

One of the things that I find most captivating about blogging is all the various taste, styles and opinions. When I read a post or view a space, if I feel I have something to say or if I really admired the creativity or appreciated the work, I will comment. If I am not having that reaction, I simply move on. Which is not to say, that I never say what I don't care for in the space, but there is no point in trying to be blantantly insulting.

I am however, always open to hearing varying opinions and perspectives since I always feel I can learn much from being open. I recently did a post on artist Todd Murphy and his new affiliation with Restoration Hardware and requested from readers an open forum to share their thoughts. I was so impressed with all the really thoughtful, intelligent comments. I hope to have/read other posts in the future like this because I gained so much perpsective.

I also think often the tone of the comments can have as much to do w/ the blog and blogger as it does with the post and writing.

Thank you ladies for another SRT discussion that will give us all a few things to consider!
Fascinating conversation and I too thought Mr. Drucker's letter referenced the same Bloomie's contest, etc.

I think the distinction is how critique is given. Valid, constructive criticism (while it will likely always be hard to hear for the one on the receiving end) can be very helpful. On the other hand, snarky comments just for the sake of being snarky are deconstructive. And A&A is right- a lot of it is in the tone.
TSL said…
This goes on in the office, in politics, in families, in churches, the arts, etc. etc. etc.

In the audio someone mentioned the playground. I feel there are those who never leave the playground, which is so unfortunate.
Too much negativity, we need more grace.
Trouvais said…
Thank you for a fun Saturday morning ladies...nothing "deep" to add...just love being able to share a cup (or two) of coffee with you. Trish
Terry said…
Nasty is no fun for anyone but good criticism is. Where is the professional interior design criticism?

Art, literary, music, "Big architecture," and movie criticism are well developed. Agree or disagree the critics make their case and leave us more informed. Roger Ebert and I don't have the same top 10 list but helps me enjoy movies; and he like Animal House just as much as I do.
Kerry said…
Isn't there a big difference between the "experts" on the design shows or Simon Cowell and some anonymous person commenting on a blog? We can assume that "anonymous" is not a highly repected designer. I'm confused about the comparison, especially since most design bloggers don't necessarily post their designs.

As for the Bloomingdales design contest -- if you all (being a big part of the design design/blog world) don't even know what he's referring to (as to it "turning way too Simon Cowell"), then what significance does it really have? And to me, it became more of a popularity contest with every blog I came across asking for us to vote for Eddie Ross. Not telling us to go choose our favorite and vote, but to go vote for Eddie. I was a bit uncomfortable with that -- it felt so high-schoolish. (sorry, I don't mean to offend anyone)

I guess I'm a little confused as to how this relates to the blog world. And yes, I've read the hideous comments Joni and others have received and it's awful... but you all do have the power to edit the comments. There's no editing Simon Cowell or the tabloids.

Joni, I'm with you on this one. I don't really get it.
Teacats said…
Thanks for another fascinating discussion! I have been taken aback by the sheer nastiness throughout the blogging world -- both in postings and in comments. And yes -- most of those folks are looking to "stir the pot" or seek attention or their shot at some kind of fame. Mind you -- when magazines or designers say that "this item or idea is SO out" just because it is now sold in Target or T.J. Maxx -- when they would give almost anything for THEIR designs to be marketed there -- those comments made me so angry!

BTW -- the remark about $1000 for a room design was unkind -- many folks in the real world still regard that sum as a great deal of money. Although I would never expect any regard from any designer for my small sums of money -- I still try to find items and way to make my poor decor budget stretch to work in my home.

Jan at Rosemary Cottage
Boxwood Terrace said…
Hi Ladies - I enjoy your blogs, the SRT and many other design blogs out there. Frankly, this topic was a bit disappointing to me as was the "jealousy" topic. I visit the SRT to read, learn, and listen about interior design. Most people realize that when you put yourself out there on the internet with a comments section for people to provide feedback, some will hide behind their anonymity and post mean, hurtful remarks. It's basically electronic road rage--some people don't hesitate to make obscene gestures when hiding behind their steering wheels that they wouldn't have the nerve to make face to face in the grocery store. Why not ignore the nasty comments or just disallow anonymous comments on your blogs in the first place if they offend you or your readers? Kudos to you for taking on rude people, but in my opinion it's a waste of your resources to focus attention on those lacking good manners (and self control) who have nothing better to do than bully others. I’m looking forward to your next SRT discussion and hope that the focus will be back to what you do so well--interior design.

Anonymous said…
Intolerance is accepted. Empathy is not tolerated. People are no longer taught how to disagree but rather how to bully and destroy. It is in our political, personal, and professional lives. I am sick of it and to the point of ignoring it.

Anonymous said…
Things I enjoyed:

1. Linda rather stiffly and disapprovingly referring to "top bloggers" who visit and appear to enjoy Girl World Decor. Notice she doesn't mention Joni and Megan by name.

2. I have NEVER heard Megan laugh as heartily as she did when hearing Linda recount that someone said she looked like "an Italian widow."

3. By the way, Megan: If you're against anonymous commenters, why allow them on your blog? To keep your comment numbers up? And why don't you object to positive comments from anonymous commenters?

4. Stephen Drucker needs to bone up on his decorative-arts history. In what sense was 1950s design "safe"? Does he really have no knowledge whatsoever of mid-century Modernism, whether US, Italian, or Scandinavian? Does he not know how very un-safe those designs were in their day?

5. Drucker does have a problem with Eddie Ross. "It started on TV" was clearly referring to Eddie's repeated meanness on "Top Design" two years ago. As for the window contest, Drucker is referring not just to commenters but to Eddie loudly complaining on his blog that AT was being a big bully and not playing fair.
Unknown said…
Dear friends from SRT, it is such a mine field we cross, when we expose ourselves in blogs, as designers and players of ALL sizes in the art and design world.
There is an enormous amount of meanness and harshness out there and much of people's choice of words comes down to character and breeding. And I do not like arrogance in blogs either.
I have heard from a well liked blogger not to write anything critical in a comment, since in her words it is not what it's all about, we are supposed to support, when we comment.
I dissagree. I do believe we can write honestly about how we feel about a post, an opinion or whatever we like to comment on, but the way how we do it, makes all the difference. I am very supportive and I think twice before I write anything critical, but we should not shy away from an politely given opinions or critique. This would be so boring!I agree with you, true critique is an art and some are not equipped to do it right. Or do it kindly!
What astonishes me as well after a year of blogging is the attitude of some to categorize bloggers. I am aware of groupings, but some sortings are rather mean. There are a lot of people out there doing (decorating and other) work way under the radar of the public/ magazines, fully aware of not fitting in the hip and now category and this is often looked down to as not worthy enough. This is sad, since we are not in a competition in the blog world. That is how I see it, but I know, this is a bit blue eyed....
Our world is such a large and wide field of styles, taste and possibilities. I enjoy most of them, I do not have to do the same or agree with them to appreciate it!
I fully agree with Steven Drucker, we should keep an open mind and value individuality. But this is not what happens a lot. There is a lot of playing it safe trendiness out there!
Great discussion, thank you all!
Wish I could sit with you and talk it all out!
And yes, $1000 budget is what I deal with a lot, I agree with you, the illusions of tv design shows make it look like results are there within hours. Actually with a small budget it takes a lot of time putting it together. Especially if you like to achive a livable high end look!
I see so much bad design solutions on these so called make overs, cutting corners and truly cookie cutter design. But there are a lot of great inspirations for people who have neither the money nor the ideas to otherwise create a place they feel comfortable with. This is for them. Those shows are not for designers!

Anonymous said…
I think Drucker was referring to the loss of creativity because of the fear of negative feedback. It wasn't personal to anyone in my opinion.
GranEscala said…
This was very interesting and a long time coming! The ability to ignore mean spirited comments is something WE in design professions must learn early-on as the only mean of self-preservation. On the other hand, we also need to be able to laugh both, with others and at ourselves. There are way too many people in this profession that just keep asking to be brought down to earth, and nothing better than some humour and good old fashioned snarkiness to do the job.
As always ladies, great job in tackling a tochy subject.
P.S. I agree with Kerry above in reference to design blogs' responsibility in turning the Bloomingdales Window Challenge into a popularity contest.
Linda Merrill said…
Wow, this certainly stirred up some quick conversation. I wanted to address a couple of the comments:

Terry - fascinating, I'd never thought of that, that all the other arts have a rich history of professional criticism, but when it comes to interior design/decoration, it's done on more of an informal basis, and while all art criticism is subjective on some level, the Decorative Arts has always been especially personal.

Kerry - I think the comparison to Simon Cowell is that non-professionals may take his tone and snarkiness, but lack his actual professional knowledge of the field in question. So, less about comparing to Cowell, and more about people thinking they are Simon Cowell, for the funny factor. I'd also like to say, on the subject of "most designers don't put their own work on their blogs", I'm not sure this is true. But, many of us have professional portfolio websites (I do) which is all our work. So, whether we post on our blogs, our work is available for public inspection/criticism. Also as Joni has mentioned in the past (and she does put her work on her blog) often, as designers, we do work for people that is not to our own personal taste, or even the kind of professional work we aspire to, but a job is a job and we give the clients what they want. That doesn't mean we're eager to share it with the world. And finally, our work is other people's private homes, not every client wishes their privacy invaded in that manner. Oh, and on the subject of the Bloomie's window, Kerry, yes, we clearly believed Mr. Drucker was referring to that, but we didn't ask him directly, so can't truly say definitively, can we? And finally, we do have the power to edit comments, but then we're accused of only putting the good ones on our blogs, or we're accused of stifling freedom on speech. It's a no win situation.

Teacats - I don't think any of us means to be unkind about the $1000 room makeover comment. I think I can speak for Megan and Joni that we all know that $1000 is a lot of money. However, when we talk about that kind of thing, we're referring to the shows that do an entire makeover - all the furnishings, woodworking, lighting, soft goods AND labor - for $1000. Can't be done all at one time. You're right, it takes a lot of time to do it and if someone has only $1000 to spend, they need it to go far and decorator's fees will take up too large a portion of that. No disrespect was intended in those comments, I promise you.

Deborah at Boxwood - thanks for your support of our design related posts. Doing this topic so close on the heels of the jealousy post was a little bad timing, but the Drucker commentary was timely. And, we do cover blogging issues as part of our discussions.

Isolde - sadly, you are right. Hard to ignore, though!
Linda Merrill said…
Part 2 - I just found out there's a limit to comment length - 4,096 characters. Who knew?

the rest:

Anon at 8:53AM - I was stiff because as I was saying it, I could imagine the negative scrutiny GWD might now put me under. She already referred to me as a 50-something blogger (I am not!) - haha. As for my comment relating to Megan and Joni - I wasn't referring to them when I said it, but I acknowledge that I thought of it while editing the podcast. I can't speak for them, but I don't believe either are regular commenters on GWD and it's not up to me to tell anyone whose blog they should read anyway. I was merely stating my own, very strong, opinion on that subject. It's one of my "things". And, while editing, I considered editing it out so as not to look like I was criticising my friends and SRT partners (which was not my intention), but decided they could take it. And they'll let me know otherwise. I believe Megan was laughing with me and not at me with regards to my "italian widow" commenter. Since I'm able to laugh at that myself and Megan is my friend, she felt comfortable knowing she could join me in my silliness. Regarding Drucker, I took his comment about the saftey of the 50's to mean the general "Father Know's Best" culture of fitting in, not the decorative arts, specifically. You're right, MCM was quite bold and I'm sure he knows it.

Victoria Art - I think blogs are very competitive, personally. I admire anyone who can rise about that. I agree with you totally that there is a lot of "safety" in doing trendy design. I'd never thought of it that way, but I believe you're right on the money with that.

Thanks everyone for your input - this is turning into a great conversation.
Christa said…
What a great sentiment! I've love to see some of his positive attitude applied in the art world (and other cultural spheres) as well. There are too many people being too timid when it comes to creation because they are afraid of the negative criticism that will follow.
4096 characters! That's B.S. How is anyone supposed to comment with limits on their 'free speech'?...speaking of which: This is ALL about 'free speech'. Blogs allow us...(it is a privilege to blog) share our deepest darkest secrets and paint colours and weaknesses and creativity and vulnerabilities and victories. We are able to find people who we relate to. Not to overuse the word 'tribe', but certainly blogging is one way to find 'fellow tribe members'. Through posting and commenting we are each able to filter out those who we do not wish to gravitate to and those we want to get to know better. I do believe that when we submit a comment we should be as specific as possible - either way (negative/positive) - giving our opinion in our 'own voice'; authentically. If we are 'Idol' by nature, we will come off as 'snarky'. If we are 'Saintly' we will showcase our oozing kindness. This is all an experiment in Social Media and perhaps we are all characters in a 'Cyber-Truman-Show'! I started my blog because I didn't have several million to start a 'real' Lifestyle/Shelter magazine. (and I 'really' do think I could own one or work for one) It is all sport now isn't it? As for the 'Design World'. I take the position that there is 'no bad art' and therefore, there is 'no bad design' - just different likes and dislikes. I really mean that. I have seen rooms and I've thought, 'i.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e'..and others think ghastly! (and vice versa) Shelter Magazines dictate design trends. They have all the wait..not any more!... Bloggers have say too! I must confess (announce to the world), I was floored that Mr. Drucker was so blatantly vague. (PC) Why keep his millions of readers guessing? Spit it out. Who are you talking about? Take a stand damn it. (Hmmm....thinking, thinking...pacing...should I censor myself and take out that last sentence about SD? Will he hate me and my blog? Will he have someone chase me down and gag me? Will he prevent me from succeeding in the new omni-media landscape? Will I get sued?) Nope. Let's leave it all at that shall we? last thing: Muzzles with be the ruination of communication, innovation and creativity. Let's live and let live. (O.K. Deep breath. Pressing 'PUBLISH YOUR COMMENT' now...hand shaking....)
TSL said…
May I add that those who are NOT mean spirited may be well meaning and simply lack tact.
Kerry said…
Linda, I didn't mean to offend. You all were questioning what Stepehen Drucker meant by TV - assuming he was referring to AI, or the BRAVO and Reality shows. Some of those shows can be so harsh at times. I just don't see blogs and the nasty blog comments you are referring to, in the same light -- again, because I don't believe "anonymous" is your design peer or guru, but rather someone who is just plain old mean.
And like Joni pointed out, out of all the comments, those are minimal. So it just doesn't seem to me that that's what Stephen Drucker was referring to.

I can't help but think there was something more to it. And yes, it's interesting that he was so, as Liberty Post said, "blatantly vague."
Linda Merrill said…
Kerry - no offense taken at all!
balsamfir said…
For me, there is a difference between snarkiness and a different idea, or an idea that is critical without being nasty or personal. That said, generally, if someone posts a private living room, not from a magazine, then I tend to think about how I would say it to the owner's face. It might be devastating to read that your dream home doesn't appeal, and really we just might have different tastes or cultures. Ultimately, if I hate the work a blogger posts, or if I feel that I'm drowning in advertisements, I move on and stop looking. After all, you do all the work, for free. Why should I be ungrateful? Magazines seem different for me, because they position themselves as experts and because they're involved in making money. I agree with the commenter who mentioned that there is a lack of print design criticism, and after all we're discussing our culture.
Robyn said…
I never comment on here, but because sometimes things in print don't come across the way they would if we were speaking to someone (personal inflection, facial features, etc.) generally when commenting I use the old adage. "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all!" ....and no that is NOT why I don't normally comment. ;-)
Anonymous said…
I am an American Expat living in Europe. I try to, on a daily basis, check on about 15 decorating blogs. I feel that many of the blogs have great decorating ideas, and I enjoy reading them. I also think I read the blogs because I feel somewhat in touch with the US. I rarely read the comments, nor do I post any comments. However, when I do, I will always be "anonymous" because I do not have a Google account or a blog (and never will). However, that does not mean I do not have experience in interior design, or don't know what I am commenting about. I would also like to say here that I think many of the decorating bloggers belong to a "mutual admiration society". They send each other lovely comments, and they describe each other as "beautiful, kind, creative, etc, etc. Anyone who dares send a negative comment is quickly branded as being a "troll" or "snarky". Frankly, perhaps because I don't read the majority of the comments, I have never really read a mean one. I think many readers are tired of seeing these 8,000 sq ft homes that many of you feature on your blogs (personally decorated by the owner of course) considering the still bad economy the US is in. Perhaps they are reacting to that. In regards to the Bloomingdales' window contest, I was surprised to see so many bloggers telling their readers to vote for Eddie Ross' room. It (and I am trying to be kind here) was really not up to par.
Anonymous said…
Anon. 12:03am., I think you have written the most thorough and well spoken comment of the day. There is an assumption that if someone post as "anon" and criticizes a post on a design blog, they must show pictures of their house to verify that they know something about design, show credentials as a designer or prove they can afford good design themselves. It's nothing more than bait. Joni claims to welcome anon comments and criticism, but watch the fangs come out in her responses. If you read a large variety of design blogs you see the same commentors responding and each time with their magic wad of ego rub ready to oooooh and ahhhhhh over the post before they move on to the next blog. Suddenly someone speaks up and makes a negative comment and all hell breaks out. I think it's time for the design bloggers to grow a thicker skin, bury their sick egos which have grown from all of the sap they read daily or get out of the business altogether. You will never grow if all you get is praise whether earned or not. The blogger nor his/her readers know the financial or sophistication level of readers. Not all of us make curtain rods out of tree limbs or buy other people's throw aways at flea markets. Bloggers must assume that among their readers are not only collectors but purveyors of fine home furnishings and decor and yes we also know something about design.
Anonymous said…
With respect to the Bloomingdale's contest, it would be refreshing if many of the design bloggers would own up to telling their readers who to vote for. That seems to be a bit of important information Drucker left out of his letter. You may think Eddie Ross is just "darling", but it is fair play to promote one designer over another to a national audience? Another little tidbit Drucker could have addressed, and perhaps did so in a vague way, is the issue of one blogger attacking another with pictures pointing out dress flaws a la "camel toe" and attacking the blogger's professional integrity. The issue of nastiness runs both ways, don't you think? Did either of you call out the nastiness of that issue or refrain from commenting on the offending blog in protest? I somehow doubt it.
Anonymous said…
Joni says "many of her readers didn't get the Jill Brinson house".

What is there to "get" if design is as simple as throwing a zebra rug on the floor and a width of wallpaper over the banister? Some people don't get the Axel Vervoordt look as well and with good reason. The look is for architecture of another time and place - it simply does not work in 90% of homes today, including in much of Europe. Neither would Jill Brinson's look as shown in Joni's post. Perhaps that look simply suited her particular house and her professional work is more varied - I would assume so but it become very easy for designers to become "signature" in their work.
scone said…
There are many ways to tell the truth. Snarkiness is not necessary, in any medium. It does give some people pleasure, gets a lot of attention, and therefore makes money. But the price we all pay is steep: destruction of the civility at the heart of the social contract. One cure, as other blogs have found, is to disallow anonymous comments. That might mean giving up some "eyeballs" and therefore cash, but the alternative is hell on earth.
Anonymous said…
One person's "snark", scone is another person's "valid criticism". Judgment is in the eyes of the reader I suppose. Joni referred to Michelle Malkin as "right wing" yesterday. I heard that comment as snarky because I consider Malkin a conservative commentator. The right wing comment leaves another inference. You see, sometimes we hear or read what we want to based on our own view. Perhaps Joni didn't make the comment intending "snark" at all and I made my own judgment. So it is with what one considers negative comments on blog posts.
Open Discourse said…
Anonymous at 8:11 has an extremely valid point. The most disgusting attack most of us have ever witnessed on a design blog (even the blog Linda refers to as obscene) was the camel-toe post and the post that preceded it, yet Joni made a point of singling out that very same blogger in a positive light in your discussion. Why is this? No discussion of attacks in the the design blogging community could possibly ignore that incident, yet the three of you pointedly did so, even after the blogger's name was brought up.

I think many of us would like to hear from Joni as to why she would praise such a contemptible blogger, especially in a discussion of blogging negativity, and as Anonymous points out, we'd like to hear from all three of you as to why none of you condemned said blogger's actions in this discussion, and why all of you still support the blogger in question?
Linda Merrill said…
Open Discourse - you seek openness, yet you are anonymous. You want us to fess up and name names, yet you will not name your own. What you want is unfair, the playing field is uneven.

Regarding whom we all individually support, or not, you might do a little more research on that score and not just make assumptions. Or you might send a private email and ask a direct question, you know, with a real "From" address. The lack of a full frontal assault does not necessarily mean support. I named GWD because she/he is anonymous. If others have publicly said something or published items which I personally disapprove, in exchange for their willingness to do so using their own name, I prefer not to point direct fingers when I'm on my high horse. Just me. Maybe I'm just a wimp, who knows. But at least I'm an open one.
Anonymous said…
Linda, no disrespect is meant when asking these questions, but you DO allow anonymous comments on this blog, so either your discussion is open to all, even those of us who choose not to have our names attached publicly, or one must sign in to gain entry to the comment forum. Trying to have it both ways is just confusing.

Since you do allow anonymous comments, it's hoped Joni will publicly explain her reasoning as to why that particular blogger was singled out for praise in your very public forum, and since you yourself already addressed an anonymous commenter in your replies, perhaps an answer would be kindly be expected in this instance as well. This is NOT an anonymous attack, if it were, it would have been phrased much differently. It is merely an attempt to understand the reasons why this particular blogger is being given a pass for actions which by your own criteria in your podcast are over the line of design criticism and even acceptable snarkery, and why that blogger was only mentioned in a positive light during your broadcast.

Respectfully and anonymously yours,

Sketch42 said…
It seems to me, that most of the really mean comments I read on blogs are SO PERSONAL that they aren't really contributing to the conversation at all.

Attacking people's physical attributes and family traditions shouldn't be part of the healthy discussion that the design blog community tries to foster.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous Expat from Overseas again - I would like to comment about Linda's last post about anonymous comments. As you all know, there are lots of blogs that you do not know who is actually the blogger. So if you get a comment from "I love Red Geraniums" (this is just an example and I don't know if it is real blog or not - but who knows) and you go to that blog site, all you know is that her name might be Susie and she lives in Washington, DC. The e-mail address for the blog might be pretty ambiguous too. So how is a comment from "I love Red Geraniums" any different from an anonymous comment? I guess because you can't directly complain about "anonymous" on your blog is the difference. So, basically, unless you want to have a secured pin number sign in for access to leaving a comment on your blog, I think you will just have to live with some of the "critical" comments by your readers. Sorry.
Anonymous said…
As stated by someone above, a little self examination might go along way here among the complaining bloggers. Someone in the conversation referred to Joni's stalker. STALKER? PLEASE! A reader comments on Joni's repetitive use of slipcovers and signature style and they are now deemed "stalkers". Comments like that are so lacking in intelligence that it takes the legitimacy out of your discussion.
Anonymous said…
Open Discourse, you are correct. How could a discussion about negative comments in the blogging world have ignored Visual Vamp's attack on Heather Clawson. How would this conversation taken place had Vamp's attack been on a member of the SRT forum? Perhaps all that "sucking up" we heard was an attempt to keep "the Vamp" at bay.
Anonymous said…
The blogger "If the Lampshade Fits" wrote on March 27 an incredibly insulting post about Stephen Drucker here The blogger continously made fun of Mr. Drucker's appearance, which was shocking to read. Even more shocking, however, was to read Joni Webb's comment, condoning the post about how "f***ing funny" the blogger was and then wishing her a happy holiday. I mean, Stephen Drucker is a professional who has 1) visited your podcast 2) published Joni's blog in the magazine as one of his favorites 3) left a favorable comment on one of Joni's posts recently about her design work and this is how she treats the man? By publicly condoning an attack on him? I'm at a loss to understand why Joni or anyone would behave this way. The credibility of this Skirted Table blog to publicly pontificate on blogging, comments, and appropriate behavior is, I'm afraid, zilch.
Anonymous said…

Speaking of "snark". Someone refers to Stephen and Frank's house in the Hamptons as a Victorian Funeral Parlor. No one there is playing nice to make the cover of HB.
Anonymous said…
Anon 5:46 - Stephen Drucker post on Cote de Texas: "Viva Windsor, Viva Joni". I hardly think that is noteworthy commentary coming from the Editor of a major magazine, but I would agree with you that Joni's judgment was sorely lacking in elevating the post on If the Lampshade Fits, a blog I suppose that in and of itself has elevated snark to an art form - of course only if her royal highness the blogger is doing it.
cotedetexas said…
To all the lovely anons!

first, let me say that I thought Raina's spoof on Drucker was a hoot and I doubt that he would be offended in the least. How many times do I have to say how much I admire the man? I think he knows where I stand regarding his editorial abilities. He's at the top of this game, the top of this field, not many can touch him.

second, snark is snark. some people love it and some don't. There's a place for a snarky blog. the problem comes when a blog is not snarky but the comments are. ouch.

Still, showing your own design work is tricky because a client is involved. they love their house. it hurts for the client to read snarky comments about their own house. furstaisch? a little Yiddish in honor of Passover. Like I said, it was refreshing to read all those critical comments about my work on Swamplot becuase they weren't snarky, they were critical and honest (plus my client wasn't ever going to see them either. hehe)

AND to the two anons who really aren't anon because it's so obvious who you are - about Visual Vamp and her famous camel toe post - honestly, I wasn't even thinking about that on Monday night when we recorded this. I know it's hard to believe but I don't think about the camel toe post each and every time someone mentions snark or rude posts or comments. If you must know, I thought the camel toe post was terribly mean. But, Vamp has written 1,000s of posts, 99.9%of which are not snark. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone. HOnestly, I don't know why you would want to even bring up the camel toe post again. Why bring more attention to it? It makes me wonder what the motive is. Regardless, I've said it to you before, Vamp is a blogger friend. I've never met her. She's always been nice to me. I'm willing to give her a pass for something she probably regrets writing. I would hate to be judged for just one thing that I wrote. Wouldn't you? The truth is though, I don't have to defend why I read her blog or any other blog. YOU obviously read both Vamp and GWD otherwise how would you know what they write and whether or not I leave comments on their blogs? So why is it alright for you to read VV and GWD and not me? Hypocritical, no? Oh, I see. You read them to assess the editorial content and pass out judgement on them and on those who leave comments. OK. Now THAT's nice, isn't it? The bottom line is - the reason I didn't mention the infamous camel toe incident is because I didn't think of it. Period. Or would you rather I be thinking about the camel toe 24/7? Obviously you can't get the camel toe out of your mind - seems a little creepy, you know?
cotedetexas said…
ANON 8:33

- What blog are you talking about? Are you talking about Girl World or Vamp? not sure here.

ANON 5:46.

seriously - you were shocked because I thought If The Lampsahde Fits was funny? Yes it was snarky, but she IS snarky - that's her blog. As I said before, I really doubt Mr. Drucker would be offended by her jokes about his nose.

Let's understand this - ok? I am NOT a saint. I NEVER claimed to be a saint. Yes, I enjoy satire. A lot. Yes, while I might not leave mean comments, I've thought them in my head before! shocking!!!!!! Why do you think I'm some pure southern magnolia who sits around blushing all the time? I assure you I am not. Was Lampshade over the line? Probably. Was it funny? I thought to. Did she have a valid point underneath all her humor? Yes.

Sorry to disappoint you that I am 1) human 2) use swear words on occasion 3) am a bleeding heart liberal/democrat 4) enjoy satire and 5)enjoy sophomoric humor- The 40 Year Old Virgin is one of my favorite all time movies. I liked the Hangover too.

And for someone who praised the Moggit Girls blog, you have a lot of gall.
scone said…
"One person's "snark", scone is another person's "valid criticism". Judgment is in the eyes of the reader I suppose."

No, it's not 'all relative.' That opens the door for acceptance of anonymous trolling as "normal" behavior. Once the trolling is tolerated, it soon takes over. This is what happened with usenet-- the nasty people drove everyone else out. Anonymous comments invariably create a perfect opportunity for trolling with no social consequences at all. The only known alternative is moderation to a decent standard, by responsible people. Every healthy portion of the blogosphere has already come to this solution.
Anonymous said…
The fangs of Cote de Texas strikes once again. So you have a discussion on SRT, get called out for your own hypocrisy, can't take the heat and once again go on the attack with the readers here. I can only speak for myself, I don't read VV because there is nothing there that interest me and also because the blogger has shown the depth of her true character. Yes Joni, we know you like to throw the F bomb occasionally - it makes you look so hip - but actually with a national audience you might do well to throw your F bombs off the world wide web. Linda has responded here to one of the anon post and did so with class and deportment. It shameful that you cannot. Grow up, get off your high horse and take a strong laxative. I understand that's a good remedy for "snark".
Anonymous said…
"Raina's spoof on Drucker was a hoot and I doubt that he would be offended in the least"

"Vamp is a blogger friend. I've never met her. She's always been nice to me. I'm willing to give her a pass for something she probably regrets writing"

You sure seem to know a lot about how others think and feel, without them saying so themselves.
Raina Cox said…
Hey and a hello to all of SRT followers!

It's Raina from If the Lamp Shade Fits. Just wanted to chime in and say Joni and I have a friendship outside of our blogs. One forged by an appreciation for good design (no matter the style), a mutual appreciation for each other's sense of humor, and the Heeb outlook on life.

For the record, I apologized today for calling El Druckerino "Schnozz" and its subsequent variations. I used the moniker for comic effect, nothing else. The post would have been just as funny without it.

Yours in snark,

Raina Cox
If the Lamp Shade Fits (Wear it!)
Kelley said…
Hi, wow that was interesting. I had an Anon commenter correct my grammer. I cried for weeks......kidding!

Um...there's a sale on knee highs at Target.
Renée Finberg said…
i say;
"bring it on"
you 'nasty comment people!!!'

i have removed anonymous comments from my blog because i am disgusted by cowards.

if someone has something nasty to say on a post of mine...i am all ears.

i loved this!!
i was cracking up about the 'trolls in the hovels.' hahahha
you ladies are fabulous!
Maria Killam said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Merrill said…
(saying in my best smarmy New England voice) Okay kids, I think we're done here. No sense in letting things devolve into base name calling. We've received a few emails and comments asking why we allow Anon comments and don't moderate and the answer is simply that I wanted to foster openness and honest debate. Being Anon doesn't mean one has to be nasty. There have been constructive anon comments and sometimes we even get positive ones. However, as our comment box says, I reserve the right to delete comments that are not constructive, which I intend to do. So feel free to post a comment and it will come to me to be moderated. Cheers.
Wow. It's high school. And Mean Girls.
Anonymous said…
Quote: I think Drucker was referring to loss of creativity due to negative feedback.

Perhaps if blogger/designers stop showing their mediocre work there won't be any negative feedback.
Anonymous said…
So there appears to be a "double standard" in the blogging world. Renee Finberg posted that she does not allow anonymous comments. So GWD and hundred of other bloggers who conceal their true identity can still go and leave a comment on her blog and that is okay. There is something wrong here. Aren't these bloggers also cowards Ms Finberg????
Anonymous said…
Okay, my first time to post today, but how do I avoid being linked to all the other anon posts. I'm a housewife who enjoys reading design blogs and listening to SRT while doing housework. How boring am I? I don't have a blog or a google account or whatever it takes to not be anon but I always put my name at the end of my posts. Tell me what to do to stop being anon.
Linda Merrill said…
Hi Sue - just by putting your name in your post makes you a non-anon. And thanks for listening!
I love what Mr. Drucker has to say and I agree with him 100%. It just seems like there is far too much negativity going on right now and it's not just blogs and design its everywhere. It's silly but I recently mentioned to friends that even FB status updates is usually people just complaining. Anyways as an interior designer I think my best asset is that I can respect and appreciate all design regardless if its my style or not, I have also learned that I can voice my opinion if its different then others in a respectful way and not attack people and hopefully agree to disagree. And really sometimes I do what my mom taught me many many years ago, if you have nothing nice to say, keep your mouth shut!
“Life is short and we do not have too much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel with us. So be swift to love and make haste to be kind." Henri Frederic Amiel (Swiss Huguenot Philosopher, 1821 – 1881)
Anonymous said…
I really do mean this in the nicest possible way as constructive criticism. The three of your are out of your depths in discussing in an open forum anything more sensitive than curtains and carpets. Take some advise and leave the blood sport to Oprah and Masterpiece Theatre. And, if I see the word "snark" or variations thereof one more time, I'm taking my spare time elsewhere. Cheers!
S@sha said…
Leaving a negative comment seems rather pointless to me, if I don't like a blog or a post, I don't have to read it. It takes about one second to click to another site.

I wouldn't classify my personal style as necessarily aligning closely with any of the three of your tastes, but that doesn't mean that I think your tastes are bad-- just different. I really enjoy these podcasts because the point is to open up a discussion and I think a discussion is always more interesting with some dissension. The world would be so boring if everyone agreed about everything.

I say thanks to the three of you for being so bold as to discuss these issues and record them for the rest of us!
Linda Merrill said…
Oh Anon at 2:52pm, do you mean words like snarkiness, snarkiful, snarkalarkalooza? You mean things like that??? Don't tease us!
Megan said…
Can you imagine Charlotte Moss or Suzanne Kasler sitting around bitching about someone else's work or ripping it to shreds? Those who have something of value to say speak through their work or their art. The rest are trash-talking wannabees with a lack of the most basic requirement of good taste - manners.
Anonymous said…
Actually Megan, yes I can certainly expect Charlotte Moss of the two designers you mentioned. When she interviewed for the SRT, several comments alluded to the fact that she would do well to get over herself. I have a number of friends in the design business and I can attest to the fact that they comment on the work of their competition. They all do this, some more privately than others.
ATTENTION: Social Media/Blogging/Commenting is not 'conversation'; it is now actually considered publishing and everyone involved is susceptible to liabilty issues. PLEASE take time to read this!!! (I watched a news segment 2 mintues ago on TV)
"Problems arise when we behave in so-called online conversations as if we are in real conversations. We say things without considering whether we want them permanently recorded in an online archive available to nearly 2 billion people. We tweet an offhand remark to a friend, in a simulation of a one-to-one conversation, which happens to be visible to 500 million people. Our most casual remarks are recorded for future employers, business competitors, customers, clients, potential litigants, political adversaries and others.

That’s because we’re publishing, not conversing. No need to worry about the surreptitious encroachment of Big Brother in this world. You may already have invited him in the front door." - Socialized PR last comment on the subject. This may be of interest. All comments, Anon or not can be traced if someone is determined enough. And the legal system can surely find out who was on what computer at what time of day and where - anywhere in the world.
Loved this topic, but I have to disagree with you Joni (for once!), about one thing - honesty doesn't have to be negative. I'm always honest with my comments. If I like something, I let you know. But if I don't like something - I won't comment. If you say something nice or at least constructive ,don't say anything at all. Basic manners in my mind and how I was raised.
Visual Vamp said…
For the record, I am very sorry about the camel toe post. It was removed from my blog long ago.

For the record I apologize to Heather Clawson for doing it.

I am reworking the Front Row Blogging post and will post it again at a later date. There was some good stuff there that I let my sense of humor ruin.

And everybody no matter how successful, dishes and bitches and gets snarky about others in their field. ID is and has always been a blood sport ha ha. Only now it is seeping from private e-mails, phone conversations, office chit chat, and cocktail party banter to public blog comments.

When I first started blogging I thought honestly saying what we feel was missing, like basically saying what we felt about one another's work, including the body of work that is the blog. I thought it would be a good thing to be open.

But a little goes a long way on a blog. There are too many tender feelings, too much envy out there, too many wannabes, too much bitterness for too much reality and honesty...

On the other hand there is a ton of generosity, good will, humor, talent, and friendship on blogs.

Friends accept one another, the fuck ups and the shining moments.

So yes, Joni is a friend. And the other round table girls are friendly to me. And I cherish it.

About anon comments, I understand why some of you need to post this way.

But I now delete the really nasty off topic anon comments because it just doesn't do much good for anyone.

Blogging is new social interaction, and we are all feeling our way.

I have made mistakes, learned, and hopefully grow as a person and a blogger to blog better, and be better.

I hope that we can have opinions and express them, say what we like, and say what we don't like. Repression stinks in any form.

I think Mr. Drucker was over reacting and a little over wrought when he wrote that editorial.

For the record, I have no problem voting for a friend, or asking others to vote for a friend.

The snarky comments about the B'dales comp were mostly on Apt. Therapy, and generated by last years winner. And really in the scheme of things, AT is a speck in the universe, just like the rest of our blogs. Not everybody is reading, and not everyone cares.

We are adults and most of us can take care of ourselves, including the snark that comes our way. We don't need the snark police ha ha.

I wish you: Peace, love, decorating, and blogging...

xo xo
Anonymous said…
Google, not VV, deleted the disgusting camel toe post from VV's blog, so her apology is disingenuous, as best. Who would post such a vile attack about someone they've never even met or had any interaction with, in the first place? She only apologizes because it caused her to lose, rather then gain readers as she hoped.

And the snark on Apartment Therapy? VV was laying it on thicker then anyone, accusing them of "dirty tricks" and cheating. Go read the posts- it's all there.

Finally, this entire commentary is exactly what Stephen Drucker was speaking of. He is calling for a return to civility, and a stop to the name-calling and personal attacks, which are an entirely different beast from constructive criticism- something some of you just can't seem to understand.
cotedetexas said…
That MEGAN is not OUR MEGAN. It's another Megan, ok? just to get that straight.
cotedetexas said…
That MEGAN is not OUR MEGAN. It's another Megan, ok? just to get that straight.
Anonymous said…
Vamp, your comments were well written and straight forward. I agree with you that the blogs are a speck in the universe and often just their taking themselves so seriously does it bring out the snark in the readers. Repression is a bad thing. When you play in the major league you can't act like you are still in T-ball.
Visual Vamp said…
My apology is for real.
To my readers, and to Heather.
I got more hits on my blog from the two posts that I removed than any other post.
Snark does sell.
But I learned a lesson: numbers are not everything.
As for my comments on AT in support of Eddie, they were not out of line.
Anon 12:21- let it go. It's over.
If you'd like to discuss it further, feel free to e-mail me. You obviously have an issue with me personally.
I apologize to the SRT having to use this forum to answer you.
xo xo
Anonymous said…
Liberty Post, I am assuming that the designers who blog are not particularly busy otherwise they would not have time to blog. Now think of it, have you seen any nationally acclaimed designers who are blogging? If their little pettiness needs private eyes, they deserve the criticism they get. This is a free country at least as of today (can't speak about tomorrow). I would suggest the little darlings in the blog world grow up.
Hazel Terry said…
I am with Robyn,
If I don't have something nice to say then I say nothing at all, I like to be honest to myself and others, their is a morality to blogging and commenting. x
Karena said…
Really great discourse here. I have made so many great blogger friends and discovered pople where we had only two degrees of separation.

Being in the public arena opens us up to criticism at times. Many people don't care for my art....that's okay....

I did call VV on her remarks of Heather and we are still speaking, she is a special person and has opened our life up to all of us. Heather has her forte, and I love what she does.

Just my humble comments

Art by Karena
Anonymous said…
So Liberty Post, I will try once again because my first response to you was about the state of free speech in Canada. Apparently, the author is a little sensitive about my opinions. The article you reference was written in a Canadian publication. I totally disagree with its premise on political grounds which would not be popular on this site as I have seen. Glad you posted it, however because it is quite interesting in the context of the discussion.
artis1111 said…
I am an artist not a designer and came to blogging from Rate My Space. A lot of friends came to blogginh when the comments got cruel and snide. Some taking credit for work that was not theirs. I went back this week,and found some lovely homes. I also found one taking credit for a house that was definatly not hers. I did my kitchen in deep chocolate and was surprised to find some thought it too dark. When the next day I saw another kitchen in navy that was raved about.We are all different and so our views are thus. So no one is right Kathy, and no one is rong.
*moggit girls said…
LOVE listening to your discussions ladies. Y'all rawk!