Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I said the "F" word

... on the clayart listserv. Do you subscribe to clayart? I have for nearly five years. I mostly just read and not comment. I haven't commented mostly out of fear. There's a lot of mud slinging going on over there and sometimes it gets nasty. I like to compare posting on clayart to calling in to the Howard Stern radio show. If you do, be prepared for the attack.

About a week ago there was yet another problem with their server. It stopped sending the list in a digest form and was sending individual e-mails from everyone that posted to the list. I was getting more than 50 of these e-mails a day! This problem crops up every couple of months. In between that, the system decides to unsubscribe you and you have to go to the web page, resubscribe, and re-do your settings.

After deleting all the junk e-mails I decided to send a post asking if the group ever considered switching to a (here is where the "F" word comes in) Facebook group . Facebook would make the list easier to manage for admin, cost effective (no hosting fees), as well as easier to post to. There was lots of discussion about my suggestion. Many agreed, it would be easier and more dynamic. Others like the outdated listserv and of course many expressed their disdain for facebook. It was a good conversation where everyone was able to express their opinion.

and then it got ugly.

I received an off list personal e-mail, from a guy named Kyle, dressing me down for being extremely rude for suggesting FB on the list. He said I should have sent a private message to the administrator with the suggestion and then I should offer to help facilitate the group. He accused me of being a "newbie" who felt I had the right to tell the group how to run their business. I wonder how many more years I would I have to be a subscriber to not be a newbie anymore? I have a feeling Kyle was in high school when I joined the group! There was more to it but I won't bore you with the details. He ended his rant to me by saying I was lacking in "netiquette".

After sending Kyle a personal reply, attempting to clear up his misconceptions, I posted once more to the group. This time I apologized if mentioning the "F" word was rude and also that I didn't appreciate off post private messages, attacking my integrity. Then, in so many words, said that clayart and I were going our separate ways.

I unsubscribed.

The conversation about how I was treated (and how MANY others were mistreated in the past) continues. You can once again follow the archives online but can't post without a subscription. There is a wealth of information on clayart, but I just don't get why there are so many meanies on it.

There is a nice group on facebook called Clay Buddies. They are informative, pleasant, and, yes... nice. There are conflicting views on things but no one gets ugly.

That's my rant for the day. I will leave you with a photo that will make you smile. Piggies make everyone smile...


  1. Michele, I've been in this world longer than you and after enough years you learn some basic truths that may not have been apparent when you were younger. Sometimes when people act like assholes its, well, er,because deep down they really are just assholes.

  2. Dennis, that sounds like something my elderly mother said to me recently, "Pain the ass old people were pain in the ass young people too".

  3. shoot, i don't even know this listserv....or clay buddies or...anything! Seems like I barely have time to visit my favorite potter blogging buddies!

  4. I never joined clay art, read too many posts from people that were far superior to me and I figured that I wasn't smart enough, a good enough potter,didn't know enough about anything to join, so apparently I am not missing much! It's the same with so many of these things.we have a chatham county thing, that as you might remember I pissed off half the world on, and there is a photographers one called sports shooter where nearly every photographer out there that is an asshole proves it quite well every day. I stay away from this stuff, life is simpler that way! Too bad people can't be nice as easily as they can be mean, ugh!

  5. Tracey, I know what you mean. That is how clayart has always made me feel. It is purported to be about ideas, spreading knowledge... but It's intimidating and full of shit because of a select few who make it that way.
    and the administrator really has no interest in changing that.
    they are ludites. and it was time for me to move on.

  6. I appreciate your Netiquette. During the first paragraph I was hoping that the f word was not a curse word. This is an excellent blog. It captured my attention. And yes, Facebook is the new f word. It is not cool anymore : (, it is mainstream. I still like it. Thanks for sharing your Netiquette : )

  7. I too got my email clogged with it seemed literally hundreds of emails from clayart when they changed everyone to daily posts. I mostly read clayart when I have time but not that often I can't even remember if I have ever posted there but sometimes there is good info posted that I can learn from.

    Yhr problem with the written word is other's can't see the person's expression or get the feeling behind the words and oftentimes the written word can be miscontrued. A few bad apples can spoiil the whole that's for sure.

  8. I like the forums on Ceramic Arts Dailey which are generally friendly and helpful. Folks like John Baymore, Marcia Selsor, Neil Estrick and Chris Campbell are regular contributors. Several years ago I lurked on Clay Art. I unsubscribed because there was just too much crap to sift through before you got to the nuggets. Any public forum can have its bad apples or difficult personalities, but I think CAD works to build more of a community/tries to get its participants from being so anonymous. You can build a profile and post photos of your work to a gallery. CAD posts some great video excerpts too.

  9. S. Dean, I joined the CAD forum this week at John Baymore's suggestion. I know John from when I lived in NH and was going to the NH Institute of Art.


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