blatant self-promotion

I have been banned from the forums and Matt appears to have been snooping around my admin pages in my absence, but never mind! I want all my friends, enemies and hangers-on to head to the lunarpages popularity contest theme competition and vote for Auric. Please. You can’t really judge it from their preview (it doesn’t even have comments) so I’m going to throw up one of my own tomorrow. Along with the download, obviously.

(How old is Light? I know it’s been here since July. I know they never said themes had to be new, but throwing in tried and tested warhorses like that isn’t terribly sporting. Not that I’m bitter or anything.)

Oh, and you’ll never guess what, but the link to designvitality’s competition has disappeared from their front page and so has my comment on their blog. You’re all so stunned, aren’t you? At least I had the cynicism wisdom and foresight to nofollow that compulsory link.

61 Comments »

  1. judyb12 said

    Hey, Wank,

    Voted for Auric for you. To be honest, i’m not thrilled with the slightly poopy color scheme, but the design itself is beautiful (as usual). ;-)

    —–

    Maybe i should count myself lucky that i quit posting in the forums before this crap went down. Jesus.

  2. Cat said

    They banned you for your comment about emailing? You serious?

    Voted for it as well. It’s an interesting colour scheme, that’s for sure!

  3. Richard said

    Yeah, and it’s still going on. Mark got snarky with timethief today when she asked about akisMATT sucking up all her comments on other blogs.

  4. AJ said

    Voted for you TGA :)
    You finally got banned? I was wondering when Matt would finally show his immaturity

    Let’s hope you get unbanned soon (if you plan on going back there ;) )

  5. No plans on going back there, no. People who treat their volunteers like that don’t deserve to have volunteers. Just when I had figured out how to apply user stylesheets to make it look slightly more like a proper forum, as well :(

    And we’re meant to believe it’s a coincidence that timethief’s comments start being akismeted right after Matt decides she should ‘take a break from the forums’. Just like it was a coincidence that drmike started getting caught after the same suggestion was made to him. Yes. Of course. Whatever you say.

  6. Scott said

    Go fight win, Wank. You’ve got my vote.

  7. drmike said

    Voted.

    Someone please kindly tell those folks that opening a new browser window for clicking on every link is rather rude.

    Gotta admit that I’m rather amazed that they leave those who cause problems over and over (and over) again in the forums alone and ban those who truly try to help out. Matt’s said a number of times that having an opinion and voicing it isn’t a problem. (I’d dig for the link but I’m trying to get some work done today. I think it was in that “How gray is your…” thread) I guess we now know that that isn’t true.

    Anyone else note that he posted the “These forums are for support” comment in the ideas subforum?

  8. I’m rather amazed that they leave those who cause problems over and over (and over) again in the forums alone and ban those who truly try to help out.

    Oh, you can say what you like to other volunteers and people asking questions. There’s always plenty more where they came from, so you can be as rude to them as you want and it’s unlikely you’ll even get a warning or a locked thread, let alone a deleted post. As for getting banned, this is only a risk if you irritate staff. Hey, nobody ever claimed it was fair.

  9. options said

    voted.

    tga, once upon a time you expressed regret over that you

    wanted to be the first wordpress.com dissident ;)

    and there we have it ;-)

    yep, speech is silvern and silence’s gold;
    print is dynamite.

    “And when you loose control, you’ll reap the harvest you have sown.” yet not a whirlwind, of course, as those extatic ones just cannot see (or do not care) which way the wind is really blowing.

  10. drmike said

    Looks like the voting’s done. Either that or the different county libraries are sharing a single IP address again as I’m seeing the results.

    Looks like you won, wank. At least this round.

  11. @options: heh, I forgot about that. I don’t know if they got to you before they got to me, though, so you still might have pipped me to the post.

    @drmike: No, it’s an IP address thing. Voting is still going on :)

  12. Ben M said

    Voted. It’s not my favorite set of colors, but looks like you worked hard on it.

    If only I could code Habari plugins, or if there were plugins for Habari that I’m using on WordPress, I’d switch in a heartbeat. But Matt’s latest antics have really been encouraging me to think that I don’t need all the plugins and should jump ship now.

  13. skippy said

    Ben M: as usual, feel free to mention on the habari-users mailing list what plugin functionality you need / want. We’ll see what we can do to get them written! ;)

  14. timethief said

    Well here I am among the other “inactive” dissidents – what an honor!
    And, what an irony.

  15. JRSofty said

    It’s really sad that they push out their volunteers. Personally I don’t go to the forums much because nothing I ask ever really gets answered. I’m not blaming the volunteers they are probably few and far between. The problem lies with the fact that the WordPress/Automattic or what ever they call themselves really are nothing more than a bunch of sophomores who seemed to get lucky with a little programming skill.

    Personally I’m not overly thrilled with WordPress and the fact that I’m running my blog on someone else’s web server is a little annoying as well. I’ve decided I’m going to build my own web software for my site that will incorporate some sort of blogging system. Once I’ve got it up and running I’m going to just close out of WordPress. I’m really sorry I even started a blog here, I should have read the forums first to see how they treat support before I made the decision.

  16. I voted as well. Not because of the request to do so, but because I believe it really is the best of them all. I love the color and the layout both. I would enjoy trying out this theme, I hope we get the opportunity to do so! Thank you for putting in the time to build it, it’s beautiful!

  17. you’ve got my vote.
    It’s a shame about Light, I will try to sit on my hands and not enter any old themes.

  18. drmike said

    Hmm, still can’t vote from yet a different branch. They must be sharing IP addresses which is something that they’ve said that they don’t do. Of course they blocked readersdigest.com as a sex site when they first installed their filters many eons ago.

    I got an email this morning from one of my clients who watches the wp.com forums. They said that Timethief is now blocked as well as her other accounts. Gotta admit that while she and I have disagreed in the past, I do thank her for all the work that she’s done as well in the forums.

    I wonder how long Rain and Trent will last. They’re next on the ol’ chopping block.

  19. drmike said

    @options, while I’m thinking about it, the code for your URL is missing a digit. You’ve got in there 1425. I believe there should be a ’7′ at the end of it. When you click on the link, it just goes to the top of that post and not the comment you’re directing folks to.

  20. judyb12 said

    i’m curious. Now that TimeThief is banned from the forum and getting Akismet-ed are Options & Wank also getting Akismet-ed? Do Akismet’s filters intersect with the forum’s?

    Wank, don’t mean to talk about you in the third person like you’re not here, but i couldn’t figure out how to construct that sentence in a better way.

  21. Well, I haven’t posted to any other blogs since being banninated so to be honest I have no idea whether I’m blacklisted. Comments are going through OK here, but then I’m logged in as admin.

    I wonder how long Rain and Trent will last. They’re next on the ol’ chopping block.

    Raincoaster said somewhere she’s been spending less time on the forums than she used to, so is probably safe. Trent has never spent that much time on there anyway, and I can’t see him ever daring to get on the wrong side of staff. My money’s on thesacredpath as the next to get the chop; I get the impression he has a lot of time for tt and I’m not sure he’ll keep his mouth shut about the way she’s been treated.

    r.e. Auric: the live install is throwing up unexpected IE issues so that’s delayed the download, but as soon as it’s fixed I will be releasing it.

  22. drmike said

    My attorney raised an issue that got me thinking.

    Do folks think that this is coming about now since Automattic is looking for a buyer? Either in the case that they don’t want it to look like that support is mostly volunteer driven (Yes the wp.org is volunteer driven I know but automattic != wp.org) or because of the money involved. I know we wouldn’t get a dime (Heck, we couldn’t even get tshirts out of them.) with any buyout but do you think that maybe they’re trying to cover themselves?

    I can’t see him ever daring to get on the wrong side of staff

    Neither could we for us and look what happened. I know folks give Trent a lot of credit and I don’t say this as being negative but I know moving threads into their correct subforums seems to have taken a back seat. I know I was doing that a number of times each day.

  23. Do folks think that this is coming about now since Automattic is looking for a buyer?

    I hadn’t thought of that, but it does sound quite plausible. Clear the decks of everyone who’s been there long enough to have an opinion on anything and only allow contributions from newbies and yes-men. Nobody wants to buy an unruly community; look what happened to Six Apart with Livejournal. I can easily see a potential buyer being put off by some of those threads on ads (and there are a lot of those threads on ads). I would expect wholesale deletion of old threads to be the next step. A whole bunch of .org threads vanished a few years back. They said it was an upgrade.

    You know, I’m not sure Trent actually has the power to move threads anymore. There was one thread where he asked people not to add any more posts, so it does sound like he can’t lock them. I did ask, but the question disappeared in the purges.

  24. JRSofty said

    You would think that potential buyers would also look at the blogs that are already running. With enough people on here complaining about the staff you would think that the potential buyers would also be wary.

    It makes you wonder if there is a way to complain about the staff on our blogs and unite them together so that it is easy to search for on WP. You know what I mean? This way anyone who has a complaint about the staff (and there are so many who seem to complain about the staff) kind of a central area to post their complaints where the staff would be less likely to mess with. I think it would be a major hassle for Matt and those guys to start deleting someone’s post from a legitimate blog.

    Never mind I’m just rambling I guess.

  25. I handled what I had to say by email – the way the “unvolunteering” should have been handled in the first place. No ranting or raving, just said what I had to say and sent it. Since I had been thinking of leaving the forums for several weeks, Matt just helped me decide.

    Clear the decks of everyone who’s been there long enough to have an opinion on anything and only allow contributions from newbies and yes-men.

    That thought crossed my mind too. And when the newbies get to the point where they have an opinion and express it, they may very well face “unvolunteering” too.

    Automattic/Wordpress et al has the right to ask people to leave the forums, it is their forum. One would hope though that if they are going to do it they do it with a little decorum.

  26. drmike said

    I personally don’t have an issue with the majority of staff. (Ouside of all the “I don’t know how to code” that many of them stated when they introduced themselves in the forums or on their blogs. That and a “What do you want me to do about it?” I got from Alex when I tried to pass along an issue from the forums.) The biggest issue I’ve had was with what Lloyd calls a splog was different from what Mark calls a splog. I gather it’s moot now as it appears Mark is now responding to ToS issues now.

    It’s interesting that tga mentions adverts. Thinking about the $200 million buy out offer, that’s the only way I can see any company buying Automattic making that money up: running banners across every blog. Even if every single blogger paid for a $10 a year upgrade, that’s still 10 years to make their money back with the current 2 million blogs. (And we all know that there aren’t 2 million active blogs currently here at wp.com. With the November figures of 2.5 million posts, if a typical blog is posting twice a week, that’s only 312k active blogs.)

  27. AJ said

    TGA, I’m guessing you’ve read this already:

    http://comox.textdrive.com/pipermail/wp-hackers/2008-January/016993.html

    WP 2.4 skipped and now 2.5 will directly be released with another delay. Windows Vista anyone?

  28. Kissing Bandit said

    If I were actually a masochist, I’d start volunteering in the forums. But, I’m not, so I’ll just be content with my one post thus far. (Hmm, I may even be marked as Inactive b/c of it too…lemme check. Surprisingly, I’m not. Guess I didn’t speak loud enough.)

    Although your “unvolunteering” was distasteful at best, Wank et al, consider it a huge favour done for you by Automattic.

    On another note, I certainly do hope that you’re keeping a back up of this blog stashed away somewhere b/c it may be one of the first to accidentally be nuked in an “upgrade accident” when a potential buyer comes sniffing around.

    -KB

  29. drmike said

    What’s a pity is that no one has spoke up and gone “Where is everybody?”

    Unless they’re censoring those posts as well.

  30. judyb12 said

    i was kind of wondering about the same thing. I think anyone who would say anything probably realizes there’s something up.

    i feel so left out; i almost feel like going back to the forum and doing something that would get me banned, but it’s probably not worth my time :D

  31. judyb12 said

    i’m not even getting Akismet-ed!

  32. I deactivated AkisMATT on my self-hosted blog and installed Defensio so I won’t have to despam people. gmail email addresses seem to be getting hit hard by AkisMATT, as does a particular corner of Canada. Coincidence? One has to wonder.

    The problem is that the .com bloggers don’t have a choice. They are stuck with AkisMATT.

  33. Kissing Bandit said

    What’s a pity is that no one has spoke up and gone “Where is everybody?”

    I’d speak up and say something, except I’m afraid it wouldn’t be taken seriously consider I only have one post in the year I’ve been registered.

    I do hope other members with higher post counts will say something though.

    -KB

  34. given that akismet and defensio have a nearly identical target market, and get fed nearly identical spam data, it’s pretty clear that mr. mullenweg is indeed using akismet as a weapon. if that’s not unsettling to investors or customers, i don’t know what is.

  35. [...] all started with this. It was even predicted that it would come to this by [...]

  36. drmike said

    Looks like Timethief’s blogs have been hit with the mature label as well.

    I seem to remember a thread in the forums and on some blogs where Matt stated that he would never do such a thing. I’ll have to go look that up when I have the time.

  37. inclusion in tag listings is at our discretion.

    So, if staff want to censor global tags for reasons other than mature content, they can. Maybe they’re not supposed to, but they’re not supposed to read and reply to unpublished comments either. Nor are they supposed to use Akismet to blacklist the IP addresses of people they want to silence. (Lucky for me I have a dynamic IP.) At the moment I’d say all bets are off.

  38. drmike said

    [humour]We should start a betting pool to see who will be the next volunteer to be given the boot.[/humour]

    Staff has said a couple of times the “inclusion in tag listings is at our discretion.” although I don’t recall them using that clause in this manner before. I remember the lesbian culture blog getting labeled as such and Matt apologizing like crazy but the label remaining. They used the same excuse when they took that unused blog away from that guy over a year ago.

  39. trav said

    quote: “and vote for Auric. Please. You can’t really judge it from their preview (it doesn’t even have comments) so I’m going to throw up one of my own tomorrow. Along with the download, obviously.”
    —–

    How can you not judge it by the preview? Here, go to this url to see what it looks like on the comments page:

    http://blog.lunarpages.com/contest/?p=1&preview_theme=auric

    Oooo, wow, comments: seeing that definitely changed my opinion on the WordPress design. I have to admit, the design was well coded, but the graphics look like they came out of microsoft word. Not my idea of a quality design, and certainly not one that deserves to win this compared to the many high quality entries. (many of which have also been eliminated by terrible designs)

    To be honest, this contest isn’t even a real design contest: it’s all about popularity. If users were truly judging on the best design, then Light by Stephen Reinhardt or Ruins by Daniel St. Jules would be winning this round.

  40. Actually, http://blog.lunarpages.com/contest/?p=1 takes you to a charming neon-green-headered Kubrick. I really don’t expect my readers to have to hand-craft their own URLS in order to see comments, pages, categories, archives, search pages and 404s, although I realise the majority of WP fanboys think that’s a reasonable approach to navigation.

    Preview, for the record, is at http://not-that-ugly.co.uk/test and download is at http://not-that-ugly.co.uk/auric.zip.

    Did you even read my post before whining that ‘this contest isn’t even a real design contest: it’s all about popularity’? Or could you not read ‘popularity contest’ because the strikethrough made it illegible? Of course Light would win a design contest: it’s been knocking around for months so all the bugs will have been fixed by now, it has a blue header and it’s in use on wordpress.com, for heaven’s sake. If lunarpages wanted to run a design contest they’d have got a panel of designers to judge. If you have a problem with how they’re running things, complain to them. I don’t make the rules.

    (Somebody needs to write a captcha plugin where people can’t comment on a post until they have answered a simple comprehension question on it. Solve my issues with driveby trolls in a stroke.)

  41. that’s the best idea for a captcha plugin i think i’ve ever heard. should be dead simple to write, too….

  42. judyb12 said

    LettersHomeToYou has spoken up in the Off Topic forum:

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic.php?id=19992&page&replies=3

  43. drmike said

    We’ve been talking on the mu volunteer forums about how this forum does their header. :)

  44. [...] honestly not as surprised that wank and options were banned from the forums. Their blogs, like mine, focus on highlighting issues with [...]

  45. The wpbloggingtips post linked to on that thread (and which also pinged me) is throwing a 404. My fingers are crossed that it was deleted by timethief or raincoaster for no other reason than that it’s off-topic for the blog.

    Either way, I’ve managed to grab a copy from bloglines. From the forum archives, it appears tt was banned for attributing to Matt comments made by Mark about how blog search is never gonna happen. Hardly the crime of the century, one would have thought.

    Much love for that big red forum header (and they get bonus points for using PunBB).

  46. drmike said

    I just pulled up the post in Google Reader. (Wow, I now have three feeds in Google Reader. You young people today with your Goo-goo Reader. Back in my day, we had to actually read the blogs we were interested in. And we had to walk through five miles of snow and lava…)

    No disrespect meant towards timethief but all the contents of that post proves that once again no one really knows what is occuring over in wp.com land. Especially those volunteers giving the answers in the support forums. Adsense wasn’t planned and that’s the response we gave until Matt hinted at it with the Greek media and made us look foolish. Site wide search wasn’t planned until Matt hinted at it in that forum thread.

    Mark gives one answer. Matt gives another. Lloyd calls a blog acceptable. Mark calls it a splog. One day affliate links are allowed. Next, they’re not. Day after, only one commerical link with no affliate code. Unless it’s amazon. Then it’s all good. But not Tattered Cover.

    I raised the issue previously that volunteers (at least the top teer of them) should have some access to what features were planned and what features were being considered so we could shape our responses and determine how best to respond to questions. Even offered to sign a NDA. (What’s yet another NDA? Under hundreds of them. Hell, 2 of my 3 doctorates are classified.) Nope.

    The term ‘backstabbing’ comes to mind.

  47. I’m not convinced that Matt shares all his plans with staff, so mere volunteers are never going to be given advance warning of anything.

    Matt wanted to announce that blog search was on the roadmap so he went looking for a forum thread that asked for it (so that it’d look as if they were responding to public demand), found options and timethief inconveniently stating what until approximately five seconds earlier had been the party line and decided that they must be silenced for, um, repeating what staff had said. Keeping stuff to himself is how he deprives others of authority and makes them look stupid when they’re off-message. Knowledge Is Power.

    (is there an equivalent of Godwin’s Law where the first person to invoke Orwell loses the argument? either way, options started it ;) )

  48. drmike said

    And the winner is wank.

    Congrats.

  49. What’s a pity is that no one has spoke up and gone “Where is everybody?”

    Unless they’re censoring those posts as well.

    I was going to, but:

    1) It’d certainly be deleted, since recently Matt said “The purpose of these forums is support.” rather authoritatively when he shut the search thread. He made his opinion known, then shut the thread so it would disappear from the front page. It’s clearly not up for discussion.

    2) The people coming in actually looking for help don’t know the difference. I call these people “The Snow Lovers”.

    3) Someone started a thread this morning ( http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic.php?id=19992&page&replies=7 ) and the linked-to the post has been deleted (by whom I don’t know, but it’s timethief’s blog). (edit: No it didn’t. It was just redated. I left a note on the thread.)

    Serious question: Where can I move my blog to? I looked around a little this weekend, but outside of self-hosting, there aren’t any good options that use wordpress, and I really really really don’t want to switch to something else.

  50. drmike said

    *chuckle* I’m doing a site for a client currently. It’s not ready yet though.

  51. drmike said

    Going back to this comment back up there, is it me or is AutoMATTIC staff just looking for ways to piss folks off now?

  52. is it me or is AutoMATTIC staff just looking for ways to piss folks off now?

    It’s not just you.

    I’m telling you, this is leading up to something. Two staffers abusing a volunteer in one thread in one day with Matt dropping in and not addressing the blow up is not nothing.

  53. Maybe Hanni has it written into her contract that she will only work in an empty forum? If I were Trent I’d start watching my back.

  54. vjp said

    Reading thru the posts and the comments – man, this is more than amazing. I’m with Matt Algren above: where can I move my blog? I can’t do the self-hosting thing. I flat out don’t have the time to handle it nor do I want to.

  55. judyb12 said

    what is wrong with these people?

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic.php?id=19983&page&replies=13#post-153244

  56. drmike said

    Can’t believe we haven’t heard a word out of wank on the contest. Is she aware that she won her round?

  57. Cat said

    Yeah, I really want to move, but selfhosting isn’t for me. I’m spending too much time blogging as it is..

    Any suggestions?

  58. I run a site with WordPress for a singing group I’m in. I learned the .org side long before I ever stepped foot in .com. I’d actually prefer to self-host my own blog, but the money thing keeps me from doing it. I just don’t spend enough time writing to justify the cost.

  59. [...] honestly not as surprised that wank and options were banned from the forums. Their blogs, like mine, focus on highlighting issues with [...]

  60. drmike said

    I find it most interesting that we’ve all been banned but yet they have no problem allowing this to occur and to continue.

  61. [...] being in control of a centralized comment service, given the way Akismet’s been used to block troublemakers in the past. But then I’m already blogging on a server where they can edit or delete any [...]

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