My Beef With Internet Trolls
At least twice now, people have written unsolicited nasty notes in regards to the presence of a donations link on my website. This really bothers me.
Admitting this will probably engender even more hate mail, but: this really hurts me. My self esteem is largely based on a) being useful and b) being liked.
I provide a free service to the world - literally. I get hits from six continents at least (my provider doesn't track Antarctica, so I can't say what the scientists do in their free time) and various US military bases, mostly in the Pacific. Braiding instructions can usually only be obtained in books that are expensive and are often poorly written. In contrast, mine are freely accessible from anywhere in the world, and I like to think that they are fairly well written - and when they're not, you can always email me to ask for clarification.
I enjoy braiding, and I love sharing my knowledge. However, it does cost money to maintain a website, and I enjoy it when people express their enjoyment of my talents (braiding or playing music) by throwing money at me to support my work.
What do I get out of the website? The satisfaction of sharing my knowledge, talents, and creativity. The donations I get have never covered my expenses. I do this for fun. What else do I get? Whiny letters asking why I don't have the braid _they_ want _right now_, demands that I email them back IMMEDIATELY (in one case, an hour apparently wasn't fast enough) to help them with their homework assignments, email viruses, and more nasty letters telling me what a greedy, worthless person I am. This really cuts into the fun, the do-good feeling, the joy of helping.
Don't believe me? Here are prime examples of the most nasty trolls:
If you're going to insult me, at least use proper grammar. Apostrophe "s" is not part of the word wants.
Or, the email that spurred this particular rant:
Now really, how much of a friend can s/he be? That bit really galled me.
To sum up: if you want to donate, you're wonderful. If you don't want to or don't have the resources to donate, that's fine. I hope things look up for you. However, don't assume that because you don't see any reason to donate that no one will, and don't ruin my day just because you're in a bad mood.