December 6, 1996

Dear Diary:

Weather today -- Drizzling
Mood today -- Frustrated
Fly count for yesterday -- 0
HF Today -- 75%

Frustration rules supreme in the land of Cyberpie today. Yesterday I received two emails telling me I had not met qualifications for awards for which I'd applied. Two rejection letters in one day! Not sure my poor delicate ego can take it. ;) Both senders offered some critiques/criticism of my pages, but only one took the time to explore my page enough to understand what I'm trying to do here. The other one chose to look at two pages (the Directory page and Elly's Bar Gallery), and based on the fact that my background color is the same as my text color on the Directory page and my bars page had a typo and four broken images (out of about 100), chose not to bestow his award on my pages. Fair enough, I suppose. It's unfortunate, to my thinking, that he couldn't be bothered to glance at the other 140+ pages, but oh well.

The first gentleman offered some well thought-out criticisms, but they seemed superficial to me so I requested a more detailed review of my site. He graciously took another look and offered suggestions for improving the organization of my pages. So this morning I am working on revamping the directory, and many of the pages that have been here since the inception of this site will no longer be online. This is a *major* overhaul for me, but I guess it's warranted as my site has grown to 10 megabytes in three months. I truly believe that my pages will be better organized and more comprehensible once I'm finished 'moving furniture' around, but part of me is melancholy to say goodbye to a number of pages I've loved creating. I would like very much to change the background on this, my main page, but the custom logo has a background that makes it appear transparent on this background and I am incapable of changing the background, or the lettering color for tht matter. So this page will remain more or less unscathed with the exception of some moving about of various portions and the deletion of several graphics and links. I'll miss those links and graphics, but it will improve load time and cut down on the clutter, I guess.

Frustration number three was trying to learn to use Paint Shop Pro enough to create a custom horizontal rule for a page I'm working on. My first attempt was a no go. The second attempt was mediocre to say the best, and I still can't figure out how to make the horizontal rule transparent. I "hang out" with a group of graphic artists online who are *extremely* talented, and it just makes me nuts to visit their sites and see their work and know I'll most likely never be able to achieve anything near it in quality. Graphic design just doesn't seem to be my thing. I cannot afford to pay my friends for custom graphics and I've begged enough freebies from them to last a lifetime. As much as I dislike the thought, I suspect the days of adding custom stuff to my pages are over.

Between the dog next door barking and my birds screaming, it's shaping up to be either a migraine day or a Calgon day. Maybe both. I don't really understand my sensitivity to criticism of my site when I've been so very honored with the bestowal of over 150 awards on my work and a 2.5 week run as Champion in the Site Fights. The kudos I receive for my pages far outweigh the criticisms, and yet it's the criticisms that stick with me. That seems wrong to me, but I don't quite know how to go about adjusting my thinking on this one. I know I am touched, honored, proud and grateful whenever my site wins an award. But I'm disproportionately wounded when someone criticizes it. That's so silly. I got to thinking about all this last night as I was replying to something in an email from the first gentleman mentioned above, and it occured to me that the character of the person criticizing my site matters quite a bit to me. For example, if someone were to slam my site whom I perceive to be generally mean-spirited or lacking in cognitive reasoning skills, I tend to be less put out by their criticisms than if someone whom I perceive to be logical, articulate and sensitive were to offer the same criticisms. I suppose that's not terribly unusual; we all like for those whom we like or admire to feel the same way towards us. The rejection by the man who couldn't be bothered to look beyond two of my pages doesn't bother me nearly as much as the rejection by the other man, whom I know to be very intelligent, very articulate and who appears to be genuinely concerned with assisting others to better their work. Heh. And I thought at one point about doing an "Elly's Personalized Assistance" page where visitors could ask for help with HTML, page design, etc. I think not, Scooter Pie. It's abundantly evident to me that I am not qualified to assist anyone with anything!

The Site Fights continue. This is my fifth or sixth week of involvement with them and as much as I love the accolades I've received and the wonderful outpouring of support I've experienced, I'm looking forward to being retired at the end of this week. It will be nice to vote as a non-participant and just enjoy the sites that are entered and the whole process of watching events develop over the course of a week without having a vested interest in the outcome. I had no idea entering this kind of competition would be so draining. It is a major effort to sustain "spirit" over the course of six weeks, I can assure you. I think that may be doubly true in the case of those of us who have clinical depression; it's too easy to let a loss or low ranking one day upset one's equanimity. Hmmm... I guess that ties into the whole discussion about criticisms to my site, doesn't it? I do want to reiterate that the folks in charge of this dog and pony show, Dman and the Spirit Judge, are absolutely fantastic folks who do an enormous amount of work behind the scenes. They both spend a good deal of time peptalking the contenders and keeping our spirits up when they start to flag. And the sheer workload of each is rather daunting: Dman must rewrite the code for each page daily, in addition to tallying the hundreds of emails he receives with votes on them. The Spirit Judge checks out every site that's entered every day... that's something like fifty sites every single day... to see who is deserving of the Spirit Award for the day. I don't envy the number of hours these two put in on the Site Fights project. If you are a frequent visitor to the Fights, why not drop Dman and/or the Spirit Judge an email and let them know you appreciate all their efforts to make the WWW a more interesting, fun place. I know they'd appreciate hearing from each and every one of you! And please, take a moment to vote by clicking on the image below. Support the efforts of these two folks and of all the sites that are entered. Thanks!

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Copyright 1997 Elaine M. Jordaan

This page last updated May 4, 1997