I've noticed recently that people who frequent my Web sites, and find that they don't like the way I run them, suddenly become more interested in trying to make me out to be an asshole than just moving on to some other site.
For example, I can't stand rumors about the amusement industry. People just make shit up and it gets really old. Yeah, I could do without that. Swarms of 13-year olds that can't even drive to an amusement park dominate some other forums with that kind of nonsense, so I just pitch it.
I've also caught a ton of flack to try and recover some of the cost associated with the sites. First there was CoasterBuzz Club, then AdPoints on Guide to The Point. Hey, the ads aren't paying what they used to, and I'm not a charity. Fortunately response has been just good enough that I'm not in the red, but I hate living check to check too. In any case, people just made me out to be a total bastard for doing it. The oddest thing about it is just that none of it was ever required anyway.
So these things all come back to what a bastard I am, or who I'm trying to silence, or who I disagree with, etc. Truth is, I don't care about any of those things, I just want to pay for and run something I don't enjoy. I don't know very many of these people, so why do they think I'm out to make it personal?
The worst part is that they totally lose sight of the topic at hand... roller coasters. They focus all kinds of energy and time on me instead of discussion that's on-topic. It has been especially bad this summer. Parents... kick your kids off the dumbbox and send their asses outside. They're pastey white, gaining weight and devoid of all people skills. The real world will kick their ass some day if they don't start learning to play nice with real live people.
I did learn years ago that getting involved, responding and just generally giving any attention to these "issues" is a waste of time that chases away the "good" conversation. I had to swallow my pride to get to that point, but it has made all the difference in keeping things fresh and forward moving.
The good news is that running the sites is still fun, and I intend to continue for the forseeable future.