And, in the beginning…

July 17, 2009

I would say that people have been hating me on the innerwebs since at least 1998.  Maybe earlier.  I am not sure; because, I don’t have records from that time.

The first time I really sat up and took notice that I had a – knack, if you will – for getting peoples’ hackles up via my online writing was when I had a Live Journal.  I used to get into epic flame wars in comments on my own blog and in the communities I played in.  It was pretty funny stuff.

That, however, is not really when the srs h8 started.  Nope.  That started about two years ago.  October 2007, to be precise… I have recounted this story so many times at this point that I am bored with it (and, I’m sure there is someone snarky out there who is going to say “So are we!”  Fuck you, this is my blog, suffer.)  Let’s see if I can encapsulate it in a few succinct bullet points:

  • October 2007 – I was bored and trying to amuse myself and a guy I was flirting with online.  In doing as such I wrote a naughty story called “Geek Girls Need Love Too” and published it on a “pay per click” blogging site called Thisisby under the name “Retrobangs73.”  I received a lot of compliments from the Thisisby community about how clever and well written the story was.
  • I basked in the glow of positive innerwebs feedback for a day or two and then forgot all about the story, having moved on to focus on other aspects of my life more entertaining than “the story.”
  • A few weeks later I discovered that an Indian (dots, not feathers) splog had ganked my content and republished it under a title that alluded to kiddie pr0n being part of the story content (which it was not.)
  • I freaked out.
  • I emailed everyone and their brother to ask for help in figuring out how to get the story removed from the splog and removed under the offensive title in Google search.
  • Contextually it was not that big a deal, I made it a bigger deal by making a big deal about it.  I suppose that since I was working part time as a nanny and part time as an administrator on a teen website I was concerned about the appearance of impropriety.
  • This was a valid concern, though drawing attention to it was 100% the wrong way to solve the problem.  Oh well, you live and learn.
  • One of my “online friends,” the lovely Ms. Violet Blue, wrote a story about what had happened to me for her column in the SF Chronicle.
  • This opened a whole new can of whoop-ass worms on me.  I began to get huge blog metrics (which I liked) and lotso nasty, distasteful comments (which I didn’t like) and random emails from people calling me a slut (perhaps true, but wasn’t their place to comment.)
  • I freaked out more.  In public.  Online.  Where people could see and repost.
  • Then… this is where it gets good… Encyclopedia Dramatica created a flame page about me.

The irony of the ED page was that the first time that I was alerted to it I was sitting in Susan Mernit’s session at She’s Geeky discussing how women need to empower each other and not get butthurt when the boys in their momma’s basements start flinging shit at them for being loudly opinionated females online or in tech.

I think I didn’t quite fully grasp the thesis of that seminar.

The Chronicle article and the ED page were really what secured my place as being “infamous” on the Internet.  It also garnered me a rep for being kind of an asshole.  Which I suppose I am.  Half the time I think it’s funny to fuck with people, the other half I get butthurt when people fuck with me. C’est la vie.

Two years later I have a good enough sense of humor about all of it to point at myself and laugh; and, to post my most embarassing online moments for anyone who wants to revel in my ridiculous capacity for innerwebs drama.

That’s growth, I suppose.

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6 Responses to “And, in the beginning…”

  1. Hamilton Vincini Says:

    I’ve been watching most of this drama from a afar and have stayed relatively silent, but this time I have to speak up.

    Do you really feel this blog is a good idea? Much of the drama surrounding your writing can be easily found with a Google search. I, personally, don’t see the necessity in creating yet another free WordPress blog to point out the fact that you’re constantly getting into Internet scuffles with individuals.

    I’ll attempt to break this down best I can.

    1) I whole-heartedly agree with one thing you said above. “It is funny to you to fuck with people on the internet.” More than just funny, however, I think it’s something you actually crave. Otherwise, what would be the point to endlessly type-bicker with anonymous people of no consequence in forum after forum? Not only are readers seeing your antics, editors and hiring managers are as well. I truly don’t understand why you don’t see this as hampering your ability to receive jobs, writing or otherwise.

    2) As a writer, I would think one of the main things you need to do is write and completely detach yourself from the communities response to said writing. Most creative individuals are quick to admit they do not read comments or responses to their work because there will always be negative and/or personal attacks aimed at the individual. Why would you invite this aggravation into your world unless, as stated, you actually crave the drama? Which, after witnessing it for several years, I believe you do.

    3) Personal branding: I think some serious damage control and marketing help is needed here. ‘Kate Kotler, Writer’ has turned into ‘Kate Kotler, Create A Blog/Internet Account Every Few Months To Attempt To Prove To The World How Much Of A Victim She Is’ and, sadly, many of your readers aren’t buying it anymore. Personally, I’ve seen enough deleted comments comments and questionable comments about your personal behavior from others that make me doubt you, as both a person and a writer. Most of these comments don’t stay on forums long, being deleted the moment you feel they cast any doubt on the words you are attempting to sell us.

    I’ll see someone type a comment admitting one thing, and hear you say another comment admitting another. Which is truth and which is fiction? Does Kate Kotler, The Writer even know the difference between the two anymore? I don’t feel you see yourself as accurately as you think you do. What you see as an outspoken, powerful female others are seeing as a individual who feels comfortable in the role of victim and, rather than moving past it, continues to wallow in it and let it control her “writing”.

    Many – if not all – of your internet profiles and squabbles and fights and bickering need to be completely erased and a newer, cleaner intneret brand, void of drama, needs to be created. It is no longer amusing and, quite possibly, one of the main reasons your writing career has maintained stagnant.

    4) On the personal branding note. Please cease the free WordPress blogs. It costs $10 a month to host a professional looking site that can hosts clips, links, bio and weekly status updates on your work; status updates that do not include your newest hair color or who you’re hoping to make out with next week. You are not seventeen and your website needs to reflect that.

    5) You mention personal growth. I must be completely honest and say I haven’t seen any. Calling attention to such ridiculousness over and over isn’t taking a stance or being outspoken. This isn’t going to further your career in anyway; it is sorely going to it.

    Unless your stance as a writer is “I Enjoy Playing Victim”, I’d think hard about the image you should be portraying to your public.

    If you feel you have a good enough sense of humor to point at yourself and laugh over the embarrassing situations you have found yourself in online, please do readers the courtesy of doing so in private. Because, honestly, we stopped laughing a year ago and wish, like us, you would just move on and write about something else.

    I wrote this comment anonymously because, as someone that personally knows you, I’ve had issue with this for quite some time, but have stayed silent. I now feel, with this new blog, the only person dragging your name through the mud is you. It’s time to pick it up, clean it up and start anew.

    Many people would like to see you do so.

    • adorkablegrrl Says:

      Wow – what a comment. As someone who personally knows me, you’d think that if you really felt like this, this would be something you wrote to me in private.

      Let’s make somethings clear:
      -I don’t start blogs every couple of months to “prove how big a victim” I am.
      -I actually only started two blogs in recent months — one to be a collaboration between myself and my friends who were experiencing lay offs/economic crisis crap. One to highlight the writing I’ve been doing for my book.
      -Ended those because a.) it got tedious to play editor for the Recession Diary, b.) I was advised by someone in the publishing industry that the blog w/my copyrighted writing I was trying to sell in book form wasn’t a good idea. 🙂

      -I don’t think I’m a victim of anything other than my own ego and stupidity.

      -The intention of this blog isn’t to start new drama or wallow in old drama, it is to acknowledge my past behavior, look at it with fresh eyes and perhaps provide a cautionary example for others.

      -There is a second intention. The concept of anonymous shit flinging and reactionary behavior on the Internet is a topic which really fascinates me. I think that if you give this blog a chance, you will see an interesting academic development towards the writing here – as I research and explore this topic from the perspective as someone who’s been both a shit giver and a shit taker online.

      -You’re not going to see daily updates on this blog. I’m using a free blog because this is a “side/pet/something I do when I have time” project. I am developing a website. I am developing a different brand that stands only on the strength of my actual body of work. This is my hobby blog, I don’t want it included in my professional vitae, though if in the end it turns out to be interesting reading for people other than myself, that’s cool, too.

      I stand behind this blog and concept fully.

      Thank you for your concern.
      Kate

    • adorkablegrrl Says:

      Oh yes, and it bears saying: If you were really someone who knows me well and cares about me you’d absolutely say this to me in person and not in a blog comment.

      I encourage you to do two things:
      1. Give this blog a chance.
      2. Contact me privately to discuss what you’ve said.

      Cheers,
      Kate

  2. rosieposey Says:

    Ok, as the resident lackie/bestie I feel obligated to say…

    1. If you really knew Kate you’d know how well she responds [in person] to constructive criticism. But that if you went about it cloak and dagger style with a bit of Medici flare none the less, Sig. “Hamilton Vincini” we’d just pee our pants in laughter over your wordy reply.

    [kate you owe me *another* pair of pants]

    2. and….Ahem, Sig. Vincini, as they say in my family “Whoot-whoot it’s the 3:56 Hate Train coming into Kotler station”

    • adorkablegrrl Says:

      LMFAO @ Rosie. Thankies, bunny. Pants being FedEx’d presently. And, damn-it THERE is the tag line I’ve been lacking!

      How about this one: “Oops – tee-hee – I just tripped and fell on the innerweb dramz dick, again!”

      (Or is that too close to our actual personal lives?)

      I loves ya. Thx fer the support.

      • adorkablegrrl Says:

        Or this one: “I’ve got the hip waders on, who wants a fresh, hot, steaming innerwebs dramz cowpie?”

        (I just realized I was making a Sarah Palin reference with that one, too… ha.)


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