10th Nasty Reader Award: A Reader Comments on our Attitude

Ed. Comment:  After reading the first three comments that arrived, we decided to upgrade this posting to the Nasty Reader tag.

Subject: Comments, Responses, & Sad Backpedaling
January 24, 2016 4:35 am
I am a biologist and I work for the Government. I mention this only to reveal my familiarity with reading disturbing and mysterious things. I have been on your site several times hoping to see something interesting. Tonight I did, though not topically expected.  Areas now perfectly clear are:
1)  Nothing here of more knowledge or with  more information than a public high school text book.
2) That you care.
3)You attempt to deflect this by mockery and  wildly unwarranted superiority.
4) That this site does more than babysit its curator’s undernourished egos.
On reading a post , a  schoolyard comment  from another reader, your curiously condescending and marginalizing reply, the rebuke  .. and wait for it…the transparent cowardice of your denial. Perhaps you overlooked a small detail. Tiny detail really..its just that you  typed words on the page.   Hands in pockets and  think  words really, really hard next time? Just a thought.
It’s not too late for this to morph into a catalyst for positive change. Love yourself a little more and understand that cruelty is a game played in shallow water.  Ultimately you will lose. The rest of us can clearly see your feet.
Signature: Amanda

Dear Amanda,
We do consider this website and our life both to be works in progress and we like to think that we have evolved considerably since we first began writing What’s That Bug? in 1998.  From the very beginning, we have maintained that we have no credentials to provide scientific information and we have always strived for our site to be a pop culture site that is accessible to the average person rather than to be a true scientific endeavor targeting intellectual specialists.  That there is “nothing here of more knowledge or with more information than a public high school text book” is not a problem in our mind because there is no requirement that the web browsing public possesses a college degree.  Many children visit our site and a high school text book would be quite educational.  Out of concern for younger readers, we try our best to keep a clean site, so we do not use vulgar language. 

We always defer to true experts, so we question your allegations of our “wildly unwarranted superiority.”  With that stated, your comment has us a bit confused.  There is some praise there, but it is overshadowed by your criticism of our editorial stance.  We are well aware that once content enters cyberspace, it gains a life of its own and it is nearly impossible to rescind, so we actually do carefully consider our words prior to hitting the publish button.  We are not infallible and we do not apologize for our ego.  It can be argued that anyone who enters public life in any way, be it running a blog or running for public office, has an inflated ego. 

Your comment seems to refer to a specific posting with “a schoolyard comment from another reader” and our “transparent cowardice” and what you perceive as “cruelty” on our part, but without a real citation to correspond to your criticism on how we have chosen to run our own public site, we can neither justify our stance nor clarify or defend the meaning of what we have written.  Clearly your background in biology and your position as a government employee has prepared to to analyze our psyche.  In our opinion, your focus on our use of occasional sarcasm vastly overshadows the public service we provide free of charge.

Elise from Facebook Comments.
January 24 at 6:21pm
Love your page, and appreciate that you tried to interpret that sometimes incoherent comment. The poster seems to lack both a sense of humor and a mastery of basic sentence structure. Keep doing what you do.

15 thoughts on “10th Nasty Reader Award: A Reader Comments on our Attitude”

  1. I have been a fan of your site for a very long time and a fan of bugs all my life. I love the way you answer the public’s questions in layman’s terms; I love your colourful and interesting responses often filled with great enthusiam; I love that you are helpful and encouraging; and, most of all, I love the fact that you stress having a relationship with our buggy friends instead of killing them. Your website is invaluable in helping people to understand and appreciate how vital bugs are to us and our ecosystems.
    Amanda’s note was dry, condescending and had more egotism in the credential dropping first paragraph than I have ever seen from anyone running this website.
    Amanda is why people come to you and not seek out government hired biologists to help them learn about, and exist with, our bug brethren.
    Keep up the fabulous work, What’s That Bug! We love you and your website.

  2. Well, …. it could be a qualifier …..for “someone ” to take a Much Needed Government Vacation . We see it all the Time……Perhaps visit the Relaxing Natural World and all its beauty in a way such as …… say…. Bird Watching …..or….Wine Tasting …… Possibly… Both ! But, that is just me . No matter how you fill a cup of water……..someone Always has a different view . Keep up the Good Work ” Whatsthatbug” …. your Effort is Noticed , provides a ” Free Valuable Specimen Identification Service ” and you make a Difference . The Long Winded Rant was Possibly …..irrational, non specific, and irrational without any Real Point…….. That is All…..and keeping both boots on the Slippery Ground…..I have to go Outside and clear some more Sierra Snow now . Cheers , Gene St. Denis

    • Thanks Gene. Our staff is going to appreciate the late afternoon Los Angeles light while shredding 9 cabbages to start a new crock of kraut right now.

  3. Funny, I’ve never noticed an attitude. Some people just love to whine I guess. Whatever, chalk that up to another person with way too much time on their hands.

  4. It’s like some people think they can use fancy language and act smart on the internet and then are instantly regarded as someone of importance. This person talks about an “ego” in this site, but I think maybe they should be looking at their own ego. If they truly thought this site was lacking intelligent information or was run in a poor fashion, they’d point out politely the issues, as doing so in such a accusatory way is obviously not going to accomplish anything.

    I’m glad to see another nasty reader award, especially one so well-deserved.

  5. I’ve been visiting this site for a few years now, and I can tell you folks that you are doing a great job. The biggest thing you’ve done in my thinking is to raise awareness in the creepy-crawlies of nature and show them to be not creepy.
    The point of the site is to identify a creature you come across on a day-to-day basis, and inform people which creatures are helpful, harmful, or a pest or nuisance. From there, anyone can research deeper into them. This is inspiring, especially from a scientific standpoint, in a day and age which is more and more further removed from nature. It helps get people interested in science, and maybe even inspire and guide people into scientific fields of study, possibly even to solve problems that threaten or may threaten the human or the natural world.
    Any resource, online or otherwise, which can really educate and inspire the public about aspects of nature of which people are inclined to be at least annoyed or at worst terrified is, in my opinion, indispensable.
    This site is probably one of the best on the internet and one of the best ideas to help everyone- from scientists who need to find an image for comparison or study, to some guy who wants to know what the heck just stung him.
    t may even lead to people not only understanding “bugs”, but maybe even finding a favorite! Every contribution to the site is an expansion of the database of insects and also to human knowledge. There is nothing arrogant, egotistical or apathetic about that.
    Anyone who has a problem with an information seeking and informative website dedicated to collaborative learning obviously hates knowledge and has no interest and frankly, no place in the world. Such people should be, on general principle, avoided and shunned.
    And if you’re occasionally condescending, my guess is it’s from having to deal with people like Amanda here.

    What I’d like to know is: What’s That Bug… that crawled up Amanda’s butt? Any theories?

    Thank you for your hard work, please continue it and ignore nitwits like her.

    Sean (in Kentucky)

    • Hi Sean,
      Thank you for your very kind comment. The idea of “Citizen Science” is being embraced by many museums who now track sightings of plants and animals using information reported by the average person using a cellular telephone with its image taking ability. What’s That Bug? was conceived prior to phones with cameras, but that innovation has greatly increased the submissions we are receiving. In response to the one question you posed, perhaps Amanda is being troubled by a Soil Centipede.

  6. Hey Amanda, no doubt your ego has you coming back to check how devastated everyone is by your withering analysis of this site and its hosts. While you are here I am wondering if the words mote, beam and eye might ring a bell for you? Oh and Peace Out? The 70’s called, they want their tag line back.

  7. I think this is an awesome site, where I can get some very interesting information when I don’t know what kind of bug I have seen.

    Keep up the good work and thank you,
    I will keep on telling others about your web site.


Leave a Comment