Friday, September 26, 2008

A Little Sheepish - A Webshots Follow-Up

Well, I have to admit, I'm feeling a little sheepish and slightly speechless (but only slightly; you know me!). First, I would like to say hi to Jessica, in case she comes back to read my blog again. And I will assume that it is okay for me to quote the comment she left, since she did indeed post it publicly. So, here is her comment on my Webshots post from Tuesday (and I would use the quotes thing, but it honks up the formatting for anything posted after it):

"My name is Jessica, and I am the Webshots editor who wrote that "been busy" email. I am sorry that reading it gave you a guilt trip as I was only hoping to remind you to upload your awesome photos, such as those of Luke, so you can share them with your friends and family. That said, I know we all have a hard time uploading because we are *so* busy, so maybe I will rework the email to speak to that. I also wanted to remind you that we are having a Grand Opening Special at the new Webshots store right now: 50 FREE 4x6 prints! Just enter coupon code NEWSTORE at checkout, where the discount will be applied, and all you pay is shipping. The offer is good until 9/30/2008, so perhaps you'll have some time this weekend in between changing lights (for me, it's hanging pictures!) to get some prints. Cheers!"

I wanted to be sure and quote her entire comment, so I am leaving the bit about the offer (which I just might avail myself of) that I might normally remove.

Jessica, I don't know if you'll actually see this, but I'm going to post it anyway. Thank you for leaving me a comment, and thank you for caring so much about your customers. Let me say that I love my Webshots accounts, all of them (I think I have 3; one in regular use, one with infrequent use, and one I don't remember touching in ages). The account in regular use is a pay account, the other two are free. I love the service and the ease of use, and I routinely recommend them to friends when people ask about online photo hosting sites. So no worries! I am a very happy customer.

I also think the reminder email that I referenced is just fine, so please Jessica, don't change it just on my account! I was, to a certain extent, joking about the email making me feel guilty. What actually happened is that I was (am) *already* feeling guilty about not having taken many pictures lately (I am a wannabe "wannabe photographer," if that makes any sense). I've had intentions to take Luke to the park for weeks now, both just to let him play and in the hopes of getting some good pictures, and somehow the weekends keep slipping away without any photos or trips to much of anywhere. Photography sites are always extolling the virtues of just picking up the camera and taking pictures of your everyday life, but unless something "noteworthy" happens, it doesn't occur to me to photograph it! (Which I guess makes me a very lousy wannabe photog, LOL!) I just don't have the "eye" to make good photos out of random everydayness. Yes, I know you have to do it to develop such an eye. I'll get to it one day....

Anyway, my point is that the email didn't make me feel guilty. I was already feeling guilty. What the email did was make me realize just *how* long it had been since I had uploaded pictures (I've taken a few, but not many, since my last upload session). So instead of just saying that, I used the email as a platform to express my guilt about being so busy that I haven't bothered taking any photos worth uploading lately.

Rereading my post, I can definitely see that it can sound much more serious than I intended for it to be! Jessica, I can only imagine what it was like to do a search on Webshots, something you clearly care about, and have *that* title pop up. I am so sorry if anyone thought that I was truly upset! Just another lesson in "be careful what you say and how you say it, especially online." It is so easily to misunderstand things without tone of voice and body language to rely on. I *know* that. I've been part of an online community for years; I know how easy it is for that to happen. I didn't think anything of it because most of the people who read my blog actually know me, and (I think/hope) most of them know I was being a little sarcastic and self-mocking. Nothing I said is really inaccurate. I was feeling guilty at the time, and the email did make me feel just a *smidge* guiltier, but it would not have bothered me if I wasn't already feeling guilty when I received it. Am I making any sense, or just babbling? (Never mind, don't answer that.) Anyway, so, to Jessica, everything is fine! Really, the email is fine. In fact, I have received that very same email more than once (bad mom, LOL! (I'm kidding, I'm kidding!)), and never had a second thought about it. My friend Christine commented that the emails do make her feel guilty sometimes, too, so I'm not completely out of my mind. But Jenny said it had never occurred to her to feel guilty when she received the email, and like her, it had never bothered me until Tuesday in particular. ::shrug:: Just some interesting points to ponder.

And can I just say that it is really awesome that Webshots does searches on the web to see what their customers are saying about them to try and improve service! Jessica, I don't know if that is officially part of your job or just something you do on your own, but it's really an incredibly astute business practice. People are a whole lot more likely to make comments about things (good and bad) on their blogs and such than they are to actually contact the company. It's just such a good idea! So, well done! I hope Webshots continues to rely on customer feedback, both formal and informal, to keep improving their already fabulous service.

So, definitely feeling a little sheepish that the author of the email felt I was upset by something she wrote, when I really wasn't. So sorry about that! But also feeling rather amazed that she would both leave me a comment and consider changing the wording just because of something *I* said.

Isn't the internet amazing!!
Currently feeling: *who* left me a comment?!


  1. I don't know. I guess I would find it a tiny bit disconcerting to be sought out and then for an advertisement to be left in the comments space of my personal blog. (In fact, I don't think it would get past my spam filter anyway).

    No need to feel sheepish, and no need to have a guilt trip either :)

  2. I agree with Melanie. Erin, you did nothing wrong. We all rant on our blogs. We're entitled. I actually ranted on mine 4 or so years ago about some bad service fron an online LNS, and she left a comment defending herself. That really pissed me off. I was telling the truth, she wasn't one of my regular readers, and I felt she took advantage of my comments section.

    Anyway. Don't feel bad. And welcome to the open mouth, insert foot area that is my life. LOL


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