Sunday, May 22, 2016
I've been watching the probably unsurprising uproar about the changes to the SparkPages since I first clicked on a blog link on my Friend Feed and realized there was a change. The changes are fine. I agree that the old pages looked, well, old. These are more modern, and everything is still there.
My feelings toward the people who were upset by the changes have morphed from sympathy to amusement to fremdscham to utter disgust.
I understood them first. I saw myself in the angry mob--when SP changed the Friend Feed and the Fitness Trackers, I got really upset. I was annoyed that the links on the Friend Feed weren't underlined and that we didn't have the option to see what blogs our friends were commenting on. With the Fitness Tracker, I was upset because the demos didn't have a button to add the exercise to the tracker. Man, was I mad! But the only people who seemed mad about it were me and, like, two other people.
Over time, it turned out that my opinions were so very right, because all three of my issues were solved over time. So I feel confident in saying that the big issues that haven't yet been solved (the white some say is blinding being more subdued, your view of your own page being in perpetual Edit Mode, etc.) will be eventually.
As the hubbub has continued, my sympathy turned to amusement and maybe a bit of passive jealousy. I get that some people are bummed out, but I wish my life was so stress-free that something like this could upset me to such a huge extent that I've seen from some of the people here (very few of my friends, fortunately, or unfortunately, since some of my friends have real problems)! I'm not talking about those who are bummed out. I'm talking about the ones who are simply embarrassing themselves with their childish behavior.
I'm talking about the people who are screaming "FREEDOM OF SPEECH!" like that applies in this situation. It reminds me of the Friend Feed--I wear glasses, but I don't consider myself visually impaired, but that didn't stop me from shrieking "ACCESSIBILITY!" to try to get people to see the IMPORTANCE of this transgression.
The people who in less than a day seemed to forget how much creative control they actually had over their pages, saying their artistic masterpieces have been RIPPED from them. You got to choose a picture and a color. They are both still there. You had three pictures posted on your front page. You still do.
The people accusing SP of using the SparkPages to show them advertising. This is probably true. Not even probably. This is definitely true. My question is, "SO?" How much money do we pay to use SparkPeople? How much money do you even imagine it takes to run a website this size? Maintain servers? Maintain pages? Pay salaries? Pay rent and utilities on an office space? If they CAN manage this with the ads they already have, then I salute them.
The corollary to this is the ones saying they will leave SparkPeople, and then what will the advertisers do? There was a subset suggesting going to let the advertisers know that they were leaving. I can almost guarantee that these people never clicked the ads, at least not on purpose.
Let me throw out a number for you: 7000. What is that? It's a conservative estimate of the number of people who have joined the SparkTeam SP Class of May 15 - 21, 2016 from Wednesday to Saturday.
So if you hate SP so much, then that's okay. Go. But go for you, because you dislike it. Don't go to make some sort of statement. Because you won't.
But the part that is turning this to disgust for me? The sheer nastiness I'm seeing on the Boards directed at the SP staff. Sarcastic, ugly, immature responses. It's sad that there are people saying SP doesn't think of them as individuals and forget that the coaches aren't robots, either. Last night, I read a blog that was proudly linked by the author on one of the threads that compared SparkPeople changing the layout of their website to rape. That is so incredibly offensive, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. It crossed a line, and people are all over that blog telling her how right she is. Seriously? It's not right to compare SparkPeople's staff to rapists. It's wrong and very troubling.
If you are behaving this way, then yes, please be one of those people, make good on the threats and just go--leave this community that hasn't charged you a cent and has gotten even less in return. Frankly, if I'm SparkPeople, once you start comparing my staff to rapists, I'd get out the ban hammer. It's so low and disrespectful to them and to people who have experienced real violence to have such a small thing as a website layout compared to it. I read an article recently about firing your worst customer. SparkPeople should start considering it.