I try to be a good member of the Zazzle community.
I genuinely enjoy helping people, so I'm always eager to help newbies get started or help a veteran sort out a dilemma, but lately I've become soured on the whole experience.
When I stumbled across a suspicious store, I made the mistake of seeking the input of my fellow ProSellers. It wasn't long before I had a shopkeeper jumping down my throat for making accusations and jumping to conclusions and "starting a fishing expedition", when everything I was trying to do was to AVOID that. I got no backup, and I was basically told that what I was doing was libel and I was a bad, evil person for trying to verify that someone was actually stealing graphics BEFORE reporting them.
So I was a little put off from the forums for a while, but I did eventually come back, and I did get involved again. I eventually decided to follow through with an idea I'd had a while back, and establish a place where Zazzle users could gather and chat without having to worry about whether or not their discussions were "Zazzle related". (The Zazzle forums no longer provide a place for shopkeepers to just discuss whatever is on their mind--if it isn't Zazzle related, the post is removed.) I started a Yahoo group for Zazzlers, and after a slow start, it experienced a sudden boom in membership when I posted an open invitation in the forums. In a single day, it went from only a handful of members and rare posts to a bustling conversation...
But just as quickly as it blossomed, it was cut down.
ONE PERSON saw fit to piss in everyone's lemonade. A comment that was made in the Yahoo Group was taken out of context and posted in the Zazzle forum with a remark to the effect, "and I bet they're just falling over themselves to help a backstabber like you."
Mind you, the post that was copied out of the yahoo group was innocent enough. It was only an expression of frustration that Zazzle will address some concerns but not others--a fact we have all been discussing openly on the Zazzle forums themselves! It wasn't as though we'd snuck off to some dark alley to slander Zazzle's good name or badmouth it where the staff couldn't see, but because this one person with an overzealous and poorly-executed loyalty to Zazzle, it seemed the group was doomed to die as quickly as it had come to life.
The unsubscribe notices keep appearing in my inbox, and I can't blame the people leaving at all. I offered them a sanctuary, and that sanctuary was violated. Needless to say, I'm livid... Not because my yahoo group was trod upon, but because someone was so arrogant and self-righteous that they felt the need to hurt a good and honest person who was only voicing her opinion.
After a few hours to cool down, I posted a very colorful message to the one responsible for this whole drama, and set to work on a new retreat for my fellow Zazzlers--a forum this time, and one that is not visible to non-members.
If this falls through, then I'm done. I will just keep my nose in my own business from now on and leave the forums to fend for themselves. I've tried to be a good person, but I'm still human, and I have limits like anyone else.