by Roseille ♥
How many people look at an anonymous review and shudder?
Originally written in 2005, when I was 15, but some of it is still relevant, I think.
It's overdue for major revision, I know.
What do you think when you think of Anonymous?
It wouldn't be such a bad thing if everyone on this site could recognize Anonymous as an angel. I've received many kind gifts of GPs from Anonymous folks, and a few month- or two-month-long upgrades. This unrecognized Good Samaritan has brightened up many of my days. I smile to think of the wonderful things that have come to me with no signature.
Still, many people run around randomly bestowing 1.0 or 2.0 ratings with hateful comments or no comments at all, and tarnish the good name of Anonymous. Hidden behind a mask, these people demean and thrash others publicly or ream them out and condescend to them in private. Anonymous can be a monster, too.
So what do you think when you think of Anonymous? I hope you think of the former example, but sadly, many people don't. (There was certainly a rash of cruelty going on when this item was originally penned. Many folks, back then, logged on to find that a story's average rating dropped a star because of a 1.0 without comment.) Some people on this site can probably identify, though our local Masters and Mistresses of Stories have worked hard to cut down on problems like these.
I know not all anonymous ratings and reviews are like this. I know there have to be exceptions. Perhaps a person gives a low rating, intending to return and give comments, but never does. Maybe they are afraid to hurt the person and can't bear to say something mean, so simply give what they consider a reasonable rating and head out.
I guess what gets to me, either way, is that the person hides behind the mask of anonymity to land their blows. I have given low rates myself, but I always try to balance my suggestions with positive points. Just recently, I read a story. Many words were misspelled, and the punctuation could have been a lot better. Reading on, I realized that the user was not an English speaker. I was amazed that he had mastered as much English as he had. At another time, I saw a very interesting story where seemingly obvious words were misspelled. I discovered that the author struggled with dyslexia.
There are many, many people on this site who, for some reason or another, have trouble with writing. Most are earnest in their efforts to write and improve. Some are young. Encourage them to keep writing rather than sending them away from the site in tears. We're such an amazing community here—full of people who love words and stories, and we're all here to grow and learn and find people like us.
Please do your part in making Anonymous a friend again!
If you are going to send an anonymous review, please make it a kind one. Too many abuse the right, using the opportunity to vent their anger, knowing that their spiteful words won't be attached to them.
Do a nice review for someone—anonymously! Put it on the public page.
If you are going to give a review with a low rating, give the author the courtesy of reviewing it in your name. I've sent reviews with low ratings, and it was stressful. I was afraid that the person would be discouraged and stop writing or that they'd be really mad. Surprisingly, all the replies to those reviews have been kind. Sending a low rating without a review leaves many writers hurt and confused. Imagine if one of your own works—one you had worked very hard on—received a 2.5 without any explanation. Recipients of such ratings wonder what they could have done to make their work better. What was so wrong? Though it is good to use the entire rating scale, send a comment with each low rating, and take care to offer encouragement along with your advice. Give the author an opportunity to improve.
Visit the public page and keep an eye out for helpful, kind, and constructive reviews. Drop them a few GPS... anonymously.
Have you received an anonymous gift? Pay it forward (anonymously, of course) .
I hope, one day, that we can all think of Anonymous as an Angel. By all means, if you have an opinion, give it! But don't hide who you are. If you would not want your words to be attached to your name, don't say them.
What to do if you receive an anonymous review:
There are a lot of people on this site who do amazingly kind things for other members, and choose not to include their names. I would like to thank those people here. That is a truly selfless act.
If you receive such a kind review, thank the user honestly. They give Anonymous a good name! Their kindness is inspiring. Something many users don't know is that you can always thank that person for their kindness. Just like any normal review, if you use the feedback box at the bottom, they will receive your thanks! *
*This was the case at the time I wrote this, at least. I think it may still be.
If you have gotten a bigger present from Anonymous, such as an upgrade, a costumicon, raffle tickets, or GPs, then you can always express your gratitude in this forum here.
However, if the review you receive is not kind, ranting and cussing is not going to help. Of course, it may make you feel better, but dealing cruelty in response to cruelty is not a long term solution. If you feel you're being harassed, you can submit a harassment complaint. Use this survey to do so.
There are some private forums on this site where you can get honest, constructive reviews, but one of the best places to go is the "Please Review" page. The folks who post there are generally serious about their writing, and the reviewers who evaluate the work on the page are just as serious about providing thoughtful feedback. The "Plug" page is a great place to post work you're proud of, too.
No one person can change the views of all of the people here. But if just a few of us work to make this a better place, we might change the public perception of Anonymous. (I think, in the years since I first wrote this, we've made great strides.) I'm not even sure if this item is of any use, anymore!
I couldn't imagine where I would be write-wise without the help of all the members here. I hope to help others improve, just like so many have helped me. Anonymous or not, make your comments ones you would like to receive. Give the people here a chance. They might just surprise you with how quickly they can grow!