Where’s The Beef?

Monday, November 19th, 2007
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Dancing Cowlol, remember “where’s the beef?” I sure don’t. I think I’m a year or two too young. Sigh.

This is my post about beef. My beefs, that is. I should mention before I start that sometimes I will get a little yell-y, but if you’re guilty of one of these things believe me when I say that I mean this is in the nicest way possible. Most of this is just venting. Venting and constructive criticism. I hope people who read this won’t get offended, but instead will stop doing the things that I talk about here. Mostly, I hope people will stop doing the things that I’m talking about happening on Flickr. Some of it is getting out of hand, and it’s only getting worse because people see it happening, think it’s ok, and start doing it themselves even if they a) know it’s not allowed or b) haven’t checked to make sure it’s allowed. So please, don’t be upset if I’ve offended you, I just have to get this off my chest. You’re welcome to start a discussion with me in the comments but if I get any responses that are overly unnecessary (swearing, death threats, yo momma jokes) I have every right to delete them or censor them. Children read this blog! This blog is very popular among babies who knit. Now, on to the griping :)

  • Beef #1: People who violate Flickr’s Terms of Service because they either a) didn’t bother to read them, b) think they’re immune because they’re “indie” artists, or c) saw someone else do it and thought it was ok because they also did either a) or b). Linking to your etsy page is not only against the rules, it’s in bad taste. You can put a link in your profile page if you want to sell your stuff, but please don’t use Flickr as your own personal store. It’s also not ok to mention on the image page that it’s for sale. (This is coming straight from the Flickr people.) And no, don’t do that sneaky “see more of my stuff at ***.etsy.com.” That’s what it is, it’s sneaky. If I see things like that, I get instantly turned off. Take it from a consumer: if I see something I really like, I will go to the profile and see if there’s a pattern or a place where I can buy it. I come to Flickr to look at pretty pictures, not ads. If I wanted to buy things, I would go to etsy directly.
    • Beef #1.1: People who spam Flickr pools with 100 images of the same style of cape or hat or whatever but in different colours. Invariably, these are people who are trying to sell them which makes it even more annoying. I don’t care about the hats you’re crocheting for your Blythe dolls! Please don’t spam! It hurts the pool and the people who use it to share the knits they’ve created that are being swamped out by yours.
    • Beef #1.2: Additionally, if you display an image on your blog and don’t link back to Flickr, that’s not only a violation of the agreement but it’s just not right. The Internet is built on reciprocity! Be a good netizen and link back.
  • Beef #2: people who go crazy over copyright. Welcome to the Internet, knitters! The rules here are different than in fleshspace. (Sounds dirty, dunnit?) I come from the cult of Stallman (+100 geek points for a Stallman reference!), aka the copyleft movement that I believe all parts of the Internet should follow. The internet is free! That is, if I grab an image and want to show it on my blog, you can be damned sure I’ll host it myself and I don’t think I should be harrassed for that. If you link the image to the person who made it, I don’t think it’s a problem. This applies to quotes, as well. People take the Internet too seriously sometimes, instead of letting us all frolic and bask in a world free of narcs.
  • Beef #3: online knitting patterns for $6 each. It’s a great way to make money, for sure, but if you take a look at Rowan books (as an example of the most expensive books I can think of), they provide about 30 styles for $24. That’s less than a dollar a pattern. Even if you’re only knitting six of the thirty patterns, that’s still only $4 a pattern. I know it’s a hard-knock life for all those Internet knitters out there, but do you really think your pattern is worth more than a professional magazine’s, especially considering that you don’t have to pay for photographers and full-colour glossy paper? At the very least, bundle your patterns! I would buy a series of patterns by you for $10, but $6 for every single pattern you’re selling? That means if I want to buy four of your patterns (I’m looking at you, zephyr style), I’m paying about the same as if I were to buy Rowan 43. And Rowan 43 has pretty pictures, so that’s a bit more tempting. (Note: I reserve the right become a hypocrite later if I ever decide to sell my own patterns, because seriously, how can you not get in on that action? That’s a frickin’ goldmine.)
  • Beef #4: Blogs without RSS 2.0. I read all my blogs through a feed reader, and it messes up if I only have an RSS 1.0 or atom feed. If you only offer an RSS 0.9/1.0 or ATOM file, look into RSS 2.0! You will not regret it. It will gain you one extra reader, and that reader will be me.
  • Beef #5: Title-only RSS feeds. You think it means that people will go to your blog in order to view your post, but all it does is make me unsubscribe. Instead of getting people to go to your post by providing no information on whether it’s interesting or not, provide some content in your feed and focus on attracting commenters.
  • Beef #6: Not having a baby. Babies are so easy to knit for and they will wear anything you put on them because they can’t beat you up. I want a baby! It is the ultimate fashion accessory.

What’s your beef?

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8 Comments to “Where’s The Beef?”

  1. Ooh, I totally agree with you on Beef #5. But alack, some well-written/well-known blogs do it too, (in fact I just had to click through to one from my reader), which means I can’t unsubscribe to all blogs which do that! Beef #6 could have been an issue, but luckily, lots of friends and people around me are happy to oblige, and there’s the added joy of being able to give the baby back at the end of the day! :razz:
    I might have a related beef, though, Beef #6.1 If someone makes something for your baby, would you mind taking a picture of it on the baby before consigning it to the incinerator/garbage? Thanks!

    **beefs, beeves, beefs, beeves….**

    Comment by
    Swapna
    November 19, 2007 @ 9:49 am
  2. lol, there is a baby at my parents’ church for whom I am tempted to knit a baby surprise jacket… I don’t know the mom very well, but if she’s a good Christian, she’ll accept it and be happy, darnit!

    I second #6.1. I gave a baby jacket and delightful booties to my boss and he said he would post a picture to his babylog and never did. Sigh… I should email him.

    Hm, you bring up a good point. Beefs or beeves?

    Comment by Eve
    November 19, 2007 @ 11:58 am
  3. I don’t like it when people do creepy things like “favourite” all my sock knitting pictures because they have a thing for feet……Not sure if it is a legitimate “beef”, but there it is.

    Comment by Carol
    November 19, 2007 @ 12:41 pm
  4. lol, ew

    Comment by Eve
    November 20, 2007 @ 11:49 am
  5. Oh, very well said! I agree with most of what you’ve written – especially the pattern prices – I always offer mine for free then get people emailing/commenting as to why don’t I value my creativity more and that I’m making them look bad!!! Go figure.
    #2: Hmmm, I sometimes get a big huffy if I see my photo on another blog [linked or otherwise]… maybe I should just get over myself! ;)

    Comment by Nora
    November 26, 2007 @ 3:06 pm
  6. I’m happy you offer your patterns for free! They’re really beautiful. And yes, I was surprised they were free as well :)

    Comment by Eve
    November 26, 2007 @ 8:17 pm
  7. I agree with you on #3. But if you think knitting patterns are expensive, you should see the pdf beading pattern prices. I’ve seen some that run from $25 to $40, just for the PDF file! of a single project! The $40 one was a peyote bracelet pattern. Sheesh! What’s the overhead on this? A bit of page maintainance and a monthly ISP fee? No need to put out thousands of dollars to have them printed up.

    I strongly object. Especially after recently purchasing one of Diane Fitzgerald’s new books for $25 just chock full of beading patterns. (Diane is a very well known bead weaving designer).

    Ah, thanks for the vent. Much appreciated.

    Comment by Beadknitter
    November 27, 2007 @ 9:41 pm
  8. EAT MOR CHICKEN =)) I can’t spell like the Chic Filet Cows – I can’t think of any beefs at the moment. I’ve broken a couple of Flickr laws before I realized it, by using it to host my buttons (which I no longer use) but no serious felonies. (are there any felonies that aren’t serious?) ANYWAY it’s always fine to vent on your own blog, or someone else’s if they ask.

    Be glad you don’t know the “Where’s the beef” commercial, it was a little freaky to me =)

    Comment by April
    December 1, 2007 @ 5:29 pm

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