Diary of a Runner - Potential Issue

Just reviewed Diary of a Runner, but a look at their facebook page has given me second thoughts. Let me open by saying that if any problems arise, please do take down my review.

I'm talking in particular about the following:

Check out this guy slamming my shit and giving me a horrible review. It can be found at webfictionguide.com where apparently anyone can review anyone else's stuff. Good times :)

2 of 5 stars

Run the other direction

By Gavin Williams, author of The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

[a transcript of the review follows]

The comments include:

? Perhaps an email blitz to his personal account from the Hoarde??? I wonder who's smart enough to get his address...hmmmm

? (Someone
did find & post his email)

Given the timing of the two reviews appearing & the subsequent downvoting of Gavin's review, I suspect the two five star reviews came from people on Steve Kuhn's facebook friends list. The tone of the comments on the page make me worry that they're going to either post a flood of new reviews for his work to bump up the rating or find other ways to retaliate for poor reviews. I'm ok if that retaliation is directed at me, but I don't want (more?) grief for Webfictionguide. So just wanted to give a heads up & let you know I'm ok with whatever you decide to do with my review (including cutting any review-responses short by deleting it).

Oh, good grief! What is <i>wrong</i> with people?

I really would rather not see reviews deleted unless they a libelous or otherwise actionable -- we're all enriched by a variety of opinion. (But I too understand that sometimes it's just not worth the grief.)


FYI, You want to use em instead of i for italics. {em}wrong{/em} using the greater/less than symbols.

Took me a little bit to figure out. Bold is {strong}.

Seems he's posted on his story's facebook page about my review. Wondering how this will unfold.

Thanks. Frankly, when I go into a new forum, I tend to just use my fallback underscores (which are easier to type), since they all seem to use different codings. (Let's try this out again.)


The point of WFG is that ANYONE can review a story. That is indeed "good times." If a fan wants to review a story that's the point - people being vocal about what they care about is a good thing. Clearly they see something of value and so their opinion will carry weight with readers of a similar sensibility.

But dissenting opinions are a good thing too - not everyone has the same perspective, taste or priorities. Retaliating against negativity is kind of an over-reaction: if what you're doing works for you and your fans, who cares what anyone else thinks?

(Especially if the negative critic is unpublished, online and has virtually no influence on the world, a world which barely acknowledges online fiction anyway)

There wouldn't be Adam Sandler movies if critics decided budgets, but some of his movies are among my favourites. Let's face it - few of us are making money at online writing and none of us are famous. Retaliating for a personal review of an unpublished novel is like starting a war because someone critiqued the architecture of our sandcastle. In a hundred years no one would know it mattered.

And if it's good enough to get published and be remembered a century from now, one unprofessional review won't stop that from happening. The practical response to criticism is to concentrate on writing, learn where you can, and connect with fans.

Besides, "hoard" is what you do when you over-collect, a large group is a "horde" - and if my dry 3 paragraph review was a "slam" people should check out my earlier negative critiques: I have calmed down quite a bit.

As evidence of how incosequential a review is: I wrote mine in April and it got noticed in July. Not a big impact worth noticing, really.

I review from my own point of view and don't speak for anyone else. People can agree or disagree, that doesn't change the fact we all have the right to our opinions and are free to express them civilly.

Oh, I do agree, Gavin.

That said, my concern is more on the front that these guys seem to be all riled up to retaliate or mess with reviewers and/or the site (email bombing, spamming reviews) and I wanted people to know what was up, just in case.

I don't speak for Chris but I'm pretty sure a blatant attempt to disrupt the site would result in bans. If someone tries to spam email, well, that's what spam filters are for.

Fair enough.

"And if it's good enough to get published and be remembered a century from now, one unprofessional review won't stop that from happening."

Heck, if it's good enough to be a classic, it will likely garner a whole HECK of a lot of negative reviews, unprofessional or not.


I'm not overly concerned. It won't be the first time it's happened. Won't even be the first time it's happened over a review of a zombie story. ;-)

If he does threaten to sue somebody, it won't be the first time for that either...

Oh... And Wildbow, I just checked the story's Facebook page. You too are now regarded as an awful human being. That said, no one's organizing a lynching for the moment. They also haven't listed your email address.

Related to that, I'm hoping Gavin isn't getting mailbombed. No one deserves to get persecuted for a review on a website.

... I have two minds about this.

One the one hand, the idea of a reviewer being harassed for posting a review, for any reason, is abhorrent to me.

On the other hand, the idea that a webfiction piece has fans that are RABID ENOUGH TO HARASS PEOPLE is HILARIOUS. Also, we need to figure out how he did that so we can do it ourselves. Then we need to set our hordes of fans against each other and see who comes out on top. Then we will crown that webfiction author KING or QUEEN.

But do we have any evidence that the "hordes" are anything more than a couple of weenies with too much time on their hands? (Or even just one with enough tech savvy to sign up for fake accounts?)

My recollection of the Facebook TOS is that you cannot use their service to harass any individual or to participate in illegal activity. If people are using the service to plan harassment, report them. I can only do things about bad behaviour here.

ubersoft - I think the fans are rabid because they're all his immediate family & friends.

Just stepped away for a few hours, time to check out how out of control this has gotten.

It hasn't gotten bad at all. It's just nasty words, all of which are contained on their Facebook page.

No big deal.

It's natural to feel unhappy about a bad review, and to blow off steam about it to people who will be sympathetic. Its interesting though, how privately blowing off steam about it to "your group" (wherever that may be) is very, very public when it's on the internet--even if you don't actually do anything about it.

Sounds like it's just typical internet big talk. The immaturity aside, I can relate to the author's feelings. It sucks big time to put time and effort into something, and finally get feedback to find out that you've been trashed. WFG shouldn't remove any reviews, though. It's providing a platform and that's cool. What people do with it is up to them.

Interesting. I just looked at Diary of a Runner's Facebook page. Apparently someone from there hacked Gavin's site. To be fair, the writer discouraged anyone from doing that sort of thing again, but this is messed up.

To the Runner that hacked Gavin's (bad review guy) blog and made his frontpage say "Dext Owns You!": Thanks for the support and I thought it was absolutely hilarious but we should play fair next time. Poor guy didn't know who he was messing with. Also, new entry tomorrow! I promise it will shock you!

That barely sounded like discouragement. In fact, the 'next time' implies just the opposite.

I have to say I'm baffled at the zealous following he seems to have.

Am I missing something? I've never seen anything of the sort.