When Bloggers Disappoint

About every two weeks, I have a reader who uses the same IP but a different name and email to voice their complaint. It started innocently enough one April evening when the reader had enough of the videos that I frequently post and decided to do something about it:

Name: Peter | E-mail: pete@pete.com | IP: 24.22.17.xx

This video was a complete waste of my time. I am going to stop visiting your blog unless you post things of interest and of value. Wasting 4 minutes of my time like this is not of value. Wise up and do not post every stupid video you come across.

Posted Apr 7, 5:56 PM

Away Peter went, satisfied that he had destroyed my will to blog.

“From now on, before Chris posts a video that I’m not interested in, he will think of my comment and tremble with fear,” Peter yells out triumphantly as he picks his nose searching for an after dinner snack.

Ten days later, Peter is back to find another YouTube clip.

“Impossible!” He screams as he kicks the table, nearly knocking over the glass of warm kitten blood he has freshly squeezed a few minutes earlier. “I voiced my criticism in the form of a comment. He has to abide by it.” Taking a deep breath, Peter comments again.

Name: Peter | E-mail: peter@peter.com | IP: 24.22.17.xx

This blog used to post cleverness, but now too often it merely posts a video and expects us to waste 10 minutes of our time getting to the point. People don’t have that kind of time.

This place is really going downhill.

Posted Apr 17, 4:08 PM

Peter chuckles to himself. He has changed his email from pete@pete.com to peter@peter.com. By dropping a consonant he has created a whole new persona. Chris didn’t pay attention to pete@pete.com but peter@peter.com is an email name to be reckoned with.

“Checkmate,” Peter says. He picks up the glass of kitten blood and puts it down in disgust. It took him an hour and 45 minutes to write that comment and another 15 minutes to use the spell checker. The glass of blood is now cold.

More than 2 weeks go by before Peter gets a chance to visit his favorite blog. It has been a rough time for Peter. He had been worried that he has impregnated his girlfriend but it turned out to be a false alarm. Luckily for Peter, humans and poodles can’t produce offspring together. He is now able to concentrate on more important things, like seeing if Cynical-C is still posting videos. The page begins to load. Google ad after google ad appears. Finally, the content appears. Peter finds himself staring at a Youtube video of Wozniak doing a commercial.

“This isn’t happening!” he tells himself. “THIS IS NOT HAPPENING! I’ve done everything I could to save this blog. I’ve written comment after comment and for the love of Xenu, THE VIDEOS ARE STILL THERE!” He flies into a rage, ripping his American Idol posters off the walls. “I TOLD HIM,” he screams as he rips Kelly Clarkson’s poster into shreds, “TO ONLY POST THE THINGS I LIKE!!”. He seizes a Clay Aiken poster from the wall and is about to rip it into two when he suddenly stops. He looks at the the smiling pop star and has an epiphany.

“Ah HA!” he shrieks. “Mr. Aiken, your handsome but effeminate good looks has given me the brainstorm I need to finally defeat my foe at Cynical-C. I will change my ENTIRE NAME!”

He sits down and starts pecking at his crusty keyboard feverishly, struggling to find the name that would command respect.

Name: Ben | E-mail: ben@ben.com | IP: 24.22.17.xx

This blog has really gone downhill. Instead of interesting, thoughtful, and reasoned commentary, all you post now are videos without comment, as if we’re supposed to waste five minutes of our life to see what the point it — and usually, it is not that interesting of a point at all. You are failing in your role as editor and your blog is failing to be interesting. I will not be around much longer.

Posted May 5, 5:54 PM

He hits the submit button and refreshes to see if the comment has been posted correctly. And there it is. He starts chuckling to himself.

“Peter,” he says to himself. “This time, we have him.”

To be continued…


  1. This blog has really gone downhill. You can’t possibly expect readers to spend minutes and minutes reading literally dozens of words. And most of the words weren’t even interesting. There a lot of pronouns! I’m totally leaving soon.

  2. LOL! Apparently, your cookies are so powerful, that they reach out to PP and force him to click on the big arrow that starts the videos. He is putting his compulsive and irresistable curiosity on you. Amazing…

  3. Yes.
    Jon is right. There are far too many words to on this blog. Not to mention the fact that to view the videos, not only do I have to look at them, but I have to actually CLICK on them!
    This blog is really becoming ridiculous with these petty demands on my valuable time!

    P.S.: Your blog has really gone downhill since that Radmila started posting.

  4. Heehee, I wonder how many times he’s going to complain before he gets the idea that its YOUR blog, your decisions. The videos all display the length somewhere or another as soon as you start playing. If you don’t have five minutes to waste, don’t.

    I check total length on all videos before watching, because I’m sometimes under deadline. If I can, I’ll come back later to watch. If not, its my loss (or not) but thats life, and I’m not going to blame anyone for MY decision on how to spend the next few minutes.

    Unless its my kids wasting my time, but thats a lesson I need to teach.

  5. To be fair, he does kinda have a point. If I look at some of the archives, almost every post is something that is interesting and stimulating, and recently it’s almost a stream of youtube clips. Now, a youtube clip here or there is fine, but there are 7 right now on the front page. Peter may be misguided to post under fake emails with the same IP, but he does have a valid point.

  6. That was great! I laughed my ass off. If I didn’t like this blog – I wouldn’t visit it at least once a day. You always have something interesting to show, even if it is a weird old commercial. Keep on, keeping on.

  7. It’s a simple thing to click ON the posted YouTube video and it miraculously opens a window at the YouTube page – where if the stars align properly, you get the description of the video and sometimes more right from YouTube – and as a bonus it will automatically play when you get there. Take that multiple clicks! But oh, wait, you have to close the window after you watch the video.
    I hope this gets resolved with internet 2.0

  8. Jim,

    Here’s the flaw in your comment.

    I don’t post for you or any one individual reader. This blog is a stream of web consciousness for me. This is a hobby, not a job. I don’t care if I have two readers or thousands of readers. If I have to start questioning what readers will like or not like it will be the end of the blogging for me.

    Everyday I get between 12,000 to 15,000 hits and it is impossible to please everyone. Since nobody here is a paying customer then I don’t really quite understand what your objection is.

    BTW, I got the same type of complaints before YouTube became popular. People would get upset that I linked to wikipedia too often.

    I’d love to see the people who complain start a blog and find about a dozen fascinating links every single day.

  9. This post was funny as hell !

    But if you think more about this … Pete won !

    That’s right he push you to write something funny instead of a link to another video without any text …

    Men, that pete is a real criminal mastermind

    But I’m afraid, if he’s able to go that far till the point he lie about his name and mail address, oh well then I don’t want to imagine what else can do to get what he want …

  10. DISCLAIMER: the following is not a complaint. I’m not dissapointed. And would be happy if it were taken only as what it is – a comment on the above post.

    While I get why you’d be pissed at Pete/Peter/Ben I do feel sorta the same.
    I liked it better when it was all about atheism and religion and stuff. With the occassional video or funny link thrown in there.

    Used to be I’d open this blog every few hours or so, daily, to look for gems.
    Nowadays my google reader has cynical-c at 100+ unread.

    Not that you should care. It’s your blog to do with as you wish (naturally!)
    If I don’t like it I’ll just stop visiting – no harm done.

    Thing is, I really LIKED coming here. For me cynical-c was like a filter for all the crap that’s out there. I knew only the good stuff would surface here.

    So this is my 2-cents for more thought provoking stuff or genuinely funny videos (I still get a kick remembering that fat kid on the rollercoaster). Do with it as you will. I’m just a drop in your sea of readers.

    Having said all this I’ll probably spend the next hour going through the last 2 pages or so….

    Also back before I had a blog I used to post under different names every time too. Nothing sinister there. Just couldn’t come up with a handle I was happy with or couldnt remember what I used last time (and the mail I use now is total BS too 😛 )

  11. I liked it better when it was all about atheism and religion and stuff.

    Ok this is exactly my point. Do you know how many people complain that I have too many links on atheism and religion?

  12. I can’t properly express how amused I was by your ‘story.’
    And seriously, it’s your blog, do what you want, and just keep having fun with it – I know I usually have fun visiting this site at least once a day!

  13. I guess I agree with abuyoyo. This is still my favorite blog, but when I first started to read it, every post had something interesting to me. My main reason for reading Cynical-C is not to see funny links and videos. It’s to read Chris’ cynical comments to the links, videos and posts. If I was after only links, I’d read a blog that posts more often. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of gems on Cynical-C that cannot be found elsewhere, or that’s first on Cynical-C, but I miss Chris himself. For me, a blog is an insight to a person’s thoughts, if the blogger stops giving his thoughts on the things he post, the main point behind having the blog kind of disappears. And as much as I disagree with Pete/Peter/Ben, I still think you care about your readers. That’s another reason for having a blog, getting response and comments. I’m sure you love finding that one of your posts is having lots of visitors, or is used by another blog.
    What I guess I’d like to say is, I want you, Chris, to contribute more to your own blog.

  14. Funny stuff. That Pete was asking for that one.

    But now I’m kind of worried to comment freely for fear of being publically ridiculed. I don’t know how to spellt either. And I don’t always say only nice and positive things.

  15. I like cynical-c. It’s one of the blogs I check daily.

    What this guy did is dorky and naive but he does have a point.

    Before YouTube made it so easy to post videos there was a lot more interesting, substantive material on cynical-c. Now, it seems watered down.

    I enjoy something I can sink my teeth into. Please consider focusing more on content other than videos.

    I’ll keep visiting!



  16. Very funny.

    I like the religious-critical theme of the blog and I also really like the new music videos that you’ve been posting – that whole series of surf guitar videos was amazing. Earlier someone said that they liked your site because it was a great filter for all the blog-crap on the web – I agree, and moreover I think that it remains as such.

    But anyway, if someone thinks that it’s possible for a blog to curtail to their interests perfectly then they’re really misguided. I don’t write blogs but I’m pretty sure that the only person that that’s going to be true of is the person who actually writes the blog.

    As for me, this blog lines up pretty well with what I expect and would like it to be – maybe not so true for everybody who reads it.

    (PS, My only criticism is that I never like seeing live leak videos here. I watch a lot of them on their site but, for me, they’re generally much to disturbing when I’ve not mentally prepared to watch them first. I know that you haven’t ever posted anything really graphic and that’s partially why I like your site but it just seems that in general live leak videos can be rough.)

    Also, maybe Pete, or whatever he calls himself, is just some conservative minded citizen worried that Cynical-C is leading people astray. Maybe he just spends his weekends visiting a whole bunch of liberal blogs and writing negative comments on them trying to manufacture descent. In any case, I don’t think that he drinks kitten blood.

    Anyway, keep it up. The video and the commentary on this blog are topnotch.

  17. I really think that people are missing the point of the complaint. Yes, this is a personal blog. No, nobody complaining expects it to exactly meet their needs personally. But the way that it has dramatically shifted from interesting, substantive, and generally funny articles into a repository of youtube music videos with the occasional cat picture….well… it’s kinda disappointing. People get used to a kind of content of a certain blog, and if that content dramatically shifts, you cant’ expect to just chalk it up to people “not realizing it’s a personal blog”. If fark.com started linking to only articles about puppy care, and Drew Curtis used the “it’s my blog, I’ll do what I want” argument, you’d expect people to react, wouldn’t you? Cynical-C has been a solidly entertaining and thought-provoking blog for a long time. The reason people are reacting to the shift is that it is a disappointment to them that for the last month, instead of 2 or 3 interesting articles they’re treated to a kindergarten cop mashup from youtube. It’s like having your favorite restaurant change to a McDonald’s. McDonald’s isn’t necessarily bad, but you miss the unique flavor of your old spot.

    Nobody’s saying that it’s not your blog, or that you can’t do what you’d like to it. Obviously, that’s the case as seen by your temper tantrum this morning. But would you have really gone off on your own readers like that if they hadn’t struck a nerve?

    We miss the old cynical-c: the one who was cynical to the world, not just to his readers.

  18. Gotta love how everyone just says “If you don’t like it, don’t visit/read it.” Yeah see it’s not that simple. Consider the fact that to many of us, (I assume, this is how it is for me at least) we can’t find anything else like it. And who has the time to sit and search through all those blogs out there. I don’t. I like visiting what I know is good. Cynical-C is good. So, I assume that the reason people complain is because they don’t know where they can find what they liked in the old Cynical-C that they are apparently lacking in the “new” Cynical-C.

  19. We miss the old cynical-c: the one who was cynical to the world, not just to his readers.

    We are his world, dammit!

  20. sorry man.
    I really didn’t mean for you to take what I said like taht. I thought my disclaimer was enough to say that I wasn’t complaining.

    The only reason I commented was because you opened a post on the subject. Thought I’d chime in.

    Anyways it’s your blog – I can see how it can be fun to play a little with your readership. I know I would 😀

    Hopefully when this is done we’ll get to see soem more of that sweet stuff I originally came here for.

    Rock on!@

  21. WTF? Hey Chris, if you wanted to get him mad, maybe you get with this post nd with all the posts today. But I’m glad that I don’t come here. I just come to post comments, one at month, and I read your blog at Bloglines. So I don’t have to get worry about this last Cynical-Videos Sunday. As I said, you should change the name of the blog. 😉

    Are you fine?

  22. This blog really has gone down hill. Too many words. Requires too much movement of my arms to click the first icon on my browser for this. I’m going to have to go home and build a robot to read the many words that are on here daily. But what fun would that be if I dont get to read the stuff on here?

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