It's such a shame that people are compelled to show how hateful they can be. This statement is not in response to any one specific incident but an ongoing pattern I've noticed. If your response to a forum post is rather blunt, catty or intentionally mean spirited, send the person a PM (private message). It's just down right hateful to call someone up on the carpet in a public forum. In addition it inflames the others to jump on the bandwagon one way or the other.
Everybody has opinions for sure, but use some tact when wording responses please. Don't make someone feel like an idiot for asking a question that for some has a obvious answer. Not everybody that is a member or visitor to this site knows EVERYTHING there is to know in the world. Honest mistakes can be made, believe it or not. And a final word of wisdom I try to live by: Let those among you without sin cast the first stone......
I'm sure this will be taken down quickly but I wanted to get this off my chest.
I think one problem is that everyone has a different opinion of what's "hateful" and what's not. I've seen threads with relatively tame replies blow up when someone takes offense, and other threads where people post personal attacks about another poster, but the recipient of the attacks just ignores them and tries to stick to the topic.
IMO if people just reported offensive posts and ignored them until they are removed, there wouldn't be so many flame wars.
It depends on which side of the debate you are on. I don't care one bit about personal attacks. If it is on the business forum or scratch baking, where most of my post are, yes, I usually know what I am talking about, because like a few other posters, I looked it up and studied it, either before I posted or in the course of my three successful startup businesses. The thing I find ironic is that for everyone who gets mad at me for posting legal business information, I have an abundance of pm's from people who would not dare come on a thread and say they are trying to operate legally or that they want to get to a higher level of baking. Read the threads carefully and you will find that there are a group of members who always post, essentially, how stupid it is to operate legally when the alternative is the smart way. Or on a scratch baking thread, someone comes on a declares that the box with some pudding is scratch baking too. After all, you just mix some stuff and a cake comes out, just like scratch. Or why bake from scratch... just tell your customers it's scratch. These statements are offensive and cause scratch bakers not to post, just like some people planning a legal business who choose not to post. I am not putting down box mix baking in any way, but I don't get on the decorating forum and tell the pros how easy it is and anyone can do it.
Why debate for ten pages how you can get around copyright and trademark laws? Or give illegal business advice in the business forum?
My posts read like a textbook. I don't open with a pretty statement. I'm not writing prose. I am addressing the thousands of people who are watching the thread, not the OP. If you are a new business and word-of-mouth is your marketing plan, it may not be a good plan. If it is a scratch baking post and fake pudding is discussed, it is important to point out that it is no longer scratch. People who buy from you, assuming that there are no chemicals in the cake, will be misled. Some readers may not think of that unless it is posted. I will post that information... because thousands read those threads, not just the fifteen posters.
And how about the interstate shipping information. It's a federal offense. Do you know that almost every time I post this, someone posts that I'm being a pain and to do it anyway. Maybe you all need to get the application. It goes over fines. The FDA takes the issue of interstate and worldwide shipping very seriously since 9/11. Maybe those post have cause some readers to rethink the plan, never knowing how serious the offense.
I have never called anyone a name or done anything but stick to the point. And yes, I do have an education (accounting/economics), a knowledge of business ownership, and a rather substantial income to back my words. I have held a salary and sales record in my state for a certain industry related to marketing, of which I owned a complimentary business, and I have had an annual personal income of over $200K in my own construction business. I retired at age 46, but I got bored very quickly. The bakery business is a new venture, but the rules are the same. I am not boasting about my income, education, or experience. I'm merely establishing credibility. All those years I was a single mom of three girls. They have grown up to value education, a good work ethic, and the merits of self-employment. My second husband, of just the past few years, is a professional, as are our friends and acquaintances. These people are proof that success can be attained by following the laws of the land, being honest, and treating customers well. I see it every day. And there are many many CC member who believe the same. They are just afraid to post it.
So if you disagree with me, fine. But please understand that there are non-posters who appreciate my posts. And understand as well, that when you personally attack me, you, yourself, are causing people to be afraid to post.
I share every single scratch recipe that I have taken much time to develop. I share proven marketing plans for startups. I answer every question from every member. I give tips on scratch method, including long, detailed instructions. I share my site and all details about it. All on pm's. And the majority of those pm's are generated in those touchy threads.
So, sorry that you disagree. But I will continue to write posts based on my experience and education, business information that is always within the law, and pm's sharing all of my recipes and valuable marketing information. Too many people have expressed their appreciation. People helped me when I started out and I will continue to do the same.
scp1127, thanks for responding but did you read something in my original post that made you think I was referring to you personally? I re read my post and saw nothing that mentioned you, so I don't know why you think I stepped on your toes. I never mentioned legal, marketing, or baking expertise in any form. It appears I was make a statement on manners or the lack of them.
My overall commentary was about people not being tactful when responding to forum post. For example, being curt to someone when they ask how to make a whatever, instead of giving helpful advise the poster gets this "Well if you would go to the trouble of looking in (whatever category) you would find the answer for yourself." This is just an example of what I am speaking of. I'm not a Pollyanna type personality but I see no sense in people going out of their way to be rude or condescending. Is it truly necessary? What purpose does it serve? Or is the lure and/or ease of anonymity that brings out the worst in some?
Now I could take a higher road here but since I'm here I'm choosing to go all out. My credentials are this: 46 year old female, cooking and baking since the age of 4, I used my baking experience to open my own successful business, mother of 2 sons, gave up my government job in 1994 to raise the first of two children, married almost 25 years, started cake decorating in 1989, owner and operator of a legal, licensed, inspected and insured bakery, can scratch bake with the best of them, court appointed conservator/caregiver to 4 aunts in another state, I have created enough recipes to start my own cookbook, I don't think I am the see all, be all in any field, my product markets itself pretty well, and I take my legal advise from my attorney.
I have enjoyed this site for a long time. Sharing experiences, recipes, knowledge, a good laugh, shoulder to cry on with other people who bake and decorate is a great thing. But sometimes the uncalled for flame wars get old. Maybe I can sum up my original post like this "opinions are like @$$holes, everybody has one just don't be one."
cakelady, in my post, please read: I am not necessarily posting to the OP, but rather the masses.
I am accused of this many times when I post anything on the business forum, mostly by people with no business experience whatsoever. It makes it difficult to share information back and forth when someone will throw some information that may not be in the best interest of those trying to gain knowledge by the threads. But this is a public forum and they have a right to post too, even when the name-calling starts.
I read your thread to address your issue. I had no idea of who you were referring to, nor did I care. But again, you are the OP, and the thread is open to anyone to post on the general subject. I addressed the thread as to how it pertains to my posts.
I hope that what will be remembered is that people on the opposite sides of these debates can intimidate people too. Some members don't want to be harassed because they want to follow the law or achieve a higher level of baking. And sometimes this happens here.
My suggestion to you is that if you don't like a thread, don't read it. I stopped reading the pricing threads because it is filled with people who sell first and don't check the laws of their area. When anyone post to add for license, insurance, etc., the "how dare you's" begin, even though these things should be considered.
In many cases, the points brought to the table by both sides in a debate is a wealth of knowledge for all reading and participating in the thread.
scp1127, Not to beat a dead horse so to say but I don't think we are on the same page yet. I'm not talking about legalities or business advise, or a thread that is meant to stir people up. Let say newbie Sally has a question about how to make red velvet cake more moist....instead of some helpful hints Sally gets this response, "this subject has been talked to death, how many times do some of us have to tell you new people to go to the recipe section and look it up yourself." That is more of where I was going with my original post.
Oh and I lied I'm only 45, I must be in a rush to be 46.
Cakelady, I've looked up things and have posted links and so forth, and let me tell you there are a few times I honestly want to reply to some posts with a "have you even googled it?"
While I think the comment of "it's been talked to death" isn't helpful to the OP, that usually comes out on subjects that have been talked to death. Yes it would help if they would link past discussions, but the thing is, why should I or others always have to go do the searching for people? Why can't they also search/google the question to see what answers they find first.
It seems that sometimes people make no effect for themselves to find out answers.
There are times I do pass over a post because the 'goggle it' side of me wants to reply, instead of the let me go look up that link for you side.
TexasSugar, some of the newer members don't know how to navigate the site as well as those who have been around awhile. I have trouble getting past page one when I search for a topic in some of the forums. If it's not on the first page then I click the second page button and I get these box that says there are no topics found for that search. And yes I have reported it and it's still the same.
My generalization of "it's been talked to death" was just an example of the responses I see from time to time. Even when the topic is tame someone will crop up with a smart@$$ answer that is uncalled for or response way off topic that is meant to start a feud.
I remember asking a question when I was a new member only to be met with a handful of bitchy comments. My first thought was that I had joined the wrong site, that maybe you have to be in the special cliche to be allowed some measure of common courtesy. But I stuck it out and vowed to not to treat others as if they were so dumb that their knuckles drug the ground.
I do understand that the search here can be tricky, but you can also google information, and it will bring you back to posts here as well. But as I said, I do link up posts, if i know of a specific on that helps answer the question.
I do think there are times when people are more snappy, and it can be avoided. I also think that there are times when people my react on here may be based on what is going on in their real life? There are times when if I am already in a bad mood, my replies may be more pissy, or I may opt to click the red x at the top of the screen.
I'm not saying people shouldn't ask questions, and that people shouldn't help them. I am saying though that sometimes people need to do for themselves as well. People, in general, rely on others way to much to give them or find information out for them. Fewer and fewer people seem to jump in the kitchen for trail and error any more.
I understand what you mean. Post can get carried away, for example scp1127, once again talking about her vast intellect and success, and why she talks about legalities, even though that had NOTHING to do what your talking about. But I understand Texassugar and JasonKrafts point. Some things really can be googled and don't need a thread like "Where can I buy Satin Ice". Questions like that strike me as lazy and I feel, hey, put a little effort in to learning, ya know. And like Jason said, we all don't perceive things the same way. He and I just recently were on a thrread that bashed another thread, and we just didn't see the other thread they way others did on this new thread. I have definitely been trying to do what you say and just ignore a whole lot of threads, but this one I thought was a good topic. And it's not always easy to turn the other cheek, as they say.
QTCakes1, I am SOOOOOOOOOO glad someone understands what I'm saying. JasonKrafts and TexasSugar make good points also. When I decide to post this I almost put it in the general forum section, but I thought it would start a riot and that would make me no better.
I know what you mean about the off topic comments, some times they are somewhat relevant most times not. That seems to be common place for some. I came in on the tail end of a bashing the one day and thought damn what a train wreck. Some poor soul had ask if anyone could tell her how to fix some cake problem. There were responses like "are you legal?" "Do you charge for your cakes?" "Why should I tell you my secrets so you can make money off them." I thought crap, is the legal eagle protocol police running CC now.
Some poor soul had ask if anyone could tell her how to fix some cake problem. There were responses like "are you legal?" "Do you charge for your cakes?" "Why should I tell you my secrets so you can make money off them."
Which thread was this?
Some poor soul had ask if anyone could tell her how to fix some cake problem. There were responses like "are you legal?" "Do you charge for your cakes?" "Why should I tell you my secrets so you can make money off them." I thought crap, is the legal eagle protocol police running CC now.
I've seen this as well. I will say this, if you ask a question in the business forum, expect to hear those questions/statements...though I have seen those statements on other forums. I know on one thread a lady asked about making a Disney cake for herself and before those statments I reiterated that she was asking about HERSELF, so no need for the copyright riot act. And no one did. But those are easy to ignore, it's the truly rude/mean answers that I assume your talking about and I think we can all be guilty of being too blunt. I don't think I am brutally blunt, but am blunt, but someone said it came across as lacking tact. But like Jason Kraft said, sometimes we may come across the wrong way without meaning to.
cakelady2266, I, too, have been horrified at how some threads quickly unravel into mean-spirited vicious fights. As complex human beings we bring our personalities to these discussions. People who are prone to being argumentative or (insert any trait here) will be that way in their personal lives; but it will be enhanced in the anonymous atmosphere that online forums embrace.
I have no idea how to handle this or address your specific concerns. It's unfortunate that the people who are prone to this behavior will not recognize their participation and therefore are unable to (or do not want to) change. I'm just careful if I write anything; and many times, even if I have useful info for the discussion, I simply read the post and move on.
JasonKraft, I don't remember exactly what the exact topic was or when but it was in the past couple weeks or so. It was fairly benign type question like "can someone help me please" or something. I didn't reply I just read it, I think it got removed fairly quick. There was another one last week where someone (new and unlicensed) ask about charging for ingredients. I remember one response was "honey take your KitchenAid and run the protocol police are on their way". I got a laugh out of that one. Of and lets not forget the copyright debacle, I read that right as it was being taken down. I felt so bad for the OP, who was apologizing and really didn't realize what she originally put up was bad.
But on the up side, it was good to see a lot of folks help look for a picture a member had seen but not saved.
I look at it like this, if I've found a tip, trick, business advise, etc...that could be helpful to someone else I don't mind sharing or helping when I can. I don't pretend to be so smart to think that I'm the only person in human history to come up with this idea. And in 100 years from now who is gonna give a damn about someones ultra secret mixing method or batter ingredient (examples only) anyway.
There was another one last week where someone (new and unlicensed) ask about charging for ingredients. I remember one response was "honey take your KitchenAid and run the protocol police are on their way". I got a laugh out of that one.
That post may have been at least partially in jest, but there are a few very vocal people here who get seriously upset when others contribute legal or business advice, even to the point of calling people names. From my experience, the vast majority of the time when legal or business advice is given it is relevant to the thread, although the nature of the advice may make the connection difficult to see at first.
I don't really care myself -- if someone hasn't called me the "cake police" or some variant at least once a week I haven't been contributing enough -- but people besides the OP complaining about advice they aren't interested in tends to drown out the thread and it eventually gets deleted. No one wins in that scenario.
I look at it like this, if I've found a tip, trick, business advise, etc...that could be helpful to someone else I don't mind sharing or helping when I can.
That's definitely one way of looking at it, but there are people here (myself included) who have invested a great deal of time and money into developing proprietary IP, so I hope you can see why some posters are reluctant to share certain information, especially when there is a plan to monetize that information.
From experience, it's tricky to say that you won't be sharing a recipe/process/idea when asked while still remaining respectful so I can see how that would cause some issues.
Jason_Kraft, Not every post necessarily needs legal or marketing advice, but I do respect you and your opinion. Take for example when I started this post, my overall topic was rudeness. I now regret churching it up, I should have simply stated "don't be so bitchy when responding to other posters because you weren't raised to know better." Not sure how that would have gone over. And to be sure the tone and rudeness not only takes away from any thread but it feud fuel. Some posters are intent on that regardless the topic. I do so admire Leah_s and indydebi, they are ready to help and are always respond kindly to even the dumbest of questions.
While on the subject of feud fuel topics, I feel compelled to discuss the very vocal few that are ready to pounce on the "home based" baker. I thought for a long time that the "home based" bakers were a threat to my income. Not true as it turns out. I'm not in every buyers budget, I'm also not into negotiating prices. I do try to offer affordable solutions when possible. But the budget minded need someone to provide their cakes. And I can't do and don't want every cake out there. To confess a sin I was ready to turn a "home baker" in to the HD when I found out she was a stay home mom of a sick disabled child and she was just trying to pay the bills. Now how low of a human would turn someone like this in? I looked at my good fortune and started sending business her way. Ever since I got over myself, business is more than booming even in this economy. Maybe that whole karma thing is for real, do good things and good things happen to you.
My very legal, inspected and insured cake shop is my full time job and over half of the family income. I personally have invested my heart, soul and money into my business and each and every cake that leaves my shop. But I'm not trying to corner the market on customer volume or secret underground techniques. I just want to do the best cake I possibly can and be the kind of person that you catch being a good person more times than not. And if that means giving a kind answer to a new or illegal baker then so be it. I had much rather that be my legacy.
While on the subject of feud fuel topics, I feel compelled to discuss the very vocal few that are ready to pounce on the "home based" baker.
I'm not sure what you mean by "pouncing" -- home bakers (legal or not) mispricing their products is a very real issue and can have a serious impact on established businesses, especially if the home baker is a skilled decorator. Of course not all home bakers are guilty of undercharging, but it is a common problem, and I don't think avoiding the topic because some might be offended is helpful.
To confess a sin I was ready to turn a "home baker" in to the HD when I found out she was a stay home mom of a sick disabled child and she was just trying to pay the bills.
That excuse doesn't fly with me. We are all just trying to pay the bills, and while it's tough taking care of a sick disabled child, that doesn't give someone license to break the law or take money out of my pocket. There are government programs that can help out people in this situation without the need to run an illegal business that exposes them to unnecessary liability.
I looked at my good fortune and started sending business her way.
I would seriously reconsider doing this in the future -- if you refer someone to a home baker you knew was operating illegally and there is a liability issue, you could potentially be named in a lawsuit. Not to mention that if she does get shut down by the HD the customer probably won't be too happy with you.
I have been a cake decorator for 22 years and I didn't realize it was such a cut throat business until lately. I don't want to make my living at the expense of others. This entire discussion makes me wish I had thought twice about joining this site.
I can see my original statements are truly lost on this issue and has been taken in the wrong direction, per the norm. My original post was about being rude, hateful and/or bitchy when responding to posted topics in forums. And now here I am, derailed and drug down in the mire.
I brought up the subject of "home based" bakers as an example of attitude and remarks in post. I don't feel that is necessary to question every persons legal credentials just because they ask for advice on how to make a cake rise better or be more moist. Hell she maybe making it for her dying grandmother or something, not trying to take business away from legal bakers.
Way off topic to my original post but in response to the above posters statements......I can see where it would be SO much more honorable for someone to go on welfare than try to eek out some much needed cash actually decorating a cake. There are some other illegal activities going on in the world that could use this hard nose, heartless approach, say drug dealing, human trafficking, child abuse, dog fighting rings, etc... But no lets go after those illegal bakers, make life so hard on them for asking questions they quit decorating and mend their evil ways.
Well this rudeness issue can and will continue unresolved until the end of time but I see no further need to participate personally in a discussion on the subject. Those who don't get what I'm trying to say never will. People with real character and integrity will come out on top every time.
To quote an old saying you can't get water from a dry well, and this one is very dry. I will continue to seek legal advise (pertaining to my states guidelines), business, marketing and moral advise only from those persons qualified to give it based on my situation. I suggest others do the same.
This is a prime example of what I was referring to...my opinion on your points is met with sarcasm and thinly veiled personal attacks, and the thread is apparently now in the "wrong direction" because other people disagree with you.
From what I've seen, threads that deal with questions about how to make cakes do not invite business or legal questions -- this misconception that people go after bakers in these threads is brought up often and is treated as fact, but no one ever posts any examples. It's only when people start talking about advertising, pricing, selling wholesale, and so on where the legality issue comes into play.
I agree that there are more serious illegal activities that should be stopped, but that has nothing to do with the legality of selling homemade cakes as enforced by the health department.
Cakelady, yes, this well is very dry. I think people are not even coming over to post on this thread because the topic was exhausted already on that other very sad thread. Just like you, I believe in good karma and try to be nice to people. I have actually PM'ed newbies right away when they are asked the same "are you legal" questions and asked them to ignore the posts.
Sad thread, uh?
vpJane, I missed that thread back in July, I was busy working on cakes. I have just gotten some free time in the past month to get back to trolling CC. But after reading that thread (sad as it was) I see why nobody responded to mine. And to be perfectly honest doesn't look like anything has changed for the better or at all.
Newbie in my case as for a lot of others only means new to Cake Central. I was a member for a while before I every posted a picture or got involved in the forums. I was intimidated at first because I had seen how some folks treated others. I didn't want to be like those people. I have stayed away from the forums for weeks at a time just because the BS never changes.
Unfortunately this site is no different from any other "forum" type site.
Just as you'll come across some rude people in "real" everyday life, you're bound to come across them on the internet.
The way I look at it is like this...there are FAR more helpful people on this site than bad seeds...I like to ignore the ignorant folks and help the people who really need help if I can.
I've been married almost 30 years and I have 2 adult children...I've gotten REAL good at ignoring people. lol
cakestyles, so true there are so many helpful people folks on CC. My only other "forum" site is Facebook, so I'm kinda internet sheltered. I just don't get the stir up s**t for the heck of it way of thinking. Here's to ignoring the stirrers.
Facebook really can't be compared to message boards, since people are more real life there. They may be crazy in real life, but their real name, picture and usually family are connected to them there.
Here and on other messages boards you have more of an anon version of your self, so people can be a little different, on purpose or not. Some people let thing that are going on in their real life effect their behavior on here as well.
I've been around plenty of message boards and honestly this is pretty tame to some of them.
It does suck that there are negative people, but that is anywhere you go, so like in the real world you learn to ignore them and pay attention to the others. There are a few people on here that rub me the wrong way, and I'm sure I've rubbed people the wrong way, not everyone's personalities mesh.
I've been around plenty of message boards and honestly this is pretty tame to some of them.
Agreed. CC is very tame compared to just about every other forum I've participated in, there are really only a few lead instigators here.
The moderation here is also pretty lax, in other forums I've participated in personal attacks are edited or removed within 30 minutes, and repeat offenders are penalized with "time outs". On CC these offending posts tend to stick around for days to build flame wars, then the threads are just completely deleted.
and I think we can all be guilty of being too blunt. I don't think I am brutally blunt, but am blunt, but someone said it came across as lacking tact. But like Jason Kraft said, sometimes we may come across the wrong way without meaning to.
That was me! And thanks for saying "came across as". That actually was my entire point then and now. The internet is void of anything but words, so a smile, vocal inflection, or physical gesture is not there to help with the meaning of anyone's statements. I think so much stuff gets blown out of proportion for that very reason. I say what I think too, but online I try to make sure I use the right phrasing to make sure it comes across the right way. In person my face can give away most of the meaning in what I'm saying.
Of course that doesn't really explain away probably 80% of the rude comments on here. Anonymity has a lot to do with that. Sometimes I read a thread and think, "I wonder if I put everyone in this thread in a room together with some cupcakes and wine how this discussion would turn out. Would everyone agree to disagree peacefully and eat and drink in merriment? Or would cupcakes get smashed in faces and sugar wine bottles broken over people's heads?"
Think this forum can be nasty? Try Weight Watchers in the General Topic of the Day! There are some folks who think they rule the roost there and are quick to gang up on others via their anonymous-safety in numbers- cyberbullying.
Wilton has been the nicest kindest place to go in my opinion.
Glad I'm not part of the other message boards. It would tax my patience. My son visits a truck forum and tells me about people responding to everybody all the time with "man your a stupid dumb@$$" "your truck looks like s**t". He said some folks stirred stuff up just for fun or to be mean. It told me not to get sucked in to that when I joined the forums on here. So wise and only 17.
I feel anonymity is big factor to letting it all hang out. Maybe some folks have a job or situations that is stressful and full of idiots, and they have to smile, be polite and when they get on here unload a few frustrations. I dunno. I like to come here to get away from the d**ks I encounter during the day. I'm sure I've come across as blunt, but I wasn't intentionally trying to be mean so I hope I haven't been pegged as an ass.
SammieB, I don't know the outcome of that situation but I would love to be there. I see you are from Nashville. I'm up there every other week checking on my aunt in the nursing home. So if you heard someone in the Cool Springs area pitching a cussing fit that would make a sailor blush, well that was me.
Haha, I know how that can be. Some of the nursing homes around here are enough to make you lose your head. But I guess that's probably the case everywhere.