Hello....where Did Everybody Go?

Lounge By cakelady2266 Updated 11 Apr 2012 , 2:47am by Bluehue

cakelady2266 Posted 3 Mar 2012 , 2:00am
post #1 of 35

Maybe it's just me but it seems there aren't many people on CC anymore. The number of users online at most any given time is between 100 and 200. About this time last year the numbers were over 300,000 on at once.

Remember when the new photos upload flew by? When photos appeared on the home page you only saw them there for a few minutes and they quickly moved on down the line. Now you see the same ones for a couple days.

Is there another decorating site that everybody is on? This isn't just a random off day this has been going on for about a year now. So where did everybody go? Did something happen that pissed everybody off? I'm just curious...

34 replies
Marianna46 Posted 3 Mar 2012 , 3:12pm
post #2 of 35

To be perfectly honest, I hadn't noticed this, but if it's true, it's really a shame. I can't imagine a series of disagreements, no matter how acrimonious, could make people abandon a site in droves, even though there have been a few high-profile desertions in the past. And especially not this site. At least half of what I know about decorating I've learned here.and I, for one, willl never leave. And I don't know where else in the world I'd find the answer to the questions that pop up while you're up to your elbows in fondant and need to know what to do about a problem RIGHT THEN! Frankly, this site is my lifeline for decorating and I mentally thank the people who make it possible every day. Of course, if the site is doing what it should, maybe this is the measure of success - people have learned enough from here so that they're spending more time decorating and less time talking about it (although I find I can do both just fine)!

cakelady2266 Posted 3 Mar 2012 , 10:30pm
post #3 of 35

It really didn't seem like a slow decline more like a sudden drop in numbers. I know that some of my customers were members here. They would send me pictures or links from CC all the time for cakes they wanted.

Maybe since Pintrest is so popular, members from CC who weren't decorators are looking there for ideas. Don't know.

Some of the best tips ever came from here. Where else could you find help at midnight on Friday night for a cake you had to have ready the next morning? Saved my life and sanity more than once.

step0nmi Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 2:07am
post #4 of 35

there has also been a recent backlash with the magazine icon_sad.gif i don't know the logistics of it...but i've been here always icon_biggrin.gif

Apti Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 5:10am
post #5 of 35

I lived on CC when I discovered the site about 5 months into my new hobby of cake decorating (Aug 2010). I am still in awe of all the fabulous information cake decorators share (and continue to share) on this site. CC was an instant addiction.

About a year later a couple of things happened that made me quit coming to the site.

Reason #1: I'm pretty sure the viruses killed my computer, not once, but twice! Although it is just about impossible to make a 100% correct determination that the virus came from CC, it's a pretty good bet. A LOT of people fled at that point since they were having the same virus problems. It cost me about $450 in cash, and about a zillion "dollars" in "punitive damages". A full year later, I STILL don't have the computer I used to have, and I hate it.

Reason #2: When you are a CC addict, you begin to see the same people posting all the time. Although there are 300,000 members, the same (500? 600? 200?) people are always contributing. After a while you begin to see the see the dark underbelly of CC.

A seemingly innocent post is begun by NewPerson123. Fifteen pages later, there is bloodshed, enmity, arguments, personal attacks and no one even notices that NewPerson123, the OP, has NEVER come back to the thread.

About 8 months ago I responded to a thread about dummy cakes for shows. I commented on a Best In Show cake and expressed an opinion that although I understood this was an example of skills, that in my opinion a cake that takes 300-400 hours to create could not be made as a real cake that people would eat. That's when IT happened.

I was personally attacked. My personal integrity, intelligence, empathy, and pretty much my family tree and my dog was stomped on by another CC'er. I still vividly recall that particular individual and the very personal attack. I simply responded: "Well, now I've been stomped on by another CC'er. I won't be back for a while." I did NOT retaliate; I don't know the individual; it wasn't a world-shaking event; but it was hurtful. I came to CC for fun, not pain.

I've now been trying it again (gently) for about 3 months. We'll see if I stay.

I am still, and always will be, GRATEFUL to the many, many cake artists who freely share their information on this site. CC fills an incredibly important niche in the Cake Decorating community and I hope that Heath and Jackie are able to make it profitable without becoming too intrusive with ads, etc.

BTW~~I am one of those people that paid $60 for the magazine. Sheeesh, what a debacle. However, that was not why I stayed away.

indydebi Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 5:30am
post #6 of 35

I'm not in here NEAR as often as I used to be but not due to any animosity or negative feelings about anyone/anything. With going to school full time (I'm now into the student-teaching part of my degree! Yay!) and working nights at a hotel at almost a full time schedule, I barely have time to sleep. Ironically, this very weekend is a 48-hours-stretch on less than 6 hrs sleep.

I still enjoy popping in when I can and I'm still picking up new ideas and tricks-of-the-trade now and then! thumbs_up.gif

wespam Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 12:58pm
post #7 of 35

I only lurk anymore when I have some free time or in need of a special recipe. When I first joined I couldn't wait to read all the posts. I am saddened at the disrespect people in general are showing to obeying our laws and the moral fiber that has made our counrty the great nation it was in the past. So I just don't read them.

I've met and become friends with other local cake shop owners like myself through CC. I think it's important to have a local support group even though we're competitors. I respect them and often refer them when I can't take the order myself. We've met for lunch and even get a chuckle about sharing our 'zilla' war stories. Pam

Apti Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 4:22pm
post #8 of 35

Indydebi~~You are one of the people I admire most on CC. I've quoted you often, love your business attitude toward cakes, and greatly admire your infinite patience in your replies to the same questions to new bakers. How exciting that you are entering a new phase with teaching! Your students will be VERY fortunate to have you as a teacher, regardless of the field of study.

Karema Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 4:34pm
post #9 of 35

I've noticed the decline as well. I haven't been on as much as I use to for several reasons.

1. I had a baby 2 1/2 years ago and was really busy with 3 kids

2. I think most people have good intentions here but some are really rude and it can be a bit much sometimes.

3. I don't like how they edit a lot of what we do on here and delete what they feel like. I posted a pic of my newborn and they took it down bc it was a picture of a person. I was so upset bc I had been through a whole pregnancy with my CC members and I wanted to share my joy. After I was disgusted so much and complained they appologized and they told me I could put it back up. But I've noticed that they do that a lot. If you post that you don't like something on here they are quick to delete it.

4. I moved and didn't have a computer so I couldn't get on as often as I wanted.

5. I have flocked to Facebook like many others and have a lot of CC friends on there as well.

Even though all of this has happened I came back bc I really like the site. I love the fact that I can come on here at anytime and get help when I need it. I have gained so much knowledge through this site and am glad to be back!

Karema

step0nmi Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 5:47pm
post #10 of 35

i don't understand why if they see so much disappointment with the site they don't change it!?? it just doesn't make sense...seems like a power trip for some if they are just deleting stuff because they can. and those that are on here with their disapproving fingers are here because they CAN do that. does anyone ever stop them and their negativity? nope! it's like grade school with bullies all over again.

cakelady2266 Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 7:03pm
post #11 of 35

Indydebi, congratulation on the degree, you are truly an inspiration.

The whole trial by fire thing people do is real immature. I got the pleasure of that when I posted in the forums long ago. The are you legal, do you bake from scratch, blah, blah, blah interrogation tactic didn't scare me off. I thought how sad...I'm doing business nowhere near you so why in the hell would it matter, I sure wasn't taking business away from them. Some folks need to get over themselves.

I hate the whole thing about the magazine. I wish it was in print form again. I've gotten the downloads but they are of no use to show to customers. Most have never seen cakes like that in any other magazines.

Generally I stay pretty busy with cakes but when I have some free time CC is my favorite site to be on. I couldn't wait to see the latest cakes or tutorials. I do so admire all you talented decorators.

debidehm Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 8:22pm
post #12 of 35

I'm new to this site, and so far have learned a few things I didn't know, and have seen some beautiful pieces of art...so for that thank you. I've also read things that like another poster said is like school yard bullying. It seems if someone asks a question about this or that, the #1 response is "Are you legal" etc. (if the person posting happens to mention that work out of their home). Then the debate begins, and the original thread question is lost somewhere and the question they are asking is pretty much gone by the wayside.

Some people here are really helpful, yet it seems that others lay in wait for that one post they can pounce on. I just wish that if someone had a question, someone could try to help and just answer it...or not, and not hijack the thread with snarky remarks. I think a lot of us are here to share what we know and learn what we don't...whether we do cakes for a living or as a hobby.

jason_kraft Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 2:04am
post #13 of 35

I've found that the quality of threads on CC has improved quite a bit over the past several months. There are fewer real flame wars and there seems to be more awareness about legal issues like health inspections and copyright when discussing business-related topics like pricing (possibly due to the spread of cottage food laws).

I do agree that the trend of moderators deleting entire threads without comment is disturbing, there seems to be very little communication at all between CC staff and the community.

Re personal attacks, I find it's best if you just ignore the attack and just report the post if it is particularly bad.

step0nmi Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 2:22am
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

I've found that the quality of threads on CC has improved quite a bit over the past several months. There are fewer real flame wars and there seems to be more awareness about legal issues like health inspections and copyright when discussing business-related topics like pricing (possibly due to the spread of cottage food laws).

I do agree that the trend of moderators deleting entire threads without comment is disturbing, there seems to be very little communication at all between CC staff and the community.

Re personal attacks, I find it's best if you just ignore the attack and just report the post if it is particularly bad.




seriously icon_confused.gif i think this is because everyone is scared to post topics of this nature! and part of it is because they are being monitored by those that want to put people down for these topics. I would in no way post my situation on this site like I would have 5 years ago...no way. I am not risking myself getting upset over something that silly when we are all here trying to get help in these situations and others forget that there are people/decorators in all walks of life on this site.

jason_kraft Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 4:04am
post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by step0nmi

i think this is because everyone is scared to post topics of this nature! and part of it is because they are being monitored by those that want to put people down for these topics.



To clarify, when I say there is more awareness of legal issues I mean there are more useful threads relating to business that discuss those issues without people getting offended or descending into a flame war.

You are correct that there are many people "monitoring" these threads, either because they are interested in gaining more business knowledge or they have business knowledge of their own to contribute. There are sometimes posters who disagree with the OP of a thread or others, but no one participates just to put people down.

scp1127 Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 7:09am
post #16 of 35

I personally like the fact that posters are carefully wording their posts to stay clear of the legal issues.

Edit: I am sure that we have just as many unlicensed bakers, but on the forums, it is such a better atmosphere to discuss recipes and business in a way that doesn't end up badly for either side. Just like in the real world, I still believe that if you are going to work outside the law, you should keep it to yourself. I have seen that trend here as a good thing.

What failed to be noticed was that the questions came up in the business forum which is stated as a place to discuss legal business issues per the CC description. Those heated questions were being asked to business people, hoping for help. Those questions in other categories didn't get as heated.

FullHouse Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 2:02pm
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Re personal attacks, I find it's best if you just ignore the attack and just report the post if it is particularly bad.




thumbs_up.gif

cakelady2266 Posted 6 Mar 2012 , 2:11am
post #18 of 35

It's not only the forums that have fewer responses or contributors but picture posting as well. Maybe people are leery of having their pictures stolen. Maybe some folks were displeased with CC format change last year. I just don't know. Just feels like less of us on here.

cakelady2266 Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 11:40pm
post #19 of 35

Well my question answered itself earlier today in another forum. Judgement, bashing, God like complexes, yeah I can see where that just gets old.

jason_kraft Posted 8 Mar 2012 , 12:14am
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakelady2266

Well my question answered itself earlier today in another forum. Judgement, bashing, God like complexes, yeah I can see where that just gets old.



I'm curious, which thread are you referring to?

cakelady2266 Posted 8 Mar 2012 , 4:22am
post #21 of 35

It's a heartbreak nothing but a heartbreak.

jason_kraft Posted 8 Mar 2012 , 4:31am
post #22 of 35

I thought that was a very interesting and informative thread...there was one poster early in the thread who posted a rude comment, but if you let one comment like that scare you away you'll miss a lot of good stuff.

cakelady2266 Posted 8 Mar 2012 , 5:26am
post #23 of 35

In that thread I read the OPs post in full and knew where the other post would most likely go. I felt like the OP needed help improving business sales, so I took a different approach. I truly wanted to be helpful, I hope I was. I didn't see any response so I was probably ignored.

Whether someone wants to vent, ask a question, tell everyone about a great new product, method, or whatever, shouldn't there be room on here for that without a bunch of hoopla?

In the forums when someone say a newer member or someone who doesn't post much, post a how do I question sometimes they get this "it's been talked to death, so tired of having to hold newbies hands, just search the forums for the answer." Well maybe the newbie doesn't know to do that or if they did they only get one page to come up and can't get it to do more. So anyway, instead of being curt to the person just don't answer. It's not like anyone is getting paid for their answer or opinion.

And why does everyone feel they HAVE to defend their methods all the time?
If you are making cakes because you love making cakes and it's not your living then make cakes and don't worry about who does what to their cakes.
If you are making cakes because it's the way you earn a living then do that to the best of your own abilities.
If you are making cakes for a living and you are doing alright be grateful, remember you started out on the ground level and learned a lot along the way.
If you are making cakes for a living and those cakes aren't selling then focus on what your problem is and don't worry about what everybody else is selling. All the time spent worrying about what somebody else is doing is time that could be spent keeping your own doors open.
I don't care if it's out of a box and you think scratch bakers are wasting time because the could take another path. I don't care if it scratch and you think box bakers are dumb, lazy and fakes. I don't care if it is made with moon rocks, pixie farts and blessed by monks. Does running another persons method down the road make you a better baker or decorator or person?

Remember, your way isn't the only way or the way that can work for everybody.

jason_kraft Posted 8 Mar 2012 , 5:58am
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakelady2266

Remember, your way isn't the only way or the way that can work for everybody.



That sentiment is reflected in most of the posts in the thread in question, so I'm not sure what your complaint is. Where is the "hoopla"?

As for people who post topics that have been covered before, the replies telling the OP to search the forum are usually more courteous than curt.

FromScratchSF Posted 8 Mar 2012 , 6:23am
post #25 of 35

<guess my ears were burning>

I think membership has dropped because of the viruses they can't seem to get off this site.

The magazine has really made a lot of people mad.

Too many people don't get the answers they want to hear. They get lots of very strong opinions and interpretations of laws and rules that they didn't ask for or don't care about. Laws and rules are no fun and even less fun when someone tells you "no".

People are sick of Jason, Susan, me, and a few other serial posters that seem to pipe in on every post because we can't seen to keep off these forums icon_biggrin.gif

I've stopped posting pictures because I don't want CC owning the copyright, which they do as soon as you upload and you can't even delete your own photo after more then 5 people save your cake to their favorites. CC is so strapped for cash lord only knows what they'll start doing to make money, including selling our, er, I mean, their cake photos.

Personally, I know I've gotten stupidly emotional in a few posts - I blame post partum hormones, the drugs I'm on for my broken back, and my crazy work schedule. I am an opinionated person and I'm very passionate about what I do, but it's completely lame of me to get all worked up on an internet forum. So I won't be doing much of that anymore, you'll all be happy to know icon_biggrin.gif

Apti Posted 8 Mar 2012 , 10:10am
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

I think membership has dropped because of the viruses they can't seem to get off this site.




That's what I posted early on in this thread. That was my #1 reason.

MimiFix Posted 8 Mar 2012 , 1:46pm
post #27 of 35

I received one of those viruses last year and have learned to immediate leave the site if I receive a warning from one of my antivirus programs.

I post less often than before for two reasons: (1) I used to answer a business question as soon as I saw the question posted, but the ensuing thread often made me feel as if I was wasting my time. Now I wait and watch a topic to see where it goes. And (2) I'm working on another book and have less time.

But I still love reading the forum questions and I have a few favorite posters. icon_biggrin.gif

scp1127 Posted 8 Mar 2012 , 2:57pm
post #28 of 35

I post on the business forum or on scratch baking threads. I find all of CC humerous and I never get my feathers ruffled. I post what I know. I post when I see someone giving incorrect advice, especially on business legal issues and on food safety. People like to post and not have their ideas rebutted, even if they are wrong. I personally don't like misinformation on this site because so many people look to this site exclusively for law and food safety. I look to official sites only, as do the others mentioned in FromScratch's post. We then share here. I just got blasted earlier because I stated that the vanilla extract recipes on here and the web were mostly flavored vodka and not extract, but this is fact. Some people may really want extract.

And those posts by Jason, me, and a few others have alerted all on CC about copyright/trademark infringements. People still do it, but they are now doing it with their eyes wide open to the tort/crime and possible fines and sanctions. I'm sure many would have rather lived in ignorance or not had their practices admonished as a crime.

Thanks to a few of us obnoxious loudmouths (loudposters), the word business plan is now seen almost daily, where two years ago, the consensus on the forum to starting a business was just encouragement. Now members know that they need to plan, raise money, and have a business model woth a working financial plan. Of course, our posts dash the dreams of a pesron with no business experience who excitedly posts that she is ready to sign a lease on her new bakery.

I can't remember the last time we had a heated "illegal" thread. I often wonder if the pharmacists havea forum and they have to endure similar posts. Kidding. But we should not have to debate the law in terms of how to circumvent it. We can lobby to change laws, as KelleyM does, or we can move.

I was not on here for months because I was too busy for personal time. I never wanted to be that busy, so I adjusted my business. Several viruses hit from CC, but I just get them fixed. They usually only affect CC.

I really don't care if people read my posts. Just skip them. But I have learned and shared so much about baking, people's businesses, what works and what doesn't, and a better way of doing something. I especially enjoy the pm's where the best information and recipes are shared. We do try to take deep business topics and gourmet baking out of the general posts because they are topics enjoyed by less than the entire CC membership. But just like those who don't share questionable activity, we share on pm's because we don't want to be interrupted by people belittling is for looking for finer ingredients, a gourmet recipe, or a cutting edge business idea.

indydebi Posted 8 Mar 2012 , 3:01pm
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

But I have learned and shared so much about baking, people's businesses, what works and what doesn't, and a better way of doing something.


thumbs_up.gif

SammieB Posted 8 Mar 2012 , 4:22pm
post #30 of 35

I have a few reasons for not being on here as much anymore.

1. When you're new to the craft, or just learning the hobby, so many of the posts you see about "what's IMBC?" or "WASC" or what kind of buttercream to use, how to ice, etc are so helpful b/c you're just learning. After a while when you've gotten down the basic skills and keeper recipes, it's a little frustrating to have to wade through daily posts of the exact same thing over and over from people who don't take the time to browse or read through previous posts. I will admit the search function here is limited at best, and many people don't know how to use google to search a site, and I have probably posted something myself back in the days that was a repeater. But this site's popularity has grown, and so have the repetitive questions.

2. I absolutely cannot stand people being utterly rude and disrespectful, and for a while that attitude was rampant. I felt like every 3rd post was a crazy rant and fight about something. Anonymity has given people brashness that most would never have in a face to face conversation. It just makes me cringe to see people behave so poorly. It does seem to be improving.

3. The new layout took quite some getting used too. It wasn't so much the functionality of it, but the largeness of the ads (which I know are needed, but goodness), and the bugs seemed to take a looong time to work out.

That's it. There's so much useful information on this site, and amazing pictures. It's truly inspiring. And some of the people on here are immensely helpful, especially some of the personal blogs. I swear if I ever met FromScratch in person I would give her a nice big hug after she posted her SMBC blog. Changed my cakes forever!

I've just started coming back a little more after taking a break b/c of burnout. I mostly observe as it is since I'm definitely still learning.

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