An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Version 6.1

You may have noticed that last week we launched a modified design to this website, and I didn’t want to say anything about it for a few days because I just couldn’t get enough of the disgruntled email. I sort of inadvertently conducted a little social experiment, one where the longer I remained silent about the changes, the angrier certain people became. In fact, it started when I failed to update the masthead at the very beginning of February, when I dared to subject people to the words JANUARY 2009 for several unbearable days. Here’s what some of you had to say:

Are your Christmas lights still hanging outside? Perhaps your tree is still in the corner of your living room, dropping needles and ornaments on a regular basis? It’s February 9th. As in NOT January any longer. Please change your masthead. It’s an embarrassment.

And this missive sent on February 5th…

You make LIVING off of this website. Therefore; I feel you have a responsibility to your readership and sponsors to keep your site current.  I don’t have the slightest clue as how to design a masthead or a website or anything else for that matter.  But Dude, it’s mid-February.  Where’s the new masthead?

Some just cut to the chase, like this one sent on February 2nd:

It’s February and you haven’t changed your banner. So unprofessional.

Truth is, I was hoping that we could launch the major website design changes at the beginning of the month, but that date kept getting pushed back, and the February masthead I had designed fit the new layout. So I didn’t think it would upset the rotation of the Earth too much if the masthead remained in its January clothes for a few more days. Oh, how I underestimate the testiness of certain readers! I’m going to let you in on a secret… sometimes, when I’m feeling sinister, I like to use “your” when I mean “you’re” and “there” when I mean “they’re” because one or two or thirteen hundred of you find such a mistake so insufferable that you cannot help but send me an email that begins with, “I don’t usually do this, but…” and ends with your heads spontaneously exploding. It’s that popping sound I love so much.

And then the redesign… dear lord god, I don’t think I would have received such a strong response if I had visited your house and taken a shit in your Cheerios. There are several reasons I wanted to change things up a bit, and in the interest of being totally honest, the main one is BECAUSE I’M PREGNANT. The fact that I have not shaved my head and covered my face in tattoos can be explained only by my unwavering lethargy, and if I had maybe one or two cups of strong coffee I’d be out there right now looking for someone to dye my entire body blue. The need for change is as overwhelming as it is inexplicable, and this trickled right down into the design of my website. It’s probably all the hormones, but I was tempted for just a second to replace everything with a giant picture of my lily-white ass and a thought bubble shooting out of my crack. It would say: DUDE, IT’S MID-FEBRUARY.

Other reasons for the changes: many of you complained that the text was too small to read, so we enlarged the size of the text and added a bit of space around everything. Many of you complained that I never updated my website unaware that I post pictures and commentary every day in the Daily Photo, Daily Chuck, and Daily Style section of this website. Since I moved those thumbnails into the main content area, I’ve received countless emails to the tune of, “I like this new Daily Photo section you added…” A section that has been around for almost five years.

For those of you who found the relocation of those thumbnails a personal insult, I am terribly sorry, I did not mean for it to upset you so badly. We have since added tabs above the masthead that take you directly to the most recent post in those sections. I’m hoping this solves the navigational issues that frustrated so many of you.

Yes, I still plan on updating and changing the masthead every month, and I promise I will try to avoid using hot pink in future versions, although, did you read that paragraph above about spontaneous explosions? In the coming weeks we plan to launch several other changes mainly to the layout and function of the archives, changes that should make it so much easier to navigate through older content. It’s still a work in progress, and I’m listening to and taking notes of the more constructive suggestions. Best one so far:

I hate your new layout. Such a hassle to have to scroll. Two words: lame.

I asked Jon if he could please fix this bug.

  • You have the best Trolls on the Internet. I think that would make a great t-shirt…

  • ML

    It’s great that the people who complain SO MUCH still come back daily. 🙂 For what it’s worth, I enjoy your website. Mostly because of THE CONTENT. I’m not so picky about the aesthetics.

  • Emily

    I think this is my favorite post ever! Two words: awesome. 🙂

    So hilarious that so many people have the time and desire to harp on such a matter. It’s almost as if you have a life that doesn’t involve the site. Hard to believe, huh? Just to see what happens, I suggest you add the May masthead in March. Could be fun. Or maybe a Christmas tree in August.

    Can’t wait to see the new baby bump photo. I’m about 6 weeks behind you, and it’s so fun to see how you’re progressing!

  • I’ve been praying for this day. (Assuming that this is the day that you changed the masthead. I don’t pay attention to that stuff. But I pray for it).

  • Annie from Vancouver

    I noticed all of the things that those other people didn’t like but I kept my mouth shut for two reasons:
    1) You’re pregnant and I figured you were either busy with your busy life or just taking a breather.
    2) None of the changes really bothered me that much and even if the banner was a week or two late, I like the new banner.
    I do have to admit though, I thought that maybe you had deleted the “daily” photos. I check them everyday so I was hoping you would add the tabs to them again and look! You did!
    Keep up the good work. I love the changes, it is easier to read and the picture of your ass with a thought bubble might be a good idea.

  • Ellen

    Heather, I have read your site for years and I love it. But I don’t like this update. While I’m sure many of your readers did write you really snarky things, and that must suck, you need to realize that at this point, you’re not just a random person blogging with 100 readers. You’re a BRAND, and people come to expect a lot from a brand. And you really can’t complain about that – you’re selling ads. This is your job, and we know you are making quite a lot of money for it.

    I don’t think it’s just the layout people are responding to – it’s the lack of interaction with your readers. You didn’t have to put up a new masthead immediately – but you could have written a quick “Hey, y’all, I’m working on it” post. We are understanding, but we don’t like being kept in the dark. Many of us come to your site more than once a day to see if there’s an update, and when there isn’t one for a few days, it’s a letdown. I realize you post photos daily, but those somehow don’t feel as substantial as a well-written post. And sometimes, after days, all we get is a “this is a song I really like right now” blog post.

    I guess I’m reacting to the fact that your site is seeming more and more corporate to me – it’s full of ads, it’s low on content, and seriously? Many of your daily photos have been advertising gifts we should get our spouses or wallpaper we should hang. It’s just becoming a little bit too much. You haven’t lost my readership yet – but it’s close.

  • Cathy

    You complete me. And I mean that in a non-scary non-stalker type way. This is hi-freaking-larious. I read this post chuckling to myself with evil glee and then I read it again. It’s this wit and humor that bring me back every day, not the need to check and see if you’ve updated your masthead. People are just silly.

  • Anonymous

    Oh my. Sigh. Why do people care so much? Its a blog. I understand you make money on it; but if they don’t like it they can go somewhere else. I wonder if they write McDonalds because they dont like what they put on their ‘billboard’ or the writing on the wrappers. Geesh.

  • Tara

    Two words. Google Reader.

  • Liz

    The fact that people actually took the time to email you their dumbass opinions is laughable. It’s simple: if you don’t like it, DON’T READ IT ASSHOLE. Lyke omgz I have to SCROLL?! Welcome to the internet, people. /rant

  • Bridget

    I love your not-so-latent hostility toward your easily annoyed readers. It’s a hoot!

  • Phoebe

    I think this is a sign of a new edition of “exclamation point!!!!!!!” theater being long overdue.

    i’ll miss the “guess what’s in the tab” game i used to play, but other than that, it’s lovely.

  • Carey

    You could show a picture of your butt with a bubble and I would still read it every day. I have gotten the people at work addicted to the Daily Chuck too. Shh, don’t tell the higher ups we are on the internet.

  • I’ll admit to being a bit surprised by the p-i-n-k, but I do like the bigger masthead and the very “clean” feeling of it.

  • Sigh, so glad I am not a computer geek. I like the new layout but as long as you kept up the content you could put an actual pic of someone taking a shit in cheerios and I’d be ok with it. 🙂

  • like the new layout. i like the fact that photo, chuck and style in the main section best.
    wow. some people have way too much time on their hands. they need to learn to breeaaathe.

  • Losers.

    Good for you getting some entertainment out of it.

  • Jen

    The hot pink is great. Everyone who thinks otherwise can suck it.

  • This post actually made me leave my reader and view your site! I am so sorry I missed the opportunity to freak out about January in February.

  • Wow, people are really jerks. I had no idea the levels of crazy mail you actually get. I would be waaaaaaaay too embarrassed to ever write the Dooce, but I also don’t have mean things to say. Maybe that makes a difference.

    From one preggo to another, you’re growing another brain in there. You don’t have to update your masthead and I don’t have to remember to pay my cable bill on time. Take THAT world!

  • Leslie in WV

    Scrolling? Really. Someone actually complained about scrolling? GET A LIFE PEOPLE! I mean really. So you think to yourself, hmmm, self, I don’t really like to scroll. That thought? NEEDS TO STAY WITH YOURSELF. DO NOT EVER SAY THE WORDS, I DON’T LIKE TO SCROLL OUT LOUD. IT MAKES YOU SOUND LIKE THE PATHETIC LOSER THAT YOU ARE.
    By the way, YOUR new picture rocks. You look hot. Pregnancy suits you. (At least in pictures!)

  • L’enfer, c’est les autres.

  • Kermit

    Your new design certainly doesn’t bother me, and having four kids myself means I’m completely aware that pregnancy hormones drive us to make major surface changes (I cut off all my hair with my third pregnancy, which was such a great choice as my face got fatter with each month of gestation), but I will say it looks much more commercial and much less personal, which saddens me for reasons I cannot explain (perhaps PPAF is right around the corner).

    However, I only click through from the feed reader a few times a year so it hardly matters what I think!

  • Anonymous

    tabs are good.

  • Ellen

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the new layout. Some folks are just assholes to begin with and have way too much time on their hands. Maybe it’s time (again) for the picture of Chuck pooping!

  • Sharon

    I think I need to up my crazy a little, apparently I am not up to standard…To Do List: e-mail someone I don’t know and bitch about how they do shit…

  • Anonymous

    I love your new look. The only thing that panicked me was the fear of losing Daily Chuck – which I love! But it is safe and sound and I am happy. Thanks – your site is wonderful.

  • Sarah

    I’m impressed that you can redesign a website (a) sans alcohol and (b) while keeping your marriage intact.

    Love your work. Thanks!

    All the best,
    Happy with a clean cache in New England
    (I do miss those creative “names” that would end Dear Abby letters.

  • I think you should put up March’s masthead tomorrow and it should say “Suck it”.

  • Lizzy

    Holy socks, but people need to get a life! Mercy!

    I love the new layout and can completely agree with the need for change when pregnant. I cut my hair and ended up looking like David Cassidy. I didn’t get any hostile emails over it, but I did get a lot of pitiful glances. I don’t know… which is worse?

  • Heather,

    Your brilliance and success awakens the little green monsters on the internet. I have never seen the depth of envy in real life that could ever compare to what people on the Internet say about you.

    It’s astounding. You have websites dedicated to hating on you. Now, a new radio show….. What. The. Fuck?

    I don’t know how you do it. Your powers of ignoring the idiots of America are strong and I applaud you…. I know it sounds a little childish and cliche to point this out, but they are all jealous of you…. Every last one of them.

    I happen to like pink and as long as your writing doesn’t start to suck, I will always be a loyal reader.

    When you don’t update, I have nothing to do at work.


  • Kristin

    HA HA HA HA HA ! Wow, you are a better woman than I. That’s all I have to say!

  • I personally could not care less what your site looks like because I read it in google reader…but i loved this post because this is exactly how I feel every time I send a new design to Marketing for review. Love it!

  • Ingrid

    Do the people that sent those email have random strangers barge into their offices and start yelling “You have an obligation to your employers to rearrange the knickknacks on your desk in such a way that pleases the entire world!” ?

    Seriously, where do they learn this behavior??

  • Patrick

    Love to see the change – great work. Let the hormones rage!

  • Victoria

    Man, you crack me up! Keep up the good work and thanks for taking the effort to redesign your website for your READERS who should be GRATEFUL that you are even doing this!!

  • Kristin

    WAIT A MINUTE??? You have a radio dedicated to hating on you? Dear God, please make Heather a Saint!

  • The niffer

    I’ve always thought that some of your readers need to smoke some weed before hitting send. Much bigger issues in the world, folks.

    I like the new site. And if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be writing you to tell you how to do your job. I just wouldn’t look at the site. Problem solved.


    I guess without these guys we wouldn’t have such hilarious posts as this one!

  • Texpatriate

    Oh, fer cryin’ out loud !

    I noticed the changes. I was not in love with the changes, but — here’s a newsflash, haters — it’s not MY SITE.

    I READ the site and I actually understand that a human being (who is currently CREATING another human) might be a teense bit busy. Also, if you’ve read this site AT ALL, you know that Miss Heather likes to change up stuff. Yeesh.

    God forbid you people ever go to the grocery store and find they’re out of Twinkies or whatever you need to poke in your heads as filler. Criminy.

    Write your own if you’re so dang anal-retentive. Ohhhh. That’s right. Nebber mind.

  • Thanks for such an amusing post! My coworkers think I’m a laughing fool whenever I’m reading your posts (especially the photos!).
    You are, obviously, more than entitled to change up your design or even, God forbid, be a little “lazy” about updating. For what it’s worth, I’m rather fond of the new layout and I look forward to further evolution.
    Incidentally, though, in the site facelift, the RSS feed title is changed: instead of reading “Dooce” it now says “dooce® main feed.” Not sure if you care (or if you’re going for an avant-garde anti-RSS statement), but that’s what’s going on in reader-land.

  • I don’t know how you do it Heather. I appreciate the fact that you ignore all of the dipshits and still continue to post. (My brown ass certainly wouldn’t put up with it.) If you want to change your website, you know, the one you pay for? Then fucking do it. As long as I can read it I don’t care. So many people are so quick to put on their Entitled Bitchez hat when they should really sit down and shut up.

    P.S. I love you.

  • hahah, God people are hilarious. I love when you share the ridiculous emails you get. Since when is February 5th mid-February? I love the new layout. It’s awesome. I think the complainers just need to get lives.

  • Anu

    It just amazes me that someone will actually put the physical effort to open their inbox and type mean things in an email. I wonder if they make a similar effort to say nice things as well….

  • grandefille

    For the love of peanut butter.

    Some-a y’all hater-type people just flat crazy. I’d suggest y’all go volunteer to build houses for Habitat or something to get stuff out of your systems, but I’m afraid you’d take a nail gun to somebody and then I’d feel responsible.

    Now. Miss Heather: I’m just glad you still have a site, ma’am. The fact that you update it as often as you do — and dog forbid CHANGE IT UP OCCASIONALLY OMG I CANNOT DEAL WITH CHANGE WHY AREN’T YOU ATTENDING TO MY NEEDS MINEMINEMINEMINEMINE — is simply the maraschino at the peak.

    We send you many restful naps, to be distributed throughout Casa el Dooce as needed. And we are heartily grateful for (and amused by) whatever snippets you share.

    Good wishes to all. Except the haters, who can go suck a nail gun.

  • Meg

    I can’t help but comment. Do people really take this stuff (a slightly out of date masthead; a new format) THAT seriously?!?! Honestly. They need to get a life.

  • As a web designer, I wholly applaud this post.

  • wow. just wow. I can’t believe people actually take time from their lives to:
    a) notice this stuff
    b) complain about it.

    I’d like to meet these people and delegate my laundry and various house cleaning chores to them.

  • Oh, my heavens! Laughed ’til I peed on the “two words” comment! But at least I didn’t crap on anyone’s Cheerios!

    Two words: hilarious!

  • Kate

    Forget all the playa haters.

    Besides, you’re pregnant. It’s the ultimate excuse.

  • Me too Earth Girl.

    Also, people are so awesome.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

read more