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.

  • Loved the old layout. Love the new layout. Wasn’t lost before, not lost now. If I would happen to get lost, I would feel my way through until familiarity again sets in. Love the hot pink. Love the John/Jane Q Publics who are constantly such a hot mess about everything trivial and the incessant need to be vocal about it. OK, maybe I love them, but I’m not IN love with them. Alright, maybe I don’t LOVE love them, I just like them a lot. So maybe I don’t like them all that much. Maybe they’re just mildly humorous and marginally tolerable. OK, maybe just mildly humorous. In doses. Sometimes.

  • lisa C.

    I just can’t believe that people care that much to tell you what bothers them about YOUR website. Honestly, I love your mastheads but I never pay attention to the fact that they are on time or not. If they are a few days or weeks late it doesn’t bother me. I figure you must be busy living your life and didn’t have time to change it. I do look forward to new posts but again if you haven’t posted for awhile – I don’t hold it against you. As always, I think the site looks great!

  • Ahhh, I was waiting for this post! The snippets of hatemail made it all worth while.

    I like your fancy dancy site in any color.

  • Mary

    I am happy that you put tabs to link to the daily pictures. And it’s not like this is the first or last time you’ll change your site format. People in general just don’t like change, that’s all.

  • Sylvia

    GREAT post! Made my day. Must say I knew it would happen but still hilarious! xo

  • TropicalPopsicle

    If only I could make such fun of the people who write into my customer service job! Actually I DO make fun, but how I wish I could make it public. The same people write to you and my company, it seems. In order to make it better for me, I will channel your brilliant wit and make fun of them forever.

  • Heather, you have mistaken a person for your Good Fairy. If Dooce is a brand in your mind, this only indicates that you must 1) remove your head from your ass, and 2) get a life.

    Melissa, after they come for you, they can come for me. I’ll take down my Xmas Decorations when they come down on their own, and not a minute before.

  • Leslie

    I didn’t even realize there was such hubbub going on over here… To those who have such strong issues with the style – 2 words GOOGLE READER. It will deliver all of the content with none of the frustration related to design and layout.

    To Heather – I sincerely regret that you have to put up with such strange bs, but I, for one, am pleased you continue to enjoy yourself enough to keep on doing it.

  • Isn’t this website/blog supposed to be a representation of….you? Maybe you wanted January to last longer? Maybe today you like hot pink? I read your blog because I appreciate what you have to say and how you represent yourself. Therefore….if you change how you are portraying yourself…aren’t you just…expressing yourself…in a way that fits better with your own thoughts and feelings?

    I could ramble on about this for paragraphs…anyway it’s your site tell them all to (insert snotty four letter words here)!

  • I had a fleeting thought of, “Oh man, the site is hot pink” and “There aren’t tabs for the dailies any more.” Then I noticed there were tabs and I went, “All right, cool.”

    But complaining that the banner says January instead of February? Take a chill pill, people, please. Who the hell cares? Oh anonymity of the internet, how you turn people into crazy psycho loons…

    By the way, I missed the comments on the trenchcoat picture, but you are the coolest pregnant lady I’ve ever SEEN.

  • Anonymous

    I am glad you have such tough skin. I couldn’t bear the crap that idiots send your way.
    With that said, you rock. Change if you want to, or don’t change. We are along for your ride. This is your site! Does the rest of the world remember that? We are voyeurs into your life!! We are lucky that you allow us to come along for the ride.

  • Yes, fuck scrolling! How tedious! Maybe you guys can put the whole site inside an iframe, wouldn’t that be just lovely.

    I do not understand people who become irrational about such irrelevant things. You don’t pay for any of this content, stop bitching. I don’t get the entitlement about something that is free and pretty entertaining.

    And just a note to the person upset about Heather’s Daily Style posts, the whole intent of the Daily Style section is to suggest products SHE LIKES and where to buy them. I know it’s totally wild and out there, but get this: PEOPLE OFTEN ASK HEATHER WHERE SHE BUYS SOME OF THE THINGS IN HER HOME. I know, it’s really crazy!

    If you don’t like the changes, don’t visit the site, it’s your choice.

  • That LDS temple, whilst it may be pretty inside, reminds me of a prison on the outside.

    Sorry, that was totally off topic, back to the NEW DESIGN.

    I don’t love the new design, but then again I didn’t love the old one either. Of course I am shocked how many people actually emailed you to tell you how much they dislike it! Wow, you’d think you redesigned a room in their house or something!!

    Blogs are tough to make “pretty” and still keep them functional and fast loading. Trust me, my design isn’t any better so I don’t mean it as a knock, I just mean it as the truth of the internets.

  • It’s your site and you’ll make a hot-pink masthead if you want to. (;

  • Anonymous

    For a website that supports your entire family through readership, you sure do turn into a lunatic when you receive any feedback that you don’t consider appropriate.

    I think you might just want to consider counting your blessings….

  • Colleen

    I miss the thumbnail of the photo. It’s the reason I visited your site every day, rather than read it in a reader.

    Anyway, overall it looks good, and of course I’ll continue to read dooce, just via feed reader instead.

    I love this “two words: lame” That’s great!

  • God I’m sorry you have to put up with such doo doo from readers. My gosh its your blog and if you want it to be January then by golly SO BE IT!
    I love the new layout…very nice. And I totally dig the Hot Pink.

  • I always get your stuff from my rss feed in my inbox, so until this post, I had no idea that you had changed your layout. Damn, am I missing out on all the fun, or what?

    For your next book, you should just put out lists of the “best” crappy emails and flouces. Two words: awesome.

  • Britt

    1. LOVE the maternity trench coat. I’m not gonna lie, I may go get one even though I’m not prego.

    2. Sorry you get so many asses complaining about your website. It’s ridiculous. A website like this is a work of art, and change is not necessarily bad people. You wouldn’t go complaining to Picasso about one of his paintings, now would you?

    3. Heather, I’m so proud of you being nice to the Mormons. I might not have been so generous. However, the new temple looks like a gorgeous building. : )

  • LOL! Well, I think the new layout is purdy. 😉 And, I may have to steal (borrow?) the “two words” thing. SO funny!! 🙂

  • leonie

    the new layout is lovely.

    those who complain can suck it.

  • Sara

    Holy mother of Moses, people are crazy. Can you imagine having to live with or be related to them? I shudder at the thought. It’s so much more fun mocking them on your website.

    The new layout is great, BTW

  • Love this post! Those MAROONS need to get a life.

    Scrolling is my entire daily exercise routine. Thanks for adding to it!


  • Cee

    “Two words: lame” should be the quote on your next masthead, because that is hilarious.

    I admit I missed the handy buttons for Daily Style, etc, so I’m glad those tabs are back.

  • people.are.assholes.

    keep on keepin on, heather.

    love the new look.


  • I’m totally glad that the hate emails are back and I love the new layout. I think you inspire web design around the web (okay, on my blog specifically) so kudos!

  • Man, this post is why I love this blog. People.. they’re crazy… and they always will be. I love you for dealing with the crazies.

    Also, totally love the new layout.. the new masthead.. everything. Don’t change a thing, change everything.. I’ll still read every day.

  • OMG people are nuts! Some of those comments are pretty funny but WOW, who gets that upset over a masthead?!

  • coleen

    i love the new layout! i’ve been reading your site since, as you put it, “went crazy” & i think this change is refreshing.

    i think you have done a wonderful job in keeping the naysayers at bay & doing what you love in return.

    thank you for your site, it is my coffee break, my zoloft, my anti-panic attack. & i love it.

    congratulations on the pregnancy, as well. you look stunning.

  • Thank you so much for adding the tabs at the top to navigate the daily pics. That was one of my main issues with the new layout. Also, glad to hear you will still be changing the masthead. Otherwise, nice change. I still kind of like the old layout better, but I can totally understand the need to change things up while you’re pregnant.

  • brenna

    please!!!!!!!!!!!!!! people have nothing better to do than complain!

    keep up the good work! 🙂 i hope you are feeling well.

  • Sylvia

    P.S. I had almost got my breath back while reading comments until I got to Ellen at #56 and then I started to choke with laughter again. If only people cared this much about global warming or finding a cure for cancer! Good grief, People! One word: anal retentive!

  • SHHHH: I love the hot pink, the new look, and everything about your awesome site. How does it feel to take on all the crazies of the Internet so the rest of us don’t have to? Imagine how many angry, disgruntled, whiny people take it out on you (spelled correctly: ewe?) and then are more kind in their everyday lives. It’s a public service, really. Thanks, dude.

  • Loran

    Right on, sistah! Let ’em have it.

    You’d think people would have better things to do in life than complain about someone else’s website ESPECIALLY WHEN SHE IS PREGNANT. Jeez louise.

  • Annie

    I love you and your site. Even with the changes.

    I think it’s so funny that people think they have the right to tell YOU what to do with YOUR site. Odd people you have to deal with, but at least you can be entertained while reading the various complaints.

  • Hey! So I have to admit I read your site through google reader and had NO IDEA of the wrongs you have done me by not updating your banner. I probably only click through once or twice a week and apparently I missed out on the whole fiasco, well shucks. Anyway, the updates look great, the pink banner is adorable, people are morons, bla bla bla.

  • I can’t believe people actually email you complaining about your site where you showcase FREE entertainment that they clearly enjoy enough to return to regularly. Is Dooce like, mandatory reading for crotchety knitting circles with pms or something? I love your writing, whatever layout you choose.

  • I read your writing, enjoy it immensely, and LOVE your photos and comments on them, all of which I receive via RSS feed. You have mastheads? Who knew.

  • Julia

    But I really loved the layout you had in 2002 😛 It has been my all-time favorite, so can you bring it back, please? ;P Honestly I love the new layout and the pink too… I’m sure it serves the needs better and one gets used to the chances, slowly but surely 🙂 I have been reading Dooce since moving out of home, across the country and finally abroad. It’s my bible and continue to be so 🙂 And ps. there are worse colors than pink out there. I really like my new pink trench coat, not as cool as yours… but hey, I’m not Dooce 🙂

  • Stephanie

    If only I had known scrolling was such a hassle…wow give me a break! I was slightly freaked at the new layout the first day I saw it, but I like it a lot.
    Also, being 26 weeks (whatever that translates to in months) pregnant, I completely dig the need for change.

  • Nana

    I just thought something was wrong with my computer! I always think the problem is with me. But I like the tabs at the top much better.

  • Malita

    And this is why you are so quotable – it’s like an episode Seinfeld the millennium years. I think we the people need to focus some of this energy elsewhere – “such a hassle to scroll”? really lazy butt, do you also have a catheter up your ass so you don’t have to get off the couch to do your business? coo koo!!! ps i think you should do an alternative mast head section and that’s where we can find the lilly white ass crack happy February one – awesome. Oh and ps to you lunatic readers – two words – google reader.

  • For what it’s worth…I LOVE the new layout! And I have since you implemented it last week. Change is good every now and again…

  • Anonymous

    Seriously, Dooce. Tell the internet to suck it. If they truly ‘hate’ your masthead lateness and your choice of colors, they have way too much time on their hands to actually qualify as a functioning part of the human race. And, to top it off, the internet isn’t pregnant, so they can suck it twice.

  • Cindy

    I love your blog and the fact that I might not agree with you 100% of the time just makes me love reading it that much more. I find it comical to think that the ones who send you nasty emails about the content of your blog think that they actually matter. Keep being you.

  • Everything you blog makes me laugh – eff the idiot ‘tards that bitch. Jesus loves them so you don’t have to.

  • coral

    I don’t normally do this but..
    I need you to know that “two words: lame” will now be said very frequently in my household. And it’s all your fault.

  • Talon

    . . .

    I cannot believe that people were actually NOT SEEING the daily photos you put up!!

    I personally never notice when the masthead changes until I do…so big whoop about that. Some people obviously are WAY more anal than I am.

    I still really don’t like the pictures in with the blog part. Visually it really doesn’t work for me at all. But I’m not going to insult your mother about it, nor am I going to threaten to leave OR *gasp* leave!! I do appreciate the tabs in the banner(and use them, thank you!!)…but I’m sorry I have to be honest. I think the thumbnails in the blog section are just…really really bad looking. Very visually distracting and just…okay I just don’t like them!! I find them ugly. My own, personal opinion…that I managed to give without insulting or name calling. Whodathunk???

    That’s okay. I don’t HAVE to like them to still love your blog. (Please have the need to change them again soon…you’re pregnant…nesting…NEST!! :P)

    I got no beef with the rest of the layout. And for fuckssake people…find a life, if all you have to complain about is that Dooce doesn’t change her banners on time then there’s something seriously wrong with your life.

  • the page looks great, like always. i don’t get how people can be so critical of such unimportant stuff – in the big scheme of things like children starving in the sudan and that sort of thing! looks great – keep up the good work blurbodoocery!

  • Kim

    You gotta be effin’ kidding me.

    Love the new layout.

    Glad it came with no explanation, it made me feel like you thought your readers could figure it out for ourselves.

    The trolls can suck it, as far as I’m concerned.

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.

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