Over the 7 months that the site has been running, things have gone pretty smoothly. There have, however, been a few occasions where mistakes were made that needed correcting. This is my list-of-humility where I tell you the biggest mistakes I have made! Consider it my Lenten penance!
10. Not Citing Sources
I think we have all seen the result of not quoting sources – 100 comments bitching about plagiarism! It turns out that Wikipedia has a policy that you must open source any document that quotes even the tinniest bit of it and must cite every page you quote. I didn’t know that when we started out and a LOT of internet police decided to tell me! I am so sorry! I now open source any document that may even smell of citations from Wikipedia so as to not offend the Wikipedia police. (image above: Jfrater upholding copyright law).
9. Posting an offensive list
While the site was very young I posted a list that was very politically incorrect. At the time I didn’t consider it a problem, but I should have known that our large American viewership might not agree. After a couple of hours of squirming, I deleted the list. I won’t name the list – it is better forgotten!
8. Not Editing Lists
I have received many lists which I just posted straight to the site because I love the topic – but I didn’t check them first. The result of this is normally that I spend a good two hours going back and editing the list each time someone notices an error! I submit all lists to the site through special software for the Mac which has a built in spellchecker so I really have no excuse not to check first!
7. Not Checking Uniqueness of Lists
I have had to delete two lists (which is probably pretty good considering the number of submissions I have received) because it turned out that they were verbatim copies of other sites. The good news is that since this has happened I have become a lot tougher on submitted lists.
6. Editing a Live Site
I am sure that many of you have experienced very weird quirks on the site which are due to my editing and testing new ideas on the live site! To be honest, I have not managed to set up a beta site that will let me test out new stuff so I just do it straight on the live site. I am terrified that one of these days the change will lead to catastrophe! I promise to set up a test site ASAP! Cyn (pictured above typing out my latest list as I dictate to her) will smack me if I don’t.
5. Ranting in Comments
I try very hard to keep my cool when commenting and reading comments – but there have been a few occasions where I have become very agitated and have said a lot more than I should! On a few occasions this has led me to edit or delete comments the next day when I have calmed down. (Image above: jfrater “chatting” on the bible stories list).
4. Commenting when Drunk
I think most people on the site now know that I enjoy a tipple on a regular occasion. Unfortunately there have been a few times that I have posted comments whilst under the influence which, on viewing the next day, shame me so greatly that I have to delete them and hope no one noticed! (image above – jfrater the morning after).
3. Not Upgrading soon enough
Long timers (read Ravyn, Juggz, Cyn, Kelsi, etc.) will be well aware of the downtime we have suffered on the site in our seven months. Little did I know when I started the List Universe that we would become so popular so quickly that I would need to upgrade to multiple servers! If I had had the foresight, I would have gone straight to the higher priced servers instead of upgrading by tiny stages. This will not happen again – we are moving to a big cluster soon. (image above: sponge-jfrater so excited about the traffic that he forgets to upgrade the servers).
2. Adding a NSFW category
Now I know that many of you supported me in the inclusion of this Not Safe For Work category, but in hindsight I realized that it crippled me. Prior to adding the category I had posted many lists that contained content that people might consider NSFW but I always added a warning and no one complained. As soon as I introduced this category I realized that people would rely on it to determine which lists they should avoid – the result was that if I wanted to do a future list of serial killers, due to the photos I would have to make it NSFW. This excluded many people from good quality historical lists.
1. Writing Too Many Lists
In order to satisfy, I do, on occasion, write lists that are not as good as my usual output just to make sure you are all getting lots of lists during the day. The end result is that they are not the best and people complain. I have even had people say they would rather see fewer lists of better quality. Henceforth I shall only write good lists and will throw away the bad “fillers”! (image above: jfrater on an average listverse morning).
Many thanks to Cyn (pictured in item 6) who did a great job editing this list to prevent problems related to item 4!