ok, say you belonged a specific group of people-you all shared the same hobby, and met monthly to talk about it. You shared ideas, thoughts, and had a few drawings/giveaways and just loved the general good feeling you got from being around people with the same interests. Your hobby wasn't your life, you just dabbled in it and were happy to get anything out of it. The main thing was being around a group of people who don't look at you like you're nuts when you say you sent in an entry form to XYZ Company hoping to win an iPod. You get the picture now, don'tcha?
Mostly everyone in the group is fun and great to talk to, sharing info about our hobby and also our lives in general. But there is one person who leads the group, likes to monopolize conversations, creates negativity and strife and everyone who knows her just grits their teeth and bears it because they enjoy the other people's company so much. No one speaks up, and several have left the group or rarely attend meetings because this person can only be taken in very small doses. This person has control issues, and tries to control what group members are doing. The hobby I partake in can be downright dirty-petty and deceptive, with people so jealous of others they take it upon themselves to sabotage anything they can, and create an unfavorable attitude with sponsors of these hobbyists. Someone get pissed because you won a trip to Tahiti and they didn't? No problem, they just email the sponsor and say ya cheated. Even if you didn't. And some, they win so much, they become jaded and feel ENTITLED to win, and when they don't they get ugly or make snide comments.
Where is the fun in that, you ask? I have often wondered myself as I have watched people evolve-first, wanting to share something with friends, and then called out by others who are greedy and want the info kept within the group. Ok, I can understand about not wanting the whole world to know about the promotion, less people entering means better odds for you. Simple mathematics at work here folks. But karma will come and bite you in the ass someday, wait and see. I love entering bloggy giveaways, but I also love searching for them on my own and actually visiting the site and reading about the sponsor and the person doing the giving away. Hell, if I could figure out a way to link to different blogs (ok, so I am not a technical person, I just figured out how to add photos!) to promote the giveaway and earn an extra entry, I'd be doing it. But I don't intend to win them all, and don't get upset when I don't. I like to go back and read the winners comments, to see the genuine excitement their post has about winning. I hate it when I see quick comments like enter me, etc.. I mean, how hard is it to leave a meaningful comment? I was looking at blogs earlier this week, and an artist was giving away a set of her beautiful coasters. But she was plainly upset because her blog had been hijacked by a sweeps site. She was deleting the posts they made, as she wanted it for fans of her work only. She called them bottomfeeders if I am correct. I did not find her site thru a sweeps site, and probably would have had a legitimate entry-but I didn't enter, for I enter sweepstakes as a hobby, and felt she considered me a bottomfeeder. I felt insulted, because I am a consumer as well. But I also understand that there are some that have given my hobby a bad name-a really bad name. So much that promotion companies have stopped giving away prizes due to the whining winners that are always complaining. Or wanting a cash substitute when it specifically says no cash substitutes, or entering for prizes they have no use for and selling them to make money. Be responsible people! And grow up! Geez, nothing like kicking a gift horse in the mouth, huh?
Now back to this group, they have a group they post on that consists of active members and lurkers. Then another group, which is much smaller, which is active members only. I have been an active member for 4 years, known about this elite groups existence, and never once asked to be in it because cliques are SO for high school. So yesterday, I get the invite, along with a couple of other members who have been active only within the last year. Talk about adding insult to injury huh... geez, they didn't want me before, and now they do???? So anyways, I also do focus groups, surveys, you name it -for money when I am on layoff. And one day I get this survey about ABC agency (which is a well known name in promotions) asking me to prequalify for a focus group for a certain website they are thinking of doing. I figure, heck, what do I have to lose, they are gonna pay me for my opinion and I just might win something to boot. I have no idea where they got my name, but have also seen other known hobbyists emails too, so know I was not the only one picked. So I have been participating in the focus group for a few surveys and one of the questions was Do you belong to a sweeps group? I honestly answered that I did. End of story, or so I thought. Now this ABC agency has not asked me for anything about sweeps habits, just to evaluate their site. Nothing more. So I go and post on my little private new group board about how I was involved with this, and it started. The paranoia, that is. The group leader panicked thinking I was going to divulge sweeping "secrets" to this agency. Personally, I think the group leader herself was pissed because she wasn't in control of what was going on, and she wasn't the one asked to do the job, I was. Regretfully, I removed myself from the group. Those that want to remain friendly with me will do so via personal email, and maybe they will one day get the guts up to overcome the put up or shut up mentality that they have with this person. They are a great group of people and I will miss them all but I refuse to remain where not wanted and where paranoia and personal greed (even by 1 or 2 people) happen to rule.
Sorry for the rant folks, but it's kind of a bummer knowing you are giving up meeting with a great bunch of people because of a couple rotten eggs in the bunch.