Guide for contacting me

Seriously, most of you out there, are really nice people, and inspire me to give away all the stuff I do for free. Some of you SUCK at interacting with other people though, and I really mean SUCK. Just about 3 minutes ago, I received this email:

About Sociable for WordPress: add

That was all that was in there! I wish it was the first e-mail like that, but it wasn’t…

Now if you want me to do something for you, the best thing you can do is ask! And I can tell you one thing, thanking me for writing plugin or tool X, Y or Z won’t hurt, and adding “please” might be a good idea too.

If you want something done tomorrow, either consider paying me to do it (and I’m sorry, but tomorrow is never cheap), or be really really polite and tell me why you need it. I spend 20-30 hours a week writing plugins, tools and blog posts, and I give all of them away for free. Please be so kind as to reward that with well written and polite emails.

Update: it get’s worse, I emailed this lady back with the following single line:

pretty please? :)

And I got this response:

It was not an order, just a quick request. I wrote it in a hurry. :-p

Now seriously, she’ll never get anything done from me anymore.

Tags: runs on the Genesis Framework

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59 Responses

  1. martijnBy martijn on 13 May, 2008

    JC just told me today
    10 things that will happen when you get famous

    this one of ‘em? :-)

  2. CatfishBy Catfish on 13 May, 2008

    Joost will you make me a search engine like Google? This week? And can you make it so it doesn’t accept spam? :P

    You rock man. Lots of people who don’t write you really appreciate your work. Have a great week.

  3. Daan JansoniusBy Daan Jansonius on 13 May, 2008

    Instead of bitching about it and investing your time in writing this blog post you could have just updated the plugin!

    Just jokin’! I’m surprised you even took the time to reply to them and give them a chance to rectify their obvious mistake – which they blatantly not do!

    This is obviously annoying, especially considering its repetitious.

    There’s been quite a bit of debate about this recently, with Gina Trapani from LifeHacker and Chris Anderson from Wired Magazine blacklisting PR hacks who address them with untargetted, unpersonalised and mass spam.

  4. Paul SchoenmakersBy Paul Schoenmakers on 13 May, 2008

    Why did you place her link in this post, I know it’s nofollowed, but she don’t deserve the traffic from you blog :-).

  5. archshrkBy archshrk on 13 May, 2008

    Ah, the detached nature of the internet rears it’s ugly head once again. What’s really sad is that this woman could be a really nice person and not realize how impersonal her emails are coming across. Unfortunately, your counter-responses may seem disproportionately harsh in light of how she “meant it” in her emails.

    Either way, I’m glad for the reminder of how what we say and what we mean are not always equal.

    Oh, and I love your site/plugins/etc. please don’t ban me [/end tongue-in-cheek] :)

  6. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 13 May, 2008

    @Martijn: heh, I guess…

    @Catfish: thx :)

    @Paul: the site isn’t hers :)

    @archshrk: I know she didn’t mean it that way, but I want to make people think twice before they email me stuff like that :)

  7. RosenstandBy Rosenstand on 13 May, 2008

    @Catfish: Maybe you didn’t know – but Joost actually DID write the whole Google one night after a couple of Amstelveen (light) :-)

    Joost: I completely understand your point here, and maybe guys like me aren’t good at appreciating your and other programmers free work. Well: I REALLY enjoy your postings and you plugins – and your minutes at SMX etc. Looking forward to a lot more in the future. Thank you!

  8. rogerBy roger on 13 May, 2008

    hmmm how to be sincere but not too sarcastic but thankful for your free work….difficult….

    i know i contacted you by email twice about a paying job about three – four months back and nada, zip, not even a sorry i’m too busy!

    but i guess we can just blame spam filters ;)

  9. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 13 May, 2008

    @Rosenstand: appreciated

    @roger: hmm that’s weird, I usually try to reply all my email, I’m only behind 600 or so atm :)

  10. John LessnauBy John Lessnau on 13 May, 2008

    Even worse are the people that tell you how much your product/service sucks, then ask for something.

  11. Gatto NeroBy Gatto Nero on 13 May, 2008

    The only think I’d like to say is “I’m sorry”.
    ’cause she’s obviously italian (the service is italian, .it).
    Believe me: not all the italian people are so weird or unking. Some of them are worst, of course.
    But some try to be respectful of other people’s work…

  12. PublicRecordsGuyBy PublicRecordsGuy on 13 May, 2008

    Hey, I’m thankful for your services. I noticed on Twitter last night you mentioned you “plugged-in” some on-click tracking. More to come???

  13. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 13 May, 2008

    @john: hehe yes, very true.

    @Gatto: hehe I won’t blame an entire people, know to much nice Italian girls (and some guys) to do that ;)

    @PublicRecordsGuy: that’s in an IndexTools plugin though, so not “for everyone” yet…

  14. AndreaBy Andrea on 13 May, 2008

    Hi Joost.

    I wrote you twice with also some line of code but I didn’t receive any answer.
    Some problem with the code I sent you.

    Please leave me a reply.

  15. AntónioBy António on 13 May, 2008

    Did you hear of this new link building tactic? Send an idiotic email to some designer or programmer, preferentially one with a high profile, and pray for him to publish your email :)

    Too bad some ppl insist in using nofollow :(

  16. AndreaBy Andrea on 13 May, 2008

    Antonio. Is your comment for me ?

  17. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 14 May, 2008

    @Andrea hehe no I think he was referring to me linking to that site ;) I saw your email, but you were yourself pretty good at forgetting the intro to your emails too ;) Feel free to release an Italian version though, I can’t support all countries unfortunately.

    @Antonio hehe, that works, with dumber people than me ;)

  18. AndreaBy Andrea on 14 May, 2008

    OK. Thanks Joost. I really appreciate your answer.

  19. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 14 May, 2008

    @andrea my pleasure!

  20. AntónioBy António on 14 May, 2008

    Certainly not to you Andrea.

    @Joost: I was going to reply to your (automated, I suppose) greetings email but I can do it here:

    Update WordPress Plugins & SEO mailing list. http://www….com

    (I don’t even have the guts to link drop.)

  21. Lightening@Lightenings BlogworldBy Lightening@Lightenings Blogworld on 14 May, 2008

    Well, I have just started reading your blog after finding your RSS plug-in via a google search. It’s working well for what I was looking for. So thanks. :)

    Sorry to hear that some people aren’t all that great at polite communication. :/

  22. ICANN resellerBy ICANN reseller on 14 May, 2008

    I just wanted to commend you on having a very good blog. Congrats!

    Keep up the good work!

  23. brewginBy brewgin on 14 May, 2008

    / hug

  24. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 14 May, 2008

    @Antonio: hehehe

    @Blogworld, @ICANN, @bregwin: tx!

  25. Florian StelznerBy Florian Stelzner on 14 May, 2008

    Thanks for all your input! Keep up the good work!

  26. gadgetBy gadget on 14 May, 2008

    As archshrk says, the breavity of the internet can sometimes lead some to forget their manners. However, with the dominance of mobile phone text speak, how lazy does someone have to be to omit .. “pls and thx”. On a positive, I really enjoy your blog. have you thought about adding it to the a4u profile so that your posts are automatically added to the daily blog posts?

  27. jamesgilmoursimpsonBy jamesgilmoursimpson on 14 May, 2008

    Speaking for myself and a couple of the guys at work – we really appreciate the time and effort you put into this blog Joost – it’s first rate. People (like myself) should tell you more often what a great job you do. Thanks again.

  28. MitchBy Mitch on 14 May, 2008

    Well, reading this post made me wonder what kind of person the author is. The initial e-mail contained no insult, it was short but not offensive. His reaction has been a bit more offensive though, even though I explained further and tried to clarify my point. Honestly, you’re making a fool of yourself, as ou quoted just *parts* of our conversation, enough to support your unfair idea.

    I appreciate your efforts in writing plugins, yet I think you’d change attitude a bit more. Case closed.

  29. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 14 May, 2008

    @Florian: thx.

    @gadget: nope, will do, great suggestion :)

    @James: thx, much appreciated.

    @Mitch: well you’re entitled to your opinion, I’m just telling everybody how I like to be treated when people want something from me, and that is and always will be my prerogative.

  30. gadgetBy gadget on 14 May, 2008

    Mitch – I can’t agree with you. Joost is a really nice guy. All he was saying is that if you want him to do something for you, just and remember to say please and thank you. Is that too much to ask?

  31. MitchBy Mitch on 14 May, 2008

    I honestly did not mean to offend him, honestly. Maybe I misused English, could be I don’t realize some subtle meanings. English is not my first language. If that’s the case, I’m sincerely sorry. Joost, I hope you accept this.

  32. PublicRecordsGuyBy PublicRecordsGuy on 14 May, 2008

    So can you give us more info no the ON Click plug-in purpose, etc.? Please and Thank You.

  33. Tracy RobinsonBy Tracy Robinson on 14 May, 2008

    Hey, Joost, I found your website through Shoemoney and just wanted to say thanx for all the useful plugins. Just sent you an email with a plugin idea for nonprofits.

  34. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 14 May, 2008

    @Mitch: we’re good, no hard feelings here

    @PRG: when it’s done I wil :-)

    @Tracy: saw it, good idea, but it’s not exactly my cup of tea… I’d ask more graphically skilled developers…

  35. MitchBy Mitch on 14 May, 2008

    Joost, I felt it was honest from me to explain and apologise.

  36. Mikael RieckBy Mikael Rieck on 15 May, 2008

    If I didn’t trust you I would said that you have got to be kidding. I guess it depends where you come from and the way you normally interact with people. I’m kinda like you and I would go far to help other people but the least they can do is ask politely. I would never ask anyone to do anything for me without asking them nicely. But that is just me…

  37. Don DraperBy Don Draper on 15 May, 2008

    It’s those darn mobile phones. Combine the awkward keyboard, tiny screens, and people for whom English is not their best language and you’ll get some fairly cryptic and seemingly impolite emails. You just have to look at everything in context.

  38. RobBy Rob on 15 May, 2008

    It costs nothing to be kind and polite, that applies in the real world as well as in Internet communication. Thanks for your continued efforts Joost.

  39. Jelle VerkleijBy Jelle Verkleij on 16 May, 2008

    Congratulation on being one of the ‘people in the industry’ in Shoemoney’s point of view. You should consider getting a PA now ;)

  40. jonathandsBy jonathands on 17 May, 2008

    Joost you’re a star , this is the price of fame :P

    you really should get this kind of email as a nice thing, it means your hard work really work matter.

    if you want to pretend you like something you tell “amazing”, if you really like something ask about it.

    One of my ex-teachers, a javascript expert, told me that once a guy have asked him through IM, to write a script, obviously what the guy listened was a big: no, i just can help you, i can’t work for you. The guy took the whole day yelling at him…

    It’s common, sometimes people are just in a bad day, crashed the car, lost the girlfriend or just woke up in the wrong side of the bed…

    it’s just a thinkerer i would commonly omit in the past… i wish it could be somewhat inspirational as your blog is for my work, even though my english isn’t the better.

    anyway , thank you and keep up!

  41. MariekeBy Marieke on 19 May, 2008

    Joost, would you please please please mow the lawn, do the dishes, cook dinner, tidy our livingroom, make our bed, clean Linux en feed Tycho?
    thanks, your the best!

    xxx girlfiend

  42. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 19 May, 2008

    Hehe so far for pretending to be the boss at home, thx darling :)

  43. edwinBy edwin on 19 May, 2008

    Although I fully understand that the combination of fatigue and tons of meaningless mails can burst a man, I believe that posting these frustrations isn’t much helpfull to your readers..
    Still loving you..

  44. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 19 May, 2008

    @edwin well, so far it HAS helped people who emailed me to be almost twice as polite as they were before :)

  45. Frank MalinaBy Frank Malina on 19 May, 2008

    You deserve more money, matey. Consider a “buy me a coffee” paypal donation thing.

    I use to click a few ads on a blog when I read a good post or find something useful somewhere. It’s not a click fraud or anything, I really digest those ads. It’s just my way to say thank you.

  46. SHEBy SHE on 20 May, 2008

    Joostdevalk, SEO Slave 2.0

    ik hou van jou :P

  47. JanethBy Janeth on 21 May, 2008

    People never appreciate anything you do for free.

  48. MelCBy MelC on 21 May, 2008

    Glad I got your help before before you won Blog Idol mate! Pity someone else went and undid it…..Ping me when you get a free minute and we can chat! BTW didn’t you have a Paypal button before?

  49. JorgBy Jorg on 22 May, 2008

    Joost as you may know I don’t use WordPress so can’t thank you for that (yet :D). But thank’s for the post, read it with a smile and can only agree for the full 100%.

  50. nocturnalBy nocturnal on 28 May, 2008

    Hi Joost,

    I only just noticed that when I click on my Archive links (they are set up by each month, ex: May 2008, April 2008, etc) the link redirects to home page. I decided to deactivate all my plugins to see which one was the culprit.

    It was Meta Robots. For now, I have it disabled. I am currently using WP Version 2.3.3. I have the code in the sidebar and in the header. Do you know what could be wrong? Everything else on my blog works fine. Is there something else I need to change to make it work?

  51. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 28 May, 2008

    @Nocturnal: that’s a setting in your Robots Meta settings…

  52. nocturnalBy nocturnal on 29 May, 2008

    Doh! Thanks a lot Joost. I appreciate your fast response. I should have known better to look there. I just didn’t recall that being an option before, but I guess I overlooked it.

    Just out of curiosity, in what situation would someone want this option (“Disable the date-based archives”)?

  53. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 29 May, 2008

    @nocturnal: I always disable my date archives.

  54. Marcos A.T. SilvaBy Marcos A.T. Silva on 3 June, 2008

    Hello Jost,

    I would like to know what are the licencing terms of Sociable. Is it realeased under GPL, for example?

    I am asking it because I would like to know if is it possible to edit your plugin, inserting some Brazilian social sites and and perhaps eliminate or hide some of the sites already present on the plugin. I am also translate the plugin, if possible.

    So, can I do this? And, if so, can I make it downloadable from my site, always maintaining your credits, of course, and linking your website?

    Best Regards.


  55. RonaldBy Ronald on 10 June, 2008

    Hey Joost,

    Hoe werkt je ‘RSS Footerr’ plugin voor WordPress op 2.5 ? Ik kan het nergens vinden.

    Mail me aub.


  56. tiggsyBy tiggsy on 13 June, 2008


    I hope I’m never as rude as that, maybe on Twitter, where you only get 140 characters, but in an email, I try and be a bit more friendly. But I guess we’re all different.

    I’m just on here to let you know that I found a little problem with Sociable (which is brilliant, thanks so much for making it available to us all), in that suddenly it started appearing with bullets in a long list. No doubt some other plugin was also using but without the inline, and it was conflicting. I fixed it by adding “class=\”sociable\” into the bit where the actual output occurs, and amending the sociable.css file so that its
    sociable li.sociable { etc }
    which put it back to normal.

    It occurs to me that this may happen to other people, and of course, whenever there’s an update I would have to remember to do it again (and I have a really bad memory, because I am always doing about 27 things at once, like most of us nowadays, I guess), so I thought I would write and let you know about this little problem – which I understand is not your fault, but mine for using too many plugins – AND the way I found of getting round it, so that if anyone else has a similar problem, it’s not a big deal to fix it.

    It would be really helpful if you could change your plugin (i know it’s cheeky to ask this, but), so that the problem doesn’t crop up again every time there’s an update.


  57. Rob JonesBy Rob Jones on 17 June, 2008

    RE: “Some of you SUCK at interacting with other people though, and I really mean SUCK.”

    On the one hand I can think of an instance where I fit that description in here once.

    On the other hand I’ve taken to reading your blog and have an enhanced appreciation of your work as a result… so I’d kinda like to make up for it. Watch for an email if you’re inclined to accept an apology. :-)

    Regards ~ Rob

  58. KevinBy Kevin on 7 September, 2008

    I just wanted to say thanks for all your great free advice, content, and tools. You site has jumped to the top of my favorite SEO blogs to read. Keep up the great work!

  59. John, 121SearchEngineOptimiZation.comBy John, on 9 October, 2008

    Joost Rocks!

    Hey Joost,
    You & Marieke are both cooool.
    I liked the post by Marieke the best of anyone else posting to you.
    I get this from my wife a lot, she even
    has a “honey do” list she leaves me with…just to make sure I am paying attention.
    but never does it publicly… :) You go Marieke!
    Later Joost