Mostly Mochi pics in Site Updates

  • Feb. 11, 2020, 6:15 p.m.
  • |
  • Public

Hey everyone,

Happy new year, Lunar and otherwise! It’s been a bit since I last wrote, and I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season and your 2020 is off to a great start.

Before I go any further, I wanted to touch a bit on why it’s been so long between updates.

I said when I took over PB almost two years ago (!!!!) that I would be honest with all of you, so I feel obligated to open up and and share that I’ve been going through an extremely rough patch over the last six months or so. I’ve been grappling with profound burnout in my professional life, and it’s been a journey to pull myself out of it. Picking up the pieces and moving forward has been a daily uphill battle. And, unfortunately, one of the casualties of that battle has been communication. In all aspects of my life. Until recently, on most days the best I could manage was autopilot.

Thankfully, I’m now able to share that I’ve recently turned a corner, and am feeling energized and ready to tackle whatever comes next. 2020 here I come!

While all of this was going on, I’ve found solace in quietly working on Prosebox. I’m eternally grateful for all of you, and I apologize for not being good at communicating lately. That’s going to change.

So, what have I been working on?

As you may have noticed, there has been a lot of spam lately. A big thanks to everyone that’s sent me emails pointing me towards offenders. And repeat offenders. And the other ones. It’s a lot. And it’s getting steadily worse.

In addition, I get a few complaints every month about hate speech or harassment. This is unfortunate, but it’s the reality of running a community. Usually these issues are resolved via email, but sometimes I miss things or am not able to respond quickly enough.

To make both of these problems easier to handle, I’ve been working on a new feature: flagging.

The first version will be focused on entries, but I hope to roll it out to comments and journals eventually as we iron out the bugs. This feature will empower all of you to raise a red flag on anything you see that breaks the site rules. The flagged entry will be saved and sent to an admin dashboard for review. That way I have a single place to review any of the issues that might come up.

As a reminder, hate speech and harassment are not tolerated on Prosebox. Until this feature rolls out, you can always contact me and I’ll do my best to resolve the situation.

In addition to flagging, security is going to be a big focus for me over the next few months. There have been a few issues happening in a non-visible way that I’ve been fighting off with the help of the developer over the last several months, and I’m confident we’ll find more as time goes on. In short, the code base that Prosebox is running on grows older every year, and unfortunately that means occasional but ongoing work to keep things secure.

Finally, I wanted to touch on the navigation research I did with PJ. I have the results, but need to work with her to synthesize them into something shareable. I’m happy to say there wont be and big changes to the navigation, but there are some places we can make some minor improvements that will make everyone’s life a little bit easier. More on that soon!!

I’m happy to be writing again. I’ve missed speaking with all of you. How have you been?

Mochi’s been well, but it’s been an eventful few months.

He had to dress up as a martini because he had a lil sore on his back foot:
mochitini

But he’s doing well now:
daydream

We traveled home for the holidays:
holidaze

And a few weeks ago he dressed up as the cutest lion for the lunar new year parade:
lyon

More soon.

<3,
-J


Last updated February 11, 2020


Silverstar46 February 11, 2020

I'm sorry you had such a hard time but I'm glad you're doing better! The new ideas sound good and mochi is such a ham for the camera! :)

the inky kitty. February 11, 2020

Thanks for the update! Glad to hear things are on the uptick. Thanks for your hard work with Pb!

J.E. February 11, 2020

Thank you for all you do!
Sorry things have been tough.

InHisGrip February 11, 2020

I had been wondering about you. I'm glad you're back!

EvequeFou February 11, 2020

I may have asked this before, but is it worth getting a quote on something like Akamai Bot Manager or the like to help filter out the spam? Money, I know, but at some point manual review doesn't scale.

girl in recession February 11, 2020

I'm glad you're feeling better!

Darkest Days, Brightest Nights February 11, 2020

Welcome back! Thank you for the update and all your hard work!

stargazing February 11, 2020

Sorry to hear you've been having a difficult time, but I'm glad that you've turned a corner. Thanks for all you do for us!!

Deleted user February 11, 2020

don't flag me bro

Glad to see the freedom of expression is alive and well and prosebox

Nothing like implementation of more rules to curb people's ability to speak or in this case write rather than utilize tools that are already in place such as blocking and reporting

and remember if you reply to this a better be constructive criticism and not offencive or breaking any rules cuz you can get flagged

josh Deleted user ⋅ February 11, 2020

as with everything i do on the site, if there are concerns i'm happy to talk them out. i'll never try to limit expression.

a good way to think about it is that flagging is just a built in way to send me a message behind the scenes saying "hey, this is concerning. take a look". nothing more, nothing less.

as it is today, the only way to do that is to send an email with a link and an explanation. it's annoying to do, so most people don't.

flagging should only be used for violations of the rules like hate speech or harassment. if someone tries to abuse the feature and flag entries that aren't in violation, i'll reach out to them directly and tell them to stop.

Deleted user josh ⋅ February 11, 2020

If an entry is flagged will it automatically be pulled from the website or will it only be pulled from the website after review? Who else is reviewing these entries besides you it seems like it could be a lot of work

josh Deleted user ⋅ February 11, 2020

I'd review flagged entries and contact the user directly if needed. As I'm imagining the feature now, I wouldn't delete entries myself unless they were spam. What I've seen so far is that having an open conversation with someone about why they wrote what they did and why another user might find it offensive often leads to both parties understanding each other a bit better.

I'd only take action after review, and (as it's currently designed) there won't be an indication that it's been flagged. I'm hoping it won't be a lot of overhead once users get used to the feature.

It'll just be me reviewing the flagged entries, but Mochi may jump in and help out occasionally.

Deleted user josh ⋅ February 11, 2020

Well if Mochi's on board then I know it's going to get done ☺️ thank you for explaining it to me I think that a little bit more transparency on the issue is very helpful

J🌞DI February 11, 2020

Yes, there have been TONS of spam lately. Not thrilled at the idea of flagging entries for hate speech. For one, this is subjective, and secondly, doesn't it go against people's freedom of speech and expression? I can see flagging comments but even then, if you don't like what someone says to you, why not just block them? And if you think someone's entries are offensive, why not just not read them? No one is forced to read anything here, after all. :) I say focus on flagging and demolishing the spammers!

josh J🌞DI ⋅ February 11, 2020

Maybe calling it "reporting" is better terminology? I'm only looking for an easy way for users to report things to me that might be missed because sending an email is annoying.

J🌞DI josh ⋅ February 11, 2020

👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍 Thanks for all that you do for us!

Barbara Bad J🌞DI ⋅ February 11, 2020

I agree. I'll be flagged daily! 😔

J🌞DI Barbara Bad ⋅ February 12, 2020

LOL

GypsyWynd February 11, 2020

I'm glad you and Mochi are doing better.
"Dressed as a martini". That's a lot better than "the cone of shame".

Cathy GypsyWynd ⋅ February 17, 2020

Lol, much better. :-)

PseudoSuperhero February 11, 2020

Thank you for the update! I am glad both you and Mochi are doing better. Mochi's lion outfit is ADORABLE OMG!

simple mind February 11, 2020

Hey man! Sorry to hear about your rough patch, glad to hear things are better!

Flagging is a much needed feature I had previously given thought to but never got around to. I find it interesting that you're already getting so much "freedom of speech" pushback. These days the "flag abuse" is pretty ubiquitous on any websites that users can post comments on. And freedom of speech really doesn't apply - you don't have to allow Nazis to march on the website if it's forbidden in the site's rules. I'm not saying it's OK to be heavy-handed and unfair about things, but it's a very flawed argument. People are free to express themselves within the rules of the site.

Echo simple mind ⋅ February 11, 2020

I agree. Just as we aren't forced to read anything and can block comments or diarists, we also aren't forced to use this site... Sure, haters gonna hate, but they can go elsewhere to do it, right?

Deleted user Echo ⋅ February 11, 2020

absolutely

Cat Mommy simple mind ⋅ February 11, 2020

Agree 100%.

softea simple mind ⋅ February 12, 2020

Totally agree

Pennyworth simple mind ⋅ February 12, 2020

It's just that the rules of the site need to be extremely clear, complete, and concise. Otherwise enforcement becomes a judgment call, and a lot of things end up getting 'reported' without very much substance behind the complaint, just because users think the moderators can be swayed.

One Angry Dwarf Pennyworth ⋅ February 12, 2020

Are the rules of the site currently posted somewhere? I can't find them but I'm also very bad at things.

simple mind One Angry Dwarf ⋅ February 12, 2020

Great question!

https://www.prosebox.net/rules/

I think this is all the same stuff as I originally wrote it up. Josh can chime in if he wants - I think it's fairly clear cut and concise but obviously with a new flagging feature it's worth revisiting and reviewing.

Camdengirl February 11, 2020

Oh no cone of shame pics, poor Mochi! The Chinese dragon is sooooo cute though, it cancels it out.

I’m generally of the opinion if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all...but I’m kinda anti the flagging of entries, because it is after all a diary site. They get to vent their more unpleasant or controversial thoughts. Possibly the flagging of notes is more important because that’s the human interaction element?

Having said that, the rules are the rules. If someone dislikes an entry enough to flag it, hopefully the reviewers have sense to see what is a valid diary entry and whether something has just been flagged because it’s against personal beliefs. E.g. someone might flag a political post or a pro choice post or an entry saying dogs are better than cats!

simple mind Camdengirl ⋅ February 11, 2020

Yeah, my guess would be that the flagging will be used for spam at least 90% of the time. And if the other 10% is treated the same way as it already gets treated if someone emails Josh to complain, at least it's being handled fairly. :)

Deleted user Camdengirl ⋅ February 11, 2020

Agree ^^^

Anit February 11, 2020

The dragon costume makes me think of the taco costume my cousin crocheted one of her cats. Pretty awesome. I can see why the sale of pet costumes has been enormous;) What a cute model!

DE_KentuckyGirl February 11, 2020 (edited February 11, 2020)

Edited

Flagging spam is one thing. Flagging what's normally subjective is another. These are diaries and people have the ability to privatize and block. People who don't agree with someone's writings or opinions can choose not to read.

Deleted user DE_KentuckyGirl ⋅ February 11, 2020

This ^^^

Kristi1971 DE_KentuckyGirl ⋅ February 14, 2020

I agree with this as well. My concern is that this is a diary/journal. This is not Facebook or any other social media. This is different. We should be allowed to freely and safely express our thoughts. As far as I've ever experienced, our community is generally pretty helpful and generous in their support.

I've recently heard rumblings about people getting mean with comments on diaries as of late. I think I'd be more concerned about mean spirited people coming here changing the atmosphere of the site. Of course, we can always block them as well as control our level of privacy.

TellTaleHeart February 11, 2020

Mochi looks so happy to be going home for the holidays!

2020 got off to a rough start for me too. Here's to the rest of the year being better!

Jigger February 11, 2020

Thanks for everything you’re doing here. I love this place.

Paper Cut Scenario February 11, 2020

Your woofer in the carrier is the most adorable picture

ConnieK February 11, 2020

Oh no! The Cone of Shame. Poor Moochie. Thank you for not burning out completely. It is a testament that this site has run fairly well even without your complete attention.
I very seldom see entries that need to be reported, but I think the flag is a great idea as long as it can be used without the owner of the offending post doesn't know who reported it.
Balance is a delicate process. Be sure to get some sun each day. It helps me. It also helps to remember that good times don't last forever, but neither do bad times.
The lion costume is stunning.
Take care, you.

Always Laughing February 11, 2020

Glad to hear you're turning a corner.

A Pedestrian Wandering February 11, 2020

A Mochi Martini!

Thanks for always taking care of us.

eleven:eleven February 11, 2020

❤️❤️❤️

Thanks for all your hard work. I’m glad you’re feeling better!

Kisses to Mochi!

fidget February 12, 2020

Thanks for all you do for us 😊

Being able to flag hate-speech seems like a great common sense idea to me!

Complicated Disaster February 12, 2020

No flagging thanks! If people don't like what I have to say I'm more than happy for them not to read my diary! My private thoughts are not open to judgement. CD

Marg February 12, 2020

I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been going through such a rough time Josh and very glad you’ve turned a corner now :) The pics of Mochi are just adorable!
I like the sound of flagging - the issue with blocking and ‘well just don’t read it’ is that you’ve already read it and damage has already been done so that doesn’t necessarily work. I also don’t understand why folk think it’s okay to spew vitriol into a community to save it happening in real life as though people in here don’t matter. I just hope folk don’t go flag-crazy and you end up having to review loads of entries that don’t really fit the bill but I suppose you won’t know that until it’s tried out!

silken February 12, 2020 (edited February 12, 2020)

Edited

We have the option to block people. I don't think we need anything beyond that.

If we flag someone, an administrator becomes responsible for making a judge-and-jury decision, and we must then ask ourselves what criteria they are using.

Journals and diaries are where we write our uncensored thoughts and feelings. Do we really want a stranger reading those, or our comments, and judging and blotting out sentences?

Remember the adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." PB ain't broke.

greenteacoconutcutie silken ⋅ February 12, 2020 (edited February 12, 2020)

Edited

I agree. People need a place to vent and write about things that they may not normally be able to express in their day to day life. If they’re concerned about being flagged, they may not feel free to “unload.” I read things all the time that I don’t agree with or I find annoying, but I think that it’s my responsibility to choose not to read that particular writer’s journal...just like unfollowing people/pages on Facebook. If people can’t freely share how they feel in their journal, where can they go? Letting off steam here might help people from acting more negatively or aggressively in real life. :)

Kristi1971 greenteacoconutcutie ⋅ February 14, 2020

This ^^^ Well written.

^..^Kat February 12, 2020

I'm glad both you and Mochi are doing better. Thank you both for what you do for us.

Two Hermits and a Cat February 12, 2020

Glad for the update and good luck! It sounds like there will need to be some very carefully worded guidelines regarding flagging so you’re not up to your ears in unwarranted complaints. Hate speech seems like it would be pretty straightforward to identify, but there could be a lot of bickering over what constitutes harassment.

Original Rose February 12, 2020

Thank you, Josh! Stay well <3

sassafras February 12, 2020

Mochi boy!

Thanks for the update, and I'm glad you're feeling better. <3

SarahBeth February 12, 2020

Thanks for the update. I'm glad to hear that you're doing well and I LOVE the Mochi photos! <3 <3 <3

Park Row Fallout February 12, 2020

EXTREMELY GLAD to hear from you!! I was, no joke, about a week away from asking around if anyone knew if you were okay. Burnout SUCKS (something I'm far too familiar with) and I am thrilled that you've turned the corner. Wishing you strength, light, and joy!!

Ferret Mom February 12, 2020

I'm glad you are feeling better, and glad you find solace in working on Prosebox.

KPink February 12, 2020

Mochi is so cute!!

Is there a way to download our own entries?

Ginger Snap February 12, 2020

I'm so glad you're feeling better. We are all behind you, Josh!

And Mochi could not be more adorable!! I'm in looooovvvveee!

rhizome February 12, 2020

mochi is the cutest li'l martini! i'm glad you have a friend to be there for you when you're feeling depressed -- that can make such a difference. <3

KissOfLife! February 13, 2020

Mochi is SO cute!

Sorry to hear you got so busy, and bravo on feeling better nowadays :)

Kristi1971 February 14, 2020

I'm glad to read from you. I was just wondering how you were doing, and here you are! I'm glad things are better. Of course, Mochi is super-cute even in the "cone of shame". Happy 2020!

Jinn February 14, 2020

Glad you are feeling better. Moochi looks great. Thanks for your hard work !

Mr. Mofo February 15, 2020

Your Mochi is adorbz. Aren't you in L.A.? Did you go home via Union Station? I really want to take someone out with a plasma pistol in Union Station like some kind of Bladerunner.

Crazy-ish Bitch February 18, 2020

You have a very tough job indeed.
Glad you're feeling brighter.

TruNorth February 20, 2020

Sorry that you were down in the dumps for a while. Good to see that you are feeling better. I hope the flagging issue won’t become a problem. It would be nice if people could express themselves freely but I found that isn’t possible for a conservative, therefore I began to self censor to the point of losing interest in writing bland entries, so as not to antagonize the left wing community, many of whom are very intolerant of diverse opinions. Now I occasionally write a private entry- and that’s all.

caffeinequeen February 20, 2020

I caught the tail end of the local news (Los Angeles) and they were talking about dangerous pet toys and the newscaster said "Fortunately, Mochi is supposed to make a full recovery." That wasn't YOUR Mochi, was it????

josh caffeinequeen ⋅ February 21, 2020

Nope! My Mochi's a-ok

caffeinequeen josh ⋅ February 21, 2020

That's good! I just thought it was a weird coincidence so I wanted to check. Kisses to him!

Jazzy February 23, 2020

he's truly adorable and gentle looking :)

Lullaby March 16, 2020

I had to delete a diary and open up a new private account because I was being hounded by the meanest person in the world. She was just awful to deal with and said the most horrible things. Before I deleted it, I looked around as best as I could to figure out how to report, flag, or block and I couldn't find anything. So I'm glad to see that someone else won't have to blow up their diary just to avoid the savagely mean people out there.

velvet April 15, 2020

aw, thanks for all the hard work. and especially for pictures of Mochi!

Jesse Levine Norristown April 17, 2020

Amazing Pictures

Acceber April 28, 2020

Thanks for the update. Some of us know all about stopping communication for a bit and then the relief of writing again. So welcome back!

Park Row Fallout May 10, 2020

Hey Josh! Just wanted to send you a note to say I hope you're doing well through all of the world's current craziness. Stay safe, stay healthy!

Shophia Dove RedRobin June 11, 2020

Hi do you know how to change your profile

Deleted user June 24, 2020

OMG!! What a cutie pie!!! :)

Mr. Mofo June 30, 2020

Hope you're doing okay.

Park Row Fallout July 13, 2020

Josh: I've been thinking about you a lot lately. This is a hell of a hard time for so many people... and folks like us (in our own very different ways) weren't exactly in a great head space going into these catastrophes to begin with. Thoughts and prayers with you!!

josh Park Row Fallout ⋅ July 15, 2020

Many thanks <3

noip July 14, 2020 (edited July 15, 2020)

Edited

"As a reminder, hate speech and harassment are not tolerated on Prosebox. Until this feature rolls out, you can always contact me and I’ll do my best to resolve the situation."

Considering my experience on prosebox, I don't agree with this statement you wrote at all. Frankly, your best isn't good enough.

I am leaving prosebox forever. I do not support this site for supporting HATE SPEECH and those same bloggers who HARASS multiple other bloggers, and continue to do so because you keep choosing to let it.

josh noip ⋅ July 15, 2020

Please check your email for my reply

Ginger Snap July 22, 2020

Hi Josh, everything OK? We haven't heard from you in a long time!

That said, I hate to bug you with this, but the entry search feature doesn't seem to be working for me. Do you know if it's down or have you shut off this feature?

Again, hope all is OK! We miss you.
GS

Jinn July 30, 2020

I am sorry , I did not know you were not feeling well. Glad you are on the upswing now . You and Mochi both!

Meeks July 31, 2020

👍🏻

You must be logged in to comment. Please sign in or join Prosebox to leave a comment.