Hey, 'Anonymous'......

I did put myself out there.
I did ask for feedback, yes I did.
I asked a few questions and requested that my readers share their thoughts with me.

I forgot two things:
To say 'Play NICE, children'
To turn off the anonymous button.

So, I got two snarky comments from 'Anonymous'. Following some really good counsel, I've now removed them from this post; you can go to the original post to read one of them.

There are some things in the comment that I do know already, some that are new to consider. There are some answers to my questions, though a bit of it is based on incomplete information gained from a few web searches. But then, if that's what the perception is, I need to get busy. That I do know, or I wouldn't be asking, right?

It's just that overriding tone in some veiled (and not-so-veiled) comments there that just makes me stand up right here, right now, and say 'Hey, Anonymous - let's take this outside'. Because I put myself out there every damn day that I write on this blog or for a magazine or speak onstage at a show or work for hours to prepare for any one of those. I asked for my regular readers and friends to help me out for once - like I help them out all the time. I trust them and their opinions on these subjects because they get it. And someone hides behind 'Anonymous' and throws prettily-wrapped rocks at me. WONderful.

Now it's your turn:

DEAR Anonymous commenter, you made some good points and I actually do appreciate you taking time to comment. However, despite your protestations, it was harsh, and I wish I believed that you didn't mean it negatively. Perhaps if you had signed in and let your own identity be known, I may have felt differently.

I will take the opportunity to counter your 'identity crisis' comment with this: Part of what you found online (thanks for taking all that time to search out various sites and I don't mySpace or Twitter, BTW) is my personal information, which is all under my name - Deb Kennedy - including my Facebook Profile and a personal blog (which is not linked to this blog for exactly that reason). Nothing I am ashamed of, just personal instead of business. I use 'Deb Kennedy' and a personal photo there because I am consciously making a separation between the personal and the business sites. And I do have the right to have a personal identity that is separate from my professional one, even online.

Have you even read my professional profile on LinkedIN or this blog profile page or my Facebook Page? I use Debi Ward Kennedy as my professional name, when I speak, write, and consult. I was dubbed 'DivaDeb' by other people because of my byline of 'The Decorating & Display Diva', and so I use both. I am often introduced as "Debi Ward Kennedy, the Decorating & Display Diva...welcome, DivaDeb!" (It doesn't seem to be as confusing for them as it is for you.) I am a decorator, I am a display designer. This tagline helps to clarify that. Plus, I LIKE it. It's energetic and fun and animated and lively, like me and my stage 'persona', DivaDeb. It's dynamic and effective, like my work. It differentiates me from others, and believe me that is EXACTLY what I want. I am not like any other person doing what I do, nor do I want to be. And btw, my logo character is NOT a 'bubblehead Diva'. (Now how is that NOT supposed to be harsh?)

As for your comment about self-absorption, the original definition of 'Diva' is someone who excells at their craft, like an opera singer. It is not used as contemporary slang in this context, though apparently you want to see it that way. Tina Turner is a Diva. Barbra Streisand is a Diva. It's not always a bad thing. I am damned good at what I do, too.

'Anonymous', I don't know what your beef with me is, but I've had some similar comments here on this blog before...from 'Anonymous', amazingly enough, and it just makes me wonder: Why don't you ever sign your name? What don't you want us to know? All of the good insight you offered in your comment was rendered ineffective by the catiness of half a dozen sentences. When you come back, and I know you will, you'll find the 'Anonymous' comment option disabled. You'll have to come out into the open to throw those rocks. Have a nice day.

In any case, whether comments are positive or negative in intent, it's all food for thought - and I really appreciate that everyone thinks I am of enough value to offer their views, thoughts, and opinions on my blog. It means a lot to me as I make some crucial decisions that actually reach much farther than a website design. Heidi, Cindy, Debi, you have offered ideas and insight that I appreciate, and you have done so kindly and professionally. Thank you so much!

(And ah, Bacchus, I'm still waiting to hear your opinion!)

PS: this post was the POLITE version of my response, BTW. I could really have had a Diva Moment. ;0)


  1. Dear Anonymous, I have been reading Ms. Kennedy's blog for about 2 years now. I have a background in interior design and work in retail. When I first started reading her blog I managed a store and now I own my own business with my family. I excelled in part due to the "tips" I took from Ms. Kennedy. Some of these tips were simply taken from her websites while others were direct emails that I received from her after I had left a message on one of her blogs. I have never received a bill from her, yet I have been the recipient of a big chunk of time.

    If you feel that her persona is so unprofessional, then you possibly are not the kind of client she is going for. If your time is so precious that she is wasting a good part of it, then why are you spending so much time to write a long winded blog post? Instead, offer your ideas in a positive manner and go about your day. Please know that there are people out there who value her expertise and loves the idea that while she is professional, she doesn't offer that information up in a stuffy setting.

    Melissa Kidd Langley

  2. A professional web designer can be of help, I think, but just as an interior designer can make your home beautiful, that doesn't mean it reflects who YOU are.

    And if professionalism means stifling one's personality, then I say screw professionalism.

    In a creative business like Deb's, your personality IS your brand.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. hmmm,this is the third time this week where I have come across negative comments on blogs.One blogger even took a time out to regroup before posting again.Why would someone go out of their way to be rude? I talk to my teenagers about this all the time.(" Don't write anything you wouldn't say in person"). I think your smart to pull the anonymous option, remember they have the option of emailing you if they don't want the world commenting on their bad advice. I always asscociated the title of Diva with the word Devine. Deco Devine Debi sounds good too. Smiles...