Hello again, sewing friends! I have some blog administration to discuss today, but I’m also including a photo of this absolutely amazing sewing-themed cross-stitch that my best friend of almost 20 years (!) made me earlier this year. Isn’t it beautiful?? I’ve been proudly displaying it in my sewing room, and it makes me happy every time I look at it. 🙂
Ok, down to business. You may have seen a post on this blog from 2 weeks ago in which I was ruminating yet again about Colette Patterns and their latest shenanigans. I decided to take the post down after about 24 hours. I want to be clear that my decision to take down that post had absolutely nothing to do with any feedback I received from Colette (I haven’t received any at all) or any qualms about openly calling out sewing pattern designers who I feel are engaging in dishonest or disreputable behavior.
At this point, I have decided to keep the post down permanently. For any of you who missed it, the bottom line was that I found it amusing (and quite ridiculous and sad) that Colette, which has a bad reputation for Photoshopping-out fit and design problems in their patterns, recently released these product photos for a skirt with a very obvious fit problem in the back. It appears that they have given up trying to hide their inadequacies and just don’t care at all anymore. Sad but apparently true.
Anyway, here’s what happened with the original post. As far as I can tell, the post (with its extra salacious title) was picked up by whatever ad machine WordPress.com uses for their free blogs (including this blog) and had become clickbait displayed when random people opened new tabs in Google Chrome. The post was getting a TON of traffic, way more than I was comfortable with. This blog has a small readership of people who enjoy sewing and crafting, and I like it that way. I don’t need my face and handmade underwear being broadcast all over the internet! I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t understand all the intricacies of how online advertising works, nor do I care to. Because I didn’t quite understand what had happened and wasn’t comfortable with the outcome, I just pulled the post. Thankfully, it appears that Chrome’s chumbuckets have now moved on from my now-broken link. However, just to ensure that this doesn’t happen again, I have decided to keep the post down permanently.
The sliver lining to this little incident? This blog is now ad-free.
After six years (!) of maintaining this blog as a free WordPress.com site, I have finally coughed up a little cash to remove the ads associated with a free account. This blog is still hosted on WordPress.com, which other than the above incident has been a perfectly satisfactory hosting platform for me. For anyone interested, the annual fee to remove ads is currently about $36 (USD). If you see any ads on this site moving forward, please let me know, as there shouldn’t be any.
That’s it! I learned an interesting lesson here, and hopefully removing the ads will prevent anything like this from happening again. Besides, no one likes looking at those ads anyway, right? 🙂
I may or may not actually write a sewing-related post in the near future to revive my long blogging hibernation. In the meantime, I’ve been fairly active on Instagram, so you can follow me there if you’re interested.
Hope you’re all enjoying the summer (or winter), and happy sewing!
Edited to add August 22, 2017:
Shortly after publishing this post, I was contacted by a “Happiness Engineer” at WordPress.com (Hannah) who provided some insight on what may have happened with my post. (Interestingly, she happened to find my post while reading the Sewcialists Firehose!) Here’s what she had to say (published with her permission):
“To clarify, WordPress.com doesn’t use any of your pages for advertising: most sites pay to have their pages come up in ads, whether that’s Google or the advertisers WordPress.com works with to show ads on your site. Most likely your post was picked up and went viral which is why it was showing up in ads. Choosing not to show ads on your site won’t affect that, as any public content can be used for an ad online. Setting it to private in your post settings is unfortunately the best way to handle it.”
So, apparently going ad-free won’t necessarily prevent this from happening again, but I’m glad I made that decision anyway. Also, this makes me feel better about sticking with WordPress.com, which apparently didn’t have anything to do with what happened. Many thanks to Hannah for kindly reaching out to me of her own volition and offering some insight and reassurance.