This blog is now ad-free

Sewing cross-stitch

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.

23 thoughts on “This blog is now ad-free

  1. Ahh, what a beautiful sight to see as I check my blog reader on this lovely Sunday afternoon – a new post from you AND a happy look at one of my favorite projects of all-time! 😍 I’m so honored that you shared this with your wonderful readers. And I’m so sorry your blog ended up in the Google ad machine…ugggh. I miss you and am sending lots of love to you – and how have we been friends for nearly *20* years?!? We clearly stopped aging along the way, LOL! 😊

    • I am honored to have this gorgeous masterpiece in my sewing room! I really cannot thank you enough for this gift – it is so beautiful on many levels. 🙂 I miss you too!! And I say neither one of us looks a day older than 29. 🙂

  2. Huh, I didn’t know that could happen with free WordPress sites. I made the decision pretty early on to pay up, just so I could modify my blog layout to make it more accessible. What a shame you lost your post!

    • I didn’t know either, and I could also be misinterpreting what happened. It got picked up somehow, whether WordPress had anything to do with it or not. I think you made a good decision… it only took me 6 years to do the same. 🙂

  3. Hi, I notice that with your updated I can no longer read your entire posts in Feedly but have to come through to the blog to read. Is this a deliberate choice or is there something you can tweak to make the entire post come though?

    • Hi Kate – Unfortunately this was a deliberate change. There are websites that have been stealing and re-publishing my posts (as well as those of many other sewing bloggers), and limiting the feed limits what they seem to steal. I realize this is super annoying for legitimate readers, and I apologize about that. Hopefully this is only temporary until I can figure out a more permanent solution. If you have any ideas, please chime in!

  4. Good move! I like an ad-free site too.

    And I gave up on Collette/Seamwork patterns and magazines a while back. My life is too short to fix someone else’s rotten drafting!

    • Haha, no kidding. 🙂 The situation with Colette really saddens me, as I think most people who sew are genuinely good-natured and want sewing pattern designers to do well. I think if Colette fully owned up to their past practices and implemented a more professional and transparent approach moving forward, they could potentially generate some goodwill among their former customers. However, they simply don’t seem interested in doing that, which is puzzling and sad.

  5. Hi Carolyn, I finally checked my Feedly feed and immediately clicked on your post about Colette. After the Rue debacle during the PR sewing bee, I am always eager to poke fun at Colette. Thanks for calling it out. My first thought was: “shouldn’t the edge of the overlap meet the side seam at the waistband?” To me, it looked like the overlap was about 1/2″ too short and the buttons should be moved toward the back as well.
    Sorry about the extra traffic and unwanted attention.

    • Hi Meigan – It looks like the original post is still in my Feedly feed, so hopefully you were able to find it. The overlap doesn’t bother me too much, but the lack of any shaping at the back waist is pretty terrible. You can only get away with that if the skirt is very full, which it isn’t. It seems like Colette is deliberately making the patterns as simple as humanly possible and sacrificing common sense in the process. A beginner can wrap his or her mind around sewing a dart, trust me. I did it on my first sewing project! I’m not sure what they are thinking here.

  6. you friend’s gift is so beautiful especially coming from a person with whom you share a lot of memories makes it even more special. About collete, I really have no personal opinion as I have never tried any of their patterns so I don’t know how it used to be or how it is now. I totally get your point of view about the standard of the semawork patterns and It looks like the designs are always as simple as they can get (at least from what i’ve seen), I’ve subscribed however at sewsewdef magazine which does include 2 pdfs with every issue, I deffenetely don’t like all the designs( you can not satisfy everyone) but I feel that there is serious work done and they like to challenge the reader rather than keep us in a safe sewing level.

    • Interesting point, Aida. It seems like you’re at least getting your money’s worth with the Sewsewdef patterns, even if you don’t wind up sewing every pattern. Personally I don’t mind paying premium prices for quality products (I do it all the time with fabric purchases!), but it bothers me when I see companies charging for products that are obviously flawed. I love the idea of challenging sewists with new techniques and intricate designs, so I’ll be watching to see what you make from the Sewsewdef patterns!

  7. I had something similar happen to me, and it happened with the post you shared on GOMI right after you shared it. I don’t think this is a coincidence. Please don’t do it again.

        • Very frustrating! In light of what happened to your post, I bet this is what happened to mine as well. Perhaps links shared on GOMI get trolled by websites looking for clickbait. At the very least, this seems to confirm that WordPress.com (and associated ads) had nothing to do with it, which is what the WordPress.com representative had told me a while back.

          Sorry again about your post! I decided to keep my original post down permanently because the referrals were really out of control.

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