Editorial Note–the future of Needle and Clay

July 15, 2008 at 9:09 pm (Uncategorized)

Dear Readers,

In the coming weeks, some things are going to change around here. I’m going to move this blog to its own domain, with a new theme, and I’m going to start using ads and affiliate programs to earn some money. I realize that some people get annoyed by monetized blogs, but I feel that I can do this without causing too much distraction, and if I can earn some money at this, I can afford to give you better content and service.

I want to assure you that my number one priority is maintaining the quality of your reading experience. Your attention is extremely valuable to me, not just in terms of money but also in my personal feelings of success with this venture. To that end, I want to offer you these promises:

  • I will never, ever, charge money to read this blog. If you wish to contribute by clicking ads or offering donations, that will be up to you, but the content is free, and it’s going to stay free.
  • I will do my best to make sure the ads that you see here are relevant to your interests and do not inconvenience you in any way. I may not have much control over their relevance at first, but that will be my goal as I move forward. And I hate pop-ups as much as you do.
  • My editorial space is not for sale. If I have a personal or financial relationship with any product, service, publication or artist mentioned in this space, I will be up front about it, and I don’t endorse anybody for money. Any opinion I express here is my actual opinion, and worth no more or less than that.

Before I can start earning anything, I have to move this blog to my own domain. WordPress.com is a great blogging site, but they don’t allow ads. Besides, I need better metrics than I can get here. Moving to my own domain means a new theme because as far as I can tell, the ones for the free site aren’t the same as the ones for self-hosted blogs. I was getting tired of this one anyway, and I want a third column to place ads in. I hope to customize the new theme so that it can be both pretty and functional.

I already own http://www.needleandclay.com, and I spent most of this past Saturday trying to get this blog moved over to it. (You can see my efforts at www.needleandclay.com/needle.) So far I’ve managed to migrate all my posts and pages, but not your comments, which is very frustrating, because I love everything you guys have posted. After I get everything running over there, I might post my reviews in both places for a while, until people get their bookmarks updated.

Once that’s settled, I’d like to start bringing you some new content. I’ve been thinking about offering product reviews and comparisons, and compiling a list of links to dollmaking tutorials. I’d also like to offer dollmaking news and possibly interviews with dollmakers. I might also put up a calendar for doll events.

Sounds ambitious, I know, but I’d rather plan for excellence and fail than plan for mediocrity and succeed. Here’s where you guys can help: Are there other doll-related features you’d like to see here? What kind of questions should I ask dollmakers I interview? What products would you like me to review? Leave me a comment or drop me a line to let me know.

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2 Comments

  1. urbanwildflower said,

    Good Luck with your move. I don’t envy you. Interestingly, I have been considering doing the same thing so I would be really interested in hearing how your experience turns out and if you are happy with your decision. On a shameless self promoting note, I would love to be interviewed by you if you do decide to interview doll makers. I work with paperclay, polymer clay and have recently begun to create my own molds (now THAT is an experience). Good luck with your move! Deborah GB (Urbanwildflower Dolls).

  2. thessalyrose said,

    The move has been a struggle, but I have no experience at all in web design or maintenance, so someone who knows anything about CSS or php, or any of those other mysterious acronyms, would probably have a better time of it.

    On the plus side, it’s been really fun “shopping” for free themes and plugins. The theme I installed is wonderful and I speak just enough CSS to customize the colors and images. There are other things I’d like to do that are more of a challenge, like putting a graphic banner at the top instead of the text title, but I’ll probably leave those for after I go live.

    On the minus side, when I exported this blog, it didn’t take any of the comments or images with it, and it messed up the categories so I’m going to have to recategorize all the posts. Now I know why they say you should move as early as you can; I only have eighty or so posts to deal with. I can’t imagine big blogs that post every day — that would be awful.

    Thanks for volunteering to be interviewed! I am definitely interested in molds and casting — I am terrible at it myself, so I’d love to compare notes with you sometime. I’ll add you to my list of things to write about after the move. :)

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