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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Changes coming to Just String

Just String (a.k.a. this blog) turns three years old today. Over the past three years, I've been blessed with the continuation of a happy marriage, a wonderful daughter, lots of amazing stitching opportunities, and a fair number of loyal blog-reading friends. Thank you all for the amazing support, especially over the past year or so.

That said, it's about time for a blog overhaul. I'm not sure when all of this is going to happen, but I wanted to give you all a heads up that change is in the air.

So, what's changing? It might actually be better to tell you what's not changing: the focus of Just String. This blog has always been primarily about encouraging stitchers, either directly or by example, to try something new and to stretch their stitchy muscles. That will not change, unless it's to improve!

The major change is the move to a new website on a custom domain. Blogger/blogspot just doesn't do everything I want to do! Don't worry. It should be a pretty seamless transition for all of you:

  • I'm working on making all of the old links point to the new Just String.
  • In case somebody does get through to the old site, there will be a link there to get to the new version.
  • For all of you reading this via an web (RSS) feed, the feed will automatically transition to the new site. (And if you don't know what a web feed is, don't worry. If you're curious, check out this site.)
Some of the improvements in the pipeline include:
  • A new look and feel. Hooray!
  • Better organization of the site
  • A comment form so you can send me email. I've always avoided putting my email address here to cut down on spam.
  • New types of content:
    • Stitchy book reviews (both new books and oldies-but-goodies)
    • Giveaways
    • Some "back to basics" articles so we can all improve or refresh our techniques (and help newbies)
    I've got a few other ideas percolating in the back of my mind, but I'm not quite ready to announce them yet. Suggestions are welcome!
  • The ability to get new posts delivered by email (for those who don't use an RSS reader)
As with many changes, though, there will be some logistical adjustments:
  • Advertising. Up 'til now, I haven't had any advertising on the site, aside from a couple of affiliate links to Amazon over the past few months. The reality is that a having a custom domain and hosting giveaways both cost money. I'd like to be open and honest about this.

    In the very near future (even before moving to the new site), I'll be adding links to both Amazon and Abe Books (great for out of print books) to the sidebar. Using these links doesn't cost you any more or less money than going directly to these sites, but I'll earn a (very small) percentage of your purchase if you use my links. You may also see links to these sites in book reviews, and yes, purchasing through those links will help, too.

    Over time, I may add more advertising, but please accept my promise that I'll make sure it doesn't take over the site. I hate spammy blogs, and I'm sure you do, too!
  • Refocusing. Prior my pregnancy, Just String stayed very focused on needlework. Since the end of 2008, though, quite a bit of my family life has found its way into my posts. I have enjoyed sharing the joy that Erin has brought into our lives, and have been immensely grateful for all of your support through our medical difficulties. Thank you.

    However (you knew there was going to be a "however"!), with the move to the new site, I plan on posting with my full name. In the interest of keeping Just String as specific as possible and also for Erin's safety (since we have a very uncommon last name), I will not be continuing to post "Erin updates" here. I'll also be removing past photos and stories about her. I apologize for making this move, and I know it's not going to be very popular, but I need to act in her best interest.

    The good news is that I am starting a separate site, completely unlinked to Just String, and I'll be moving all of the Erin updates there. I know who has posted comments to my previous updates, and I'll be happy to give access to Erin's site to those of you who would like to keep following her story. Please either leave a comment with an email address (which I'll later delete) here or wait until the new site is up and use my contact form to request the site's address.
Thanks again for all of your fantastic support over the past three years. Here's looking forward to many more years of sharing stitching advice, frustrations, and successes.

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Oh, and Happy St. Patrick's Day! :-)


Karen said...

Jeanne, I'm anxious to see the new site and I fully understand and support your decision to remove the Erin posts!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just recently discovered your blog, and definitely want to be able to stay connected to your postings. I don't know what the status of your daughter is, or the medical difficulties you mention, but would like to receive the information about that blog when it is set up. I feel like I have discovered a group of friends with the blogs I follow, and so want to be able to support you if you or your family are having struggles with medical challenges. Sandi

Front Range Stitcher said...

Jeanne, It's been a pleasure following your blog (and Erin's progress) and I am looking forward to seeing the new and more of the same. Good luck with everything.

Edy said...

Wow, aren't you the eager beaver, taking on a whole change in blogging! I, too,will miss the Erin updates, but I totally understand the need for annonimity.
Looking forward to following your stitching progress in the new format.

SilkLover said...

Jeanne, I love perusing your blog in whatever format you decide to use.

And I love the name Erin for a little girl. One of my favorite girl's names.

Kathie said...

I envy your ambition, Jeanne. I definitely want to be able to follow your new blog. I don't get to many blogs but your's and Meg S's are two of the blogs I regularly visit. I also have enjoyed following Erin's progress although I didn't post often about it. I understand completely the removal of the Erin posts but hope to be able to see a bit of her in the future. Kathie