Thursday, August 30, 2012

Blogging Cross Roads and The Paths I've Chosen

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Geez, I don't like to be serious. I also don't like to have to do or say unpleasant stuff that might cause any of you to dislike me but I need to do it so I'm just going to put it all out there.

Some of you who have been around for awhile have probably noticed that there are changes on the blog over the last several weeks. There are reasons why and today, I'm going to try to explain.

Remember this photo?



It was on my very first post, An Unlikely Blogger. At that time, I had no header, no logo, no clue about what I was doing. Of course, some may argue that I still don't  but, I think that we've come a long way in the eleven months since I started this blog:  I Refined the Serendipity name, got a domain that made sense,  and am still learning more types of social media than I know what to do with. Through it all, you've hung in there with me and even more of you have joined our little group.

To date, there are over 2,250 of you following Serendipity Refined on various forms of social media:
For me, those numbers are  incredibly humbling. Of course, I'm thrilled beyond words, shell-shocked every day, and it continues to make me me smile that you find things here that interest you. Thank you. Your words of support and encouragement as well as your insights and the information that you've shared mean the world to me. As the blog continues to (hopefully) grow and evolve, there will be decisions to make. Some of them will impact my readers and not everyone will be pleased. I accept that and I will always try to explain what's going on and listen to your thoughts.

With that said,
Crossroad 1: Advertising
A few weeks ago, I added a small amount of advertising to the blog. I hope that at least some of the content is interesting and that you occasionally find something that you may want to look at. I know that it is offensive to some and  few people left when I added it. I certainly understand.

Crossroad 2: Truncating Feeds

 If you read many other blogs, you have probably seen several posts this week about bloggers truncating their feeds. If you're like I was a week ago, you probably wonder what the heck that means.

For those of you who read this blog via a reader, a truncated feed means that you will see only a snippet of the post. You'll need to click on "continue reading" to read the entire post on my actual blog page.  I'm not a fan of truncated feeds. I never understood why anyone would do that. UNTIL NOW.

Over the past year since I started this journey, things in blog world have changed.  Sites called “Scraper” sites are showing up everywhere and are multiplying faster than anyone can believe.  They steal bloggers’ posts, word for word, and post it on their own sites. Then, they use the posts that all of us work hard to create and to make money for themselves. Content is stolen and traffic redirected to another site where they are paid for the number of people who look at the post. This, is STEALING, plain and simple. I have a problem with people who steal the hard work of others and represent it as their own. Ask anyone who knows me.

This week, I read a post from Susan, who writes the blog Between Naps on the Porch that made it pretty clear for me. She explained how scraper sites work and how what they do is so incredibly wrong. She's far better at explaining it than I will ever be so please, read her post:

Stop scrapers from stealing your content


When I see someone stealing, I call them out on it and I do what I can to stop it.  I visited a scraper site yesterday, on behalf of one of my friends who had their content scraped.  I posted on the site calling the owners of the site out for the thieves that they are and now, I'm doing what I can to stop them from doing it to me. I sincerely hope that you understand. 

Crossroad 3: Page Breaks
You may also have noticed that there is a break in my recent posts. For the last several weeks, I've been leaving my most current post "whole" but inserting a "break" in all of the others.  This has meant that you need to click through to see the rest of the post.  Why? Because I thought that it made it easier for you to scroll through past posts and decide if you wanted to read them. As I found out this week, these page breaks also prevent scraping.

So, As of now, I'm truncating my feeds and putting a page break into each of my posts. What will it mean? Well, I expect that it will mean that I'll lose followers and that some of you will stop reading. I accept that. I've chosen to do what I believe is right and I really hope that you'll find that there's reason enough to make the extra couple of clicks that it will take to get to the content.

Next month, I'll celebrate my one year "Blog-i-versary". I have no idea what comes next  but I intend to keep doing what I do, which is to try to provide you with a smile, a new way to look at ordinary things, and maybe, if I'm lucky, give you a little inspiration now and again.

As I said to you in my very first post:
"I tend to allow people to see the things that I do and decide for themselves whether or not they'd like to know more. So, that's what I've decided to do." 

My view hasn't changed. Please, let's keep the lines of communication open. I really do read and answer every comment.  I also answer email if you'd prefer to keep our conversation between us.  I value your time and the fact that you choose to share some of it with me and this blog so, whatever you have to say, I'm always listening.


xo,



Kimberly