How to Kill Your Favorite Website. (Or Magazine. Or TV show.)

03 Jun 2009

This isn't Maker Faire-related, but I wanted to write about it before too much time passed. (Oh - and it's a bit long. Pack a snack.)

You may have read this elsewhere, but as of June, CraftStylish is no longer able to retain the group of contributors who've been producing crafty posts and tutorials each week (which includes me). The site will continue with more limited content, but you won't see many of us there anymore.

Several bloggers have written about how this is one more publishing demise in a sad string of them, including Adorn and the print side of CRAFT.

I think all these endings have a common source, and I also think they point to the dawn of a great opportunity.

First, the source: it's money. (I know - Surpriiiiiiise!) Here's the thing: all of us have been raised on free content - on TV, on radio, and on the web. We've gotten all these shows and sites for free because advertisers funded them. In return, the advertisers hoped we'd pay some attention to their products.

This is the only model publishers have used to fund themselves for decades. And what's happened? Over time, we consumers have gotten too saturated with advertising and started ignoring it.

Now our filters are cranked to ultra-high, advertisers can't get us to pay attention to their products, and they're re-considering buying ads. This stops the flow of money to our favorite content-producers.

So, by failing to hold up our end of the advertising chain, we've all inadvertently helped kill some of our favorite stuff.

Now, am I suggesting that we all start clicking on display ads to save crafting? No. In fact, I think it might be good for traditional advertising to go ahead and die, so it can be reborn into something more useful to the modern mindset.

This is where the opportunity comes in.

It's vitally important that we all recognize that everything we enjoy on the web, airwaves, or the printed page costs someone time and money to create. If we're no longer going to accept advertisers as the middlemen who pay for it, then we as consumers need to consider stepping up to support the content we love.

So yes, subscribe to magazines, and support makers. But that's only half the story, in my opinion.

Producers of TV, radio, print, and the web also need to get outside the ad box and start innovating new ways to monetize. This is a real frontier moment, because as I said, we consumers need to wake up to our responsibility in this food chain.

Until we do, it's challenging for producers to innovate new money models, because we're too passive an audience. So, we need each other if we're to create forward motion here.

I know first-hand that this isn't an easy road - I failed utterly to monetize my own DIY Alert website, partly because I couldn't seem to reach the people who consumed it, and partly because trying new money-models consumed too much time and energy.

Still, the old ad model is breaking down, and something has to arise in its place. Ideally, we'll find lots of "somethings" so that we don't run one money-model to death, like we did with advertising.

I do believe there are creative ways to engage the end user in supporting his or her favorite content. One I like in particular is the micropayment model, explained here in comic book form.

(Incidentally, I don't believe that everything you read, watch, or listen to should have a price tag on it. I adore the internet culture of sharing, and believe we should all give some content away, too. But this subject is best saved for another post.)

I loved writing for CraftStylish, and this turn of events is sad. But it's also symptomatic of the huge, roiling changes in all kinds of publishing.

When things break, they have a chance to rebuild themselves into something better, stronger, faster (and ten points to you if you get that reference).

For now, when you watch TV, read websites, or flip through magazines, consider asking yourself these questions: "Who made this? Did I get value from it? And if so, how can I support the people who created that value?"

I illustrated this post with images from tutorials I produced for CraftStylish. I think it's good to point out: all this content was brought to you by them. There's no way I could have created the time to make so many how-tos if they weren't paying me for them.

Comments

Thank you, Diane. Great food for thought and action while we mourn the loss of some of our favorite media outlets.
<3


Just wanted to pop in and tell you what a truly great post this is. Thank you for writing it. And now, to go chew on some this...


I agree wholeheartedly that the information market is changing shape.

Unfortunately I see it morphing to a dark, dark place where only those able to pay for information will get it. Internet access already breaks down along those lines as does cable TV, magazines, books ...

Local governments feeling the budget pinch are also shutting brick and mortar libraries, as well as cutting school days and programs.

I, too, am looking to help stop it ... or at least help move the industry in a better direction than pay-for-content.


the thing that always got me, too, was when people would link or even recreate tutorials, or tell me how much they liked the site- but never logged in and never commented and never shared their projects that they made from the site *on the site* (I'd see projects on their own blogs, etc). not everyone can afford to pay for content, but the least they can do is let the site (us, but more importantly, the ad team) know that they are using and enjoying it (something to feed the advertisers with, you see).

the other thing, strictly with mags, is that when you pick and choose which issue you like and don't commit to a subscription (which is often as cheap as just buying the 2-3 issues you like each year) then you're not really paying for ...how to say this... the space for the ideas and inspiration to grow. sure, not every issue will have 10 projects that appeal to everyone, but it will have some projects that appeal and it will sustain the environment for the designers, writers, editors, etc to keep producing the magazine. again, not all can afford to do this, but really-- magazines are cheap! especially if you look at the cost of individual patterns ($3-$15 for some crochet/knit/sewing projects).

anyway. thanks for writing this post!


I'm a bit of a freak, because I look forward to the ads in craft magazines. I got into craft magazines, in fact, because I bought one purely for the ads, as I needed a supplier of a particular thing, and ever since I've been just as interested in the ads as the editorial content. This isn't true of mainstream media, of course, but I just don't understand why people who love going to things like the gem shows in Tucson, or the _Bead & Button_ show don't also see the shininess of ads for the same suppliers whose tables they ogle at shows. Yes, you can't touch the shinies in an ad, I know, but some of the ads are just as much eye candy as the pictures with the articles. Getting good ads in a magazine is an art, and I really, really enjoy seeing it done well. (I'm the same way about ads on websites, too.)

As one of the world's slow readers, I don't have time to trawl all the online fora and journals, trying to find which supplier of sprockets people like best, or where to buy widgets. I have been online since 1990 (yes, it is possible) and yet cannot make Google cough up relevant results for me, most of the time. So I rely on ads when I'm looking for things.

I also want to stand up for rebels. I don't like following the herd. I don't take up a new craft because all my friends are doing it, and if I do follow someone else's lead, I'm not likely to want to use all the same suppliers.

Advertising does have a use, remember. "The Sampler" is a form of advertising. I don't know what the future of advertising will be, but I really do hope it has a future.


I completely agree with you. My husband and I were just discussing ways that advertisers need to change in order to keep up with the changes. (We didn't come up with any answers, though!) I also agree with some other commenters who mentioned that craft mags rely on free submissions from their readers and aren't paying professional designers. We need to educate everyone who does crafts to remember that their work is worth something. It shouldn't be given away. They are hurting our industry and themselves by selling themselves short. If we all began to see the "worth" of arts and crafts, I think we would all make money-including advertisers.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this important subject. As a blogger who gets paid to blog, I feel the biggest problem that faces people who have their own sites is figuring out how to monetize the site. Diane, your ebook is a perfect example of how to do it right. I suppose we will see more of this type of marketing tool in the future and that will be a good thing.

There are some other models out there like Faythe Levine's book and documentary, Handmade Nation. Both became instant successes. People were willing to pay, and she educated the buying public about handmade items and their artists.

Obviously, from the amount of clicks Etsy gets, they've found a working model. Etsy has made it cool to buy handmade and people seem to be willing to pay. They are getting into the blogging scene more too.


I thought this was a great article. I passed it on to Denny and he tweeted it. Really some good stuff to think about. Thanks Diane.


I caught the 6 Million Dollar Man reference, but was too slow--making me officially, even older.
Good article and lots to think about. I'm guessing many folks don't think about costs and "feeding the advertisers" at sites as Linda P mentioned. Much education is needed.


As someone who has written for both print and web media for a number of years now, I have mixed feelings about this. I think the original model can still work to some extent. About.com is a good example of this; however, networks like that have been around for a long time (when you consider we are talking about cyberspace). It has grown an audience and thus brought advertisers as well. Newer sites like CraftStylish have not been around that long, and to top it off, we now have a recession in the US. So timing is part of the problem too.

I don't necessarily agree that the old model is dead, but I do agree that hard times can bring opportunities for those who are clever and willing to take chances.


Firstly, I instantly got the Six Mill $ Man reference and vividly remember sticking green stamps into their little books - but was blissfully unaware I was old. Of course today it would cost at least Six Billion to rebuild him.

Secondly, all forms of media are feeling the pinch. There's only one reason reality TV has remained regular viewing, it's cheap to produce because its stars contribute for little or nothing - the same is true for most online content.

And if news is instantly available on your iPhone or delivered to your RSS reader from the big media companies at a click, why will people bother to pick up a newspaper let alone pay for it. The bigger question is how we have any still being printed at all. Early on newspapers were fearful of giving away their content online and tried models of charging for it, now most are wishing they hadn't caved in to competitors who offered it up for free.

Fifteen years ago I sat in meetings as a creative director at a publishing company discussing business models for our various new web ventures and today online commerce has become viable, yet there is still no definitive approach to earning money through advertising online.

The attention span of an average adult in technologically "advanced" countries now equals that of a gnat. That fact coupled with a global recession has forced advertisers to only spend money on trackable, results-oriented campaigns.

Hopefully a new era is on the horizon. Maybe the large media companies will come together and collectively decide to charge for content again, thus saving the jobs of those who know how to research and report the old fashioned way and give us information we trust again.

I'm afraid the same is true for the craft community, if there's so much out there online for free, why subscribe? How will print mags grow large enough to support themselves, there certainly aren't enough large craft advertisers to make them viable.

This is a very generous and intelligent online community, if it's members come together and work on this issue, perhaps there's a way to save both the print and web publications we all love.

Having open discussions is always the first step in the direction of change. Perhaps you should lead the way to this new horizon Dianne, I'm behind you!


Excellent post on a really tough subject...I know the publishing company where I work has been hit really hard by the economic troubles.


Interesting. We are in a deep recession. The haves will support their favorite stuff. But have-nots just can't right now. I'm currently in the have-not group. I can't buy everything I want to. I love Craft Stylish and Sew Stylish. I've bought every issue. The website is enjoyable but I always saw it as an extra. Something to complement the print issues. I was surprise that the blog at as big as it did. I think they should have kept limited content for a while away. It's a new magazine and a special issue at that. That let it get too big too fast. I blame management not crafter/consumers for that.

The media is in a war on two fronts. They are fighting the recession and new media at the same time. There will be causalities. I decided to cut out the puzzles magazines I like to buy. But I will continue to buy my favorite craft magazines and Women's Health. I'm just hoping that my favorites will be around in some form.


sad sad sad


Very good points.

I also agree with MelodyJ too, though. I lost my day job last October and I just cannot afford to support/buy everything I want to right now. I am now very choosy as to what I support/buy, and I have whole-heartedly committed moreso now than ever to support indie/local/handmade items. This is good, obviously, but this might also be what's part of the problem, too. The big box companies are the ones that pay the most for their ads, since they're able to afford the better ad packages. Since I'm not purchasing their items anymore, they've pulled their ads, which is making media outlets close their doors. Such a double-edged sword.

I agree with you, though—we need a new model for funding projects/media. And we need it ASAP.

P.S. I caught the Daft Punk reference :)


This is a very hard subject- Thanks for posting about it.

I like having a community that shares information and experiences freely- but at some point I believe people should be paid for their efforts. It's a balancing act between the two.

I agree that we have to look at the current systems with a critical eye because the old ways of having advertising covering costs are clearly flawed and crumbling.

If we as a community don't value each others time, effort, and creativity with monetary support- who will?

P.S. Love that daft punk song (and also the Kanye West redo)


Very good post.

I know too many people who want everything for free.

I'm a homeschooler and find that (for years not just in this recession) the homeschooling parents won't pay for what they can get for free. They will spend time on chat groups looking for free info and advice from laypeople instead of spending $10 on a book that could answer everything and be from a credible source. They won't buy curriculum written by fellow HS parents trying to fund their own families if they can get it used (gives no royalty to the writer).

I have been supporting print mags in my favorite sectors (crafts, homeschooling, parenting) even through tough times of unemployment, as I wanted to support them and keep them alive. Others don't see my way in good times let alone in a recession.

The net has so much DIY info sharing going on (in crafting, knitting, and all types of areas). People are holding onto their money.

So I say do support the print mags if you get something from them, even if you also get good inspiration and info from free sources on the web! Try to do both.

I get it.


Diane - I appreciate the education you've given me. I too have noticed that publications I have been very interested in have gone away, and I have been wondering what to do about it. In regards to the Craft Stylish and Craftzine websites, I found it overwhelming that there was soooo much information out there that I can't assimilate it well. I have the same issue with Craftster. So I have found myself listening to podcasts, or visiting a few select sites that I have learned about through the podcasts. For example, I follow your site, because you don't try to do too much in one post, and it fits the nuggets of time I have. Alternatively, I miss the magazines, because I could pick them up throughout the week and explore them especially when I need computer "away time". I do worry though about the waste of throwing them away, or just keeping them on the shelf. So, in the absence of the micropayment idea you are talking about, I have been thinking of deciding on a crafty "budget" that I would use to make donations to sites I visit (and accept donations). I don't think I would try to remember that I've made an annual payment and that another one is due. Instead I would just spread it around in some kind of cyclic manner consistent with the budget I've set up. However, I do wish the micropayment idea was available, because that seems to make so much more sense, and would be easier to apply as I visit and enjoy a webiste.


Not giving this deep thought but two ideas popped into my head while reading this article and the comments. (1) I want to be able to purchase a "net pass" perhaps in the form of an ongoing subscription. I don't want to pay as I go each time for each separate website or blog or ezine or whatever. I might want one article for ABC this week and not again for another two months, but in the meantime want to buy access to EFG and ZZZ online sources. So I want a pre-purchased pass to be able to do this. (2) I want online green stamps. Anybody here old enough to remember green stamps? I want this "net pass" use and other kinds of access to reward me with free credit for more "net pass" minutes or maybe kits or ebooks or something along those lines.

Again, I haven't thought any of this through beyond typing it out as it bubbles to the surface right now. Please consider and pick apart and improve if it has any merit.


Well, this really taps into my pet peeve as of late.

In "commodifying" the recession, I have noticed we are losing a lot of crafty and art content in other media. To use a ubiquitous example, what happened to the crafty TV shows on public television and on cable TV? (A particular cable network that I won't mention comes to mind.) In the Portland market, I have noticed that the knitting and crocheting shows are gone as are (even!) the re-runs of Martha Stewart. It was never fantastic, and it could have been improved. It's all been supplanted with do-it-yourself renovations. (As an aside, I think we've been worshiping houses for the past 5 years.) It's very upsetting to me because I know all too well that many people and stay-at-home mom's specifically need fresh ideas, inspiration and a sense of community and they actually MAKE MONEY doing it.

Thanks.


I agree that we need a new system. I have been using the micropayments method in the form of donations to my favorite webcomic artists for 3-4 years now. I love to help them when I can, but I often forget to do so, and sometimes I just can't afford it.

The necessity to be picky and choosy about what we support is not just for those with tight budgets. I believe we all need to look more closely at the types of business practices we're supporting. If something brand new is hideously cheap at a large chain super-store, was it made well? Did the people involved in the production of it receive fair compensation for their work?

In the internet arena, perhaps very small subscriptions paid directly to the artist or publisher (blogger, curator, instructor) for each article is the way to go. In addition, if we were obligated to pay for many of the things we read (or waste time on) online, perhaps we'd be a bit more choosy with our time.

P.S. My two fave Daft Punk songs are Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger and One More Time.


Okay, first, I love everyone's comments so much! Discussions like this are so healthy as the information age transforms media.

And, I'm giggling my head off because the "better, stronger, faster" reference was actually about the Six Million Dollar Man! But everyone thought it was Daft Punk. Which must mean I'm officially old. :-)


What a wonderful conversation. I have just been starting to get excited about the future of publishing, in whatever form that may take, rather than lamenting the death of old media. Publishing houses, magazines, and newspapers have an opportunity to be pioneers and create new models and I do believe those that choose to hunker down and stay small will have a hard time weathering this period in time. What's the answer? I'm not quite sure, but I do know that reaching out, growing, and valuing good content is a better route than downsizing, cancelling books and contracts, and not paying your contributors.

And Diane, I thought it was the Six-Million Dollar Man too, so I'm at the nursing home right there with you! :)


Without the experts (or editors), Craftstylish plans to rely more on its readers to contribute projects -- for free. So it's not just the audience that's looking for free content. Everyone's craft efforts are interesting and inspiring, but without amazing creative types like Linda P or Jeffrey R, the site is less worth following. It becomes not much different from any other craft-networking site.


Interesting. We are in a deep recession. The haves will support their favorite stuff. But have-nots just can't right now. I'm currently in the have-not group. I can't buy everything I want to. I love Craft Stylish and Sew Stylish. I've bought every issue. The website is enjoyable but I always saw it as an extra. Something to complement the print issues. I was surprise that the blog at as big as it did. I think they should have kept limited content for a while away. It's a new magazine and a special issue at that. That let it get too big too fast. I blame management not crafter/consumers for that.

The media is in a war on two fronts. They are fighting the recession and new media at the same time. There will be causalities. I decided to cut out the puzzles magazines I like to buy. But I will continue to buy my favorite craft magazines and Women's Health. I'm just hoping that my favorites will be around in some form.


Excellent post on a really tough subject...I know the publishing company where I work has been hit really hard by the economic troubles.


Just wanted to pop in and tell you what a truly great post this is. Thank you for writing it. And now, to go chew on some this...


I agree wholeheartedly that the information market is changing shape.

Unfortunately I see it morphing to a dark, dark place where only those able to pay for information will get it. Internet access already breaks down along those lines as does cable TV, magazines, books ...

Local governments feeling the budget pinch are also shutting brick and mortar libraries, as well as cutting school days and programs.

I, too, am looking to help stop it ... or at least help move the industry in a better direction than pay-for-content.


Thank you, Diane. Great food for thought and action while we mourn the loss of some of our favorite media outlets.
<3


sad sad sad


Well, this really taps into my pet peeve as of late.

In "commodifying" the recession, I have noticed we are losing a lot of crafty and art content in other media. To use a ubiquitous example, what happened to the crafty TV shows on public television and on cable TV? (A particular cable network that I won't mention comes to mind.) In the Portland market, I have noticed that the knitting and crocheting shows are gone as are (even!) the re-runs of Martha Stewart. It was never fantastic, and it could have been improved. It's all been supplanted with do-it-yourself renovations. (As an aside, I think we've been worshiping houses for the past 5 years.) It's very upsetting to me because I know all too well that many people and stay-at-home mom's specifically need fresh ideas, inspiration and a sense of community and they actually MAKE MONEY doing it.

Thanks.


Very good post.

I know too many people who want everything for free.

I'm a homeschooler and find that (for years not just in this recession) the homeschooling parents won't pay for what they can get for free. They will spend time on chat groups looking for free info and advice from laypeople instead of spending $10 on a book that could answer everything and be from a credible source. They won't buy curriculum written by fellow HS parents trying to fund their own families if they can get it used (gives no royalty to the writer).

I have been supporting print mags in my favorite sectors (crafts, homeschooling, parenting) even through tough times of unemployment, as I wanted to support them and keep them alive. Others don't see my way in good times let alone in a recession.

The net has so much DIY info sharing going on (in crafting, knitting, and all types of areas). People are holding onto their money.

So I say do support the print mags if you get something from them, even if you also get good inspiration and info from free sources on the web! Try to do both.

I get it.


Very good points.

I also agree with MelodyJ too, though. I lost my day job last October and I just cannot afford to support/buy everything I want to right now. I am now very choosy as to what I support/buy, and I have whole-heartedly committed moreso now than ever to support indie/local/handmade items. This is good, obviously, but this might also be what's part of the problem, too. The big box companies are the ones that pay the most for their ads, since they're able to afford the better ad packages. Since I'm not purchasing their items anymore, they've pulled their ads, which is making media outlets close their doors. Such a double-edged sword.

I agree with you, though—we need a new model for funding projects/media. And we need it ASAP.

P.S. I caught the Daft Punk reference :)


This is a very hard subject- Thanks for posting about it.

I like having a community that shares information and experiences freely- but at some point I believe people should be paid for their efforts. It's a balancing act between the two.

I agree that we have to look at the current systems with a critical eye because the old ways of having advertising covering costs are clearly flawed and crumbling.

If we as a community don't value each others time, effort, and creativity with monetary support- who will?

P.S. Love that daft punk song (and also the Kanye West redo)


the thing that always got me, too, was when people would link or even recreate tutorials, or tell me how much they liked the site- but never logged in and never commented and never shared their projects that they made from the site *on the site* (I'd see projects on their own blogs, etc). not everyone can afford to pay for content, but the least they can do is let the site (us, but more importantly, the ad team) know that they are using and enjoying it (something to feed the advertisers with, you see).

the other thing, strictly with mags, is that when you pick and choose which issue you like and don't commit to a subscription (which is often as cheap as just buying the 2-3 issues you like each year) then you're not really paying for ...how to say this... the space for the ideas and inspiration to grow. sure, not every issue will have 10 projects that appeal to everyone, but it will have some projects that appeal and it will sustain the environment for the designers, writers, editors, etc to keep producing the magazine. again, not all can afford to do this, but really-- magazines are cheap! especially if you look at the cost of individual patterns ($3-$15 for some crochet/knit/sewing projects).

anyway. thanks for writing this post!


I agree that we need a new system. I have been using the micropayments method in the form of donations to my favorite webcomic artists for 3-4 years now. I love to help them when I can, but I often forget to do so, and sometimes I just can't afford it.

The necessity to be picky and choosy about what we support is not just for those with tight budgets. I believe we all need to look more closely at the types of business practices we're supporting. If something brand new is hideously cheap at a large chain super-store, was it made well? Did the people involved in the production of it receive fair compensation for their work?

In the internet arena, perhaps very small subscriptions paid directly to the artist or publisher (blogger, curator, instructor) for each article is the way to go. In addition, if we were obligated to pay for many of the things we read (or waste time on) online, perhaps we'd be a bit more choosy with our time.

P.S. My two fave Daft Punk songs are Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger and One More Time.


Okay, first, I love everyone's comments so much! Discussions like this are so healthy as the information age transforms media.

And, I'm giggling my head off because the "better, stronger, faster" reference was actually about the Six Million Dollar Man! But everyone thought it was Daft Punk. Which must mean I'm officially old. :-)


What a wonderful conversation. I have just been starting to get excited about the future of publishing, in whatever form that may take, rather than lamenting the death of old media. Publishing houses, magazines, and newspapers have an opportunity to be pioneers and create new models and I do believe those that choose to hunker down and stay small will have a hard time weathering this period in time. What's the answer? I'm not quite sure, but I do know that reaching out, growing, and valuing good content is a better route than downsizing, cancelling books and contracts, and not paying your contributors.

And Diane, I thought it was the Six-Million Dollar Man too, so I'm at the nursing home right there with you! :)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this important subject. As a blogger who gets paid to blog, I feel the biggest problem that faces people who have their own sites is figuring out how to monetize the site. Diane, your ebook is a perfect example of how to do it right. I suppose we will see more of this type of marketing tool in the future and that will be a good thing.

There are some other models out there like Faythe Levine's book and documentary, Handmade Nation. Both became instant successes. People were willing to pay, and she educated the buying public about handmade items and their artists.

Obviously, from the amount of clicks Etsy gets, they've found a working model. Etsy has made it cool to buy handmade and people seem to be willing to pay. They are getting into the blogging scene more too.


Without the experts (or editors), Craftstylish plans to rely more on its readers to contribute projects -- for free. So it's not just the audience that's looking for free content. Everyone's craft efforts are interesting and inspiring, but without amazing creative types like Linda P or Jeffrey R, the site is less worth following. It becomes not much different from any other craft-networking site.


I completely agree with you. My husband and I were just discussing ways that advertisers need to change in order to keep up with the changes. (We didn't come up with any answers, though!) I also agree with some other commenters who mentioned that craft mags rely on free submissions from their readers and aren't paying professional designers. We need to educate everyone who does crafts to remember that their work is worth something. It shouldn't be given away. They are hurting our industry and themselves by selling themselves short. If we all began to see the "worth" of arts and crafts, I think we would all make money-including advertisers.


Diane - I appreciate the education you've given me. I too have noticed that publications I have been very interested in have gone away, and I have been wondering what to do about it. In regards to the Craft Stylish and Craftzine websites, I found it overwhelming that there was soooo much information out there that I can't assimilate it well. I have the same issue with Craftster. So I have found myself listening to podcasts, or visiting a few select sites that I have learned about through the podcasts. For example, I follow your site, because you don't try to do too much in one post, and it fits the nuggets of time I have. Alternatively, I miss the magazines, because I could pick them up throughout the week and explore them especially when I need computer "away time". I do worry though about the waste of throwing them away, or just keeping them on the shelf. So, in the absence of the micropayment idea you are talking about, I have been thinking of deciding on a crafty "budget" that I would use to make donations to sites I visit (and accept donations). I don't think I would try to remember that I've made an annual payment and that another one is due. Instead I would just spread it around in some kind of cyclic manner consistent with the budget I've set up. However, I do wish the micropayment idea was available, because that seems to make so much more sense, and would be easier to apply as I visit and enjoy a webiste.


I'm a bit of a freak, because I look forward to the ads in craft magazines. I got into craft magazines, in fact, because I bought one purely for the ads, as I needed a supplier of a particular thing, and ever since I've been just as interested in the ads as the editorial content. This isn't true of mainstream media, of course, but I just don't understand why people who love going to things like the gem shows in Tucson, or the _Bead & Button_ show don't also see the shininess of ads for the same suppliers whose tables they ogle at shows. Yes, you can't touch the shinies in an ad, I know, but some of the ads are just as much eye candy as the pictures with the articles. Getting good ads in a magazine is an art, and I really, really enjoy seeing it done well. (I'm the same way about ads on websites, too.)

As one of the world's slow readers, I don't have time to trawl all the online fora and journals, trying to find which supplier of sprockets people like best, or where to buy widgets. I have been online since 1990 (yes, it is possible) and yet cannot make Google cough up relevant results for me, most of the time. So I rely on ads when I'm looking for things.

I also want to stand up for rebels. I don't like following the herd. I don't take up a new craft because all my friends are doing it, and if I do follow someone else's lead, I'm not likely to want to use all the same suppliers.

Advertising does have a use, remember. "The Sampler" is a form of advertising. I don't know what the future of advertising will be, but I really do hope it has a future.


I thought this was a great article. I passed it on to Denny and he tweeted it. Really some good stuff to think about. Thanks Diane.


I caught the 6 Million Dollar Man reference, but was too slow--making me officially, even older.
Good article and lots to think about. I'm guessing many folks don't think about costs and "feeding the advertisers" at sites as Linda P mentioned. Much education is needed.


Not giving this deep thought but two ideas popped into my head while reading this article and the comments. (1) I want to be able to purchase a "net pass" perhaps in the form of an ongoing subscription. I don't want to pay as I go each time for each separate website or blog or ezine or whatever. I might want one article for ABC this week and not again for another two months, but in the meantime want to buy access to EFG and ZZZ online sources. So I want a pre-purchased pass to be able to do this. (2) I want online green stamps. Anybody here old enough to remember green stamps? I want this "net pass" use and other kinds of access to reward me with free credit for more "net pass" minutes or maybe kits or ebooks or something along those lines.

Again, I haven't thought any of this through beyond typing it out as it bubbles to the surface right now. Please consider and pick apart and improve if it has any merit.


As someone who has written for both print and web media for a number of years now, I have mixed feelings about this. I think the original model can still work to some extent. About.com is a good example of this; however, networks like that have been around for a long time (when you consider we are talking about cyberspace). It has grown an audience and thus brought advertisers as well. Newer sites like CraftStylish have not been around that long, and to top it off, we now have a recession in the US. So timing is part of the problem too.

I don't necessarily agree that the old model is dead, but I do agree that hard times can bring opportunities for those who are clever and willing to take chances.


Firstly, I instantly got the Six Mill $ Man reference and vividly remember sticking green stamps into their little books - but was blissfully unaware I was old. Of course today it would cost at least Six Billion to rebuild him.

Secondly, all forms of media are feeling the pinch. There's only one reason reality TV has remained regular viewing, it's cheap to produce because its stars contribute for little or nothing - the same is true for most online content.

And if news is instantly available on your iPhone or delivered to your RSS reader from the big media companies at a click, why will people bother to pick up a newspaper let alone pay for it. The bigger question is how we have any still being printed at all. Early on newspapers were fearful of giving away their content online and tried models of charging for it, now most are wishing they hadn't caved in to competitors who offered it up for free.

Fifteen years ago I sat in meetings as a creative director at a publishing company discussing business models for our various new web ventures and today online commerce has become viable, yet there is still no definitive approach to earning money through advertising online.

The attention span of an average adult in technologically "advanced" countries now equals that of a gnat. That fact coupled with a global recession has forced advertisers to only spend money on trackable, results-oriented campaigns.

Hopefully a new era is on the horizon. Maybe the large media companies will come together and collectively decide to charge for content again, thus saving the jobs of those who know how to research and report the old fashioned way and give us information we trust again.

I'm afraid the same is true for the craft community, if there's so much out there online for free, why subscribe? How will print mags grow large enough to support themselves, there certainly aren't enough large craft advertisers to make them viable.

This is a very generous and intelligent online community, if it's members come together and work on this issue, perhaps there's a way to save both the print and web publications we all love.

Having open discussions is always the first step in the direction of change. Perhaps you should lead the way to this new horizon Dianne, I'm behind you!


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