Does reading via RSS "rob" pageviews from a publisher?

By on Apr 7th
Image courtesy of feedly.comI'm a religious follower via Feedly (since the demise of my precious Google Reader), but only click through if I want to comment.

How does something like Feedly count in the Offbeat Empire's pageviews, etc.?

That is, am I essentially robbing you of a pageview by reading the full article in my reader, or does the way Feedly gets the article count as a pageview?


This question comes up periodically, so I figured I'd bubble up my answer here into a full post for easy referencing!

First, some historical context

RSS feeds were a thing that was totally going to take off in like, 2007. RSS was going to be HUGE. Instead of going to your favorite website to see if there were updates, the updates from your favorite websites would come to you. This video does a great job of explaining why so many of us were excited about the concept:

Flash-forward seven years, and RSS just never quite hit the big time. Instead, people default to Facebook or Twitter as their primary feed readers. Over the years, RSS became a niche nerd thing, which is why Google shut down Reader, the RSS tool that Shannon mentions.

For those of us who love RSS, we fucking love RSS. My RSS reader is my window to the world. If you don't get RSS, you're in good company… as of today, 61k people use Facebook to follow Offbeat Bride, as opposed to 3000 who use RSS. That should tell you something.

Ok, but what about RSS subscribers "robbing" pageviews from a publisher?

Continue reading »

Offbeat Home's clever new ad blocking under-layer

By on Apr 2nd
A word of praise for Offbeat Home & Life's witty little sub-in adverts for when I have AdBlock turned on! It was a great reminder to whitelist Offbeat Home & Life, as I like to do for sites like this which I enjoy and wish to continue enjoying.

I wouldn't have thought twice about it without the little note (which I think is new, because I've not seen them before).


offbeat home ad block

Yay! It *is* new, you're right! As we're experimenting more with allowing Offbeat Home & Life's readers to support the site directly, we figured this would be a good way to remind smarties using AdBlock (which I use all day every day myself!), that we DO rely on ad revenue and if they want to be a part of keeping the site online, they have the power to get involved.

This little bit tech of was totally a team effort:

  1. Offbeat Home's assistant editor Caroline was inspired by how OkCupid does their ads, and pitched the idea.
  2. Then Offbeat Bride's editor Catherine mocked up the octopus graphics, leaning heavily on OkCupid's language.
  3. Then the Empire's developer Kellbot worked the techy magic to make it all work.

If any other web publishers love this idea, here's the code concept, courtesy of the Offbeat Empire and our developer, Master Kellbot:

Continue reading »

FUCK YEAH, April Fools

By on Apr 1st

fuck yeahIn years past, we've done whole elaborate April Fools schemes with posts laser-targeted to freak out (and yes, enrage) our readers:

This year, we're going so subtle that some of you may not even notice.

Just a tiny little text change that only the most engaged of our readers will even notice.

…Find it yet?

Continue reading »

Meet Offbeat Bride's new Assistant Editor: Chris Wolfgang!

By on Mar 31st

Have you noticed a new name on Offbeat Bride over this past month? Perhaps you thought to yourself, "Oh, that's interesting… who's this person producing the wedding porn posts I so enjoy basking in each morning"? Well, those posts have been written by none-other-than Offbeat Bride's newest Assistant Editor, Chris Wolfgang! Chris joins a staff full of people with names like Catherine, Caroline, and Kirsten, so to avoid my head collapsing, I just call her by her bad-ass last name: WOLFGANG.

Ms. Wolfgang is actually no stranger to the Empire — some of you may remember posts she's written for Offbeat Home & Life, including Make friends in a new city with Ultimate Frisbee and I got rid of my one-sided birth control angst when my partner volunteered to handle the pills.

I'll let Wolfgang tell you a little bit more about herself:

Continue reading »

Meet Offbeat Bride's newest header character: Fierce

By on Mar 24th

Illustration by Iris Chamberlain of Start Here Designs

It's been a year since we introduced a new character to Offbeat Bride's header, so it's high time that I introduce you to the newest lady to grace the top of our pages. We call her FIERCE, and you'll be seeing her in rotation of the header of Offbeat Bride starting tomorrow.

Last year, several readers suggested that we add a bride character with a disability — or rather, a VISIBLE disability. (As I've pointed out before, how do we know that Dapper isn't dealing with fibromyalgia, or Lite isn't Deaf, or Geeky doesn't have a chronic pain condition? Disabilities aren't always obvious.)

But I get it: Offbeat Bride is truly committed to portraying diversity in all its forms, and bride with a visible disability is a great expression of that.

Continue reading »

Favorite comments of the week: now with staff interpretive readings

By on Mar 21st

fave comments video

This week we're going to try something a little different with our noteworthy comment round-up… three of us have chosen to do interpretive readings of our favorite reader comments.

Offbeat Bride

On my tongue-in-cheek post about Offbeat sins, Emmy chimed in with some great perspectives from a more traditional reader. Here's her comment, as interpreted by Catherine, Offbeat Bride Editor and Vendor Relations Manager:

Ok, I just honestly let out the loudest real-life "HAAAA!" with the hand-swipe gesture. Interpretive reading begins… now.

Offbeat Home

Ok, so Megan posted today about some insanely cute forest animal bathroom decor, including this squirrel tissue box holder. Eagle-eyed commenter Lisa shared one of the most amazing Amazon product reviews ever posted, which the site's Managing Editor Megan will read for you here:

Continue reading »