Recent Posts

511

100,000+ comments on Offbeat Bride

Today I noticed that Offbeat Bride has officially crested 100k comments. The site is two weeks away from it's 9th launch anniversary (!?!), so I guess that averages to about 11k comments a year.

3.1k

RIP Offbeat Bride Tribe: 2007 – 2015 (+ bonus musings on running leaner)

Fall of 2007, after dozens of requests from blog readers, I decided to set up an Offbeat Bride community on Ning.com.

"It's an experiment!" I said.

"We'll see how it goes!" I said.

"If it doesn't feel like a good fit, I'll shut it down!" I said.

That was eight years, two platforms, two community managers, dozens of volunteer moderators, and over 45,000 members ago. Friday, the Offbeat Bride Tribe quietly shut down.

964

5 things I learned working for the Offbeat Empire

Not sure if you recognize my name — I’m Chris Wolfgang, the assistant editor/copy editor/Queen of Porn at Offbeat Bride. Or rather, I was. Until very recently.

While I’m sad to be moving on (how many other opportunities will I get to be called Queen of Porn? And keep my clothes on?), I’m ecstatic to say that I have learned an absolute shit ton working for the Offbeat Empire. No, sorry, I’m only going to tell you about five of them. Hold on to your tits.

1.1k

Why publishers love negative Facebook comments

Last week, Offbeat Home & Life's Facebook page shared a post from 2011 about Mormon mommy blogs. This post was originally written for Offbeat Families (then known as Offbeat Mama), and honestly, it really wasn't an especially interesting post. What WAS interesting, however, was the response to the post on Facebook.

517

My idea of fun: editing 800+ tag archive pages

We've long known that Google doesn't think our tag archive pages are nearly as useful as we do. The Googs likes posts or pages, not dynamic archives with no static content. So what am I doing this fall? I am manually editing every single Offbeat Bride tag so that Google likes them better. All 800 of them.

Recent Publishing

511

100,000+ comments on Offbeat Bride

Today I noticed that Offbeat Bride has officially crested 100k comments. The site is two weeks away from it's 9th launch anniversary (!?!), so I guess that averages to about 11k comments a year.

3.1k

RIP Offbeat Bride Tribe: 2007 – 2015 (+ bonus musings on running leaner)

Fall of 2007, after dozens of requests from blog readers, I decided to set up an Offbeat Bride community on Ning.com.

"It's an experiment!" I said.

"We'll see how it goes!" I said.

"If it doesn't feel like a good fit, I'll shut it down!" I said.

That was eight years, two platforms, two community managers, dozens of volunteer moderators, and over 45,000 members ago. Friday, the Offbeat Bride Tribe quietly shut down.

1.1k

Why publishers love negative Facebook comments

Last week, Offbeat Home & Life's Facebook page shared a post from 2011 about Mormon mommy blogs. This post was originally written for Offbeat Families (then known as Offbeat Mama), and honestly, it really wasn't an especially interesting post. What WAS interesting, however, was the response to the post on Facebook.

517

My idea of fun: editing 800+ tag archive pages

We've long known that Google doesn't think our tag archive pages are nearly as useful as we do. The Googs likes posts or pages, not dynamic archives with no static content. So what am I doing this fall? I am manually editing every single Offbeat Bride tag so that Google likes them better. All 800 of them.

802

Required reading of publishers, content marketers, and social media dorks

Every once and a while I'll share an article on the Offbeat Empire's Slack, and tell everyone that they need to read it. It's usually something about the future of publishing, or content marketing, or social media. I find all these things fascinating (if a little cynical-making, sometimes), and that in mind, I thought I'd re-share a few of the things I've made staffers read recently…

Recent Web development

234

Intrasite navigation added on mobile view

Rejoice, mobile readers of all the Offbeat Empire websites! The intrasite navigation has now been added as a persistent little nav bar above the header bar on your mobile phone! This means that from any of our sites, anywhere on the page, you can always click over to ANY of our other sites. Hallelujah!

820

Six month redesign post-mortem: navigation bar changes

Remember how when we did the redesign last winter, the biggest bone of contention was with intrasite navigation? Lots of you were like, "Wait, you made it hard for me to browse between the different Offbeat Empire sites!" and I was like "Ack, here I'll try this! No wait, this! No wait, how about this?!"

Well, six months later my stats made it clear that I fucked that shit right up.

971

How to submit the world's most perfect bug report

I have been taught the most magical method of submitting tech support requests that make it easy for developers (or anyone!) to understand what the problem is, so that they can hopefully fix it.

I'm slowly training my staff to use this method, and while it takes some getting used to… it's a game changer. Yes, it's helpful when you're trying to tell someone what's busted on a website, but it's also helpful when calling your ISP, or your cable provider, or the person who made your computer. It's basically the best way ever to get help from someone. Here's the template:

737

Ever have trouble reaching ALL the Offbeat Empire sites?

Sometimes our anti-spambot tools get confuse and misidentify legit readers as spambots, and dark them out. There's no error, no messaging… there's just NOTHING. You've been darked out. The pages just stop loading. There's no error, no messaging… there's just NOTHING. Here's what to do if you accidentally get darked out.

Recent Business development

1.5k

Terrifying moments in my company's growth

Offbeat Bride launched on January 1st, 2007 and over the past 8+ years, the Offbeat Empire has grown from a thing I did first as a side hobby, then as a job for me, and eventually as a small business that supports a part-time staff of seven contractors. Looking back, I can see where there were a few terrifying milestones that forced my hand on growth. I'mma offer these up for y'all to consider… because growing pains are terrifying but kind of awesome.

330

Offbeat Bride mentioned in Mobile Beat Magazine

Offbeat Bride was featured recently in Mobile Beat Magazine, an industry publication for DJs, VJs, and KJs. The post was written by a longtime Offbeat Bride vendor, Staci from Revolution Weddings. It's always so great to hear when our vendors have such a great experience with us that they want to share it with other folks in their industry!

Recent Community Management

3.1k

RIP Offbeat Bride Tribe: 2007 – 2015 (+ bonus musings on running leaner)

Fall of 2007, after dozens of requests from blog readers, I decided to set up an Offbeat Bride community on Ning.com.

"It's an experiment!" I said.

"We'll see how it goes!" I said.

"If it doesn't feel like a good fit, I'll shut it down!" I said.

That was eight years, two platforms, two community managers, dozens of volunteer moderators, and over 45,000 members ago. Friday, the Offbeat Bride Tribe quietly shut down.

1.8k

Forums are dying

For the last four years, the Offbeat Bride Tribe's traffic has been in decline.
Across the web, forums are dying as we all increasingly default to social media like Facebook. What does this mean for the future of the Tribe?

1.3k

How Offbeat Empire comment moderation has changed since 2012

Over the last couple years, however, things have shifted DRAMATICALLY with our comments. The shifts felt so natural to us behind the scenes that they felt kind of gradual, but when I look back I realized that it's been a huge change over a relatively short period of time, all leading up to a dramatic shift that readers may not be fully aware of. Here are a few of the things that have changed…

734

How to tell a publisher you're unhappy with their website (and actually get them to consider making changes)

Over the past eight years, I've dealt with thousands of complaints from readers… ranging from the completely baffling the to the hugely helpful. I've noticed a few patterns in what makes the difference between constructive and helpful feedback vs extremely frustrating feedback. The next time you're unhappy with a publisher, here are my suggestions for how to make sure your feedback is heard and acted upon:

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