Recent Posts

324

Pinterest vs Facebook: how different algorithms encourage different publisher behavior

While both Facebook and Pinterest traffic are hugely important to me, I interact with the two networks very differently. As a publisher, Facebook has me trained like a dog: we post all day, every day on our Facebook page because we see an immediate, real-time traffic boost when our posts go out. Meanwhile, I have very little control over the traffic Pinterest sends, even though I also post there all day every day. So why do I keep pinning?

1.3k

Let's talk about clickbait

A few weeks ago, I got this feedback from a longtime reader who was concerned about Offbeat Empire posting a lot of "archival material with clickbait headlines."

She's not wrong! Offbeat Bride and Offbeat Home & Life each publish two or three new blog posts a day, and then from 11am – 8pm PST, their respective Facebook pages are a steady stream of links to archival posts.

Whether or not the titles on these posts are clickbait is a little subjective…

650

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:

1.2k

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.

1.0k

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…

588

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:

Recent Publishing

324

Pinterest vs Facebook: how different algorithms encourage different publisher behavior

While both Facebook and Pinterest traffic are hugely important to me, I interact with the two networks very differently. As a publisher, Facebook has me trained like a dog: we post all day, every day on our Facebook page because we see an immediate, real-time traffic boost when our posts go out. Meanwhile, I have very little control over the traffic Pinterest sends, even though I also post there all day every day. So why do I keep pinning?

1.3k

Let's talk about clickbait

A few weeks ago, I got this feedback from a longtime reader who was concerned about Offbeat Empire posting a lot of "archival material with clickbait headlines."

She's not wrong! Offbeat Bride and Offbeat Home & Life each publish two or three new blog posts a day, and then from 11am – 8pm PST, their respective Facebook pages are a steady stream of links to archival posts.

Whether or not the titles on these posts are clickbait is a little subjective…

1.0k

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…

588

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:

Recent Web development

650

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:

675

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.

817

Sneak peek at the relaunch of the Offbeat Bride Tribe

Oh lord, you guys. It's a race against time to get the Offbeat Bride Tribe relaunched this Tuesday. Parts of it look super slick, but lots of our longtime beloved tools were coded in 2011 and just don't work like they should. We're committed to getting the Tribe back online on December 30th because I feel very strongly about restoring the safe space that Tribe members have come to rely on… but oh man, we're going to be doing a lot of clean-up after things launch. I'm begging Tribe members to be gentle with us after relaunch.

THAT SAID. There are some things that look really fucking cool, and I wanted to share a few sneak peeks.

439

Redesign Maintenance Release 1.1

Thanks to everyone for all your feedback on the redesigns last week. Rolling out the designs on Tuesday was intense on a lot of levels, and I wanted to circle back and let y'all know how things have shaken out.

1.3k

New templates launched on five of our sites!

After months of design and development work, this morning we launched a brand new blog template live across five of the six Offbeat Empire sites. I wanted to share a little bit of the thinking behind some of the aspects of the redesign, so that you understand what my goals were behind some of the changes.

336

Known bug: "You might also like" links going to NULL pages

For the past couple weeks, we've been dealing with a persistent issue with the "You might also like" related links served up at the ends of posts on all Offbeat Empire blogs. For some people, some of the time, when you click the links there, you get taken to a 404 error page that has "NULL" in the title.

Recent Business development

1.2k

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.

304

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!

1.0k

An interview about the evolution of Offbeat Bride's brand

I got an interview request recently from a woman named Claire Hawkes. She's the Social Media Manager / Keeper of the Shire at WeddingMix, but she's also majoring in Advertising/Public Relations at Loyola University in Chicago. She asked if she could interview me for her senior thesis, and I said sure. With her permission, I thought I'd share the interview here.

Recent Community Management

1.0k

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…

588

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:

842

In-image ads on Offbeat Home & Life

Normally the business side of running the Offbeat Empire blogs lives, well, here on the Offbeat Empire's behind-the-scenes blog. But today on Offbeat Home & Life, Megan did a post about her and my joint decision to ad in-image ads to the site. It felt important to do over there, since it's something we anticipated the reader community would have LOTS of opinions about. And they did… but not the ones I expected.

1.3k

Acculturating new readers who find us on Facebook

Offbeat Bride's Facebook page has blasted into the stratosphere this month, with our Like count going from 33k to 43k in the last 30 days. This is basically an average of about 400 new Facebook followers every single day — way above our baseline. Ok, so this is great, right? So many people finding Offbeat Bride and being introduce to the awesomeness, right? So many new readers! So many new eyeballs! Well, yes and no…

2.0k

"I'm weird for being normal": the reverse discrimination fallacy

I've written about "othering," and how in an online community where many people define themselves by their non-normativeness, it can be really weird to suddenly be part of the majority.

However, I've never dedicated a post to what I call the reverse discrimination fallacy… where community members allow themselves to feel marginalized because they're in the majority.

1.0k

Noteworthy comments: reader self-policing

There was some interesting commenting on the Empire this week, mostly because we saw several instances of readers stepping into almost a moderator-type role to offer feedback to each other.

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