Hello! Because times are so unusual, we may decide to put up some housekeeping posts periodically just to let you know what’s percolating, or perhaps explain about anything that might seem late or off-schedule (ahem, Outlander), or just to spitball.
The focus of today’s, primarily, is this: How you can help here. People have asked, and I’m happy to say there are things you can do, and they are free and also easy. We really appreciate everyone who has inquired about this.
1) Whitelisting. The biggest thing in these uncertain times is: If you have independent — or even big and dependent! — websites you love and you are running an ad blocker when you visit them, please consider whitelisting those sites on that ad blocker, or consider disabling it altogether. Ours very much included (it’s just us; no corporate parent, no partnership, no publisher), but absolutely not limited to GFY. We want all our comrades in arms out there to be here whenever we emerge from this.
You don’t need to click on the ads. (You can if you want! But that doesn’t give us a bonus or anything.) They just need to BE there, much like the ads that support magazines and TV news and other entities. Ad blockers don’t simply make the ads invisible to you; they actively shut them down in a way the ad companies notice, and which directly impacts the website’s bottom line. Sort of like if Vogue published with a bunch of blank pages where Coach thought it had paid for space, and Vogue shrugged and was like, “Eh, well, SOME of the issues have your ads in them. But people don’t like ads.” Coach would be mad! Vogue would not get its money! Coach would probably stop working with Vogue! It’s apples-to-oranges because Vogue still also charges a price for admission, so to speak, and we don’t (more on that in a second). But you feel me. Ads are a fact of life in a lot of places, and in the online world, they’re often all we’ve got.
1a) Malware. Now, I understand malware concerns. If I may be blunt, I hate that shit. And if there is a site that you don’t trust, and which is a constant source of trouble on that front, I’m not going to tell you to whitelist that. Do it! Protect yourself. But a lot of ads — probably almost all of them on sites like ours — are not direct buys. They’re coming through a broker, and nasty ones can wriggle in there (although honestly most bad ads are just annoying and not dangerous). Some sites may not care, and you’ll be able to tell. But anytime a Fug National has notified us of a rogue ad — which you can ALWAYS do via fuggingitup[at]gmail[dot]com — we’ve been able to alert the company helping us manage this, and they’ve hunted down the culprit and blocked it. (Screen grabs help immensely, as do links the ads point to, if you can safely get them, and info about where you are geographically.) We do not want those bad ads in our system, and chances are that any site you cherish that’s serving them to you also doesn’t want them there. If a site is reachable and responsive and remorseful about that, it probably means you can trust them with a whitelisting and have faith they’ll zap the offenders as fast as they can. The name of the game is making our websites a comfortable place to be, or else… no one will be there.
So, and I stress again that this is not just about us: Please whitelist. And not just the little guys. The big guys, if you love them too, probably have more employees and therefore more families depending on that income. Every little bit helps. (And, of course, if you can afford to pay for a subscription to your local paper, or a national one that you love, please do so. Right now, the Los Angeles Times is running a deal where you get eight weeks for one dollar.)
2) Share! Pass around the links! Refer friends and family to the sites you love, if you can. Stick the links on your Twitter and Facebook and whatnot. We are going to try our damnedest to give people things to read — Met Gala flashbacks, royals flashbacks, even just fashion flashbacks, as well as hopefully some Fug the Fromage posts — and a loving place to congregate, and the more y’all can evangelize that the more it helps. This goes for anyone whose work you love, be they authors or musicians or artisans.
3) About that price of admission: We are not going to charge one. We are not going to have a tip jar, or a subscription fee, and we aren’t going to put a price tag on an ad-free version of the site. Here’s why:
- Above and beyond all other reasons, we don’t want to. Times are crappy right now. People are scared. We do not want a barrier to entry here, of any kind, beyond just the ability to access the Internet (we can’t help that one, unfortunately). To read GFY, to be here and hang out and have this place still exist, is not something we want to depend on your circumstances or your budget. That part is on us.
- Logistically: It isn’t a business model that works for most blogs. To build a budget based on people’s discretionary spending is pretty hard — just ask any restauranteur or retailer — and especially for a website, and ESPECIALLY now, when we don’t even know what content it’ll be or whether we can post as often as usual. And there is no reasonable ad-free subscription price that could make up for that lost revenue. Also, websites are often the first thing to go when people are trying to scale back; people often go elsewhere the second they hit a paywall. Which I get. But that’s also why it won’t work for us.
- Again, we just… are not interested in asking that of you.
- Some of you have supported us by buying our books, and we are unimaginably grateful. It does help us a lot. But some people who like this site hated Spoiled or Messy, so didn’t buy The Royal We. That’s okay! Some people hated The Royal We, and won’t buy The Heir Affair. Also okay! Some people just aren’t buying books right now, or they hate-read us and want us to burn in hell. That’s also okay! (Are we gonna still promote the heck out of The Heir Affair? Yes, because if we don’t, who will? We worked really hard on it, and all our events are in limbo right now, and… yeah, you are going to hear about it a lot. Putting up with that is probably the actual price of admission here.) All those people still need a place to congregate and we welcome them here! So no pressure. We are so thankful for your support, but we want to be clear that when we promote the book(s), we’re not doing it to try and guilt you into a purchase.
- Are those affiliate links up there? Yes! Affiliate links where possible are enormously helpful to any site’s cash-flow. If you decide to buy something after you click one — even if it’s not the thing we linked to — then we get a commission, but it does not add anything to your price tag. It’s more of a finder’s fee from the company, because we were your gateway to them. (Having said that, as this thing develops, we’re keeping an eye on whether shopping posts are appropriate — we are nervous about the exposure being required of the people delivering stuff, and those in warehouses, but on the other hand, those companies need to keep people employed. It’s a sticky wicket and sort of an evolving situation.)
4) Outlander recaps. Whoops. I’ll get to it. I might roll it into the recap for the next episode? Between establishing a home-school routine for the beans, figuring out the site/Fug Madness, and yes, the daily Lego contest between the beans and their pals (I’ve been posting and archiving the beans’ mini-builds on my Instagram; all the kids share these video presentations with each other as a way to see each other during this isolation), this week got away from me. I haven’t quit the recaps. I’m just EVEN TARDIER THAN USUAL. Thanks for the patience.
5) Royals Round-Up and Fugs & Pieces: Yep, they’re coming tomorrow; we’re scooting the Fug Madness games a little tighter so these two features will run at their regular times.
That’s all for now. Y’all have been so supportive of us, and of our efforts to keep the lights on around here in a time when there are no events to cover and no fashion being deployed, which is probably going to get more difficult as this continues. Hopefully the celebs heed our pleas to throw one-person premieres in their living rooms, with fashion deployed in full force. In the meantime we’ll keep at it, and hopefully y’all will find as much comfort in coming here to talk about ANYTHING, anything at all, as we do in being here with you.