By in Breaking News

Notices and Updates

Good morning everyone - I wanted to put a note out on a few things this morning. Sort of randomly scattered but each by themselves not enough to fill a post.

Recent Activity

I need to trim the recent activity list. Up until now, it has been everything that has happened since you have joined the site. Not if anyone else has noticed a slowdown, but once you get around 6,000 entries it gets VERY slow. Not from the server end, but your computer trying to process all that data. For the time being, until I can gather more feedback I am trimming it to two weeks back. Most of you joined within that two weeks, so you won't see a change (or very small change) but going forward this will be automatic.

Ads

No doubt that everyone has seen the post about the exchange rate and the difficulties we are having with AdSense. Because of that, we are looking ( and experimenting ) with other ad networks. There are times during this test that we will have some annoying ads as we find out what works best in the interim. I am asking you the community, to please let us know if you come across any bad ads. Whether it is content ( ie: adult) or method ( popup, screen takeover, complete redirection ) we don't want to sacrifice the user experience. Please bring any of those issues to our attention. If you could include a screenshot, that would be great. If not, then at least describe the page, location of the ad, what the ad said or describe it in some way. Also, I need to know what browser you are using.

Downtime

It seems we have lost a good number of members as we only have a fraction of the normal traffic that we have in the morning. I will monitor it throughout the day just to be safe but I may be changing the database server which will require a bit of downtime. This will probably be later in the evening (my time), so around 9PM Eastern Daylight Time the site will be down for a little bit for maintenance.

Image Credits

Finally, I want to just add a little blurb here about image credits. We do not want to get in trouble for posting images that we don't have the right to post, therefore we need the community to allow us to verify images they use as being allowed. The only way for us to do that, is to locate the image on the webpage where you got it. Sites like Pixabay, MorgueFile and some of Flickr are great as they allow for commercial use. Regretfully, putting something as simple as "Pixabay" or "MorgueFile" doesn't help us because we have no idea other than to search for the image. It is very easy to use something shutterstock which you don't have the rights too, say Morgulefile and unless we checked we would not know. Therefore, we need a link to the page the image is on. This way, we can pull it up, see that is is OK for commercial use and move on. I know, it sucks that we have to do that but that is the only way we can protect ourselves from getting in trouble or dealing with DMCA takedown requests.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns then please let us know and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


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Comments

momluvz2knit wrote on June 16, 2014, 8:52 AM

Thanks for the updates! Links in place.

poddys wrote on June 16, 2014, 8:58 AM

All sounds good, thanks for the updates.

Considering that Bubblews barely gives 2 hours worth of notifications, 2 weeks would be wonderful. I'm sure we don't need that much in reality, but appreciate the need to balance content with speed. Better to have a faster server than more data we don't necessarily need.

The ads seem better today, no dating ones so far thankfully :) I hope the Adsense issues get resolved soon.

Anja wrote on June 16, 2014, 8:59 AM

Some sites add a series of required information sections to the image insert section, requiring the URL and license info. I know that's a big programming change, but you might want to consider it since not everyone knows the proper way to credit an image. They would then be forced to include the URL, making it easier to check on the image itself when it's time to review.

ashley wrote on June 16, 2014, 9:02 AM

I had this very idea in mind... but as you say it will take some programming changes on the backend. But something I definitely want to do, that way it reduces that "oh no I forgot" type of responses. Plus I can separate the image credits and it doesn't clutter the article itself.

CoralLevang wrote on June 16, 2014, 9:03 AM

Thank you so much, Ashley, for your commitment to us all.

ashley wrote on June 16, 2014, 9:17 AM

Yeah I am thinking that two weeks is still too much... but we will see. As the site grows, what you have in a month now could be achieved in two weeks and your browser would come to a crawl. The good thing about starting early is you can adapt to these changes.

ashley wrote on June 16, 2014, 9:17 AM

Awesome - thanks :)

ashley wrote on June 16, 2014, 9:17 AM

And thank you for your support during through our tough time :)

Bensen32 wrote on June 16, 2014, 9:24 AM

Yep the ads are giving a pop up, I will send the screen shot to you shortly. Thanks for the update.

paperdaisyflower7 wrote on June 16, 2014, 9:50 AM

Nice to know yes I am sad I don't see much recent activity and not much likes or comments on my posts. Just asking The log I made to use here, is it ok? thanks for any comments

ashley wrote on June 16, 2014, 10:10 AM

Yeah I just heard the same thing from MaeLou... I think I have tracked down the culprit. It seems to be ezmob. The funny thing is they are suppose to be a mobile-only advertising platform. But with our drop in traffic we would have gotten booted from them anyway. I have removed that from the code so you should not see that popup anymore.

ashley wrote on June 16, 2014, 10:11 AM

I certainly hope it will pick up again soon. What do you mean by "the log" - not sure I understand.

africanpen wrote on June 16, 2014, 11:10 AM

Thanks for the bits and pieces

Platespinner wrote on June 16, 2014, 11:22 AM

Thanks for your hard work setting this site up and keeping us informed!

JanetHunt wrote on June 16, 2014, 12:09 PM

Ashley Thanks for keeping us up-to-date with everything. I have started including a link to all image credits. Do I need to go back and do this for all or just from this point going forward? Thanks!

Chantiele wrote on June 16, 2014, 12:24 PM

Thanks for the update Ashley

SandraLPetersen wrote on June 16, 2014, 12:39 PM

Smart policy on the image credits. It should save the site and the writer from take down notices.

Two weeks of notifications should be ample for someone like me to go through and see what I need to. Very good!

Haven't seen any bad ads yet. I'm just glad you have found ad sites to experiment with, that haven't turned you away. I'd like to see this site continue on.

Youwish wrote on June 16, 2014, 1:08 PM

Thank you so much for keeping us in the loop! :)

momathome wrote on June 16, 2014, 1:54 PM

I haven't noticed any "distributive ads but if I do see any I will let you know. It has been quite a bit slower around here lately but I'm hoping it might have been due to the Father's Day weekend and will pick back up.

ashley wrote on June 16, 2014, 2:31 PM

That's the safest but not everyone has a nice camera so I can see the desire for using other images.

ashley wrote on June 16, 2014, 2:31 PM

Your welcome

ashley wrote on June 16, 2014, 2:32 PM

Thank you for the support :) I certainly hope to maintain this throughout the sites lifetime.

ashley wrote on June 16, 2014, 2:37 PM

I would recommend eventually going back and doing all of them... it will only be an issue during cashout time. We just had one member highly upset with us because she had to go back and fix like 20 of them... But considering the amount we will have to go through (depending on how long it takes to get the advertising revenue back) it could be a lot more.

So maybe update a few a day?

ashley wrote on June 16, 2014, 2:38 PM

Your welcome :)

ashley wrote on June 16, 2014, 2:42 PM

That's the idea... we are small and don't want to have to go out of business by being dragged through lawsuits. Highly unlikely I know but still better safe than sorry.

We have, although nothing we can actually use... they all pay horribly. Now I can see why people prefer to use AdSense... they actually pay something you can use.

ashley wrote on June 16, 2014, 2:42 PM

Your welcome :)

ashley wrote on June 16, 2014, 2:44 PM

LOL I want to believe that... but I think its just that because we don't pay anywhere near as much. But glass half full right?

GrannyGee wrote on June 16, 2014, 2:49 PM

Thank you so much for the updates... it means so much just to see what's going on. I love how you are there for everyone. It makes writing here a pleasure. Gloria/Granny Gee

melody23 wrote on June 16, 2014, 3:25 PM

You can do an advanced search on google images to get pictures that are safe to use for commercial purposes, of course you should always double check because as we all know google is not perfect but it is an easy way to find images if you have none of your own pictures that fit your posts.

If anyone wants to know how to do this reply to this comment and I will post about it, don't want to do it if no one is interested but would be happy to put up a post explaining how if people want to read it.

I also think forcing people to enter the image information is a good idea, as long as there is a box to tick or something to say that it is your own picture, if it is your own. I had a problem with that on another site, I couldn't get past the submitting the image part because I couldn't provide a link to my picture because I took it myself.

JanetHunt wrote on June 16, 2014, 4:53 PM

ashley I know that everything is a work in progress here but have you thought about putting some content guidelines up on the site for reference? If it is already there, I apologize. I just didn't seem them. Thanks! :)

Ravenmount wrote on June 16, 2014, 5:40 PM

With respect to images, how does this rule apply if we are using our own images? I am a music blogger, so I use my own concert photos when writing about music, and I have not posted all of them online already to be posting links for them from elsewhere. I also use my own banners made from scratch using Paint, so they also have no link associated with them. I can't imagine sites don't want photographers to use their own photos, since those add potentially valuable content to the site, but it is unclear what your new image policy is with respect to using our own images.

Bensen32 wrote on June 16, 2014, 7:07 PM

I have not seen it since my comment so you must have figured it out, thank you

BrianaDragon wrote on June 16, 2014, 7:30 PM

That would be great to have it as part of the form. Links at the bottom are ugly. In the meantime, you need to get the bit about links being required onto the FAQ so people can see it.

Ruby3881 wrote on June 16, 2014, 10:10 PM

Thanks so much for the updates! Could we just maybe distinguish between the link to the image itself, and the link to the page where the i,age is displayed? I've seen even experienced web writers link to the image (which doesn't allow you to verify usage rights) and even when posted this way, at least one mod seemed not to notice the problem. I imagine it would become apparent when verifying later on down the road, but the problem is this was a tutorial telling other users where to link....

AliCanary wrote on June 16, 2014, 10:20 PM

I wrote a post about the image credits to help get the word out.

AliCanary wrote on June 16, 2014, 10:21 PM

That's already been fixed. Thanks for your input.

allen0187 wrote on June 17, 2014, 1:27 AM

Appreciate the updates. Cheers!

MaeLou wrote on June 17, 2014, 10:25 AM

When they are your own images, a photo credit to yourself without a link is fine. This post applies to those images that are being pulled off of the internet.

SandraLynn wrote on June 17, 2014, 10:57 AM

Thank you, as always, for keeping us updated. I was away over the weekend (peeping from the phone, lol) but aware of major stuff. This is the first time I've been here since getting back and the first place I came to get caught up, simply because I knew I could :) Thanks for that, :)

I'm going to be spending the next few days hammering out my own sad/mad Google story. Then I'll be sharing it here in short bursts. I've got to get it out (the whole story that I've never told all the way through before). So I won't be posting again for another day or so till I get the whole thing written. But I'm not going anywhere.

So glad for HERE.

As for pics, I use ALL my own or others within my family and I generally over explain, lol. I am over cautious in that regard because I don't ever want to get dinged, nor do I want the web site to get in trouble either.

RE: Ads. The only thing I noticed was from the phone, an annoying pop-up every time I scrolled. But I know you are trying to figure things out so I can deal. SERIOUSLY!

That's it far as I can see from here :)

Cheers :)

Laura-n-Sasha wrote on June 17, 2014, 2:50 PM

I have a question about making a link to our referral page, is this allowed? If it is not, I will remove them. Although I cannot remove the ones that are of the polls.

Have you opened up the membership again, or are you still waiting on that until you get everything else cleared up?

wampamba wrote on June 17, 2014, 3:42 PM

In case I get accross any of those ads, I will of course let you know. BTW thanks for the updates