Okay, so this is pretty awkward.
I'm trying to decide whether to keep my blog here on ChicagoNow, or to jump ship altogether and blog exclusively on my personal website, www.christinewolf.com.
I've been blogging here on ChicagoNow since 2012. Prior to that, I'd blogged on a Wordpress site, figuring out how to be an author while writing about my life. During these past eight years as a blogger, I've become a professional writer, documenting my process every step of the way. And now, here I am at ChicagoNow -- six years and 131 posts later -- trying to decide if it's time I step back into the big, wide world on my own.
I've loved it here at ChicagoNow, blogging with about 400 others who, like me, feel passionate about what we do.
We don't do this for the money. We really don't ask for anything much. We just want to share our thoughts through our words with the world, and we do.
So why would anyone want to leave?
Since I arrived six years ago, things on the Chicago Tribune/TRONC site just aren't the same, nor is publishing or -- most importantly -- your reading experience on this site.
Subscribers report notifications as impersonal and inconsistent, and ads keep popping up in frustratingly distracting places (see above). Perhaps it's because of these ads that Facebook and Twitter now block some of my posts, claiming they don't meet their "community standards", leading me to question if it's all just a matter of spam.
So yeah, I'm seriously thinking about leaving.
I fully appreciate the blogging model, and I've never once asked for payment in my six years here. I've built such a wonderful, loyal following (thank you!), and even won some "Best Post" contests along the way. For me, that's all more than plenty to keep me going. It's never, ever been about compensation, even when the ads take up so much of a post's space, even when my words create a revenue stream for my host. Frustrating, yes, but not a deal breaker. However, when readers express increasing frustration, it is me, as the writer, who ultimately pays, unless I speak up or find myself a new home.
This is my first step -- speaking out about the issues -- still filled with optimism and a desire to keep going. I'm hoping the brains behind The Chicago Tribune and TRONC will see that things must improve (and quickly), and that they take the steps to address things now.
Otherwise, I think it's high time we all set a new course.
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