For those of you who try using Google custom search, you may be sharing in my frustration. The system has never been perfect, but lately it seems that the “Google powered” part of Google custom search has disappeared completely, making Fat Chic Clothing search really difficult to use. It can be used – as long as you only use the subtraction boolean to clarify your search – and as long as you don’t mind a boatload of duplicates, only 10 pages of options, and some stuff that we both know is in there just not showing up at all. Also, I have had “no results” come up often, and have had to hit “reload” many times, until it remembers that “oh yeah, there are results here.”
Google has been alerted to the issues – it’s not like I know how to go dinking with that algorhythm.Â So far the response has been “you could be having problems because you have so many sites in there.”
What? You’re FREAKING GOOGLE!
Also, my site makes money for Google. I would hope that would be a motivator to fix these new problems, since last year I was already well past 1000 sites in the engine and did not have these problems at all.
They have a time consuming “index” option that can make searching for some things like plus size lingerie easier, but since it is time consuming and I’m working in a less than ideal environment at the moment, it’s going to be awhile before it comes up. So in the meantime, I realize most of you will just skip to the catalog (and I get that.) Using internal blog search works pretty well for at least finding stuff in the catalog itself.
As for Google, I’ll keep on them, but it looks like I may need to a)build something myself or b)find another service that treats my users and me better.
Every so often, I’ve found it necessary to do this, and I suppose it’s been long enough that the time has come ’round.
To clarify any confusion: roughly 95% of what I blog about is unsolicited by the brands that I write about. Big or small, the companies I write about generally don’t know I’m coming. It’s a happy and sad state of affairs that there are enough plus size retailers out there now that some just fall off my radar.
The other 5% is a combination of the following:
- Product reviews, which are actually important to readers – especially when I manage to provide visuals (obviously I can’t do this with lingerie, at least not as long as I want to coexist peacefully with my partner.)
- A marketer or the retailer/boutique owner etc. sends me something that makes me think, “WOW,” or “Wow, this is something people need and keep asking me about.”
- Something just looks fun to me.
After all, since this blog is my property, I do have the freedom to be quite capricious.Â And I have mad ambitions of adding “meatier” material to this blog that I may or may not be able to live up to.
I am trying to work up a compromise, as so many bloggers DO feature certain items in posts, and the “sales post” is a long-running feature and fixture at many other plus size blogs out there. Part of my refusal to run such posts is explicitly because of all those other bloggers: while we’re going to cover the same topics – example, Eloquii is everywhere because it just plain merits talking about, and no, they haven’t asked me to mention them onceÂ -Â I don’t want to simply cover the same sales over and over, too. My thoughts on consumerism and clothing are pretty complicated, in part because of the additional Catch-22s that plus-sizes face by our increasing but still limited choices.
My compromise has been to run the Fat Chic Sales Roundup, recently with an experiment in “letter from the editor” type writing.Â This is where I put sales announcements, affiliates links and, should I be approached, giveaways. 1)I have one coming, but it’s contingent on a product review, which is contingent on me painting my nails – not something I do much. I don’t know how many readers look to blogs for sales, and how many would be put off by it. It might be helpful if you sounded off here.
In the meantime, I am building affiliates for the newsletter – and hopefully, you’ll remember when you sign yourself up for it since it is intended as mainly advertorial, with a dash of the editorial.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||I have one coming, but it’s contingent on a product review, which is contingent on me painting my nails – not something I do much.|
In an effort to make my daily work more efficient, I merged all my email accounts. In the process, Google declared several emails marked on my task list as “spam” and now I’m missing some really good stuff I wanted to share with my readers. If you are one of these people, you should have my email – so PLEASE contact me as soon as possible, and hopefully you still have what you sent me in your sent mail folder.
1)An interview with a woman running a plus size focused yoga studio.
2)A conversation going with a woman in a Wichita burlesque troupe.
3)I think I still have hard copy, but the contact is missing from Leading Lady Bras.
If you are one of these people, please contact me – I want to get these blog posts rolling!
Welcome new visitors that found me through the November 2011 People Style Watch. What a fabulous mention, so thank you, thank you, thank you Gabi!
You’re coming in at quite the dynamic time for me. Last year certainly had its accomplishments – a mention in the New York Times, along with visits to Lane Bryant headquarters and Just My Size at their Hanesbrands offices in New York City filled up 2010. While this year has been slower on the plus-size fashion blogging, November arrives with this wonderful mention, a book contract not related to my Fat Chic work, and the usual mountain of stuff I really will get to doing while making people wonder if I ever sleep (I do.)
This year, I slowed down a lot because while plus-size fashion is my passion, it’s not a monogamous deal. I’m a person of many interests, and if you talk to me about shoes, sooner or later I’m going to bring up fair trade, child labor, or something else that will frustrate the daylights out of the harried publicist just trying to squeeze a sound byte out of me. It’s not that I’ve got something to prove – I’m still alive, so I’m assuming I’m smart enough. It’s just this compulsive thing that comes up because I like to take my time and really dig into the things that interest me. Fashion is both terrible and uplifting, sometimes in the same day, in the same designer. I just can’t ignore something troubling because something beautiful is in front of me. While I visit denial from time to time, it’s just not my best color.
Fashion – and thus Fat Chic – is also about much more than looking pretty or making sure that people want to look at you – it’s about sending a message. When you plan your outfit for the day, you think about who sees you – at least, most people do. When you choose your clothing, most of the time, you choose it based on what you would like someone else’s perception of you to be. Whether or not you succeed is not really in your control, but clothing gives you your best shot at it.
This is why, although I’m rolling out some changes so I can do things like pay the gas bill, I lean towards curatorial content over advertorial content. I want this place to serve people who are extroverts that want great clothes, and I also want the people who just want to dress so no one bothers them both to feel welcome here, like this blog has something for you AND your neighbor, even when you literally or metaphorically wear different shoe sizes.
The Catalog Project
So, with that welcome, I’d like to give a brief tour for new and old readers.
I’m aware most of you from People Style Watch are here because of the Fat Chic Catalog Project. This is an ongoing project, since businesses opening and closing is an ongoing thing. The page has preset searches, and you can often find things through liberal use of Ctrl + F and typing in the word for what you seek. You can also use the search bar next to the date at the top of the page to search for anything within Fat Chic Catalog.
Fat Chic Clothing Search
Also, allow me to turn your attention to Fat Chic Clothing search. Fellow bloggers, you can install this as a widget in your own blog, too. EVERYONE in search of plus size clothing can use it – I have over 1200 active retailers with plus size offerings listed on it. If you check the Guide to Fat Chic, it has some tips to get your Google-fu going so you can get the most out of it. Otherwise, the Catalog Project page has pre-set searches set for you.
Fat Chic Sales Roundup
New to everyone is the Fat Chic Sales roundup. This is a semi-monthly/monthly mailing I send out with sales and notices from plus size retailers. You can sign up by entering your email in the box on the right of the screen. It’s super easy to subscribe or unsubscribe. Mailings will start in the middle of November.
New Comments System
I have changed the comment system to Disqus, and I’m hoping that its accessibility issues will not be too troublesome. This means no more captchas, and easy logins with Twitter, Facebook, Google Id and Open Id. All comments are still moderated – I don’t give trolls any chance whatsoever, and spam is always a problem.
I still have an eye towards making Fat Chic the most usable blog possible for readers, and while most of these posts may well be for my own entertainment, it should give you some fast and handy ways to find what you want, and in your size.
A few housekeeping notes for my lovely devoted readers out there:
first, I have not abandoned you, nor given up on plus size fashion, nor suddenly joined the ranks of the body hating. I still love Fat Chic, especially as it absolutely validates the time I spend combing over every aspect of fashion I can. I’ve just dialed it down for awhile.
As many of you know, I am NOT a career blogger. Right now, my real career- as a freelance writer – is demanding lots of attention. Please do not construe this to mean I do not think blogging is a career. It damn well is, and one that takes a lot of hard work. Glen at FullFigure Plus and Marie Denee at the Curvy Fashionista are the strongest examples I can think of for what’s really involved in making plus blogging a career (a LOT of work, mostly self-funded travel, and eatsleepbreathe fashion, brands, relationships), not to mention folks like Moe at BellaOnline, or Meilieli about About.com, and full service lifestyle outfits like MadisonPlus and VenusDiva.
What I am saying is that blogging at this point in my life is still not my career, although I’m beyond delighted to see that Fat Chic is considered up there with the best of the best. I love to write. It’s much closer to my truest voice than anything I speak is.
Fashion is one of about two billion interests I have (only a slight exaggeration.) This summer alone I’ve tried my hand at crochet with plastic bags, learning origami, a jewelery making project and art journalling. I’m no dilettante – Fat Chic’s been around since 2007, so this isn’t just a flash in the pan – I simply work hard to make sure I am constantly learning, so I have more to learn as a whole person.
While this temporarily gets you only minimal Fat Chic, it also means that when I come back, I continue to think expansively with new ideas and angles as a result of the strange things I do to my own brain when folding squares of paper to make them into little owls. The more I do this now, the more I can continue to make Fat Chic a bit different from the other plus size blogs out there, making your experience reading those blogs and Fat Chic that much richer.
Which leads me to the other news that may interest some of you: in September, I’m going to Paris for a week. While the only two things officially on my schedule are the Louvre and Versailles (which I personally call the Temple of Micromanagement) I am open to any tips of plus size friendly places you can point me to. I’m taking French classes now with my spouse, and I’m also spending 4-5 days a week at the gym so my body can sustain all that walking. I’m hoping the habit continues when I get back. I have some entries for the plus size exercise diary, but mostly it’s about trying not to pass gas when my legs are up in the air during Pilates.
I am still here, darlings. The news roundups will continue, and once I’m done doing what I need to do, you will once again find me putting up “oooh, pretty!” posts with the occasional rant.
If you’d just like to hang out and read my writing in general, you can head over to my writer’s blog. For those who might not know from just Googling me, I’m feminist, Wiccan, and prone to writing “Crackpot theories” posts that posit things like whether the Loch Ness monster enjoys Cambodian food.
Not one of these attributes makes up the whole of who I am, just as my being fat does not define the whole of who I am. Part of that is feeding my need for variety.
So no, you are not abandoned. I am simply working on other things right now. In the meantime, I’m also working out an automated system for maintaining the Catalog, and you’ve always got Fat Chic clothing search, best used with Google-fu.
I have been inundated with text link ads requests for the past three months, and I’m at the end of my patience.
The answer is, without exception, NO. I even have it highlighted in red on my advertising page. Surely there aren’t that many marketing and PR agents that are colorblind.
I realize many of you are thinking from your clients’ point of view. Please consider mine: I consider text link ads tacky, disingenuous and I’m insulted every time you ask.
This is a privately owned blog, and while it performs a public service, it is not like other blogs a business. I do this because I want to do it, not because I’m out to make a six figure salary.
SO KNOCK IT OFF.
My resolutions don’t follow the normal pattern of “quit this” and “lose that.” I used to do that, but all it did was lead me down the path to trite jokes involving giving up my New Year’s resolutions for Lent. 1)Especially funny to those who know I don’t observe Lent .
I use the same philosophy on resolutions that I use when I go on one of my vegetarian cooking sprees: I focus on what I want to gain. I focus on what I want to try, the experiences I want to have. I focus on all the cool stuff that life has to offer that I want to try.
Part of being human is being imperfect. Rather than pursue perfection (have you met a perfect person who is both happy and NOT alarmingly glassy-eyed?) I choose to pursue interest. Simple, flavorful, joyful interest.
For 2011, I resolve to:
- Cook two souffles. I haven’t cooked a souffle’ since my early twenties. This year, I resolve to cook two. A dessert souffle, and a savory souffle. I’ll post about it on
Magickal Realismblog. Yes, you can come to dinner, just BYOB. Also, wear something fabulous – if you come over, I must take pictures!
- To get further into Dreamweaver before I start crying.
- To stay in a bed and breakfast. I’ve never done that before. If my husband is nice, I’ll invite him to come with me.
- To find something that makes me laugh out loud at least twice a week. I’d say every day, but I’m a tough audience.
- To get my closet as close to exactly how I want it as I possibly can. This will not result in the stuff you see in Real Simple . College students and those with 5 roommates may find it alarming and inspiring, however. I really am committed to that whole small-space living lifestyle.
- To read one page of something dense, frequently quoted, probably boring and culturally significant. I’m thinking War and Peace . If it’s really unbearable, I’ll just tear out the pages and use them in an art project.
- To take one introductory French class.
- To write down or record every bad poem that trots through my head. Soon or later one of them will come in handy for a prank.
- To spend more quality time with my camera.
- To get my hands on a room divider screen. I have a Fat Chic related project that calls for one.
If I don’t get to all of the above, I’ll just defer it to the next year. This is especially true on Dreamweaver.
What are your new year’s resolutions? If anyone else plans to take on a closet re-design, I so want to see pictures!
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Especially funny to those who know I don’t observe Lent .|
I have a G1, so I do check Fat Chic on the browser that comes with the phone. It looks OK to me, but I don’t have access to every phone out there so I have no idea how it appears on your phone. Could those of you who read this blog via Smartphone comment, and let me know the following:
- Can you read the blog/see the information Okay?
- Do you think installing a Smartphone plugin of some kind on this blog would be helpful?
- Would you prefer a separate app by which to surf Fat Chic?
- I have another Smartphone app for Fat Chic in mind in the future – if you were to get one from me, what would you want from it?
I have to have the captcha on because the spam really does get that out of hand without it. If it makes you nuts, you can send me your comments via the contact form.