Regretsy is Shutting Down, via BoingBoing
Many of you no doubt already saw this as it happened on February 1st, like I did, but BoingBoing just posted a snippet of an interview where April describes the behind-the-scenes work of the site that really struck home with me. I've always felt a kind of kinship with April, though we've only swapped a few e-mails in our whole acquaintance, and I'm sorry to see the Regretsy community go. April ran the Cake Wrecks of Etsy crafts, and I ran the Regretsy of cakes. Save the subject matter, we were in the same business. April was and is so much braver than me, though, and I confess I often read Regretsy with a guilty kind of glee mixed with envy - her snark is as legendary as it is unrepentant. And while at my heart I know I'm just a gentler jokester, the fact is I look to writers like April to say the things I can't (or won't) sometimes, and to joke about things that make me gasp like the Dowager Countess, imagining the kind of hate mail I would get if I DARED make *that* joke - but I laugh all the same.
Seeing Regretsy go also strikes home my sense of mortality for Cake Wrecks, since Regretsy was actually younger than CW by nearly a year. It feels so strange to have outlived it, in a way, but when I think of all the times John and I swore we would shut the site down only to recant at the eleventh hour, maybe it's not so strange after all. Traffic isn't the issue; we've been at a respectable plateau for ages now, although our ad revenue continues to tank at an alarming rate. (Last month we made less than a quarter of what we did three years ago - even with more readers now than we had then. But that's how it is for everyone online these days, and it's still enough for us to live on for now, so I can't complain.) It's more what April said about the long hours and e-mails and heartache and how everything has to be bigger and badder and more shocking to please the readers - and she's right: even if you love every second of it, you just can't do that forever.
(Actually, April didn't say anything about heartache - that one's all mine.)
Don't worry if you're a CW fan, though; I may not be able to do this forever, but I can still do it a while longer. And it's not like I'm alone; I have John and Lindsey and Sharyn to help back me up a bit. Even if I do drive them all a little crazy with my editing and general control freakishness.
Anyway, sorry if this sounds a bit melancholy; I haven't been able to spend as much time as I'd like here on Epbot this past week, and that always gets me down. (It is my hobby, after all, and has to take a back seat to the "real job.") On the bright side, one of the reasons is that pantry/laundry room makeover John and I are working on. I have a washer and dryer in my dining room, every piece of food stuff we own is strewn throughout the house, and we just hooked the water heater back up after three days for some much-need hot showers. Heh. You can bet I'll have all the gory before and after pics for you as soon as I have them, and I hope a few tutorials as well, since I've convinced John to let me try some crazy fun stuff in there. (Three words: Sliding barn door. OH YEAH.)
Getting back to Regretsy, though, go read the whole Wired article BoingBoing linked to. It's an eye-opening glimpse at the world I used to take completely for granted, until I fell into it myself. It's also a comfort to know April will still be online, writing her own Epbot, as it were, at AprilWinchell.com. Fads and memes and niche blogs may fade away, but I like to think that any strong writer who has a platform to write whatever she likes will always "stay interesting." These personal blogs may not have the viral successes, but they have something better: staying power, variety, and a real personal connection.
At least, that's what I'm banking on. ;)