custom css-ness

Here is the latest on ads:

advertising helps pay to keep WordPress.com running. Hiding ads puts our ability to provide free hosting at risk.

Um, if people have the ABILITY to hide ads, that means they are PAYING you.

By all means insist that $15 for the custom CSS doesn’t cover what you’re making from the ads on their blogs (though I suspect you won’t, because the obvious question after that is ‘how much money are you making from my content, then?’) but please don’t pretend that $15 a year is ‘free’.

Except for when it is. I recently checked ntuat.wordpress.com and found it had reverted to the default sandbox style after the upgrade expired, in spite of Mark’s previous assurances that it wouldn’t.What actually happens is that although the CSS is ‘retained’ in the system (it’s still saved in the textarea and you can preview it), it is no longer displayed on your blog. I was actually OK with that, since I bought the upgrade long before that thread and assumed at the time that it would cease to work after a year. Not to mention the fact that a one-time charge of $15 for a skin that could remain in place indefinitely would leave paid themes dead in the water. But anyway, he apologised and generously issued me with 15 credits. Yay! So life on wordpress.com is not an endless cycle of incompetence and gloom, after all.

(I haven’t actually applied them yet. I did think about using them over here, but I’m not quite ready for the pain of getting stuff to work for drmike in Netscape. Plus it is sort of wrong to have a custom-CSS-promoting blog that doesn’t actually use custom CSS. I’m going to try and get some skins done over the next few weeks so it doesn’t go to waste.)

9 Comments »

  1. drmike said

    Thanks but that’s not necessary for me. Since Netscape announced it’s end of life, UNCC is converting to Firefox as a secondary browser in the next go around.

    I am trying to figure out how to renew my domains though that were purchased through wp.com though if anyone has any suggestions. That’s nothing on my dashboard for doing so and 2 emails to support have gone unanswered. (I was giving them the benefit of the doubt with all of the recent issues but they appear to have caught up on splog reports.)

    I do hope someone points out on the forums that the custom CSS goes away when the subscription runs out.

  2. that was awfully nice of mark.
    it’s clearly not policy though, as my blog was also made naked.

    yay for Netscape’s EOL!

  3. Kissing Bandit said

    But anyway, he apologised and generously issued me with 15 credits.

    That was awfully nice of, Mark.

    Now, is he going to apologize and generously issue 15 credits to everyone else who purchased the CSS upgrades without realizing they’d be left with a naked blog after a year’s time?

    Better yet, is he going to clarify what actually happens after the year runs out in the FAQ?

    -KB

  4. He said he was crediting ‘those affected’. I don’t know whether that’s all those who bought the CSS upgrade, or all those who saw that thread. Judging by the replies before Mark’s, I think most buyers were like me and assumed it would disappear when time was up, but having staff state publically that it wouldn’t is undeniably confusing.

    The trouble is, the thread’s been closed. I really don’t know what would be the best thing to do now: delete the thread and it looks like you’re trying to cover up, leave it in place and the wrong information remains available. It would have made most sense for Mark to add a final post clarifying the situation, but whoever closed the thread clearly doesn’t want that to happen. They might sell a couple more upgrades on the strength of it, and chances are those users will have departed for self-hosted pastures by the time their year is up. (This is the problem with the upgrade model — people who are sufficiently into blogging to spend money on it are soon going to start hankering after plugins and themes and adsense, so you’re going to end up losing many of them anyway.)

  5. drmike said

    Actually older threads in both the wp.org and wp.com forums are auto closed after a period of time. example

  6. […] What I learned then now turns out to be wrong. What actually happens is that although the CSS is ‘retained’ in the system… it is no longe… […]

  7. timethief said

    Note that Mark says that the css will revert in this forum thread http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic.php?id=21749

  8. drmike said

    Mark better watch his spelling or Matt will start making light of it and insulting him about it.

  9. Dave said

    Good catch on the contradiction in the initial quote. But “free hosting” is a misnomer in any case. Ads are a form of pollution and (to borrow environmentalist jargon) an externalized cost of blogging here. The lack of any legitimate way to opt out of advertising is shameful.

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