People who use WordPress seem to love it or hate it.  Love it because it’s a simple, easy, accessible format.  Hate it because it’s formatted and hard to customize beyond rather narrow parameters.  Love it because it gives them easy access to other bloggers.  Hate it because it’s not easy to access bloggers in other systems.

I’ve been doing this weekly blogging thing for two years and mostly I’m content with the system.  I don’t have to bother with things I don’t want to worry about.  I’ve managed to learn to use the tools I need and the rest don’t get in my way.  I appreciate the editing check before publishing (even when I don’t agree).  I occasionally find a gem of a site in the recommended links.  I’ve also found some wonderful “blogging buddies” several of whom have since left the WordPress fold.

However, this week I’m apparently on WordPress’s “watch list”.  They closed down my second blog.  I’ve posted about it.  lisaspiralreads.wordpress.com   where I took on the challenge to write 50 book reviews in one year.  Apparently they think I’m either selling something or in serious copy-write violation.  Who knows?  They don’t actually say what the offense is, other than somewhere in their list of rules and guidelines a rule has been broken.  Or at least bent to the point of needing some checking.

How do they even figure this stuff out?  Maybe one of the authors or publishers of one of the book reviews I wrote googled themselves and didn’t like what I posted?  Three people this weekend posted questions to Facebook about books I’ve reviewed and I commented referring them to the site, was there a sudden spike in traffic?  (One NOT caused by being “freshly pressed”.)

I do use an Amazon affiliate link to post links to Amazon.  I mean it’s a book review site!  Where else are people going to find the books?  Anyone reading book reviews does not NEED an Amazon ad to know they are there!  Posting links this way is easy (it’s how I figured out how to DO IT.)  Posting links to the library (where I get most of the books I read) is HARD, and probably counts as an affiliate too since it would be MY library and not at all useful to readers.

I put up lots of links to Wikipedia too, but apparently that’s okay.  The “recommended links” at the bottom of the page are often paid sites as well, but I guess since I’m not getting a cut……..   Anyone on WordPress knows their spam folder is full of WordPress sites actively promoting “getting rich off your blog.”  Somehow there is a serious disconnect here and I don’t think it’s really mine to fix.

I’ve never actually been issued any money from Amazon since I never told them where to send the $0.33 credit on the account.  The obvious conclusion based on the evidence is that I’m running a business here without buying the business site!  Add to that I’m in Minnesota and Amazon (leading the pack)  has terminated payment to all affiliate accounts linked to the State because of a new tax law.  What a threat I am to profit-making.

Of course after this post they could close this site down as well.  I don’t think I did any name-calling, but I know you all heard the tone.  I probably did more “advertising” for Amazon affiliates in this one post – without any links to Amazon even the “recommended” one – than in total at the other site!  Hopefully this is all in error and the “surely you must be mistaken” email I sent will result in a quick return to access.  How else am I going to keep up with those reviews?In the meantime,  WordPress, you’re on MY “watch-list”!


****   Look, they got back to me before noon!  It’s nice to know that the review team is almost as on top of things as the automated “close down the blog” system.

Hi there,

Thank you for getting in touch.

Your site was flagged by our automated anti-spam controls. We have reviewed your site and have removed the suspension notice.

We greatly apologize for this error and any inconvenience it may have caused.

About lisaspiral

I've been writing and speaking about spirituality to small groups for years and am looking to expand my horizons. Hopefully this blog will inspire you to expand yours as well.

Posted on July 8, 2013, in Bio and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Lisa, too often lately WordPress has done this to blogs I love and what bothers me most is that they don’t give warning or explanation. While I don’t condone plagiarism or anything like that, people are human and make mistakes. It bothers me that they just shut things down and then say the material will not be returned. While some of my wordpress blogs still exist (the original Woman Wielding Words for example) I’ve moved my more recent/important stuff t my self-hosted site because I simply don’t trust them. It’s still powered by WordPress (in access to templates and things like that) so it is still easy, but it’s mine.

  2. I was locked out of a blog I used to write, One morning I signed in and couldn’t get in. I got in touch with them and was told that there was not record of the email address I had given, and as I had not made a note of the code ref number I had been emailed when I started the blog I would remain locked out. Thing is I don’t ever remember having an email from them for that blog, or the one I write now come to that.

  3. Wow, this is disturbing! I’m not sure I understand what happened but I sure am glad to know this problem is now fixed. Hang in there, and keep blogging, my friend.

    • I’m not sure I understand what happened either. The system is so highly automated (and if it triggers the automated crawlers it automatically locks the site down) that I’m not sure anyone really understands it. “smart” systems really aren’t.

  4. Well, glad to hear that it was all fixed! How annoying when it was happening. Sometimes it’s hard for me to tell when a site is spam, but your book review site certainly wasn’t! I have erred on the side of loving wordpress most of the time. However, all relationships have their ups and downs, don’t they? Hope you are doing well this week, Lisa.

  5. At least you got an apology. That is saying something these days.

  6. All’s well that ends well, right? But honestly, I never heard of this. I had no idea they check up on your blog, but I guess it kind of makes sense. Yikes. Now I’m going to have to watch what I write about. 😉

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