My fellow wrecky minions,
For 8 years I have steadfastly refused buy-out offers, sponsored posts, full-page ads, and every pop-up ad my network allows me to opt-out of. I have turned down "free money" in the form of after-the-click jumps, slideshows, and other unscrupulous posting practices. In short, I have done everything I possibly can to make Cake Wrecks a fun place for free laughs while still allowing John and I to do this for a living. It gets harder financially every year, as we've long since had to let go our part-time helper & guest writers, but these are standards I've never wavered on, and never will.
I thought it would be funny, then, to do something so WILDLY out of character for April Fools that you regular readers would immediately get the joke. I decided to make a CW post that looks like most other blog posts these days: a tongue-in-cheek, "sponsored post" parody.
Unfortunately, even after 8 years of writing online, I still managed to drastically underestimate the knee-jerk, jump-to-the-worst-conclusion-and-then-gather-an-angry-mob reaction of the interwebz at large. Not to mention their inability to check the calendar, and/or remember they were on a humor site. o.0
At first I took it as a compliment that so many people were falling for it, but within a few hours it was obvious things were getting out of hand. We lost readers. There was lots - and LOTS - of yelling.
Some even called into question the legality of what we were doing, while others bashed poor Wilton, which of course knew nothing about our post, much less gave us a single cent in compensation.
I like to think the silent majority got the joke, had a laugh, and moved on, but regardless, John and I received a sound virtual thrashing yesterday.
I'm still rather bemused by the whole thing, but to be honest, I can't help but think: this is our thanks. This is what we get, after all these years, thousands of posts, thousands upon thousands of hours of hard work and heartache and just trying to do the right thing by our readers. After showing you guys who we are, after building a sense of trust and even community here alongside the giggles, all it took was one ill-received joke to turn us into pariahs.
Worse, it wasn't even a hurtful joke. Nothing tasteless or thoughtless or targeting any individual or group - just a parody of what everyone else online seems to be doing. Something that if we DID do (which we wouldn't), would only be because we needed the extra money to keep CW running.
To be fair, a few readers yesterday - who still didn't get the joke - were supportive. They wrote to say they understood, and everyone has to make a living, right? - and I was weirdly grateful, even while thinking, "How can you believe we would do this? Don't you know us?"
So anyway, I just wanted to say thanks to the silent majority who remembered what day it was yesterday, even if you didn't think my post was funny. And thanks to those who would support John and me even if we did "sell out." But mostly, thanks to those of you who took into account every post before yesterday's, and showed a little trust.
Now, let's get back to cake.
Because hey, I think I finally have an excuse to post this one: