WARNING: This is a no-edit zone…
Since I’ve received so many notes asking about the changes on the site, I thought I’d answer here.
In short, someone has too much time on their hands and not enough substance to use it constructively, so they’ve been clipping my articles, attaching them and my name to spam, largely on sites dedicated to mature content. (Read between the lines and you’ll get the malicious gist of it.)
Not only is this copyright infringement, it’s a greater offense because I have a lot of minor students who use the writers’ library because they’re interested in learning to write or in becoming writers. If one uses a search engine rather than coming directly to this site, one is apt to see photos and read content one shouldn’t–and doesn’t want to–read.
So I filed reports with the FBI and they’ve been terrific. All of this has sidetracked me from my own work, trying to undo the nastiness. I’ve lost mental track of the number of abuse reports filed, the number of notices of copyright violations, etc. (Yes, I did retain hard copies, electronic copies and backups. I’ve nearly filled a flash drive with this nonsense.) Authorities and an electronic investigator have been hard at work running all this down to nip this challenge in the bud.
A head’s up warning: do check your yahoo groups. I discovered my public email address had been subscribed to lists I hadn’t or wouldn’t join. I had no idea. (Lesson learned: monitor all.)
Anyway, with all of this going on, I had to do something to a) protect the young adults from exposure as best I am able and b) protect my copyrights. So I moved the Writers’ Library to a private access site. It requires an ID and password (more work on this end), is monitored (even more work on this end) and is computer specific (yet even more work on this end).
There were two choices: stop sharing or go private access. I elected to go private access. I don’t like it, library users (I’m sure) don’t like it (though they’ve expressed understanding and support, for which I’m grateful). But one of my missions in life is to mentor and so it’s an extra effort I wish I didn’t have to take, but I will take to not be derailed from my mission.
Initially, I was advised to put my Faith Zone blog posts on the private access site as well as the Writers’ Library. Actually, I was advised to put the instructional blog posts written here in My Kitchen Table, the Faith Zone posts, my podcasts and the Writers’ Library on the private access site.
I did move the Faith Zone and Writers’ Library. But the Faith Zone being behind closed doors really rubbed me raw. I write it to share my spiritual journey so others can see we all stumble and fumble and fall to our knees, scrape our noses and still get up and move forward again. That’s the entire purpose of sharing it. If it’s locked behind closed doors, so to speak, then it can’t fulfill its purpose for existing.
So again I was at a crossroad and it was decision time. Do I allow someone with poor judgment (committing destructive acts just to annoy or damage rather than focusing on their own personal, constructive forward momentum IS poor judgment) to interfere? Or do I elect to drop the project?
Dropping it would have been easier. Much easier than this negative time-eater (for me and others!). But, you know, that’s a cut-and-run resolution to this challenge, and that’s no solution at all.
So I prayed a lot, moved many of the Faith Zone posts back into the open forum, and have some monitoring assistance that is exceptional at doing what they do. And I recall something my dad once said and I’ve not forgotten: “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth fighting for. If it’s not worth fighting for, why are you doing it?”
Faith Zone is worth doing.
Going through the private access site challenges is worth doing.
Nipping copyright infringements and adopting a zero-tolerance policy on them is worth doing.
The added demands on my time and resources to mentor with the library are worth doing.
Bottom line, I’m doing what I believe has worth.
So that’s what’s going on. It’s why my posting has been sporadic. It’s why things are shuffling around and processes and permissions are changing. It’s why I’m taking a bit longer to respond to emails and why I’ve recruited a little extra help. I nicknamed her “The Enforcer” and him “The Hammer.” ☺
If you happen across a violation, please let me know. If we allow this nonsense, we’re doomed to more of it. Getting away with it only encourages more of it and for others prone to this type of thing to violate us, too. I don’t like feeling violated, and I’m sure you don’t, either. So it’s on to pro-active time.
Here’s a quick list on what’s where now:
My Kitchen Table blog is public and here on the writing website. (www.vickihinze.com)
Faith Zone blog is public and here on the writing website. (www.vickihinze.com)
Kids’ Faith Zone blog is public and at www.faithzonegran.com. (Audio has been added.)
Writers’ Library is on a private access site. Apply for access here.
Newsletters are public and here on the writing website. (www.vickihinze.com)
Readers’ Discussion Guides for readers’ groups are on the individual Book Pages.
Podcasts are public and here on the writing website. (www.vickihinze.com)
Everything else remains the same.
One note: There are still a few posts in the Private Access Site FAITH ZONE blog that have not been migrated back to the public site.
So that’s what’s been going on here. It hasn’t been fun, but it certainly has been informative. Soon, I’ll post a Tip Sheet on things you might want to check to make sure none of the nonsense is going on with you–and if it is, what countermeasures you can take.
It’s worth it. You’re worth it.