I love fall! It’s that time of year when everyone seems to return to the regular routines that work, school and the end of summer brings.
Colorful leaves and crisp temperatures inspire me to leave the lazy days of summer behind and get more serious about projects that have lingered undone. Not to say that I spent my summer lazing about. It was a busy time. Both my writing business and my other online activities have been picking up. But, there’s just something about fall that invigorates my step and really tightens my focus.
I really enjoy running Crafty Tips. I have met so many interesting people and visited so many wonderful websites. The artisans and crafters represented on the site often inspire my own creativity.
It takes a great deal of time to maintain a directory-style site like Crafty Tips. Ensuring all of the links are fully functional is almost a full-time job within itself. All too often owners of directories and other sites with resource lists simply don’t take the time to audit the links to ensure they remain functional and relevant.
In the past, my audit strategy was to simply visit each of the sites, from oldest to newest every six months or so. I would often set aside a week-end and try to revisit each and every site. That strategy was somewhat successful when the site was smaller but has become overwhelming now that there are over 625 links and counting.
I’ve noticed more and more directories and resource sites are littered with dead and dying sites. Some resource sites have become virtually useless with links pointing to old and now defunct AOL Hometown pages, sites that have changed hands and sites that are no longer online. I realized auditing my listings could not wait. I didn’t want to work so hard to create Crafty Tips only to have it become virtually useless simply because I failed to keep house.
With renewed purpose and a new strategy I have been auditing the categories, one by one. I’ve removed quite a few dead links, moved some to new categories and flagged some as either down temporarily or on their way to being disbanded. It has been disappointing how many great crafting websites are no longer active but the process has truly proven the need for more frequent auditing.
There are still quite a few categories to visit and I’m also taking this time to build some of the smaller categories or ones where there were a number of casualties. But, now I have a plan, a scorecard and know that eventually, every single listing will be reviewed.
I know, a lot of words to say that I am upping my efforts to ensure that Crafty Tips Arts & Crafts Directory will only showcase active websites that represent some of the most talented artisans and crafters on the web today. I believe it is my commitment to maintaining a quality site that will keep Crafty Tips the much loved site that it is.