I agree that it is sad that we cannot comment anymore on the contributors' posts with out subscribing. They are missing out on our encouragement and the recognition they deserve. I'm sewing along with the the weekly challenges just like the contributors.
Ah, I had no idea that there was a problem with commenting, although I did notice that the number of comments had suddenly gone way down. I just figured people were getting burned out, caught up with holiday preparations, sick of seeing our ugly mugs.... ;)
I know that Mena was having a lot of trouble with spammers and had to change the security settings (practically every one of my photos had an "approve this comment" from some online pharma spammer). It only takes a few minutes to set up a Wordpress account, but I know it's a pain to have to do that.
I, for one, really appreciated all the comments over the year because it was hard to me to imagine that anyone was looking at my stuff except me and my family - haha.
I am not even entirely sure what we're supposed to subscribe to, or how. I have both a Sew Weekly ID and password and a Wordpress one, and neither of those works. My SW access always worked and I use my WP every day, and yet it still won't log me on to here. Not sure it's down to the spammers TBH.
I have also observed that as soon as a social interaction based on a shared interest becomes too crowded, the "top layer" separates (pretty much naturally at first) and those left at the bottom become frustrated, then alienated and then set up on their own. Whilst I have no plans to do that myself, it has been a given of any social group that grows too big.
This site used to be great but it is definitely starting to go that way, at least from the point of view of someone like me who is firmly in the "bottom layer".
I sent an email weeks ago politely enquiring about contributing in 2013 and never even got a reply. These days I read the posts on Google Reader but I hardly ever bother visiting the actual site. Now that I can't leave a comment I am going to visit even less.
It's a little sad, but sometimes things evolve in a way I don't like. That's life.
Oh, I had no idea that people with WP accounts couldn't comment either! It seems like the security settings are too strict and they are limited to the people with contributor accounts perhaps...? When we signed up as contributors last December, there were ~150 members, but it's dwindled down to those few core people. We don't have the ability to modify the site in any way; we are only able to fill in the WP template online, which Mena then posts later in the week. I do know that the last I heard, she is in the process of moving and doesn't have internet access. Hopefully things will get sorted when she's settled in.