Holey moley it’s been four years since the first post on Mr X Stitch!
It’s incredible to think how far the site has come in that time. Let’s take a moment to look at some stats. Since May 2009, when I first started the old Google Analytics, we’ve had:
- 1,114,618 visits from
- 679,701 unique visitors from
- 197 countries
- with over 2.2 million page views
What’s really cool is that nearly 40% of you are repeat visitors, meaning that we’ve got a core following of stitch fans who keep coming back for more.
It’s been amazing to be on this journey and to have connected with so many wonderful artists and stitch fans. The pleasure of stitching is something that creates a fundamental joy, and it’s been an honour to share inspiring works and introduce you to amazing artists from around the world. Long may it continue.
It’s also been a privilege to work with some brilliant writers; people who are passionate about their work and the work of others, and whose views help educate and enlighten us about the world of stitch. I’m proud to know these people and I love reading their columns when they are published. I also take a moment to recognise those people who have written for the site in the past and who have left an indelible mark on the site.
And let us take a moment to salute the Queen of Ironic Stitchery, Bridget “Beefranck” Frankowiak, who has had a profound effect on the evolution of Mr X Stitch. Thanks Bridget, you’re a goddamn legend.
It’s been a long time coming, but it’s starting to look like embroidery and needlecraft is emerging into the mainstream.
There’s still a long way to go, but for those of you who are pushing at the boundaries, taking the needle and thread and creating work that is contemporary and reflects the world around us, it’s about damn time. We all know the preconceptions about stitching and how the mainstream portrays the craft as something inert and harmless, but we also know the power of stitch to challenge the way people think and to make statements. It really is a question of time until needlecraft goes large, and when it does, we will all be there, ready and waiting.*
There has never been a better time to be a stitcher, and I’m going to keep working to make Mr X Stitch the resource for all forms of stitched art, catering to artists, students and fans alike.
But then there’s a challenge…
The problem with an increasingly successful website is that it starts to cost money, and this is an issue that we face at Mr X Stitch.
Changes in technology and web design mean that an updated version of the blog could unlock all kinds of potential to make Mr X Stitch a real hub for the stitching community, harnessing the best of social media to build on our existing successes. Simple things like improved link building and SEO optimisation will help bring the
Opportunities arise to do shows and promote the work of other artists, and to raise awareness of just how amazing this art form is, but without money to pay for resources, it’s not possible to take advantage of these things.
I think I’ve found a solution that will enable us to achieve the future goals of Mr X Stitch, but it comes at a cost. The good news is that it would only be a tiny cost.
There’s a lifestyle website called ElephantJournal that has a paygate on the site. Each day you can read any three of their posts for free, but if you want to read more than three, you have to join the site at a cost of $1 a month. If you don’t want to join the site, the next day you can read three more posts for free, and on and on. And if you subscribe to the RSS feed of the site, you’ll get all their new content for free as it is published.
I’m thinking that this might be the best approach for Mr X Stitch. With over 2500 posts on contemporary stitchery in our archives, we’re a great resource for needlework fans, and the income that could be generated with people contributing $1 a month could really enable a lot of things to happen, taking the Mr X Stitch experience to the next level.
For some people this may seem like a lot to ask, although it’s only a buck a month, but I’d be interested to find out your views on the subject. While it’s possible for the site to continue in it’s simple blog format for free for a while, at some point it will need to generate revenue to continue and grow, and a paygate seems like a good solution to this challenge.
* And casually questioning what took everyone so long.