Changing Times

February 14, 2024

Here we are, almost 4 years since the pandemic started. It truly is a different world and certainly different in regards to the way our online presence works. I’ve been taking some deep breaths lately and trying to figure out where things go and where things currently are. I’ve always wanted to be helpful, encouraging and inspirational to you. This is also a place where I share my heart, my thoughts and things about life.

I’ve opened up when I suddenly lost my father and what the grieving process meant as well as the time when I lost Tilly, the little black hen that started it all. I’ve shared my joys, like the time I was invited to become regular contributor to HGTV and DIY Network, invited to regularly speak at the Mother Earth News Fairs and the Country Living Fairs. I even brought many of you along, sharing those adventures. You’ve even watched me and my family grow– including the chickens. It’s hard to believe that I started this all 14 years ago.

tillys nest Melissa Caughey with chickens and changing times

But, now life is different. Companies and corporations that I have relied upon for partnerships and support are no longer present. The Country Living Magazine Fairs closed up shop in late 2019. My understanding was that the magazine chose to move in a different direction. They wanted to hold a single fair in Tennessee where they are based. Covid put those plans on hold. They tried to reschedule a few times, but it never came to fruition.

The Mother Earth News Fairs did return. We were all so excited, but sadly the people attending them didn’t return. This year, even though I was pre-booked to attend and present, they pulled the plug on the live fairs this January, leaving me with an out-of-pocket booked and paid trip already. I leave for Texas in the morning. I’ve turned it into a girls trip with my Mom.  Before Covid I spoke at 12 fairs a year. That was a large part of my income and support. There has been a lot of making lemonade out of lemons.

Corporate sponsorships also changed. Opting instead of sponsoring websites to sponsoring younger people that were willing to share their wares and products on their social media avenues for free product and minimal payment. Days of partnering with people who are considered experts in their field are now replaced by those who reach the most people regardless of their credentials.

Facebook is  different too. Now they request money to share my posts with you all often requesting hundreds of dollars to reach a mere thousand of you. I have 26 thousand people that follow me. Facebook has also been unwilling to take down imposter/impersonator pages despite my requests and reporting. There are currently 3 pages pretending to be me. Not to mention the last time I tried to run a giveaway, fake pages informed my followers that they won, only to steal their information including fraudulently stealing their credit card information. How Facebook has changed since the wonderful days of 2010, when it was so amazing at connecting and bringing us all together.

tillys nest Melissa Caughey hold chicken

I have always been a one woman operation, a small business. These changes have been a lot. I am in no means, angry, bitter or jealous. Quite the opposite, I am thrilled for the people that are able to do these things and have these opportunities. I guess what I really am is sad. I find myself in a time where I am needing to reinvent myself to remain relevant in today’s online world. Life keeps evolving. So, a few months ago, I shared that I was going to be regularly writing again here on my website. Somehow, I just don’t find that I am able to keep up with social media in many ways.

I feel it is important to share what has been going on these past few years and how the world of Tilly’s Nest is  affected and changing. I am still working in the hospital. It has been wonderful and sometimes scary (during Covid) to help others but it certainly renewed my energies and the differences that I can make as a nurse practitioner and I have another book coming out!

Even with writing books, things have changed. I am still with the same publisher, Storey Publishing (who I love to bits!).However, they were purchased and are now owned by Hachette Publishing. It takes time to learn new processes. Some are improvements and other things have been challenging, but I’m happy to say that those transitional wrinkles have been ironed out. My acquiring editor retired. I miss her dearly. But, I still have my amazing book editor, who not only is now an acquiring editor but someone who I have had as my editor for all 5 of my books! I know that she has been cutting down her hours, but still finds time for me.  I fear she will retire soon too.

The relationships that I have made with so many of these people are like family my family. From the fairs that I attended and presented at for almost 10 years, to the book writing process to many of you I have connected with online. We have so much to be grateful for. I am grateful for this community and all of you.

So my focus will be primarily off social media. It will be here–On the website blogging and of course continuing to write books with an occasional freelanced article here and there. So, feel free to subscribe in the box on the right hand column and you’ll have my latests posting alerts sent to your email. You can unsubscribe at anytime and I don’t share my email list with anyone.

Thanks for listening and allowing me to share. This website has always been my “home” and it will continue to be, where I share all sorts of things that I think you might enjoy. Thanks for letting me share a little piece of my heart today. I remain the everlasting optimist. Cheers to sunny days ahead and the reemergence of life this spring.

 

My dear friend Joe, took these photos for a photography assignment for his class. We met during bee school so many years ago. How could I say no to a photoshoot with Joe, me and the chickens?!

 

 

Melissa

Author/Blogger/Freelancer-Sharing adventures with backyard chickens, beekeeping, gardening, crafting, cooking and more.

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13 thoughts on “Changing Times”

  1. This was such an interesting post, and reflected my personal journey with social media. I love that people are going back to websites and blogs. I’ve been reading your posts via RSS for a long time and am always happy when Tilly’s Nest pops up on my feed! Best of luck, and thank you for sharing.

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  2. I am starting to find social media and the way we do things today online very toxic, shallow and almost meaningless. I’m glad to see people are beginning to go back to just their websites. If it wasn’t for my local groups on Facebook I would be done with it altogether. We are all connected, technically, yet we’re really not…not where it matters.

    Anyways…just wanted to say hi. I actually just found your website today so you’re still getting new people 😉

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  3. I share some of the same sentiments! I exited much of social media six years ago. Change is inevitable in every aspect of life. I do love the blog posts, and concur that it is a treat to see new entries pop up! Thank you for sharing your wisdom, kindness, optimism, and heart – and always, thanks for the gardening and chicken tips that are always so timely and informative! Blessings!

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  4. I can’t help thinking or feeling that we are loosing something with social media. We are just a commodity and any connections that we made are going by the wayside. People need to be able to connect and in person meetings are the best.

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  5. Yes, Covid has brought so many changes, both positive and negative in our lives and I am glad that you will still be a presence in our lives, despite it all. Looking forward to continuing to read your posts!

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  6. Best wishes to you, Melissa, as you navigate these changes. You are not alone—I follow a few big-name Millennials who have also turned away from social media, or bravely avoided it to begin with (Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal, who realised, like you, that Facebook doesn’t help your network but only expects money from you; and Cal Newport, the author of Deep Work and Digital Minimalism).

    Screen addiction and mental health issues are deeply tied to the big social media sites, as well as mobile app usage. I believe what you and other few people are doing are a brave step in the right direction.

    I do remember a more beautiful time, probably up until 2016, when I avidly followed a handful of women’s blogs, all ranging different lifestyles and from different corners of the world. Sadly, most of them have retired their blogs in favour of Instagram, or just quietly disappeared. I still follow them, but now it’s in small doses in a feed jumbled with ads and “suggested” content that I did not ask for.

    On the business end of things—a bit of branded merchandise could help—cute tea towels, kitschy shirts. Perhaps aprons, tote bags. I like to support content creators this way if I like the design and it’s something I could use.

    Love from Australia

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  7. Yes so many changes. Facebook is so frustrating with all the ads. I would give it up but it is still great for keeping up with family. I have given up on instagram since for every post by someone I follow there are 5 ads. So glad that you are hanging in with the web site, keep up the great work.

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing what’s been happening in your world. I am still blogging once or twice a week, as I don’t have the patience to sit on social media on a daily basis. There are chooks to spend time with! Your posts are always enjoyed. Congratulations on your new book. Sending you the best with gratitude for all of your lovely contributions. Be Blissed!

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  9. Thank you for sharing (and continuing to share)! It’s a joy to be able to keep up. And kudos to Joe for the fantastic pictures!

    Reply

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About me

Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.