Tag Archives: blogs

WordPress Takes Another Unfortunate Page From Facebook

frustration, computer annoyance. changing sites, website frustration

Thanks, WordPress, for doing it again, with no instructions. Creative Commons attribute.

It’s amazing how various companies feel the need to constantly refresh and rearrange their look, their feel, their software. Every new version of Microsoft seems worse than the one before but uses way more memory so you have to constantly upgrade your hardware. It’s a make-work project. How do you employ thousands of people if you create something so awesomely efficient that someone never needs to buy another piece? Planned obsolescence and inefficiencies are part of the market model, which in the long run, is unsustainable, uses up resources and burdens landfills.

While I’m not surprised by this, I am constantly annoyed. I hate Facebook for its unending changes, and  sneaky tweakings of policies so that while you have never intended to sell your soul to the devil, a legal spindoctor has suddenly changed it so that if you didn’t say, I don’t want to sell my soul to the devil, then you’re automatically in hell. Oh wait, Facebook is hell. Google has done similar tricky business.

 

Wordpress, blogging, Fresh Pressed,

Fresh Pressed was dynamic, colorful and right there for easy access.

And WordPress, alas! Why oh why? Let’s see, what was once good, and what changes have appeared, without any instruction or direction to the new design? Remember Fresh Pressed? You’d sign in and get a page of highlighted “pressed” blogs for the week. The page was colorful and interesting, dynamic because it always changed. (Hey WordPress, one of the first rules of websites is to make them dynamic. What have you done?) I found blogs that I follow because of Fresh Pressed. Now, it’s tucked away in some spider-infested corner and I never see a new blog anymore unless I go hunting.

Then there was that change a year or two ago. Ooh, sleek, ooh, simple. So simple in fact that I couldn’t find my way into my blog, to making posts and to checking stats. Why? Because WordPress decided to make a teeny tiny W icon that you have to click on, like the secret hidden pathway behind a bookcase, but way not as much fun. And let me tell you, when I tried using WordPress help it was like talking to a robot that said the same things but never read my question. It was another blogger who finally pointed out the miniscule icon.

One good thing was more developed stats. I could scroll over the graph and see what day I had posted, how many people visited one page and how many people looked at multiple pages. Now. Well, I have good old-fashioned retro bars that just show how many people in a day have visited. Yeah simple. Boring. The maps are still there and that’s a good thing but Wordpess, bring back the old way.

Wordpress annoyance, blog page

Soon you will need to follow a trail of breadcrumbs to find WordPress.

And of course with the new year, presto! Yet another new freaking look and no way to find my blog. Sure, I can find blogs I follow, and I can find my profile. I can’t find comments from readers. I can’t find the useful sidebar and all the tools to write a post. I can find a blog window to write in and only by going back to the CLASSIC design have I been able to do what I’ve always done. Post pictures, highlight text, add tags, approve comments. Really, WordPress, that’s why it’s classic. It works.

I was going to post about the unfortunate array of what classifies as dating, or about my work on the Viking longboat. And yes, I will be posting about both of those, and a long list of writing achievements. But right now, I’m expressing my annoyance at WordPress thinking they’ll be one of the cool kids if they just continue to mix things up. Don’t follow Facebook’s example. Don’t be like Microsoft, which has increased the sales of Apple products. WordPress won’t listen to me. I guess this is just a cautionary tale. :/

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Filed under internet, Writing

Demographics of My Blog

Since I’m on a demographics kick I thought I’d post about the countries that have viewed my blog. While I’ve been writing for about 5 years, WordPress only started doing the country demographics in February of 2012. So who reads my blog? The top ten countries might be who you would expect. After all, I write in English, so the Engligh speaking nations are at the top. Plus, I’m Canadian but Canada isn’t number one. This might be because we have a relatively small population for a rather larger land mass. Of course, we modern, pampered people tend to live more toward the southern border because it’s just much nicer than freezing your ass off. And to all the Inuit, I admire the ancestral hardiness that let you survive and prosper in the Arctic, but it’s not for me.

So yes, the US is my number one reading country. We have that close proximity and the masses to bolster the readers. Canada is in second place with the Brits not far behind. Sorry, Scotland, you guys are considered part of Great Britain, but the Republic of Ireland is separate. Fourth most populous readers is India. Not only do India and China have about a third of the world’s population but one of my more popular posts was Betel Nut Adventures.

Fifth place goes to the Ozzies. Hello, Down Under. If you haven’t done so, check out the blogger from New Zealand, Ms Bunny.Eats.Design. Great fun. Next come the Philippines and Brazil. I’m not sure what draws readers to my site but I’ve written about many things so something catches the eye.

The last three spots in the top ten readers fall to Germany, the Netherlands and France. I was in the Netherlands two years ago and loved it, especially Delft and Den Bosch. Germany and France, I’ll be visiting you in about a month and I hope to post about my travels.

From polgeonow.com

From polgeonow.com

As fascinating, at the other end of the demographics are all those countries where one lone soul found me: New Caledonia, Mauritania, Togo, Anguilla, Djibouti, Congo, Malawi, Faeroe Islands, Andorra, Somalia, Swaziland, Palau, Solomon Islands, Turks and Caicos, and Cuba. What’s fascinating is that I haven’t even heard of some of these places:  Marshal Islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Kiribati, Gabon. I’ve learned something new about the world.

In fact, I can say almost all of the world has seen my blog. Here are the countries who haven’t found me yet: Greenland, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Then there is a strip in Africa: Zambia, Western Sahara, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Ethiopia and Madagascar. I would hazard a guess that Greenland might have issues of connectivity. Whereas the other nations might be too impoverished or in political unrest (or they don’t speak English). It’s just a guess because I’m certainly not up on all the African nations but it’s my best surmise.

I can’t say how accurate WordPress’s map is in showing all countries but it’s interesting to think that we can reach most of the world these days. Even if most of the world doesn’t speak English, there are smatterings everywhere.  I’d be interested in some of the less frequent visiting countries to hear what drew you to my blog. In the meantime, it was fun to see what countries have stopped by. Keep on dropping in.

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Filed under Culture, internet, people

Blog Blog Blog: A Comparison

In the blog world I have tried three different ones: Live Journal, Blogspot and WordPress.

I began Live Journal first as a way to keep track of people I knew and what they were doing, and likewise so they could see what I was doing. Some people have many people on their lists, over fifty or more. If you friend someone, they can read all of your blogs, not just the public ones. This means you can put locks on some of your posts so that no one can read them but yourself (the personal diary format) to certain groups of friended people being able to see them.

When you put someone on your friend list you can also read their posts daily as they come up. So, if you do have many many friends, it could get time consuming. Supposedly there are filters on who you want to read but I never figured them out.

A paid account gives more user account pictures that you can upload, as well as a wider range of templates to use. There is a fair amount of versatility there. You can also screen, block or allow all comments. Some people use it to invite people to teas, parties, etc. However, I didn’t always read my LJ every day and wouldn’t find out about something until after the fact. As a form of communication, when I actually asked for feedback, I would receive few to no answers. I decided it didn’t serve the purpose I wanted (email is still the better form of communication and people really didn’t care about what I posted) and in the end it became quite a time sink for reading endless blogs, often on things I wasn’t interested in either.

I started up Blogspot next and ran them concurrent. Blogspot, I saw as the more public and writerly blog. This was to inform, entertain and just write. LJ had always been the more personal stuff. When I talked to other writers, many use Blogspot/Blogger. Blogger allows some adjustment of some basic templates. LJ has the greatest number of templates, but I’ve seen a fair number of online magazines using Blogspot. Blogger also shows how many hits you’ve had. Searches do not bring up anything from LJ so if you’re looking for posts related to editors, authors or magazines, the only way you’ll find them is through word of mouth or a link on a site.

I wasn’t happy with the limited hits Blogspot received and as a writer wanted my name to be found more easily through internet search engines. I don’t have a website so I needed to somehow bring some traffic in. I had used WordPress when doing a contract blog writing job and thought it would serve that purpose. The templates are fairly basic, like Blogspot. But the traffic is naturally higher.

Blogspot has a limit on the number of tags you can enter for a post, whereas WordPress does not. With the addition of WordPress’s categories, it gives a greater range of ways that people can search topics. I am basically a writer and not that savvy on how all search engines and tags work. If I google my own name, the first two spots are for another Colleen Anderson, a musician and writer. The third spot is Mermaid Tales, which is my Blogspot blog. Fourth spot goes to the “linkedin” website of professionals by any name you search for. And fifth spot is WordPress.

I write five days a week on WordPress and post about once a week on Blogspot (or less), yet WordPress never overtakes the other in the rankings. However, I’ve run Blogger since April of 2007 and the number of hits now equals what I achieved on WordPress in just over three months. So WordPress gets more hits but when I search a topic, often Blogspot comes up first. Are there more WordPress viewers or are there more searches coming in? I’m not sure.

For this reason I’ll continue to blog on both Blogspot and WordPress. I think WordPress’s templates are more limiting but then I have checked out both recently to do a true comparison. WordPress still lets me think that people read my posts, whereas Blogspot might just be a few of my friends. Really what I should do is daily copy my posts from her to the Blogspot forum but I often can’t be bothered. When I do get a web page, I’ll incorporate my blog. LJ however, I’ve pretty much dropped altogether.

And since WordPress has just added the new feature of the poll button, here is one on the blogs.

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Filed under entertainment, internet, memories, Publishing, Writing

Politics: Is This What We Can Expect?

This was recently reposted from Craigslist to one of the writing sites I’m on:

Reply to: gigs-834027754@craigslist.org
<mailto:gigs-834027754@craigslist.org?subject=Republican

%20Blogger%20Needed%20%28Anywhere%29> [?<http://www.craigslist.org/about/help/replying_to_posts> ]
Date: 2008-09-09, 12:47PM CDT

College News site is looking for a Republican political blogger for its site. You need to have some experience in the Republican movement (College Groups, Org. acceptable).

You will be required to post a daily basis until the election. Compensation is $35 a week.

Please reply with your credentials and a possible mini-post.

* Location: Anywhere
* it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
* Compensation: $35

PostingID: 834027754

Excuse me? Credentials? For the whopping sum of $35 for a week’s daily posts! Say it’s just five days. That’s $7 per post. Wow. Can I just call that slave labor instead? But then, maybe this is the sign of the times. If the Republicans do win they’ll just be popping babies sitting at home barefoot, in the kitchen, fixin’ their man some vittles and posting a nice little bog piece every day.

Maybe Senator Palin could fit this into her schedule since she thinks VP won’t be a very hard job.

But I have to say I guffawed when I saw this Craigslist post as one of the most ludicrous writer jobs ever. It’s not worth the effort to write for someone for that cost. Might buy you a big Mac and fries but that’s about it.

Maybe this College News site (sic) thought Republican writers wouldn’t notice the lack of real money, and do it for love of country and dumbasses. Credentials, puhleeze. I’m sure the quality will be stellar for $7 a pop. A great part of the unofficial campaign and really makes me want to vote Republican.

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Filed under entertainment, humor, politics, Publishing, Writing