Tag Archives: freshly pressed

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

On Being Freshly Pressed

This week, my blog post made it to the WordPress front pages and I was freshly pressed or featured. And thanks to everyone who came by to read my post and congratulate me. I’d been bumping along on my posts, getting modest readership and it was really interesting to see how the readership soared.

Creative Commons: http://dancurtis.ca/2010/07/

I’ve read the page on being Freshly Pressed and the five things to do: original content, no profanity, a picture that’s not stolen or credited correctly (I’ve started using Creative Commons images if not my own), using tags and categories, proofreading, etc. So I posted about “The Only Good Thing About Snow” on Tuesday and popped it up quickly. I’m a writer, an editor so I tend to always proofread but I was on my way for dental surgery and had to run. So I didn’t proofread (until later and there were only a couple of typos/grammar issues), I forgot to post any tags, and I only had the default category of culture listed. And I was freshly pressed.

I went and read the page again and really wondered because this beasty didn’t fit some of those categories, so I emailed WordPress. They told me that it helps to a degree but too many tags or categories can make it so that the pages don’t show at all. Interesting. I asked how many and they said five to ten is good but don’t sweat it. Okay, I’m not sweating it. I’m not making money on my blog, just posting to air my opinion, to inform, to let people know I exist, but if I was depending on it for income, I’d sweat it big time. And that is how I was freshly pressed, by not following some of the rules. A true mystery I guess, or a seasonally appropriate blog with a picture of the right width to fit into the Freshly Pressed

format.

Still it was fun but I wonder what I would have done with a format that went viral. I was hard pressed (pun intended) to keep up with and approve all the comments. There were about 50 and I have it set for pre-approval on a person’s first comment. I was at work so my mailbox filled quickly.

I’m curious to see how my blog will progress now. Will it go back to the normal number of readers or increase. I noticed that some people have subscribed and I thank you for that. Continue to give me feedback.

If nothing else, this gives me a place to write regularly when I have a writing block in the fiction world. That’s not the case right now. I’m about 30 pages from the end of my novel rewrite, with a bit of backtracking to fix a few areas. But I will hit the goal of having it done before the end of the year. Then I can get to two stories percolating fully in my brain. The steampunk one has a fully laid out plot and I just have to write it and clear up  a few things about engines and flight. Another one is getting there, very dark and about a quest for power. And of course I still have manuscript submissions to read. It’ll slow down over the holidays.

I’ve also been reading through the anthology Horror Library Vol. 4 in which my story “Exegesis of the Insecta Apocrypha” is featured. There are about 30 stories and while I don’t normally do a review on an anthology in which I have a story I do have to say that overall these very dark stories and well written, thought provoking and disturbing. (Okay, I don’t really like the cover–sorry, guys–there have just been too many scary skulls.) Catherine MacLeod’s story “Stone” stands out as being very disturbing. The best stories often touch on social mores, morals and taboos. Catherine’s does all this and makes one really think of what is acceptable and whether it should be. People often poo-poo speculative fiction (encompassing horror, SF, fantasy, etc.) as not being really but it is a place to look at morality and social commentary in a very strong image. Don’t discount supposed genre fiction because you think it’s like a trite movie. It’s often much deeper than you think.

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Filed under Culture, entertainment, fantasy, horror, Publishing, science fiction, Writing