All posts filed under: Writing

WordPress Reader is Acting Strangely

Do you follow my blog in the WordPress Reader? If you do, then you might be wondering why I am reposting old stuff. The short answer is, I’m not. The WordPress Reader is doing it for me – a totally unsolicitated behaviour. The Reader is also not advertising most of my new posts. Catch 22 – right! If I try to tell WordPress Readers about this issue in a new post, will the Reader publish the new post? Or will the Reader pick another old post like this one – How to Replace iTunes with CopyTrans Manager, which was first published in 2009. It appeared in the WordPress Reader a day ago. This has been going on for a few months now, but I wasn’t paying attention (Christmas, New Years, travel to AZ, etc). Then I contacted a few of my regular readers. Thanks go to to Al and Faye for confirming my suspicions that the WordPress Reader had developed a mind of its own! I alerted the WordPress Happiness Engineers who say that the …

What Were You Doing 3287 Days Ago?

Nine years ago (the aforementioned 3287 days) I published my first blog post: Did you Get the H1N1 Flu Shot in 2009. It was not highly successful and has been viewed a grand total of 13 times. At the other end of the scale,  Tricky Questions – Thinking Outside the Box has been quite popular with over 36,000 views. Go figure… That’s the interesting thing about blogging. While I might have a general idea what my readers might find interesting or when it is a good time to catch them in a reading mood, I  have no idea how the Search Engines will promote or trash my posts! I do know this involves algorithms that judge, filter, penalize and reward content, but that is about the extent of my understanding! While the stats for the Tricky Questions post are fascinating to watch,  I like the H1N1 post as much and I love the process of researching and writing.  I’m happy with my blog as a whole –  a scrapbook of my photos, thoughts and ideas …

Your Blog – What Do Your Visitors See?

I give my blog a make-over now and then. (WordPress.com has so many themes to try). When I test drive a new one, I ask a few friends to let me know what their browser thinks of the change. Does my blog load fairly fast on their computer, phone or other device? Can they read the blog easily? Does anything seem to be ‘broken’? Why does speed matter? We might live in a fast paced world, but our internet connections vary from rabbit to turtle. I sometimes have a frog connection – fast leaps alternating with “really, you’ve stopped completely!?” pauses. A fast website loads completely in my browser while my frog is leaping. I can read the site while my frog has stopped to admire the scenery. A slow website doesn’t load completely during the leaps. I often get tired of waiting and abandon the site. Apparently search engines also use load speed as one of the factors in search ranking. You can test the speed of your site with a free tool called …

Utah – Balance Rock: WordPress.com Upsets the Balance

As of the end of this month (and 2,000 Daily Prompts, 380 Photo Challenges, 260 Community Pools, and 100 First Fridays later), we will no longer publish new posts, prompts, or challenges on this site. – Ben Huberman, WordPress.com The Daily Post – As you can see from the announcement above, WordPress Prompts and Photo Challenges will soon be a thing of the past. It isn’t the first time that WordPress has suddenly discontinued a feature that many bloggers faithfully use and enjoy. I’ve been submitting photos to the Photo Challenges for almost 8 years. Polite words can’t express my disappointment that they have decided to terminate access to our community of photographers. As a replacement, WordPress suggests that bloggers try this: post a photo (any topic you feel like) and tag it with ‘photo challenge’. Then, open your WordPress Reader and type ‘photo challenge’ in the search bar…  Really – you think that makes it a challenge? Nope –  it’s just a bunch of posts with photos. WordPress, you remind me of this rock …

The Quippery

‘It Takes One to Know One’ Department

Do you read the comments that come after Internet news articles? Some commenters (usually anonymous) are extremely mean and abusive! Their attacks seem like the online version of a school yard bully. Here  are a few comments I read at the end of just one Canadian news story this morning: …You are a fool. …Hope you idiots are pleased with yourselves. …You don’t have a clue yourself. …BS… espoused by utter MORONS …And we still have an idiot at the helm. …One by one the poor saps who were taken in …greasy, sleazy, slimy selfie king …Nuth’n finer than a far left nutter sputtering …another leftwing(confused) doofus of questionable mental acuity …The big, stammering idiot with the dumb expression When we were kids, we would respond to a verbal bully by saying, “Sticks and stones will break our bones, but names will never hurt us.” (But the names still hurt…) Or we would taunt back, “It takes one to know one!” These responses have no effect on the cyberbully. They carry a shield of anonymity:  …

The Unofficial WordPress Undiscovered Club

Maybe you remember “The Never Been Freshly Pressed” Club (NBFP). I started it in 2013 because there were so many of us WordPress.com  bloggers who had never been ‘pressed‘. (‘Freshly Pressed’ was a WordPress magazine, of sorts, that featured the writings of every day bloggers.) ‘Freshly Pressed’ has been allowed to die. It has been replaced by Discover – a slick, modern online magazine. The editors select content from about  53 million posts per month, so the chances of your post being chosen are still quite slim, but if you do get selected, you get to put a badge on your sidebar! After almost seven years of blogging, I believe I have demonstrated an inability to be slick or modern – therefore I am, by extension, Undiscoverable. For that reason, I think I can safely form the Undiscovered Club, and proclaim myself  President of the Canadian chapter. Should he accept, Al at thecvillean is my choice for President of the American chapter. (He is current President of NBFP.) If you would like to join our …

Common Blogging Mistakes – To Fix or Not to Fix

I am the poster child for bloggers who have long since passed their best before date, if in fact I ever had one. I have a boatload of fake followers with names like ‘fbrxy3579’ but very few of them are actual readers. Most of the people I call ‘near and dear’ give me a glassy stare, and mutter something like “I haven’t checked the internet in the past 8 months” when I ask them if they read my last post. I don’t blame them – I’ve been blogging longer than most guinea pigs live, and my content is a ‘how to of what not’ to write about. I also have made many ‘blogging mistakes‘. Sure, I’ve fixed most of those, but I perversely hold onto others. You probably have made some of these ‘mistakes’ too, and maybe, like me, you just can’t be bothered to take the whole ‘What Not To Do‘ thing any more seriously than the ‘What Not to Wear’ thing.  If you are, however, curious – here is my list of what …

orange pink clouds Alberta

Transition – Beep Beep Boop is Gone?

The dawn of a new day. If there are clouds, then a sunrise can be a remarkably beautiful transition from dark to light. Perhaps our blogging hosts, WordPress.com, were thinking of dawn when they recently unveiled the New High Speed Editor. I certainly thought they had made a few improvements since they first introduced the ‘New Editor’. It loads so fast that the ever so unpopular, wait while I’m working, ‘Beep Boop Boop’ screen is gone! Another plus – images can be dragged and dropped from your desktop right into your post. Unfortunately, the new editor is still in transition – the search feature for creating links to my old posts is missing. How long will it take before this transitional editor is finished? Or will it ever be? Will we still have access to the good old editor that many or us prefer, or will it eventually disappear? It is like asking, ‘Will there be a beautiful sunrise tomorrow morning’. No one really knows. Light precedes every transition. Whether at the end of a …