Fixing Things Again

It is so much easier to fix things on Blogger and import posts from Blogger to WordPress, than to deal with WordPress. I think that’s kind of sad. But, I am pulling this site back together, from assorted parts which are here and there on my hard drive and stashed away online in places like Blogger (blogspot). So far the posts from Blogger are up and loaded with images, intact. I was not expecting it to be so easy.

I still have all the old WordPess back up files which I will have to play around with. WordPress will not like them as they are, they are big. I can export them as big files, but I can not import them back again as big files. Even though, they are the same files.

I am wishing myself luck, and patience.

Why is WordPress Still Free?

WordPress is the Cadillac of CMS for web developers making cookie cutter sites for clients paying thousands of dollars (sometimes). For end users, it is deliberately chopped up and dumbed down. Web developers don’t want clients tinkering, maintaining, changing, or even updating their sites. There are cases where the web developer actually owns the site, the client just has rights to the contents. Clients pay for the site, choose the content, but otherwise get in the way. But, they do pay.

So why is WordPress still free? Why not claim their share of the money being made? Or, will they? It happened with Movable Type.

For those dwindling few who can’t afford/ don’t want a web developer… why are you still using WordPress?

When Gutenberg replaces the current post editor it will take away more functions than it adds, for the end user, the people writing their own sites. WordPress will say it streamlines the editing functions. But, have you taken a look at it? I did. The editor is gone.

Posting to WordPress will become cut and paste with content blocks. This makes it much easier for web developers to configure plugins, themes and other services they can sell to clients who don’t really want to deal with any part of putting up a site themselves. Clients just supply the content, remember. Any editing of the content has already been done before it gets pasted into WordPress.

The new WordPress will be a lot like the old GeoCities. A lot of people won’t know much about GeoCities. It was an online web host, but your sites were on their domain. Sort of like Blogger which gives you the site.blogspot.com domain. I don’t remember if GeoCities let people add their own domain, Blogger does. Anyway, GeoCities made it easy to put up a site. The structure was there, all you really had to do was add your own content. GeoCities was free to use, but they did run a few ads on your site. If GeoCities had not shut down, would they be competing with WordPress now?

Online site building software: Wix, Weebly, SquareSpace, and others, are just competition for WordPress.com because WordPress.org people still make their own sites, right? Yes, if people were making their own sites, but too often sites are made by web developers and people just cut and paste their content into cookie cutter sites built by web developers using WordPress software and assorted plugins the client doesn’t need to know about. How is this really different from an online web site builder? The online website builder is a lot cheaper but does require some hands on work beyond just dumping content into it.

Why not just write for sites like HubPages and at least get paid for your content instead of paying to put it online?

Maybe the only reason WordPress is still free is WordPress.com. If you haven’t taken a look at WordPress.com for awhile, go login and take a look at the features there. Long ago the .com and the self hosted WordPress were not so different. But, that was long ago. WordPress.com is free to sign up for but then it becomes a Facebook game. Features are offered like pretty treats, shiny extras, and premium goodies virtually yours when you pay with real credit cards.

At the end of the day you are paying to use WordPress.

Seven Days for Seven Answers no More

Seven Days Seven Answers – Daily cues to spark your writing creativity. 

A little sad when something clever and creative disappears online. I had Seven Days Seven Answers in my bookmarks as a site for writing inspiration. But, going through and checking each link, manually, I have found it long closed up. The link still active enough, on Blogger, to pass automated link checks. Anyway, I’m preserving the ideas from the site here. Sure, Blogger will keep it all up until Google decides to stop hosting Blogger. But, I like giving it an extra archive. 
I found an abandoned Twitter account for the site too. 

What is it?Seven Days Seven Answers is a daily opportunity for creativity. Each day of the week is assigned a category. A question, scenario, or some sort of prompt will be posted asking for you to respond. Every post will have a winning response which receives an award. The goal is to reach the Winners Circle by collecting a win on each of the seven days (or a combination of days and wildcards) and becoming an Ultimate Winner.
Where do I write?You can either respond in the comments of the post or in a post on your own blog (provide a link in the comments for that cue).
How do I know if I’m responding correctly?Cues are deliberately vague and open to interpretation. That’s the point! Whatever springs to your mind as an “answer”, that’s the correct response.
How often can I answer?Answer every day. Don’t answer every day (though you risk making me cry). I don’t even mind if you answer multiple times on an entry. 
How long do I have to write? When are winners announced?You can write on old prompts forever if you like. Winners will be announced in approximately one week.
How are winners chosen?Winners can be chosen by any number of methods.I’ll pick the entry I like bestI’ll let someone else pick the entry they like bestPollRandom selectionEeny meeny miney moOr whatever other method sounds good at the time
How do wildcards work? Some days, instead of posting a prompt in the regular category, a wildcard will be posted instead. The winning response on that day will receive a special wildcard award which counts towards the “seven awards” on any day the participant is missing. 
What do Daily Winners receive?Daily winners receive their name (and a link to an appropriate website) on the daily winners page. They also receive the right to post the shiny winners button on their website if they want. In addition, winners receive the unwavering respect and serious street cred among their peers. From time to time, there may be small prizes given to a randomly-chosen daily winner. 
What about the Ultimate Winners and the Winners Circle?Winners who have collected wins for all 7 days will also receive their name (and a link) on the Winners Circle page. They may also receive a tangible prize but we’ll deal with that when we get there.Cues and Days
 In the News: (Day 1)This category features news-related prompts.Sample cues:Given a headline, write the story that goes with it.Explain an out-of-context quote.Write a follow-up story to a recent event.Checklist (Day 2)A list of words will be accompanied by a scenario in which to use them. 
Now What? (Day 3)Write what comes next.Sample cues:What happens next in a story or scene?Finish a phrase.Tell what happens in a situation.Letters (Day 4)Given either a first line or a set-up, write a letter appropriate to the situation.
Storytime (Day 5)When a new story begins, a starting paragraph will be provided. Everyone will write paragraph #2. A winner will be chosen and the next week everyone will write paragraph #3. And so on, building on the previous winners, until we reach a conclusion. That particular cue category lasted for about a month before I decided to replace it.
So I Have This Friend… (Day 5)Give your best advice to this friend.
A Thousand Words (Day 6)On this day, a photo will be provided. Sample cues:Explain what happened before (or after) this photo was taken.Write a caption.Take Two (Day 7)Given a second chance, how would this be different? Rewrite the ending to a book, movie, scene, fable, quote, etc. 
WildcardThis category can be absolutely anything. Absolutely. Anything.

Ontario Blogging Women

I started a Twibe (a Twitter based group) for Ontario Blogging Women. We can talk about anything but the idea is to get together in real time, have coffee, meet real people in real places. You can bring the digital world with you but lets see some faces.
Update – The Twibe is long gone. But, I created a new link via Blogger. If you came here looking for Ontario Blogging Women leave a note. 

Getting Back to Being an Effective Blogger, Again

This site is not dead but… I do need to find it again. Keeping focus and staying true to your own voice are not easy when you look around at other sites and start comparing yourself. If you can manage to do it constructively, that’s great. I’ve gotten sucked into my own wormhole of blog envy. Not envy, but self unsatisfaction. So, I need to pull myself out of it and get back to the basics, again. The key to sustainable blogging is showing up and showing up the next day too when you’re run out of stuff to say and feel like everyone is doing it better than you are.

This list comes from Katy Rose, the Modly Chic blog. I found it in submissions for fashion blogs at dmoz. I usually take a look around at sites I’m listing. Some just get a skim for the basics, to make sure they are original and focused on topic. Ironic, eh? So often we know the answers but we haven’t been paying attention or didn’t want to remember.

Blogger Auto Poster did not Work

This one did not work. Set up was not right some how. But, not a loss because I do have Open Live Writer which does work to post to all my Blogger Blogspot sites. Not an auto poster, but I can build a post, keep it in draft and then publish it to Blogger without opening another window to the Blogger blog/ site.

Do you do anything with old (or current) Blogger blogs?


Source: Blogger auto poster – Home

Quotes from a Widow’s Blog

I found these today while checking links for dmoz. The Anne Lamott quote is the most emotional for me. These were collected by a young woman, recently widowed at the time. But the site hasn’t been updated since 2012. One of the great things about sites on Blogger, they don’t disappear unless they are actually deleted by the owner (or made private).

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. you wait and watch and work; you don’t give up.
-Anne Lamott

“Now we should live while the pulse of life is strong, life is a tenuous thing… fragile, fleeting; don’t wait for tomorrow – Be here now. Be here now. Be here now!”
-John & Stasi Eldredge, “Captivating”

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. ~Camus

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
– Theodore Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. ~From a headstone in Ireland

“Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow.”
~ Dorothy Thompson

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran

“Be reverent before the dawning day. Do not think of what will be in a year, or ten years. Think of today”. ~Roman Rolland

Source: She Loves You

New Scammy Ad Sales Technique to Watch For

There is a technique in real estate (and other sales related situations) to offer a buyer in order to create a sale. The buyer is fake. In real estate the technique is used to keep sellers on the hook, hoping for a nibbling buyer. So the real estate agent keeps (or renews) the listing. The buyer then disappears.

I’ve been getting more offers to place ads on my sites again, now that I’ve been getting them active again. Some are the same old scammy things, like guest posts. A few are legitimate offers and I have accepted a couple and been paid. Others are sneakier, or is sneaky really a fair word? Maybe I should just consider them all sales pitches, even when they are deliberately misleading.

The sales pitch below came into my email this week. What do you think when you read it?

realorscam

 

I went to the site because I wasn’t sure. I do try different sites and services and then forget about most of them. So it was very possible that I did begin an account there. But, I was suspicious.

I had to get a new password sent. This wasn’t horribly surprising but it could also be a great way to get people to join a site they think they have already joined. I’ve seen other social sites pull this scam.

Then I looked at the ad they were offering. I wasn’t very interested. Also, I didn’t see a mention of payment, an actual amount or a time period the ad would run. That is a little red flag. I like set terms. Real advertisers will want set terms too.

Next, I looked at the site they wanted to run the ad on. That was when the final curtain came down for me. The link they were using was not one I would have used. (Or, very, very unlikely at least). It’s a link from my old Blogger site. The link now redirects to it’s own domain. So, if this were legitimate why would they be using that old link?

On the other hand, the description for my old Blogger site was there, along with other details which I very well could have done myself if I had set up an account on that site. Still, I really doubt I would have set up an account for an old redirct link and not any of the domains I currently use.

I’m careful. I try to be fair to the advertising services. Still, I’m not so trusting that I’m gullible (I hope). We all need to be careful. Most bloggers and online writers do not have a staff to help them keep up with scammers. We just have to do it ourselves and hope we get it right. Err on the side of caution, especially when money is involved.

About the Versatile Blogger Award

I see this award on different sites but didn’t follow up to see what it was about. It doesn’t link to another site to just click and find out. Today I looked it up and found the source. So now you know (and so do I).
versatile-blogger

versatileblogger111

versatile-blogger-award

When you consider nominating a fellow blogger for the Versatile Blogger Award, consider the quality of the writing, the uniqueness of the subjects covered, the level of love displayed in the words on the virtual page. Or, of course, the quality of the photographs and the level of love displayed in the taking of them.

Honor those bloggers who bring something special to your life whether every day or only now and then.

Source: About the VBA | Versatile Blogger Award

Crossposting from WordPress to Blogger

I’m not a great coder (by far) but… I’d like to work on a plugin which would let me crosspost WordPress posts over to Blogger. Not full posts and not every post automatically, just summaries of selected posts to specific Blogger sites I have. I know part of the reason I want this is just because I don’t like seeing Blogger slowly fade away. That bugs me.

In the more practical sense, it would be a simple way of having links back to your posts. My idea is to have very tight niche blogs on Blogger and just direct the posts relevant to those niches over from my WordPress sites. I think it would work very well at directing traffic over and around.

I just have to find a plugin to do it. No luck so far – though I did find a new one to try today. I expect the end will be me trying to DIY. BloggerAPISource: Blogger API v3 | Blogger Developers Network