Considering a Change from WordPress

Not for any special reason but, I am seriously considering changing my sites from WordPress. There are several reasons not to do this: transferring content, themes and plugins I have bought will no longer work, learning (and installing/ setting up) new software. But… I feel WordPress has lost individuals like myself. I’m not a web developer or designer. I don’t have clients to set sites up for. I just have my own sites and WordPress keeps feeling limited.

I am not so keen on changing. Though I do like change for the sake of change, sometimes. I don’t like being in a rut or following the pack.

It is not an easy decision to fully commit to. I’ve been looking at other software. I’m always interested in alternatives and options and new things when it comes to web publishing. But that’s more like window shopping than making a serious plan.

If you publish a site, with something other than WordPress (or Blogger/ Blogspot or other freebies which don’t run on your own domain) let me know. I’d like to set up Typo3 but so far it just will not install. Fancy installations are a hard limit for me. If I can’t even get the software set up I’m not confident in using it afterwards.

At least, it will be an interesting month – or however long it takes me to either change or decide not to rock the boat.

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

Found an Auto Post for WordPress

I just found this and I’m hoping it will work. There are times I would like to find something new to post about. I have seen other auto posting software but it tends to be very outdated, or not free. I’ve paid for Curation Suite but I don’t really get as much out of it as I thought I would. This looks simpler, and that’s a big plus for me.

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Source: WordPress Auto Poster Download

Web Rings are not All Dead

I have found:

Webring Software

Ringlink software available at SourceForge.

Ringmaker software at Orca PHP Scripts.

Draupnir Ring Manager for WordPress sites.

Webrings for Writers

I’m not sure how active these are but it gives me hope. All the others I checked which were on web applications were abandoned, dead or not functioning. At least this proves it can still work. Webring.com and Ringsurf haven’t managed to entirely kill every last webring.

Not-A-Webring

Drinker with a Writing Problem 

I’m Changing the Way I Blog

I’m changing the way this site works. I think we are past the days when one person could run a whole site, alone while doing all the site maintenance, promotion, writing, publishing and so on. I think having a schedule for posting is more important than it has been in the past. Keeping a daily post does make a lot of difference for traffic to a site. I have seen that with my own sites, clearly.

However, I am still working alone here. I like it that way but it does leave me with more than I can take care of (with several sites now to take care of). So, I am changing the way I blog.

I’ve been a content curator in one way or another since 1998. As an editor at the Open Directory Project I decided which sites suited the topic and I edited the submissions before posting them. No one had thought up content curation then but that’s essentially what running a directory is. Later I worked on other sites, writing, listing links, publishing newsletters, managing forums and all that stuff. Currently I have several topics via the Scoop.it site. I’ve changed them around, deleted some and started up others again when I missed them. It has been a good way to find my focus or niche area. You need that understanding to find a topic or niche you can sustain.

Onto the present with several sites not so active for awhile. I’ve decided to continue posting them with a mix of my own original posts and posts created with my comments on curated posts from other sites. The hold up on getting it all flowing right now is just the technical side of making it work in the way I can work with it.

Anyway, this site is one which will be converted soon. It’s a topic I have a lot of passion about but anything about blogging is drowned out by the SEO “experts”. There is a lack of creativity and originality in blogging. I’d like to keep that element from disappearing. I’d like to see blogs go back to being free spirits rather than marketing hags.

Wish me luck, I’m going to need that and a lot of coffee. 🙂

Content Creation: The act of writing original words, taking an original picture, shooting an original video, etc.

Content Sharing: Taking a piece of content created by yourself or others and distributing it to a following or audience. This can be done in many ways and through many channels; blogs and social media outlets being just a few of the more popular examples.

Content Aggregation: This is like content sharing on steroids. An aggregator typically uses software that automatically pulls in content from multiple sources (such as RSS feeds) and reposts it all at one central location, usually a blog.

Content Curation: Similar to content aggregation, content curation also pulls from many sources. However, instead of automatically posting every piece of content pulled in there is a manual filtering and sorting process that takes place in order to select only the most valuable pieces of content for a given audience. Curation also involves adding helpful annotation that frames the information already provided from the original source in such a way as to add additional value and/or understanding.

Source: Curating Content for a WordPress Blog (How I Do It) – ManageWP

Ad Blocking May Change the Way the Web Works

The open web was around before advertising and SEO and the commercially focused web. The open web was not based on making a buck by turning the web into a spam pool.

If advertisers want my attention they can find a better way to get it than aggravating me to the point where I block their ads!

But, it’s so much easier for them to keep on spamming. Using sneaky, under-handed and aggressive tactics treats people like robots. No one wants unavoidable advertising, running on bloated software, forced on them over and over and over. Why do you think people go ad blind? Part desensitization and part self preservation, ad blindness keeps people from getting spam overload.

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PageFair chief executive and co-founder Sean Blanchfield, said: “With ad blocking going mobile, there’s an eminent threat that the business model that has supported the open web for two decades is going to collapse.”

Source: The impact of ad blocking set to hit $41bn | The Drum

Can’t Start Computer with USB Device Plugged In?

First, check for an update to your BIOS.

Go to your computer manufacturer’s site and look at the support section. Find your computer (for mine is an HP h8 1211 and I can find the update files on the HP site). An update to the BIOS may be available. Back up your data, if you haven’t already. The BIOS (Basic Input Output System) is pretty deep in the important software which runs your computer so it is a good plan to be cautious when updating it. While it updates and installs do not open anything else. Let it run, likely just 3 minutes and then it will want to restart. You won’t need to do much during this process, just wait for it to finish. My BIOS update went smoothly and I am back up and typing again right now.

If the BIOS update does not let you use your USB device then the next step is to go into the running of your computer and check the BIOS settings.

This is not a scary thing. Just take your time and only save the section you are fixing. Anything other than what I post below you should just get out of without saving. It may sound risky with the warnings but it is actually a simple process. The hard part is catching your computer at the right point while it boots up.

If you can, find the directions for this process on the site for your computer. They should have a write up geared to your PC specifically.

To check your BIOS settings:

  • Reboot your computer. This means shutting down and starting back up or just doing a restart.
  • Before Windows starts up click F10 (those keys in the top row, above the numbers). Some computers use F8,F11 or even the Enter key instead. So it does help to find out which your PC will work with.
  • Next up you will see a plain text page or one with simple graphics and not many colours. Look for System Configuration. Then Boot Order Select.

You should see the items ordered as follows:

  1. DVD/ CD Drive
  2. HDD
  3. Network
  4. USB Devices
  • Save those settings, change it to those settings if needed and then save. Now just back out of there with the escape key and reboot your computer.
  • If you are not feeling good about doing this ask for help rather than take it on yourself. I’m not a computer expert but I have been mucking around in the internal workings a few times. I do think I used to be braver than I am now though.

I just got a new external hard drive with the plan of using it as storage for all my urban exploration photos and assorted other stuff. I’ve been keeping the photos on CDs and DVDs. It’s great to have them burned as a back up copy and no hard drive can carry unlimited digital photographs. However, my plan changed when I had one of my back up CD’s break in half. I’m hoping I can still recover the photos and other stuff from it, but… I’ve yet to actually try.

The external hard drive seems a much smarter plan. It’s not likely to break and I’m usually able to fix software issues. I did have some trouble at the start because my computer doesn’t like me to have more than the monitor, keyboard and mouse plugged into the USB ports. Even then, each has to stick to it’s own section: back, front and top. Two in the same section and… the computer will power up but just show a blank screen.

I know this is due to the boot order. At least, I’m hoping that will be the fixer-upper. I could have looked into it before when I set up a scanner. But, I don’t use the scanner so often. It was simple enough to leave it unplugged. Of course, then I began using it even less often because it wasn’t all set up and ready to go.

Anyway, my only concern about the external hard drive is not being able to power it off. It is always on as long as the PC is on. I’m not likely to back up every day. I don’t save that much on my hard drive each day. So, the external hard drive doesn’t need to be running constantly. The idea is for it to not be connected to the main system in case of a crash or etc. So, keeping it connected works against that part of the plan. Still, it will free up space on my PC hard drive, even though it’s got loads of it unused. I like keeping it light rather than letting it get bogged down.

This is a basic safety feature on laptops and PCs. The idea is if Windows is corrupted or the hard drive fails the computer can still be booted from a recovery CD/DVD or USB drive. At switch on PCs run through a short self-diagnostic program called the BIOS (Basic Input Output System). One of its functions is to tell the computer where to look for boot files. Usually the CD/DVD or USB drive is first, and if no files are found it boots normally from the hard drive and loads Windows. The solution is to change the Boot Order so the hard drive is the first boot device.

Source: Why won’t my PC boot up with a USB device plugged in? – Telegraph

Vulnerability in WordPress

I’ve linked to an older post (2014) but you should always update WordPress as soon as possible. The ironic thing about using popular software is that it is vulnerable to attack, more than the less popular software. So, you choose WordPress for features, community support and reliability… and those are the same reasons the spammers, hackers and so on choose it too.

When you choose to run Windows, WordPress or other popular software know there are more security risks. Be aware, keep up with updates and if you’re upset about this and would rather not deal with vulnerabilities quite so much… choose something else with less community support/ interest. Basically, pick which drawback you can live with.

If your website runs on a self-hosted WordPress installation or on Drupal, update your software now.

Nir Goldshlager, a security researcher from Salesforce.com’s product security team, has discovered an XML vulnerability that impacts the popular website platforms WordPress and Drupal.

via – Major Security Vulnerability in WordPress, Drupal Could Take Down Websites.

What Happens When your Software Stops Being Supported?

Capturevia – SlideShowPro.

This site for SlideShowPro brings up the issue of support and time. It’s not so much an issue with free plugins, themes and software. Though we miss them and wish we could have stuck with what was working for us, you don’t get promises of forever for free.

What about the software you pay for?

It’s no wonder developers offer support in time blocks, like a year for whatever price they set. But, as someone who pays for (premium) software (themes and plugins included) I don’t want to pay for one year and then be cut off. I want the forever package. Even though it isn’t literally possible.

So, how long do you expect software to be supported?

If a developer offers support “forever” or for a “lifetime” what does that mean in a practical and real sense? What happens in the case of SlideShowPro where people paid and expected the software to be supported and available for as long as they wanted or needed it?

Google Marketing and Dear Webmaster Letters

Have you had an email asking you to remove a link? There are various reasons someone might ask you to remove a link, some are practical and make sense. Often it’s about a copyrights issue. The new trend I’ve noticed is the request to remove a link for Google.

You get a Dear Webmaster letter, not so unlike a Dear John letter about a century ago during the World Wars. Don’t take offense, it’s just marketers trying to please (or scare) their clients. They don’t really know what they are doing.

A Dear Webmaster letter:removelinksforGoogleThis is the second email (this year) which I have had asking me to remove my link to a site. Not for the reason you would expect. It’s not about how I mentioned the link, or that I linked in a bad way at all. Actually, the link was just an additional resource when I had written about a relevant topic.

Long ago I was asked to remove a link to Starbucks. But, this was back in the very early days. Starbuck’s concern was about their privacy online. That was so long ago everything was still new and no one knew what to make of the Internet and the very earliest websites, networks and web logs. (Yes, bloggers was not even an accepted word yet).

This time, I was asked to remove a link because the company was concerned about Google’s algorithm.  They are not interested in being part of a post, relevant to their content. Their focus is Google, not readers.

To me it is ironic that Google made their latest changes in order to get online content to change from spam created to please Google into writing created to please readers. But, some people do not quite make that connection. Instead they are just trying to turn things around to be what will please Google.

Today I read something where they decided the biggest problem for brands now is to create content people will want to share on social media.

They still don’t get it either.

Google and social media are software, basically. Software does not have a lot of buying power all on it’s own. It needs people with credit cards, online banking or some other method of making payment for goods and services.

Why don’t businesses/ companies still understand they need to attract people – not software?

Each time I think they’ve got it… it just passes them by… like a ship in the night fog.

Anyway, I did remove the link, as requested. It was actually listed once on a blog I moved to a new domain (in one post but showed up on several links with indexing). If any of the people who did this research on what Google likes actually understood how links and blogs work, they would have known that. But, that would be a waste of time when they can do so much automatically with software and then send out a form letter, with more software.

If they had actually checked any of the links, manually, they would have found them all 404. Still on Google, but not actually on the web. I wonder what kind of automatic form letter they will send Google’s bot?

I’m sure there are some marketers who will just never, ever get it.

PS- I was irritated that they want me to respond when I have accommodated them so they can take me off their list rather than nagging at me again. Just in case you wondered… removing a link for this reason (for Google marketing) is not something you are obligated to do. The link is public knowledge and my post was almost ten years old (from 2005). So, if you don’t feel very accommodating when you get a note like this… just ignore it. I just think it’s silly because the first note I got (for a different site) was from a company which had paid me for the link. See how backwards it all is?

I will likely continue to remove links when requested. Why not? It takes me a half minute to edit the post and I don’t mind not giving another site the promotion if they don’t want it when it’s free. Maybe later they can pay me for another link.