Killing Third Party Cookies on WordPress?

I don’t know how I have so many third party cookies on my sites. I did not put them here deliberately. In particular, I have dozens of cookies from Linked In. I don’t use Linked In and I don’t like it either. So, how are they here? I would like to get rid of them but I don’t even know how they have parasited into my site.

I found this post on the WordPress forums. An old post. I don’t know if it would work. It might, at least for people visiting my site. Ideally, I’d rather kill the cookies instead of just covering them up.

cookieblockerSource: WordPress › Support » How can we control cookies with new EU legislation?

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.

Capture

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

How to Switch from Yahoo! Mail to Gmail

Source for information – How to Switch from Yahoo! Mail to Gmail (with Pictures) – wikiHow.

yahoo to gmail

I found and tested this out myself. Using a Yahoo mail account I have had since 1998, I went into Gmail and used the Gmail options to transfer all my old email from the Yahoo account into Gmail.

On the con side… it did import a massive amount of spam email from Yahoo.

This was AFTER I had deleted every last spam in the account. However, it took a few days for the import and during that time yet more spam gathered. So not only did I get the old email I wanted but also all the latest junk I could have happily done without.

On the pro/ plus side… it worked!!!

I tried to find a way to import old email from Yahoo a couple of years ago. Yahoo had blocked any options (unless you paid for a premium account with them). I didn’t want a paid account when all I wanted was my existing email. I have not used that account in quite a bit longer than ten years. So, paying for it seemed nonsense. (Especially due to the more than average amount of junk/ spam which flooded in to an account inactive for son long).

Gmail let me know when the Yahoo transfer was complete. There was a note at the top of my Gmail account, highlighted in yellow. Everything imported over was labelled with the Yahoo email address. That made it easy to find. At first I thought all I had was the spam. There were 6,000+ imported emails. I had cleaned the account and left about 300 emails to be imported over. I had to dig and scroll to find the email I wanted to keep. Luckily, Gmail lets you select unread emails. I used that feature to select and delete the junk. This left the older emails alone.

So, you can save old email from Yahoo Mail and not have to pay for it. Next I’m getting my Mother to do the same. One thing you do need to do – pull all your emails into the InBox and out of all folders. Anything in folders will not be imported (according to the directions in the post on WikiHow).

Note: Not everything was exactly as WikiHow reported it. Maybe the procedure was updated since that article was posted. It was actually simpler and if you follow along with the instructions in the pop-up window from Gmail you will do fine.

Pay for Comments?

Granted, this will never happen. We’re still clinging to the idea that comments give people a voice. Plus, the idea of “community” and “engagement” is still too powerful—money depends on traffic, and traffic depends on readers, and a lot of sites confuse “making readers feel involved” with “giving readers and drive-by randos a platform to say basically anything with our tacit approval.”

But failing that, there is a way to save comments and shore up the flagging news industry simultaneously. It is this: Make comments cost money.

via An ingenious way to save the comments section.

Maybe it’s how you view the Internet but… I haven’t noticed a real problem with comments. Nothing different from the old newsgroups which would get flame wars and endless spam. Give people a forum where they can get a lot of attention without showing their face or taking responsibility for what they say… it becomes a free for all.

I think the problem is how comments are moderated. Some people think they have to give everyone a voice and let each person be heard. To delete a comment is awful, denying someone their chance to be heard. But, this is the Internet. Anyone can set up a free site and rant about their issues.

But, setting up a site, maintaining a site and promoting a site is work. It’s so much easier to steal the space someone else has created and worked to build. That way you can pick the best site, or a lot of sites, and drop your comment bombs like a cowbird leaving her eggs in another bird’s nest.

If you run a site, just don’t let the cowbirds comment. Moderation is all about “everything but in moderation”. When you run a site you are not responsible for giving anyone else a voice, or letting them be heard. Choose the comments worth keeping, those which add value to your site and the conversation.

Or, turn off comments and leave people to post comments via social media like Twitter or Facebook, or Tumblr. Somewhere off your site, yet connected.

I think Twitter is the best choice. Not only does it limit the length of comments, making people choose their words, it also lets readers choose who they want to read. You can follow someone who interests you and not follow people who don’t interest you. Readers of your site have the same option. So, in that way Twitter moderates your comments for you, or your readers moderate the comments themselves.

I agree with the post as far as not having to end commenting. I just don’t think asking people to pay for comments is going to work. Comments should not be based on how much money you can spend on them. Those who want to spew and rant will spend money on it. Those who might actually have said something interesting will likely not leave a comment. I wouldn’t. I already don’t like registering for any site in order to leave a comment so I sure won’t be getting out my credit card on top of that.

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.

Telemarketers on Twitter

Do not do this!

I’ve been noticing a trend in Twitter following. Not the usual types who want to grow the amount of Twitter followers by following anything for no reason. But, businesses with Twitter accounts who then follow people as a way of introducing/ marketing/ spamming their business or service.

See below for an example. I blocked out names because it seemed the right thing to do. I’m sure you can find them if you really want to, but, why would you want to?

twitter spamvertising

I don’t often check who has followed me. There are always new followers and no one seems to say whey they followed me. (I often send a note when I decide to follow someone – because I actually do have an interest in them).

Why did this company, selling food products from the US, choose to follow me? No reason other than marketing themselves. They don’t know anything about me, what I like, where I am located and if I like gluten-free processed food products. This is no different from telemarketing which still plagues home phones no matter how long you have been on the Do Not Call list.

Just like telemarketing, this Twitter spamvertising is annoying, aimless and meaningless.

Aimless because they target Twitter, no filtering for location or anything else. Meaningless because this does not build goodwill even if it does randomly get their product attention – it’s not good attention and it will not bring good intentions.

Of course, I do not follow them back. Within a few days or weeks they will unfollow me so they have room on their account to follow another batch of a thousand or more Twitter accounts.

Maybe they make a sale from all of this. Which is why they do it. Someone will be followed and actually be local and interested in their product. This person may assume the business deliberately found them and chose to follow them in particular.

However, even if they do get one sale, is this technique worth the animosity it causes and the precedent it sets for others to use the same scheme? I think not. Why? Because the very people who use this sort of telemarketing/ spamvertising are the very people who pitch a fit about spam in their own personal (or business) accounts on Twitter, email and the old home phone too. If they don’t like it why do they feel justified in causing it?

From the Endless Bucket of SEO Comment Spam

SEOdoesntread

I know you have seen this same post in your comment spam. Sometimes I read them before flushing them. This one bugs me. It assumes we are all writing for SEO. As if writing were just a formula of HTML. Writing, making sense, having a voice or something to write about means nothing. You could write gibberish as long as you throw in keyword gibberish and use bold and italics and various sizes of headers.

Too shallow to be sustainable

Stuff like this makes us all seem worthless.

Stuff like this makes it seem it really is all about money.

Stuff like this is why people don’t read and have the attention span of a potato chip.

Don’t become part of the problem. Keep writing for human readers. Let Google find you because someone actually read your work and thought you were great.  Anything less is too shallow to be sustainable. 

Clear Your Head Before Writing?

CaptureI flushed this as a spam comment because it was on an old post which had nothing at all to do with the question asked in the comment. But, just before I clicked the magic button… I cut the actual question so I could paste it in here. See below:

I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I’ve had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin.

I don’t centre myself before I begin to write anything. That would not work for me at all. If I am at peace, confident and comfortable I’d never get anywhere.

Writing has to have some discontent behind it. You can be right pissed off or just mildly bothered, but there has to be some disturbance in your force to get your words started.

If I write when I am content I will think too much. I’ll think about what a loser I am in many assorted ways. I knock myself down, run over myself a few times and then think someone else would be a much smarter choice to write about whatever I was set to write about. A writer full of self-confidence is probably the world’s biggest fraud.

Instead it is all of us who feel like frauds even as we put the pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard. That’s just the way it needs to be. A content writer who really believes he or she is great will not be someone with human empathy and failings.

So, no, right from the start, getting centred is just not the way to go.

I try to trick myself into writing. That works.

Start writing before you’re ready, before you have a plan or know how you want to start. Just start.

Later you can muck around and perfect it. Don’t perfect the life out of it though. Don’t get lost in perfecting it and lose track of your deadline and the actual point of getting it done and letting it go.

If you are one of those writers who feels confident and content (bless you) put a tack on your chair, something to at least make you uncomfortable enough to write something.

Blogging 101: Introduce Yourself

ASCII artistI still like blogging, publishing and writing on the web. But, I have seen it change so much from the early days when I began online in 1996. A lot of it is disappointing. Once we had free creative energy and the only rules were those we gave ourselves. There was no marketing, or SEO or keywords. I was an editall (meaning I could edit the entire directory) for the Open Directory Project. I stayed with it for just over ten years. We were the first to fight spam – before anyone started calling it SEO and giving it credit for being “marketing”. It still seems  a lot of spam to me, but I am seeing it can be used and necessary too. I’m trying to change after all these years of spam fighting.

That is pretty much why I bought this web domain (years ago, far longer than some people have been online). I wanted to create an oasis where creative blogging still flourished and was celebrated. Something where marketing was a discouraging word and SEO could be booed and hissed at.

I may never have my oasis but I can write about blogging from the other side. Try to show people there is more to blogging than money making schemes and SEO. Remember and create great blogs with clever writing, gorgeous images and creative arts of any kind you can fit into the virtual/ digital world of the blog.

So that’s my purpose here. I’m a bit off track at the moment and things have been slow to start. Not that I lack passion, just the focus has gone a bit wonky and I’m working on fixing it. I’ve spread myself a bit thin and now I’m simplifying things and getting my focus back into perspective. Any site you start you need to sustain. I’m finding my feet with this one so I can have the drive and passion to sustain it (and my other sites too).

Read more about me and my other sites.

Help to Comment in YouTube Even if you Already have a Google Account

CaptureFor months, maybe even a year or so, I have not been able to leave a comment on YouTube. I didn’t worry about it, I seldom use YouTube anyway. But, tonight I decided to find out about it.

The first thing I read was about needing to have a Google account in order to use YouTube now. Not a problem. I have had a Google account for years! So, why am I still unable to comment?

Each time I click the comment window a pop up tries to open but closes before I can read anything, even just the URL. So, that is not helpful at all.

I continued my search for help. Someone wrote that the fix was to enable (allow) third party ads on your web browser. I refuse to be stuck with more spam. My email is spamlogged to the point of being unusable and I do not in any way appreciate the ads I am forced to pay for online. (Think about it – you pay your ISP for bandwidth. Ads use a lot of bandwidth in order to open their bloated files. Thus, you are paying to watch those ads. Nice of you, isn’t it?).

So, more seeking for a better solution. I knew I could choose to allow some sites to spring ads on me. I had to do it with Scoop.it so the bookmarklet would work. Now, I went in and set up YouTube the same way. I thought that would be enough. It was not. I had to allow YouTube, Google and Google Plus to give me spam in order to comment on YouTube.

Gee… thanks Google. That mobile phone thing isn’t enough frustration? See if I buy a damned thing from any of your enforced spam. Anyway, see below for the fix to do it yourself. I don’t know where you find the settings in Firefox. But, likely in something about privacy and cookies and blocking content.

I really do like the Chrome browser, Gmail and other features with Google. But, stuff like this makes me wonder if I should be limiting my use of Google. At some point I could really wish I didn’t have all my eggs in Google’s basket.

* make sure “Block third-party cookies” is checked
* go into exceptions and allow these three (without quotes) “[*.]youtube.com”, “[*.]google.com”, “[*.]plus.google.com”