Adapting WordPress for PDA and iPhone

I don’t have a PDA or a cell phone but I am aware that people do use these things. There is talk about making the web user friendly for these people and their gadgets, so I have done so. I hope. I installed and activated a plugin for readers with PDA’s and iPhones. Let me know if it seems to be working. I’m happy if it doesn’t corrupt anything else. So far it seems to be the sort of plugin I can install and forget about.

Imthiaz Blog: WordPress PDA and iPhone Plugin

Note: WordPress 3.0 is Anti-Social

I hope to have my blog up and running by tonight. But, I am having to do battle with the new WordPress upgrade. First, it won’t let me upgrade any plugins, new or old. I did have them all deactivated before installing the new WP. Then, WP insists it is not fully installed or has “failed to complete”. But, it will not auto-install, just has yet more errors.

Earlier today I had just a blank page instead of any blog at all. But, that turned out to be a plugin with an allergic reaction. I deleted a bunch of plugins and tested those I kept. That seems to have been the fix for that. I am still having error notes from WordPress about the installation for 3.0. I changed to the basic WP theme instead of my usual Thesis. I deactivated all the plugins again. I tried a fix for the missing directory issue (thanks to Ben who gave me the information and link in the WP support forums). But, that did not fix the problem. I still have the error about missing the directory when I try to auto-install or upgrade anything.

This has sucked up most of my day today, but for the odd break to make coffee, dinner and play a card game. I wish I had not installed the new version of WP. I usually wait till they fix a few bugs. I never like being part of the pack anyway. Tonight, in a few minutes, I am going to reinstall WP 3.0 from my ftp and skip the auto stuff that seems to be tying itself into a pretzel at my expense. To say I am not impressed with the new WordPress right now is like making a sandcastle during a tornado, pretty unlikely.

Update: While watching Doctor Who on the Space channel I manually uploaded the files for WP3.0 and then deleted a few odds and ends and now… IT IS ALL WORKING! Would I do this again? Heck no.

Article Directories for Your Own Writing?

I’ve been working on my web directory, for links. Today I wandered into a WordPress plugin which lets you create an article directory. Not sure yet if it is part of your blog, a separate page, or a blog on it’s own. Perhaps it could be either way as both would make sense depending on your purpose in creating the article directory.

I’m not interested in becoming a mutated zine editor and being publishing articles by others again. I did that, formatting them was the most niggling and annoying part. However, that is in my past. I did start to wonder about an article directory for my own articles.

First, there is debate about how well tags work in directing anyone to your articles, past blog posts. Does anyone click on them? Do they pull up your best work? (Not likely in that case as they pull up the most recent first, not the best).

Second, if you want a collection of clips online isn’t an article directory a lovely, polished way to set that up? Rather than give links to several articles you can send the link to the directory of your best articles. One link, one click. If you were an editor or employer wouldn’t one link look nice? Of course, you would add an explanation about the directory so no one would think you just had one article to send as your sample of work.

Third, can you really pass up a new project? Something unusual and unique and completely self centred. Who doesn’t need a new self-obsession every now and then?

I am Not a Dude or a Guy

Dude… Hey guys…

I’ve been noticing the growing trend to use ‘dude’ and ‘guys’ as an informal, generic greeting. My Mother really dislikes this. When they come to take our order in a restaurant and say “What can I get you guys?” She cringes, politely. I understand it isn’t meant to be annoying. Yet, I’ve been thinking about it… It IS annoying. It’s also a throwback to the days when women were not counted as people.

How far have we come (as women) if we are excluded in this simple, casual way? Not a big deal, is it? What bee have you got in your bonnet. Don’t get your knickers in a knot or maybe we are just being way too sensitive and girlie about it. Or maybe, you should see what your husband thinks about it, little lady.

I don’t like it.

It is far too informal for general use. I don’t like being treated that casually by someone I am not on a first name basis with. I’d prefer a little respect, a little distance and a little space from people who don’t know me well enough to call me by name. I’m not unfriendly but I’m not desperate to have everyone like me either.

It is directed to men only. Look up the words dude and guy in the dictionary, they don’t refer to women. So we are excluded and in such a way that it is taken for granted that we aren’t being excluded. To protest makes us seem uptight bitches. I’m sure women have been called worse in our fight to gain rights for ourselves.

To me this feels disrespectful to all the women in our past who stood up and took the hard knocks in order to get women this far. How would they feel to read the ads for WordPress WordCamp directed to “Dude”? How would they feel to have the customer service person label them “guys”? How would it be to get an email from a group of women asking “how many of you guys are going to attend?” What progress was made if we are backsliding and not even noticing it happen?

I am a woman. I am a person. I am not a dude.

Fixed my WordPress List Formatting Glitch

I’ve made a few list posts, mostly bullet style. The problem was the formatting, all my points were crammed together in a solid block of text. It made the post kind of unsightly and not very easy (or desirable) to read. If I tried to add a space it would try to make it my next bullet. So the choice was to leave it as a block of text or have extra bullets between each point. Neither was a great option. So, this morning I began looking for a way to fix it.

It turned out the problem was my Thesis theme. I spent the morning trying to find a solution to fix it with a WordPress plugin (thinking it must be a common problem and a glitch they had overlooked in the last update) and then realized I was looking at the wrong software. Once I started looking into Thesis I made progress. Here is the code I added to my custom CSS in Thesis. It worked! The margin-bottom is now set to leave a 1em space between each point.

Live Press for LiveJournal with WordPress

I’ve had LiveJournal for a long time. I was happy to install a new plugin (I’ve become a plugin window shopper) today. Live Press says I can choose to publish any of my WordPress posts to LiveJournal at the same time. That is a good thing. I am always having trouble trying to post at LiveJournal. Yesterday it would not even let me type in the screen for adding a new entry. It was pretty odd. I’m hoping this will work around that and give me the chance to keep my LiveJournal account from getting too stale. I won’t be using it as a receptacle for everything I post here. Far from it! But it can have enough to look less ignored.

A Frustration of Errors AKA Happy at Last

miscellaneousI’ve been having trouble uploading graphics into my posts. It started awhile ago when I updated to another version of WordPress. I ignored it for awhile cause I wasn’t doing a lot of drawing at the time. Then I tried to fix it, no success. I couldn’t even figure out the problem. Each time I tried to upload a file I just got an error (roughly saying file not found).

Although I tried fixing it through WordPress settings I was only looking in the Media section. This past week I happened to wonder what was in Miscellaneous. Oddly enough, the only thing in Miscellaneous was the settings I needed to change to upload media files. Kind of a silly, backwards place to put that I think. Why not in Media Settings? At least I was finally able to upload media files again. I had a mini celebration and proceeded to draw about Miscellaneous and how awesome it can be.

I thought I was all set for uploading my drawings. I was wrong. When I tried to post my drawing I was blocked again. I had an error about some precondition thing. I asked for help in the CMF forum and Turnip found just what I needed. To make a long story short, it is working. Thanks to Turnip for the help!

Trends in Comment Spam

If I published all my spam comments right now I’d probably be arrested for drug trafficking. Not so long ago all the spam comments were for casinos and poker sites. Before that they were adult site ads. Things have changed. I think those are the three main criminal activities covered now? Am I forgetting something? What could be around the next corner in comment spam?

Get exotic animals… cheap! Elephants, gorillas, cheetas, lions, giraffes! All available for low prices and free shipping and delivery! Surprise your neighbours by bringing home a cute baby lion as a pet. Have the only zebra on your street! Get an exotic and rare white python to keep you warm this winter! Have a hippo in your pool! Get a herd of gazelles to keep your grass trimmed and fertilize it all at the same time! Cheap Cheap Cheap!!! Go to: exoticanipals.com

Of course, if you aren’t running a blog on WordPress you are missing out on most of the comment spam. My Blogger blog never got this amount of spam. Try your own take on the next thing in blog comment spam.

How To Build Your Own Web Directory

Once upon a time I was an editor in the great Dmoz (Open Directory Project) web directory. I stayed there about ten years as an active editor. Now I am editing in the BOTW directory. I still like adding sites, caring for and maintaining a list for a topic I am passionate about. However, it is nice to do so without anyone else making up the rules. So, I guess that is how I started the idea of beginning my own web directory. Not a huge project like Dmoz or BOTW. I am just going to pick topics I like: rural exploration, urban exploration, historical places, maybe other things like arts and crafts too. Time will tell. The plan is to begin with rural exploration in Ontario, then rural exploration in Canada. I plan to start each smaller section one at a time, until it builds up.

I started making a list of sites using a Blogspot blog. Then I moved it to Movable Type on a domain I picked out. But neither of these options was working well as a software for building and keeping a list. Both were cumbersome and messy to work with in this way. I looked at other ideas for link management but didn’t find anything except bookmark lists. Then I found two plugins that would work with WordPress for building a web directory (Directory Press and Web Directory WordPress Plugin) versus a directory of links. There is a difference!

I ended up loading the plugins to have a look at them but the software I am actually going to try using for the web directory are IndexScript and SKALINKS, both are freeware. Two different web directory software packages. I will let you know how it goes as I get it figured out on my web host and domain. They both look fine in the demos available on their sites.

As I was looking for software I found a few links about building a web directory. They are all geared to people setting it up for getting paid submissions. That isn’t my plan. I will allow submissions but I’m not asking for money. If submissions are free then I don’t have to feel I owe anyone a link. I can choose to list them or not based on the content of the site rather than the content they add to my bank account. I think it works better that way.

Associated Content: Monetize Your Website by Creating a Paid Web Directory

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Blog: Some Advice Before Creating a Web Directory

SEO Blog: Web Directories – Worth Doing Well

Intelliants: How to Make Your Directory Popular

Intelliants: How to Monetize your Directory

Intelliants: Niche or General Directory? Which to Choose?

7 WordPress Plugins I Don’t Really Need but Must Have Anyway

WordPress plugins that I love but don’t really need. (Why limit yourself to plugins you need?)

  • Drop Caps Plugin – Add a drop cap to the first letter of each blog post. (Makes me think of fairy tale books of old).
  • Personal Favicon – I had wanted an icon for awhile but could not find something to make it appear faithfully. Now I do. It’s cosmetic but a nice touch.
  • Sideblog – Possibly my favourite and most used of them all! Have a mini bog within your blog. I use it for quick notes, sticky notes or just call them extra bits of stuff.
  • Tagline Rotator Plugin – You can have a tagline to go with your blog title. This plugin lets you set up a bunch of them and have them rotate. I’m using several taglines and add more when I think of something good.
  • WP Lifestream – Another miniblog idea but more like links and commentary. You just add the code and don’t have to post to this one, it comes in as a feed from sites you use: StumbleUpon, Tumblr, etc.
  • Tumblr Widget – The sweetest miniblog I have found. This plugin lets me have my posts to Tumblr appear in the sidebar of my  blog.
  • WP Change Template – The newest and not yet fully given a trial run. Lets you set a timer on your WP themes. For instance, when you want one to run the week of Halloween and then go back to your regularly scheduled theme.