Archive for Blogorrhea

Don’t read the stats

This might even be more imperative than “Don’t read the comments”:

Early in the week, I was receiving an unnatural amount of hits from Google. I was trying to determine what created the visits, but without any results. Whatever the reason, it was a little unnerving. Such things create a feeling of apprehension, since it made me wonder if the Google Mafia was in the process of electronically breaking my leg. That, and creating the hope of it becoming an ordinary occurrence.

I can remember when the actual Googlebot would leave its signature on your server logs. But that was from the Don’t Be Evil days.

Now suppose it were an ordinary occurrence. What then?

If that happened, I could monetize my blog, retire to the mountains, and throw empty beer cans at pesky squirrels.

A consummation devoutly to be wished — unless, of course, you’re a squirrel.

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She didn’t read it

The email began this way:

I just came across your post, Practical Tips to Reach More People on Social Media, and I noticed that Klout has recently been shut down.

Now really, does that sound like one of my titles?

I mean, begging for links is bad enough, but this is a sign of a botched shame-ectomy.

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Three million

That’s how many people have visited this place over the years, though several have actually been here more than once.

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Pick a name and stick with it

You’ve run a blog for seemingly all your life. Now your life is changed, and not for the better. What to do with that blog?

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Long live the archives

I was not expecting to relive those wondrous days of 2005 today, but here we are:

Yes, the link still works. I have my rules.

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18 years of grind

From the 23rd of June, 2000:

There comes a point in the life of every Webmaster when s/he wonders out loud, “Why am I doing this?” In my case, it was about the third day this site was up. And while it has been relatively well-received during the four years of its existence, by which is meant that no one has sent me any live explosives just yet, the possibility of stagnation constantly lurks and occasionally even looms.

What to do? I thought it over for less time than I probably should have, and decided that what dustbury.com was lacking (apart from personality, tastefulness, and utility, but that’s another story) was a sense of immediacy. Pages got updated when I got around to them; some things got lost in the shuffle. And while I have no problem blaming some of this on the vagaries of the workplace — at best, long hours make for short tempers — at least one of the tailbones needing a suitable kick was my own.

Thus, Version 7 (you’re soaking in it) introduces my Sort Of Blog, a way for me to get some stuff on the table without regard to the semi-regular Vent schedule or the ongoing necessity to update the other sections. Most of the existing pages will continue as before, though minor design changes will be forthcoming here and there, and the usual sporadic updates will continue to take place, as the saying goes, When I Get Around To Them.

Given the general looseness of the term “blog,” I realize that I could just as easily have claimed the right to use it from the very beginning, though I persist in thinking that a proper blog should perhaps be updated more than four times a month; not everyone needs to do this daily, but somebody does.

And apparently that somebody is Your Humble Narrator, who put that up in the summer of 2000 and has had at least some sort of update literally every day since then, a span of 6,575 days. Obviously this can’t go on forever, because I can’t go on forever; but for now, it’s not even slowing down.

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Webmaster fail

In an effort to address the occasional moderation issues and such, I came up with the brilliant idea of opening up registrations, in the expectation that a registered, logged-in user might be able to bypass having to fill in name/email address/URL if any by the comment box.

At the time, we had 27 users, three of whom are known to be deceased. (It has not been required to register to comment here for most of the last ten years, and I will not start requiring it now.) Over three weeks, we added two thousand users, every single one of which appears indistinguishable from comment spammers.

So I’m dialing back to those days of yore by restoring a previous user list. If I’ve inadvertently deleted your nonspam account, please advise.

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Weird scenes inside the pyrite mine

There were a couple of folks whose every comment here, irrespective of content, was winding up in the moderation queue. I let this go by until the number of them doubled one week.

I’m not quite sure what to do about it. Perhaps they’ve tightened the little routine that compares incoming email addresses with a local blacklist. (Yes, I do have a local blacklist, containing the names of people who are dead or just dead to me. If you have to ask, you weren’t on it.) In an effort to test this notion, I have cleared out every name in the blacklist. (A few IP addresses remain, but matching an IP address is tricky, especially an IPv6 address, which all of those are.)

I will report back if any results are obtained.

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Ah, sweet Missus Ree

Remember when Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, was just a blogger?

That was then. This is, um, wow:

I note in passing that Drummond’s Wikipedia page is about three times the size of Pawhuska’s.

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Upgrade this, pal

Last night I had just left a comment over at Fillyjonk’s place, and somehow hit the dreaded Wrong Button. A popup of arguably greater than normal hideousness appeared and lectured me on my “outdated” browser: Pale Moon 27.9.0, released 17 April 2018. Apparently I inadvertently tried to invoke the Blogger editing platform, and they’re not prepared to support this ancient artifact (more than two weeks old!) on said platform. I’d complain to Google, which owns Blogger, but Google’s remedy for any and all such complaints is to switch to the pertinent Google product, in this case Chrome.

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Subject to burnout

While sorting through the archives, I found this item from 2006:

Well, they tried it last year, anyway, and nobody seemed particularly embarrassed, so let it be known that this is the 2nd International Co-Ed Nekkid Blogging Day, and while there are some things I have to do today with actual clothes on (shudder), today’s posts will not be among them.

To my knowledge, there wasn’t a third, and of the eleven blogs I cited as participating, only three are still up and running. Two of the three are run by women.

Be grateful I don’t have a webcam.

I have one now, but I think it’s gotten about four minutes of use in the last four years.

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Unlike yesterday, which was Thursday

The Instant Man proclaims an open thread:

Instapundit name-checks Rebecca Black

And since snow and sleet are due here soon, here’s the party girl herself looking all warm and such:

Rebecca Black warms it up

Then again, according to the archive, this shot dates from 31 December 2017.

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How to mark a blogiversary

Something like this would do the trick:

[Y]esterday marked 13 years of blogging here at Fat in Indiana. I wrote my first mediocre post on March 22, 2005 and 5982 posts later we have this mediocre one. Some things do not change. That comes out to an average of … I don’t know, probably pretty close to one a day. I’m not a math whiz. More to the point, it doesn’t matter. I write the drivel. You read the drivel. We have our roles to play.

Actually, it’s about 1.26 per day. As drivel production goes, that’s definitely prolific.

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The dreaded Google Eye

Rob O’Hara draws some unexpected scrutiny:

I received a message from Google, informing me that some of my blog posts had been flagged for linking to known sites containing malware. Whenever Google contacts you with news of this nature, you are forced to react, quickly, before they remove you from their global directory. After scouring both my own site and the site I was linking to I could find no hints of malware or debauchery.

Sensibly, he decides to pull the not-really-offending posts, just in case. Then down comes the other shoe:

In the process of this, well, process, WordPress got confused and decided some of these old posts from several years ago were in fact new again, and sent out email notifications along with Facebook and Twitter updates. Sorry about that. Those in charge of update notifications have been sacked.

Insult to injury.

(This is not the dreaded Google Eye.)

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Unkindly host

Datechguy has apparently had it with his current Web host:

The return of my blog from GoDaddy’s exile is still pretty new and the first thing I’ve noticed is the drop in daily traffic… In the world of the internet being away for a week can have a crippling effect It’s going to take a while for the people who stopped by daily to discover I’m back and for bloggers to figure out there is something to link to again. That’s been the most discouraging part of the entire exercise. I still remain amazed at the level of indifference to my situation, particularly from the people I spoke to vs those I chatted with, but when your ratings as an employee are measured by raw stats vs actual customer satisfaction it’s not a surprise. In the 7 contacts I had with the GoDaddy people I encountered a single person who conveyed to me the idea that they really wanted to get me back up and running, but apparently such efforts risk the ire of others who might be forced into effort and thus are not popular.

So he’s hunting for a new host:

I’m going to find a company to whom my business, small as it is, means something.

I can’t say as I blame him. I’ve heard kind words for GoDaddy from some; I’ve heard them reviled by others. Maybe it depends on getting the right tech-support person.

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The lid gets hammered down

Tumblr’s explicit-content rule, as revised last summer:

I marked my blog as explicit. What happens now?

Now you can be sure that only suitable audiences are seeing your content. Blogs that are marked explicit are kept out of search results for people in Safe Mode. Anyone viewing your blog on the web will have to be logged in (with safe mode off) to see it.

Not sure enough, apparently. Beginning too soon, Safe Mode will be the default:

Tumblr sent an email to all users over 18 years of age who hadn’t already turned safe mode on, reminding them that the feature exists. The message doesn’t explicitly state that the setting is turning on by default; only that Tumblr wants to “make sure everyone has the chance to try it out.”

This is, of course, disingenuous as hell.

The site’s been a “complete loss” for adult content creators, Bacchus said, ever since Tumblr made it so that blogs flagged as NSFW were no longer indexed by search engines or Tumblr search anymore. “All this [Safe Mode update] does is make adult content even less visible INSIDE the walled garden that adult Tumblr has already become … Tumblr is dead media as far as I’m concerned, from an adult-industry perspective.”

Robert Stacy McCain, chronicler of the Tumblrinas, must be notified at once.

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The replacements are never as good

Fillyjonk has toiled 16 years in the blog vineyard, apparently without regret:

[B]logging kind of died off (though some have suggested it’s coming back, as people weary of Facebook’s idiocracy and the all-visual-no-context of Pinterest), but I’m still here.

The Blogfather himself, Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds, coming up on 17 years, appears to be in agreement:

I think that the old blogosphere was superior to “social media” like Twitter and Facebook for a number of reasons. First, as a loosely-coupled system, instead of the tightly-coupled systems built by retweets and shares, it was less prone to cascading failure in the form of waves of hysteria. Second, because there was no central point of control, there was no way to ban people. And you didn’t need one, since bloggers had only the audience that deliberately chose to visit their blogs.

And I’m still here. I have maybe a third of the traffic I had at peak; I don’t expect ever to see another month with 25,000 visitors, which used to be the average around here. Then again, I used to have about 150 feed subscribers; now it’s a thousand or so. (Curiously, I’ve averaged about 2.5 comments per post for well over a decade now.)

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Vamp and revamp

I suspect anyone who’s run a blog for more than a week and a half has received stuff like this:

I got a spam email from a dude the other day who told me how great my blog was. Then he offered to write it for me. I guess his message was “you are good, but I am better”. If this drivel was written by someone else, it wouldn’t be my blog anymore, would it?

I fully acknowledge that better writing would help the place. It might drive up readership. An editor would be a significant improvement. While we are at it, a template change and pruning of the blogroll would spruce the place up too. A pay raise for the writing and custodial staff would improve morale. Perhaps new iPads and laptops for the research department are in order. How about pretzels and cold beer TGIF parties?

But no, what they really want you to do is to download some highly-dubious utilities. Or worse.

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Worst titles of 2017

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I have no idea how it went

A little warning came down the pike last week, and they followed it up yesterday:

We recently alerted you to an impending operating system upgrade of your individual VPS instance on the host machine, “iad1-vshost221.”

The day of your upgrade has arrived! Within the next few hours we’ll be upgrading your VPS and its host machine from Ubuntu Linux version 12.04.5 LTS (also known as Precise Pangolin!) to 14.04.5 LTS (aka Trusty Tahr!).

If you have more than one VPS and aren’t sure which one is on this host machine, you can check the Support / Data Centers page in your DreamHost Panel.

The upgrade will be done in two phases. First, we’ll upgrade your host machine, which shouldn’t take longer than an hour. Once this is complete, we’ll begin sequentially upgrading the VPS guests, which may take up to 25 minutes. Keep in mind, this means there are two separate periods during which your VPS (and websites) will be unavailable.

In most cases, you won’t need to do anything to prepare for the upgrade. Just kick back and let us handle the tough stuff!

LTS, in Ubuntese, seems to denote a stable release that will be supported for long periods of time, which would make sense in view of the fact that they’re replacing a 2012 version with one from 2014.

And I didn’t even notice it happening.

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You know, this just might work

Patrick adds a new recurring feature — at least, I hope it recurs — to The Lost Ogle:

30% of The Lost Ogle’s site traffic still comes directly from search engines. The rest comes from either direct traffic or social media. Depending on what’s going on each month, the terms are all over the map. The top search engine results are usually “The Lost Ogle,” “Lost Ogle” and “Emily Sutton Married.” We also get some weird, odd and semi-strange ones. To steal an idea from the pages of Dustbury — the O.G. of the Oklahoma Blogosphere — we’re going to highlight some of those (that we feel comfortable publishing) at the end of each month.

Of course, I think this is a swell idea — if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have done it 617 times already — and TLO gets enough traffic to virtually guarantee some seriously wacky stuff in any given month. The first month’s collection was satisfyingly weird.

And this does explain why several people at 42nd and Treadmill were addressing me as “Mr. O.G.” on Friday.

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Speedblogging

Apparently someone keeps track of these things:

I’m at the low end of the scale, and have been since more or less Day One, but the full article throws this measurement at me: “The average blog post is 1142 words long.”

If I have 1100 words handy, I’ll get four, maybe five posts out of them.

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How is this even possible?

McG explains his most recent online change:

I’ve never heard of a hacker inserting malicious code on a purely static web page. Maybe it’s happened, but I’d have a hard time imagining it could do him any good.

It’s happened here, once, to one of the old Movable Type pages that were left in a static state after the fall of 2006. What happened: someone weaseled in through some unknown method (FTP?) and pasted a bunch of spam links at the bottom of the page. I didn’t notice it for some time; all I know is it happened between May 2015 and October 2016. Eventually I deleted the whole page and pasted the actual content into a WordPress post. (With the original comments, yes.)

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The eternal need for speed

A note received from the surfer dudes who host this Web site:

Over the next week, we’ll be rolling out “OPcache” for domains hosted on your managed Virtual Private Server.

OPcache is a PHP accelerator that makes your site faster by keeping code in memory instead of loading it on every page request. Since code doesn’t have to be loaded from disk repeatedly, you’ll also see reduced CPU and memory usage on your VPS. That means you’ll be able to do more with less power!

OPcache replaces the outdated “XCache” option which was previously available on virtual private servers. Unlike XCache, OPcache is supported on all versions of PHP that DreamHost offers, so there’s no special configuration required to make it work.

XCache will not work with PHP 7 or newer versions, so it is no longer recommended.

Combined with PHP 7, OPcache can often double the performance of WordPress sites. We’re pretty excited about it, and can’t wait for you to experience the magic and wonder of OPcache for yourself!

Precisely seven days later, they brought this plan to fruition. I haven’t run any speed tests yet, but I do have a little widget to measure RAM usage. For the last couple of years, it’s been hanging between 35 and 40 percent of my allotment. Reading last night: 8 percent.

Gosh. Maybe I should go ahead and implement PHP 7. (I’m still on 5.6.)

Addendum: PHP 7.0 is in place.

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The rules I write by

For about 70 or 80 consecutive Sundays, I’ve dropped in at #blogchat, a Twitter chat which serves as idea exchange and, occasionally, advice to newbies. Rather a lot of said newbies come in thinking there’s a specific set of standards that must be met before you can enjoy any level of success. I don’t think I’ve done a particularly good job of shooting down that notion; I mean, God knows I don’t follow anything resembling standards, with the exception of a Woody Allen bromide: “Eighty percent of life is just showing up.”

This, I think, is the proper attitude to hold:

The one common thing I saw was “find your niche” and only blog about that. They said nobody wants to read a blog that is all over the place full of random topics. The lie detector determine that was a lie. I do not mind random thoughts. That makes a person far more interesting.

Once it was suggested that, to remain focused, you should restrict yourself to two or three categories and maybe a dozen tags. Obviously this is not my issue: I have 57 categories and, um, 12,000 tags. None of those tags show up in the text because that’s not what they’re for; they’re for helping me keep this improbable mishmash organized. Sometimes they even work.

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Let us write for you

I suspect anyone who’s survived 180 days of blogging is now subject to this little inconvenience:

I received a guest post spam email a few months ago from someone who was very eager to write a post for this site. The person introduced herself as “a pioneer in online wholesale business.” In fact, she claimed to have “over 50 years experience in wholesale business.”

That was the first red flag.

She said she was “impressed by most of the posts/content” and added a little emoji, perhaps to soften the blow of such a statement. Fortunately, she didn’t elaborate which ones she was not impressed by.

If you have 50 years’ experience on any Topic A, it stands to reason that you probably don’t have a Topic B. This interloper certainly didn’t:

She then offered suggestions of five blogging topics she was ready to write for this site. Here was the writer’s actual list:

  1. Become a Successful Wholesale Supplier in 30 Days
  2. Want to be Amazing Wholesale Supplier? Here’s How
  3. How Much Can You Really Save by Shopping in Bulk?
  4. Opening a Restaurant? Read These Time (and Money) Saving Tips
  5. How to Coordinate Wholesale Shipping With International Partners

Or maybe she already had these five articles written and was looking for some poor sucker kind soul to help pass them along.

It gets worse. The last few of these I’ve received insisted on following up. Twice. Once, thrice. (“Just in case you missed it…”)

It’s at least somewhat obvious to me that these people are doing the least possible research: someone who’s written twenty thousand posts does not need to peel off fifty bucks for an article about wholesale shipping.

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It’s still just a number

Some thoughts by fashion blogger Wendy Nguyen on becoming one year older:

So … I have this fear of revealing my age. Someone once told me that the entertainment industry is ageism (which is true) so letting people know my age will lessen my chances of working with some brands, growing my business, etc. I can understand why he grouped me in the “entertainment industry” category, this was before there was a “content creator/blogger industry” category. Thank goodness I’m not in the entertainment industry!

Spoiler: She reveals.

You may have seen her, from about here down anyway, in this video from last summer.

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It’s more than just a keyboard

You know Lorna: fashion blogger from the UK, about half my age and possessed of a singular sense of style. Nothing at all like me. Yet there are some things we have in common beyond a dislike for summer heat.

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A lid on the sandbox

Tumblr’s current guidelines for so-called “sensitive content” conceal, though not very well, one minor detail:

If a significant portion of your posts are sensitive, and especially if they are sexually explicit in nature, then we’d appreciate you marking your blog as “Explicit,” which will keep it out of search results for people in Safe Mode, and prevent any logged-out users from seeing it on the web. You can do this in your blog settings.

That’s just the lead-in. Here’s where the boom is lowered:

I marked my blog as explicit. What happens now?

Now you can be sure that only suitable audiences are seeing your content. Blogs that are marked explicit are kept out of search results for people in Safe Mode. Anyone viewing your blog on the web will have to be logged in (with safe mode off) to see it.

Which means, of course, that individuals who are not already part of the Tumblr “community” will not be allowed on the premises at all.

This strikes me as awfully blue-nosed for a service which at one time had over a hundred thousand blogs with the words “Fuck Yeah!” in their titles.

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Buy for me the reign

There is no shortage of mountebanks who offer to make you a veritable king in the land of Google. This one hit the spam trap t’other day, and spilled rather a lot of beans:

LinkLifting isn’t your typical Web optimization software program. In actual fact, it isn’t software program in any respect. As a substitute, LinkLifting is a completely managed service carried out by our crew of skilled Website positioning professionals, all of whom have in depth expertise working with small companies and massive manufacturers alike.

Here’s how LinkLifting works. All you’ll want to do is enter your web site and goal Web optimization key phrases or phrases within the kind above. Our system will routinely recommend probably the most related pages of your web site for promotion, in addition to recommending a month-to-month funds to realize your outcomes.

On daily basis, our crew will scan out huge database of tens of hundreds of top of the range donor web sites to seek out efficient backlinking alternatives. As quickly as we discover a match on your webpage, we’ll add a robust, extremely related backlink pointing straight to your goal web page.

There’s no want so that you can ship e mail after e mail to webpage house owners and bloggers

There’s no have to pay an Search engine marketing company enormous charges for a fraction of the outcomes

There’s no want to fret about your web site by no means transferring up within the rankings

There’s no farking command of the English language. And these people want to run database searches for you? They couldn’t find a fart in the restroom of a Taco Bell.

As a substitute of spending your money and time on Search engine optimization methods that don’t ship outcomes, you earn nice hyperlinks from extremely related web sites at a fraction of the associated fee you’d pay an Search engine optimization company for decrease high quality, much less related hyperlinks.

High quality backlinks are the singular most essential component for profitable Search engine marketing. Regardless of how nice your on-web page content material is perhaps, with out nice backlinks, it’s by no means going to rank for extremely aggressive, beneficial search key phrases that may generate leads and gross sales for your small business.

Our hyperlink constructing service takes the effort and time out of constructing hyperlinks to your webpage, letting you spend your time working your small business as a substitute of constructing hyperlinks manually. Simply create a LinkLifting process, set your price range and watch as we report each day in your website’s Search engine optimisation progress.

This drivel was linked to someone’s Fiverr page, which can mean only one of one thing: some shlub is getting paid a pittance to spam it all over the universe. If you see it, be sure to delete it if you can, and laugh at it if you can’t.

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