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What should I blog about next?

What should I blog about next?

Having had a somewhat hectic long weekend around Paris, what should I blog about next?

The Internet is getting smaller and smaller

The Internet is getting smaller and smaller

Evidenced by two recent random happenings where two very distinct areas of my personal Internet merge in bizarre ways:

  • When news of the new Pet Shop Boys single came out, I naturally emailed it to all my Pet Shop Boys-loving friends (all seven of us. We could have a convention in a very large telephone kiosk). One of them excitedly emailed me to ask how on earth I knew someone else on that list – I replied that I used to live with him back in the halcyon summer days of 1998. It then turns out that Geoff and Iain also lived together in the early 1990s, before I met him.
  • Through mutual friends, I ended up following Star’s blog, which was full of random pop culture links and funny words. She was a good blogger, but alas her life was very suddenly and rudely cut short. Today, I found that a professional blog colleague of mine used one of her pics in his latest blog post – something which may well have gladdened her. Or maybe not.

Maybe it’s time to find a new Internet or something.

Why are faux spam commentators surging to my blog?

Why are faux spam commentators surging to my blog?

Over the last few days, I’ve had a lot of comments on my blog. Which is all well and good – and there’s even genuine-looking content on said comments, implying they’ve at least looked at the blogpost in question.

However, each comment leaves a link to a website of their choice, which turns out to be a purely commercial enterprise, whether it’s a weight-loss programme, a Chicago lawyer or a Southampton business directory.

Which leaves me wondering why people would take the painstaking time and effort to come to my blog, read an entry, make some comment related to the blogpost in question – all for a link from my blog. The last time I checked, my Google pagerank was 4, which isn’t exactly huge in the grand scheme of things. Besides which, WordPress automatically adds a nofollow tag to each outgoing user-submitted link, so adding links to my blog is a somewhat pointless exercise anyway.

So, faux-real spam commentators, what on earth *are* you doing here?

To Twitter on a blog or not to Twitter…

To Twitter on a blog or not to Twitter…

As some of you will have no doubt noticed, I had set my Twitter updates to appear on my blog every 24 hours via Loudtwitter. I set this up partly because there can be weeks that go by when I don’t update my blog – or can’t get my thoughts out in coherent sentences – but the simplicity of one-line blogging updates is probably preferable to an occasional drought of content.

However, I’ve now received my first complaint from a loyal (and uber-important!) reader.

So, loyal subjects and readers, I’ve disabled the Twitter updates on my main blog (although they’ll still appear on t’other blog). If you’re obsessed with the minutiae of my life, you can always follow my Twitter or Facebook updates direct, or let me know what you think!

Current issues with WordPress and blog moves

Current issues with WordPress and blog moves

Honestly, it’s like moving house. Except worse because there are thousands of strangers who want to find out where I’ve moved to, and one uber-monster (Google) whose pagerank I’d like to keep. Even though I don’t have access to the .htaccess file on the old server.

Anyway, these are the current issues of the day:

– Despite having chosen a relatively funky new net nickname ID, the one thing I hated it has come to pass. I’ve dropped to the bottom of all my friends’ linkrolls. Damn. Maybe I should have chosen another net nickname. Any suggestions?

– As a quick’n’messy way of seeing daily stats, Google searches and referrers etc., I used Extreme Tracking. Is there a better free system out there that you use?

– I don’t like the way in which WordPress integrates Trackbacks as just an extra comment. Trackbacks and links back to my site are special, darnit!

Guess who's back (take #2)

Guess who's back (take #2)

Yup, I’m back with a new webname, and using a new system – WordPress– on a new host. (Thanks Mark!)

Obviously you’ll have to bear with me while I fluff out the cushions, uncork the wine and start the jazz music. Don’t mind the sounds of metal being scraped and wood being chiselled – that’s just a temporary thing and it’ll get fixed eventually.

Right now, I’m in the midst of figuring out WordPress, and it’s certainly not as “user friendly” as Movable Type. Tricks that were dead easy in Movable Type seem to require plugins galore on WordPress.

However, so far, here are my main issues with WordPress:

– The themes are all well and good, and allow me to change the look at the drop of a hat. However, it’s a shame that if I change a theme, I also lose all the customizations that went with the theme, even though they’re more to do about the site structure rather than the CSS.

– It’s also intensely annoying how if I make a small minor change to a theme which goes wrong, there’s no way of reverting back to safe settings

– There’s no way of meta-managing posts. I’ve got 800+ posts on this system, and if I want to change categories, I have to manually change each one at a time.

– Movable Type had very simple Previous/Next links as standard. To do that in WordPress apparently requires some kind of plug-in – none of which I can get to work!

But on the plus side:

– Good God, it’s fast. Too fast. But then again, I have no HTML backups for Google to read or for me to salvage my website if it goes wrong (again!)

More when I’ve done exploring…

When reality intrudes on blogging

When reality intrudes on blogging

The trouble with blogging comes when your real-life friends/colleagues find it, and read it. And then ask you about it.

I was in the pub with some old friends a couple of nights ago, and every single damn topic of conversation seemed to revolve around something I’d vaguely mentioned in the blog. Mind you, given I had described said pub in unflattering terms in a previous incarnation of this blog, I’m lucky that said friends have a sense of humour about the whole thing in the first place.

But part of the point of the blog was to engender new discussions with new people, and to enrich my life. Not to have my friends ask me about a blog posting a week ago the next time I see them down the ol’ Dog and Duck. And that’s not even to mention my workmates who read this thing. Of course, said friends and colleagues are probably the majority of my audience – which is a shame.

Has reality been a good thing for your blog?

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