Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

If blogging about blogging is a sin, then today I’m going to need a shot at redemption. (So does Arthur.)

The vast majority of the people who visit my blog are not from the Albany, NY area. As a result, when I’ve written something that was Capital District-specific, I tended to post that IN ADDITION to a post that might be of interest to a larger geographic swath.

After the deadline hit for turning in petitions to run for office locally, which was July 13, I contacted the Albany County Board of Elections to secure a list, from which two lists were generated, the Albany city Common Council folks (i.e., the city council) and everything else.

This took some time and the window of opportunity was fairly narrow. I also cross-posted this on my underutilized Times Union blog, which proved to be aggravating. In an answer to a question, not the article itself, I left off one word, which changed the meaning. This led someone to write, “Makes me wonder about the accuracy of the rest of the information you provide.”

Then when I demurred in doing the Common Council list, because it was laborious, I got, “Are you ‘late for lunch’?” I get the impression that, because I appeared on the Times Union site, I was getting paid or something. It reminds me that avoiding that venue is probably better for my mental health.

The real takeaway here, though, is that I need to stick to the one post per day, EVEN if it’s of interest only to folks around here, because time is not fungible.

Dustbury noted that he gets messages from folks who want to write for his blog. I get them too, a lot. But from one entity, who I’ve linked to in the past, I’m going to actually post a quiz on this blog, sometimes in August, in lieu of content from me. I’ll do that sort of thing very rarely, but it is in part because I like the organization, and partly because it will alleviate my time crunch.

For Ask Roger Anything, Arthur the AmeriNZ asks a couple meta questions on blogging:

I sense that (like me) you also believe that writing has intrinsic value for the writer, even without any financial reward. What’s your take on those who dismiss blogging (for example) done without any pay? Similarly, why do some people also have to belittle bloggers who DO make money from their blogs? Is there any validity to those criticisms in your opinion?

Some people dismiss those who write without pay as fools. But there are very many well-known folk who blog either for nothing or for PayPal tips. Initially, I blogged to write about the Daughter and JEOPARDY! But it was also a sense of addressing my feeling of powerlessness in the midst of a Republican administration engaging in a war of choice that I thought was unjustifiable. I wasn’t sure I would actually write about it, but I COULD.

Now I blog because I pretty much have to. It’s therapy. All the crap going on and I can vent a little. At the same time, I have found it a useful reference tool for my own existence that I’M likely to forget. AND it is my vehicle to have dialogue, in a way Facebook simply cannot be for me. Something I wrote about my grandfather or Spaulding Krullers I can find again. Moreover, OTHER people find it and comment on them, occasionally years after I wrote the pieces. This gives the exercise a sense of being less ephemeral.

Bloggers who get money are considered as not “pure” by some, not of the “tortured artist”. But in that piece you linked to about New Zealand, it mentions a professional travel blogger with thousands of hits. Do I wish I had thousands of followers? Some days, yes.

But my reach blogging on the Times Union newspaper site was far greater than it is here; guess which one I all but gave up? It was too much grief, too many schmucks; it wasn’t worth it.

I’ve gotten offers to do advertisements, and I’ve resisted, so far. If something is really in my wheelhouse, I might change my mind, but I’m not cashing the check just yet.

Why do you provide links to YouTube videos, but not embed the videos themselves?

Initially, I was afraid that it might be taking up too much bandwidth and would load too slowly. But mostly, it’s pure aesthetics.

This is an odd phenomenon I’ve only seen on Blogspot/Blogger blogs (yours, Mark Evanier’s), sometimes, the videos appear to be under the wrong description. If I reload, it rectifies the situation, but it’s distracting.

Also, the videos make the posts appear too long for my taste. And when a video, almost inevitably, goes offline, it leaves that pale gray box that I always find looks slightly sad.

Incidentally, I was looking at a post on SamuraiFrog’s Blogspot website on my tablet, and a post for which he merely provided the link, rather than the embedded video, the video showed up anyway. Doesn’t always happen, but it interested me.

For me, this graphic is mostly fiction. I mean, it has happened to me with songs, book passages, interesting news stories that people did not appreciate what I liked, or embraced what I loathed. But I recall someone named Arthur having some sort of law – what did he call it? – that says:

“Everything you love, someone else hates; everything you hate, someone else loves. So, relax and like what you like and forget about everyone else.”

Since I started blogging, I’ve given up the notion of “guilty pleasures”. It may be pleasure, but I don’t have the need to feel guilty. I may have swiped that idea from SamuraiFrog.

In fact, I steal a lot of ideas in this blog from other places, some so long ago I don’t remember. I had been linking to articles that I didn’t have enough of an angle/time/interest to write about them. I had been doing that twice a month. But two people I know In Real Life suggested that the posts were too long, though they’re no lengthier than my usual posts. Still, as a result of being out of sync from changing servers, I did it three times in April. I may do so thrice in May. Or twice. Or four times, I dunno.

All of this technical drama on the blog was frustrating because it’s not what interests me about blogging. I’m like the guy who likes driving but he doesn’t care to look under the hood. I’m the guy who is looking around to find the latch that opens the hood – “it must be here SOMEwhere.”

I have been actively trying to write shorter pieces that are still worth your time AND my interest. I have this SEO thingy that tells me that if I don’t hit 300 words, it won’t be as popular, or something that. Guess what? I don’t care.

Enough navel-gazing for now.

Somehow, for the past twelve years, I have managed to write a blog post at least once a day, I realize that I’m a piker compared to some. Dustbury has been posting since 1996, but at least I’ve gotten to 4/7th of his total, roughly.

This last year was probably the toughest, technically. The provider I had came about because I had won some online contest back in 2010. I got six months free before paying a fairly modest fee. I was happy because I understood a “real” blogger has one’s own URL. (I’m seriously rethinking that position.) But starting in 2013, I experienced a number of outages. In the last year, it happened on 21 June, 20 November, 9 December, and 23 February, some for a considerable duration.

Then on 9 March, my provider sent me this message:

The datacenter cost has gone up extremely and I have had to reconsider my position of offering web hosting. Within the next few months all clients will be cancelled as their contracts come up for renewal.

Roger you will need to register at https://www.namecheap.com/myaccount/signup.aspx so that I may push your domain name to you so you can manage it and make changes to the server names, renewals etc..

You will also have to find web hosting with another company within the next month and transfer your website files and MySQL database to the new host.

To make backups of your domain name simply login to your cPanel account and click the BACKUP icon. Be sure to backup the home directory and the database to insure you have all your files.

To login to cPanel use the following information…:

This was a hard decision for us but we just cannot continue with the cost that’s associated with the datacenter.

Once you have found a new web hosting company and moved all your files, please let me know so I can remove your files from the server.

Ugh. I don’t even know what half of that MEANS.

At this point, I started manually moving all my completed, but not yet live, posts, and the posts in draft to another blog, https://rogerowengreen.wordpress.com, where I had managed to capture my posts from the beginning of my blog to September 2014. (It occurred to me, in retrospect, that if I hadn’t moved the files from my first five years on my original blog http://rogerowengreen.blogspot.com/ then all the files would have moved to the WP backup.)

Then on 28 March, I got a “Where are you at with this transfer?” message. My blog was down for over a day while files…do whatever files do, but at least I had a secondary site for people to do. That site has, in addition to my posts from October 2014 and earlier, the ones from February 21, 2017 and forward.

If time were no object, I’d copy those 2.3 years from the current blog to the backup. But I’m having trouble enough moving forward. I compose in blog B, and then copy to blog A. This takes a little longer each day. As a result, my blog reserve has been more than halved. Worse, the number of posts in draft have ALSO shrunk.

So we’ll see what the next year brings.

I get this email from my blog provider for the past seven years:

The datacenter cost has gone up extremely and I have had to reconsider my position of offering web hosting. Within the next few months all clients will be cancelled as their contracts come up for renewal.

Roger you will need to register at https://www.namecheap.com/myaccount/signup.aspx so that I may push your domain name to you so you can manage it and make changes to the server names, renewals etc.

Did that.

You will also have to find web hosting with another company within the next month and transfer your website files and MySQL database to the new host.

I DID find a new web host, but my files wouldn’t upload. Need to contact the help desk. Arrgh!

To make backups of your domain name simply login to your cPanel account and click the BACKUP icon. Be sure to backup the home directory and the database to insure you have all your files.

Did I screw it up? Is THAT the reason the files aren’t “taking”?

To login to cPanel use the following information…

This was a hard decision for us but we just cannot continue with the cost that’s associated with the datacenter.

Once you have found a new web hosting company and moved all your files, please let me know so I can remove your files from the server.

The pressure!

We wish you the best of luck Roger, in your endeavors and I have been a frequent reader of your blog for years…

Any questions just let us know and talk soon.

Bottom line is that I’m working on a transition, which has cut into my blogging time, so there may be some terse posts in the near future.

Just know I’m not going away.

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