Tag Archives: WordPress

Colette

April 6, 2021

I recently discovered that WordPress effectively hijacked WriterInSoul by, without either asking or telling me, sticking a post of their own into my blog. It appears just before my own last post, “Short Thought” dated 3/14. I found the intrusive post by happenstance; it doesn’t show up “behind the scenes”, only on the public blog itself. I even logged out of my blog and took a look just to be sure it wasn’t something only I saw. Labeled a “Sponsored Post,” the text peddles some WordPress blogging course, one I will not be linking.

I’ve now had this blog 7 years and nobody but me has ever written anything on it so I was very taken aback to see this ad-posing-as-a-post dumped in my blog. The more I thought about it, the more pissed I got. I understood fine at the outset that, in order to have a free, no cost blog, I’d have to accept that WordPress would tack ads onto my blog; I even mention this in my introductory page (so no one would think I was injecting said ads). The terms were clear. Allowing “fake” posts to be stuck in my blog is something else entirely. Moreover I didn’t allow it. I wasn’t even told.

Two weird ironies if you will. My very last post, one I wrote before seeing the WordPress spam was about this very issue, namely when the other party you’ve been in a relationship with changes the rules of engagement without consulting you (or expecting consequences from you). The second irony? Today completes 7 years of writing this blog and WordPress DID see fit to send me their auto-generated message, “Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!” Aww gee, I am so touched.😕 Now get your stinking, grubby fingers the %#&@! off my blog.

Here’s the thing. If, without asking or telling, WordPress is willing to stick posts on my blog, what else are they willing to do? Edit my posts? Stick words in my mouth? Delete posts? See, I just don’t know. I am a tiny, tiny, non-paying fish in this Land-o-Blogging. I have either no or very little power. But the blog is something a person, this person, does (or did) out of passion, love of writing, and so on. My blog has been very honest, my truest self, my writing self. To my thinking the hawking WordPress post sullies it. Worse, the WordPress content, what with its “Sponsored” business suggests I sponsored it, that I am in collusion, and/or that I possibly got a kickback for it. I’ve never asked for a DIME on this blog, not for me, not a cup of coffee, not for a cause of any kind. Yet WordPress sees fit to shill for their business on my platform, effectively posing as me, or minimally implying my permission. Not okay.

I told you I was pissed. This is me pissed. I’m putting this post here for a couple reasons. I don’t think I see the point in complaining directly to WordPress or only complaining to WordPress. It’s not like we have any interactions, any sort of ongoing conversation. And with this move, one that trumps previous WordPress moves like changing behind-the-scenes features (such as recent “improvements” to editing capabilities), WordPress is strong-arming me. They’re changing the rules. They’re monkeying with the blog proper, by-passing me, not even telling me. It changes how I feel or pushes me further in a direction I was already going. This does NOT make me want to embrace WordPress. It makes me distrustful.

I wonder now if they’ve done this before and I just missed it. I’m not ruling that out but I’m disinclined to think so.

I have, already, dialed back on this blog, but I’m still here. One doesn’t get the cryptic message about the blog having been deleted, or gone private when you type in WriterInSoul, a message that you find when a blogger has decided to go away. I just snorted thinking what if I write no more posts but WordPress keeps at it? No more photos of my garden or living room, or smart remarks, or reflective essays, just post after “Sponsored” post peddling stuff. Um, who reading this post wants to take a WordPress course on blogging or needs to find info about such things on my blog?? 😐

What bothers me may well bother others equally and yet others either not at all or not much. I recognize that. But what WordPress did by dumping into my blog gets me where I live. This was mine. And whatever I do or don’t do with MY BLOG going forward, I wanted to tell you all this.

Colette

Colette

April 5, 2019

Five years ago today I put up my first post. The gist of that post is still true; namely, that I think of myself as a writer above all else. So long as I am cognizant, I don’t ever expect that to change. Somewhere in the last five years, I started to think, “I will not die without having written.” Not that I’m planning on going anywhere, but I wanted to be sure I wrote something substantial – something of substance – before I’m too old or too dead to do it.  I think I’ve done that. As a body of work, WriterInSoul makes me proud.

Coming in, I didn’t know what to expect and I was leery of trolls, stalkers, and other weird ilk. My concerns were largely unfounded. Still, blogging is exposing yourself and I felt a bit of trepidation about that but it didn’t stop me. This blog is not a diary. It is not a journal. I only write what I want to write. And — I have never deleted anything I’ve written. I’ve done minor edits on posts, when I saw a typo or something like that but I’ve never “taken anything back” or hidden it. Once it was up, it stayed up. My philosophy was not to post anything I wouldn’t be comfortable with anyone – anyone at all – reading. That said, I was ready – ready in my life – to say a lot here.

The blog doesn’t generate as many comments as it did in early times. This post on relationships from 2015 had the most comments. Several of those commenting are no longer around on WordPress. (Kate of Views and Mews by Coffee Kat,, who has been blogging longer than I have, once said that no one who was around when she first started on WordPress, is still here.) People drop away. It doesn’t pay to get too attached and yet I do feel connected to other bloggers. You hope the people you like stick around but you have no say over it.

This post from 2015 on promoting my blog had the second most comments.

The most viewed post is my “About” page and the second most read is the post I wrote three years ago about a man I knew who killed himself. I put up a link to the post on a community yahoo group and many people came to the blog by way of that link. (While I have “advertised” the blog in my community on bulletin boards and once or twice in the small local paper, it is not particularly well known or read. I could promote it on Facebook but I haven’t, in part because I keep my presence on Facebook limited.)

It occurs to me that blogs may start for one reason and continue – if they do – for another. I planned to blog for at least one year. I knew I could do that. Five years never occurred to me (although, that being said, an ability to plan/see into the future has never been my strong suit). I’ve said it before but I often remind myself this is not a job. That is, BLOGGING is not a job; it’s not my job. It has to be something I want, a reward unto itself. If it feels like work I shouldn’t be doing it. I try to find that sweet spot and over these five years, have routinely thought about and evaluated the blog: Is it worth it? What am I doing here? What do I consider a success? Am I getting back what I put in? How much time & effort should I spend? Stuff like that.

Due to not having consistent, decent internet, for some time now I haven’t been able to read other blogs as much as I would like. Reading other bloggers is important to me. There truly is a sense of community and connection and while I haven’t talked to or met any bloggers “in real life” I value the nature of the relationships that exist here on WordPress. Other bloggers are a large factor in why I continue to blog. Which isn’t to say I don’t have readers who are not bloggers – I do and I appreciate them very much as well, both those I know in life and those who I do not.
 
The blog is like a living entity. It frustrates, disappoints, pleases, and delights. Having had it five years, I think in terms of it; it doesn’t go far from my mind. I have not lost the recurring urge to blog, a feeling which makes me think of appetite. I write something (eat something) and I feel satisfied (sated). But sooner or later the “hunger” returns. While the posts have dropped off at times, I’ve never let a month go by without blogging. I dunno – I think it would be strange to stop blogging. I imagine if you stopped after having one a long time as I have, you’d have to remind yourself it no longer existed. What would take its place? That’s a bit of a rhetorical thought.

I have mellowed out a bit about the blog. What long-term relationship doesn’t mellow out a bit?! And when I say “mellowed” I mean in terms of what goes on in my own head about it. I don’t angst about it quite the way I might have earlier on. Yes, I still want readers and comments but I expect the blog is more or less what it is going to be. I’m not expecting – shy of any highly unlikely circumstance – any big surprises or a whopping change in anything related to the blog. Unless WordPress starts charging (I SWEAR I WON’T PAY TO BLOG, grrr. Writing for free is one thing; paying to write would be entirely another!)

Sometimes I worry that the whole blog could disappear and all my writing – and all the comments – with it. I mean, that COULD happen. I don’t own the blog and it exists in the never-never land that is the internet. Although WordPress has my trust to a large extent, I have no control. If it goes away, it goes away. I have to have that attitude. Blogs exist in space; they aren’t books. (Unless you pony up a whole bunch of money to people who will turn it into one: I’ve seen such ads!).

After five years of being here and thinking about it, I think blogs create connection and curb isolation, for their writers and for their readers. They can make you laugh and think, as either writer or reader. When I write, I make myself laugh and I often figure things out by writing about them. I am compelled to share my life – many aspects of it – and WriterInSoul has let me do that. Thanks for coming along.

Colette
April 5, 2019

Focusing….

Winter lends itself to reflection.

I’ve been thinking about what I let enter my consciousness. Like a lot of you I get very torn between feeling I should know what’s going on in the world – no matter how ugly – versus feeling that my attention would be better served elsewhere. I am so sick of politics. I am sick of terrorism. I am sick of crime. I am sick of drugs. I am sick of focusing on everything bad, both micro and macro.

I really do believe that what you focus on is what you get more of in life. We’re made to feel guilty if we want to focus on ourselves, on enjoyment, on little things (or god forbid, nothing at all). How can we sit around and watch TV when the terrorists are planning horrendous crimes? How can I watch old Twin Peaks DVDs when every day there seems to be another national or world crisis demanding my attention?

I don’t have the answer but I am leaning a certain way lately. I am tired of letting my energy be siphoned off of me by unworthy sources. THAT’S what it is. I get sucked in too easily and for what? To what end? I’m talking primarily about the space that gets taken up in my head. I find myself getting worked up about things I really don’t even care about! If I stop and think about them. I do this on small local matters and larger world matters.

Too much time passes after which I neither feel satisfied nor fulfilled nor enriched. It’s my own doing. It’s where I’m putting my time, it’s where I’m allowing my focus to rest. I have a lot of say in that. I want to be more conscious about this.

There are certain shows I watch on TV, not habitually but sometimes, after which I feel kind of icky. Sometimes I read things on Facebook, posts with lots of comments, mostly local fare, and I regret it. I find myself getting all reactive (inside) as if it really mattered. I think: Why am I reading this? Why do I feel an urge to jump in (one I usually squelch)? Will it change anything? Will I be more enlightened? Will anything be solved?

Sometimes it seems like you have to wade through 70-80% crap to ferret out 20-30% good. And this ratio can be found in so many places: entertainment, online, in gatherings, etcetera. Those aren’t good odds. I want better ones. It’s kind of my mission at the moment to seek out those things (people, places, events, social media) that pay off regularly and to lessen or eliminate those which are hit and miss.

I’ve said it before. WordPress – blogging and reading other blogs and interacting in comments – is one of the best ways I spend time online. If I’m going to be online – and I am! – I want to read more of what benefits me and less of what mainly passes my time. Right now I’m looking for and following a variety of public people on Facebook  – authors, etc. – who I’ve liked in the past. If I think they’re adding something to my life (knowledge, wit, whatever) I’ll keep following. If not, that’s what the “unfollow” button is for. I’m ditching what aggravates or annoys me. I want to open up space for people who have something to tell me, something I need to hear.

Because I’ve been snoozing at the wheel I’m discovering that authors I’ve liked have published books – some several years ago and I didn’t know it. Where have I been?? I need to catch up. I’ve allowed my focus to become jumbled and fragmented in ways that don’t sit right. My last post about my “Kinda sorta New Year’s Resolutions”  is one concrete step (20 books, 10 visits to local lake, 10 new recipes) in that direction. The course needs slight correcting. I feel as if I AM steering a ship and am now throwing my weight and resolve into turning the wheel a few degrees. I can almost hear the creaking and heaving. 

 

Note: p!ease forgive a day or two delay in responding to comments, thanks.

Dinosaur shame

recent post by Bun Karyudo about updating his computer reminded me that I regularly get prompted to do the same on my outdated home computer. I see it so often that I barely pay it any mind. Even WordPress tries to shame me into action with this half-hearted dinosaur illustration. I think it’s holding a computer or keyboard. That’s my best guess. Are the dinosaur and his prehistoric electronics sinking underwater? It’s hard to tell. There’s something printed in the upper left corner of the “computer” but even with a little magnifier, I couldn’t make it out. Anyhow, these people and their “Draw Blinky the Dinosaur” illustration don’t know who they’re dealing with. I still have cassette tapes. Homemade cassette tapes. Our little dinosaur friend ain’t gonna shame me!

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Colette

April 5, 2016

So… it seems like only two years ago (which it was) that I started this blog. I pretty much knew that I’d make it to a year. Beyond that, I didn’t really know, think or plan. And just as I’ve seen with many other blogs, I wrote considerably less in year two than one. There were reasons for that beyond any kind of expected/predictable “blog fatigue”, that is, stuff in my life that took me and my energy away from the blog, but maybe I’d have written less no matter what.

Even as it stands, I feel good about this blog, as a body of work. I’ve covered a lot of ground. Took advantage of my “outlet.” WordPress stats tell me I’ve put up 471 posts. About 140 of those are my “Short Thoughts” posts, which are, well, short. From my tag cloud on the blog’s main page (for those unfamiliar, that’s the auto-generated collection of categories on the lower right side of the screen, i.e. “tags” that I assigned my posts; the larger the font, the more I wrote about said topic), I see Humor has been the largest one consistently for two years. Which I’ve found interesting because I thought initially this blog would probably have more straight prose, i.e., not-so-funny posts. I guess it’s good I feel humorous most of the time although I always write what I feel like writing – I don’t say to myself, “I am now going to write a humor piece.” Humor is followed by Relationships, Nature, and Men as my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th favorite topics. I’ll take that. Summer and Food are not far behind those.

As I did one year ago, I want to say thank you for reading. To you who’ve been with me from the start or darn near it, as well as those who’ve come along later, and even anybody possibly reading this blog for the first time (just so long as you think it’s wonderful and intend to return; I have standards, you know). I wouldn’t blog if I didn’t have readers. It is hugely gratifying to feel like I’m connecting with you. That’s always been so. Whatever else I can say about it – and that’s quite a few things – there IS something addictive about blogging. Thank you for coming along on my blog ride.

Colette