Tag Archives: posts

From biscuits to Viagra?

I rarely go into my spam folder, but I did today and discovered that the keywords ‘New’ and ‘Improved’ [in the title of a post] can attract some interesting spam.

The post in question was my rant about Arnotts BBQ Shapes biscuits which are marketed as ‘new and improved’…and are anything but. I stand by my comments about the biscuits, but I may to think twice about my titles in the future. Then again, just including viagra in the title of this post may bring even more spammers to my door. I’ll keep you posted.

This is a screenshot of one of the viagra ones:

blog spam1

The kinky porn ones I’ll leave to your imagination, other than to say they seem to be attracted to the word ‘sexy’ in my post ‘Villains – what is it that makes them so sexy?‘.

On a brighter note, I’m immensely relieved that only 11 of my comments are from spammers. That’s not bad over four years and almost 12,000 comments. 😀

cheers

Meeks


WP and the plight of single-post bloggers

Yesterday I posted about my favourite bloggers not appearing in the WordPress Reader. You can find that post here. Today, I’m posting about how I worked it out, and why the answer doesn’t make me happy.

So first up, what did I discover?

I’ll start by saying that WordPress has not been messing with my blog, at least, not directly. However my timezone, and the prolific nature of some of the blogs I follow have combined to create a situation where I actually get to see very few of the blogs I follow. This is a design issue, but more on that later.

The person I have to thank for this discovery is the lovely D.V. Berkom. D.V. is an international blogger/writer friend, and I normally follow her posts via email, but today I went to her blog via the ‘Followed Sites/Manage’ option in the WordPress Reader:

WP followed sites

When I clicked on the blue ‘DV Berkom Books’ link, I was taken directly to her site where I saw that she had published a post 2 hours before. I couldn’t remember seeing it on my Reader so where was it?

Back in my WP Reader, I scrolled down checking the published times of the posts displayed there. Again, the majority were from RGS and a few other prolific bloggers. And all had been published within the last hour.

By this point I was down to the last 1/5 of the list and still only seeing posts published in the previous hour. Instead of giving up, however, I persevered and finally found DV’s post at the 2 hour mark.

If you’re wondering how I know when posts are published, you can see the location of the timestamp here:

WP followed sites 3

I also found a slew of other single-post friends down in the nether regions. [Single-post bloggers being those people who post on average just one post per day].They had all been pushed off my radar because:

  • they had arrived while I was asleep [I live in the southern hemisphere],
  • a few, highly prolific blogs had crowded them out,
  • and I rarely check the very bottom of my Reader list.

One thing I still don’t know is how long posts hang around in my Reader before they’re shunted off entirely. 4 hours? 5? 24? If anyone knows could you please tell me in comments?

Now that I know what the problems are, I’m faced with a choice; I can either see the prolific posts that clog up my Reader or I can see the single posts published by my friends, but I really can’t see both.

Why? Because even if I scrolled right to the bottom of my Reader list every day, it would only happen once a day, so effectively, the prolific blog posts would still crowd the single-posters out.

In reality, the choice is no choice at all. I’m following close to 500 bloggers. I don’t want to see just 6 or 7 of them per day. Unfortunately, WordPress does not give me much in the way of options. I can control how often [if at all] I receive email notifications about blog posts, but I cannot control how often [if at all] I see posts displayed in my Reader. So, basically, it’s an all or nothing situation. If I follow a blog, I get everything that blog publishes. The only way to reduce the volume of posts is to unfollow the blog entirely.

And that is what I’ve done. RGS is no more.

If you’ve ever wondered how to unfollow blogs in WordPress, simply click the ‘Manage’ button next to the ‘Followed sites’ option. Once the list of followed sites is displayed, navigate to the site you wish to unfollow and click the small button to the right of the name:

WP followed sites 2

So I’ve just gone through and unfollowed the prolific bloggers. Sorry guys.:(

I’m not happy about this, and not just because I enjoyed the tech posts. I’m a single-post blogger, as are most of my friends, so I have to wonder whether our posts are being seen at all, or are they getting crowded out by the professionals? [I have no idea if the prolific bloggers are professionals or not, but as many of them reblog posts from other sources, I have to wonder where they get the time to find all this material].

Theories aside, I know one thing for certain, I’m intensely grateful that so many of you found me and have become regulars. Love you all, and apologies for ‘neglecting’ you. 😦

cheers

Meeks


29,750

I just caught that number out of the corner of my eye, and decided I couldn’t let this milestone slip past without mention! That 29,750 is the number of views my blog has had to-date. 🙂

A big chunk of the almost 20K views I’ve had in 2013 I owe to the Samsung Galaxy SII post. Never in a million years would I have believed a simple little how-to would have such an impact. But there you go, I think I must have cornered a market in user frustration. 🙂

Oddly enough, the popularity of that post gave me the nudge I needed to go back into the training/tech support area.  Silver linings really do come in odd shapes and sizes.

Good night all.

-hugs-

Meeks


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