Archive for the 'Blogging' Category

Making the Move

Well, I think I’ll be moving the blog soon. I spent the last week poring through the WordPress.org forum support articles, the GoDaddy support articles, clicking on all the links, following the instructions as far as I could without actually changing anything and just trying to get the process clear in my mind, not only what I would have to do, but what was actually happening.

I was getting an increasingly clearer view of things, but was held back by the question of whether I should migrate this blog to the new one before or after I designed the new site. Partly that’s because I’m not really sure what is going to happen — so I probably need to do additional reading. Will the entire blog go to the new place with the theme and templates and all that? What would happen if I had set up a new theme and template and then uploaded the old blog?

I asked a GoDaddy tech person and she suggested I do the designing first and the migrating second, but I didn’t know as much about it when I asked her as I do now — i.e., I think that the theme will be moved, and would conflict in some way if there was a different theme on the new site. Plus, I want to make the home page different from the blog.

But, I still don’t know, despite having made it through all the articles provided by GoDaddy Support, and there are two sets of those — one on the new site itself, and another in the General Support documentation. And they’re not exactly the same. And then there are the WordPress.com instructions and the WordPress.org instructions… Most people are probably not as OCD about it all as I am.

I have, at least, managed to figure out how to access my new database, which is needed to upload this blog into the new site. That took me several days. Okay, not several whole days, because we’ve got lots of other “real life” things going on as well.

And then yesterday, toward the end of the day I discovered “Duplicator,” which is a plugin mentioned at the end of a GoDaddy article on how to move your blog. It’s a free plugin, that will do the whole thing for you. Zips the original blog, then exports it, automatically replaces the old URLs with the new all throughout the database, and then imports it to the new site. It’s what the GoDaddy support people use when they move a blog for clients. There were 392 five-star reviews of it, 15 four-star reviews and nothing lower.

Still, it sounds too good to be true. They do they say it’s for the more tech-savvy of their customers, but if it’s really as easy as it seems, why would they not advise everyone to get it? Because what I’m having to do now seems like it involves a lot of tech savvy-ness itself. Maybe even more.

Of course, there is the problem of my never having done anything with a plugin… but that doesn’t seem all that difficult either so…

Anyway, I hope to be making the move soon, maybe tomorrow or Monday (okay, possibly even today). It’s my hope that all my subscribers and followers will hardly notice, if they notice at all. I will have to return to Feedblitz to point it in a new direction for picking up the new blog, which probably will not be as easy as it sounds…

In any case, my current plan is to publish this post today, let Feedblitz do its thing tonight, then do the move tomorrow or Monday, and make all the attendant adjustments and fixes before sending out a post from the new site when I think it’s working okay.

UPDATE:  Just talked to GoDaddy support again. The tech I spoke with confirmed the advisability of moving the blog first, then doing the designing. Plus, he told me a bit more about what was supposed to happen in the move, and advised that I do an export right now, and save that on my local computer.  In fact, in the instructions for migrating to the new site, I’m specifically told to leave this current blog working, so the images will transfer properly.  Which means I can probably do a transfer any time after publishing this post and work out the rest of the details later.

Adventures in Feedblitzland

Every day’s a new adventure!

After turning off my tendency to worry about how I’m going to accomplish all the things I have to accomplish in the project of setting up a new website and blog, I resolved to give it over to the Lord, to stop trying to figure it out and let Him lead me.

I did not expect that He would lead me to deal with Feedblitz today. Feedblitz is the service that converts my blog posts to emails and sends them out to those of you who have subscribed so that you receive them in your Inboxes. (You can subscribe — I think — using the “Click here to subscribe” link in the sidebar.)

I’m trying to decide if I should move the blog over to the GoDaddy WordPress incipient website first and then design the two together, or design the website first, then move the blog. Or, not move the blog at all, simply link to it. That would be easier, but the whole would not end up as pleasing.

So I decided to head over to Feedblitz just to see how difficult it would be to change things there if I moved my blog to a new URL. Well, not hard at all, supposedly. At least as they described it. But then, changing out your email wasn’t supposed to be hard either.

Somehow I ended up doing that… changing out my admin email. And in the process I lost my entire subscriber list! You don’t just change the email address, you have to “merge” your existing list/”site” named by the old email address with a new, non-existent list/site named by your new one. Then they send an email to the old address to approve and the new address with instructions on logging in and approving… and then suddenly you are dealing with a template, and all kinds of social media feeds (or whatever they are) and well, they were asking me the weirdest questions as I set up my “publisher profile,” questions I didn’t think they should be asking someone who was doing what I was doing that I was becoming uneasy and frustrated. Especially when I had no idea how to answer.

And then I noticed that the tab leading to my “sites” had vanished.

I panicked, went looking everywhere throughout my account panel, couldn’t find them anywhere. I went searching through the documentation. Nothing on losing one’s entire subscriber list. Then one thing led to another, as I tried this and that (including emailing Feedblitz’s support and posting a public question) I even went back to previously opened browser windows and suddenly there were my sites again. (I say sites because even though I only have one Writing from the Edge blog, for some reason I had 2 “sites” for it.) But when I tried to get to that page through a normal login, they had vanished again.

Long story short,  I had to finish updating the publisher profile. Once I did that, they reappeared for good. But they were no longer under the “My Sites” tab which had been done away with, but under the Account Dashboard link.

How can things that are so basically simple get so weird and complicated?

Anyway, if you are a regular subscriber and have received this blog in your inbox via email and you feel inclined to reply, I’d appreciate knowing if at least some of you have received it. And if it looks different from what you’re used to.  You can either reply directly to me or in the comments. Thanks.

Three Small Things

The problems with the email continued on from my last post, as I vainly sought to get the default mail program of Windows 8 to actually handle my mail. Remember in my last post on these matters, I had called the GoDaddy helpline about the failure of my new website url to take me to a login page. The guy on the phone saw at once that something was pointed in the wrong direction and quickly pointed it in the right one. Solving the problem.

If only I’d hung up then.

Instead, he suddenly asked me why I had the email account that I did. It was way too much for what I needed, way too complicated. “Why did they give you this one?” he asked. Well, at the time I was consumed with why was the webpage login not working and my email was far from my thoughts. When I told him I didn’t know (actually it was that I couldn’t remember) he quickly moved to reorganize everything so that I could save $30 and not have these extraneous unlimited business emails complicating things.

Several days later, after trying repeatedly and unsuccessfully to get Win8 Outlook to receive and send karenhancock.com emails, the memory of  WHY I had gotten the other package drifted up from the shadowy, convoluted corridors of my brain: because the other package came with IMAP and was compatible with Windows 8 while  the new one was not and would have to be used only as a web-based email program.  I’d forgotten all about that when I called to find out about the webpage url, and thus allowed the sales rep to “help me” by setting me up with an email client that doesn’t do IMAP and isn’t compatible with Win 8 Outlook. This despite the fact that every one of my three email clients are called Outlook. Talk about confusing!

Anyway, a tiny element, forgotten, caused the entire ship to turn in a direction I’d originally wanted to avoid.

It wasn’t the only one. Last Thursday, my hubby had left on his hunting trip and right before going, made sure there was air in all the tires on my car and everything was good.  Two hours later I came out with Quigley to drive to the park for our evening walk, and discovered one of the tires was flat. Flat as a pancake flat. Rim to the ground flat. I stood there staring at it in disbelief.

But from the start Quigley had been in a panic to get going, and now his insistence overwhelmed me and we started up the street. Or rather, we ran. As we did, I acknowledged that the earlier, very soft dropping he’d left in the back yard (which he never does) had indeed been a harbinger of worse to come.  We ran up the street until I found an acceptable spot for him and he let go. The entire rest of the walk was all about that.

So in addition to no car I had a sick dog. Well, Fast Balance GI to the rescue. At least for the dog. It’s a dark, thick paste of good bacteria and other stuff that you have to squirt into the dog’s mouth while he tries to escape. As big as he is, Quigley has to get three doses of it throughout the day. After the first dose, I had to close the door to his kennel or he’d run in there to hide as soon as he saw me with the tube. In the end, it did the trick, though, thank you, Lord!

Next day, after a neighbor helped me change the tire, I took it down to Discount Tire. They could find nothing wrong with it.  However, when they had filled it back up and put on the valve stem cap, they could hear hissing. So they took the cap off, handed it to me and told me what had happened, but that all was well. The tire was Fixed!

Well, it didn’t seem very well to me. Why would the cap being on cause it to leak? Was there something wrong with the valve stem? Did they give the cap back because they only fix flat tires, not valve stems?  I didn’t know but thankfully my husband returned early — Sunday night in fact.

Turns out a tiny o-ring that was supposed to be inside the cap, up at the top had fallen out, allowing an inward/downward pointing extrusion in the cap’s top to press on the valve and let out the air.

How weird is that? Another very tiny thing, that completely changed the direction of not just one day, but several.

And well do I know how frequently that can be the case with computer issues. In fact, as I’ve been writing this, I was trying to back up my database on my hosting service server, so I could do an upgrade, but of course there was an error and so…

Since I haven’t really done anything with the website yet, choosing to do some research first, it may not hurt to skip the back up part and just do the update. Or maybe I’ll just do more research…

I probably don’t need to mention that during all this I’ve done NO work on the book… 😦

All Things Have Become New

928AF2F2192B8F278191FF854A8910D6AE406583 (2)

My new profile picture.

(For the time being anyway — Windows 8 helpfully swapped out the one that I had on the WordPress site for the default that came with the Windows 8 program when I changed my WP administrator email address)

🙄

Yes, I am once again in the throes of learning a new operating system, getting a new email address and client, trying to figure out where I need to go to replace the old ones… and soon I will be setting up a new website.

The web hosting service of my old site, addr.com, has gone MIA. No chat, no phone, and so far no response to my email about why I can no longer log in and why I am not getting any emails through the old kmhancock email address. That account, as I mentioned in the last post, was set up over ten years ago as part of my website which had been hosted by addr.com. I never had one problem with them in all that time, but lately I’ve not been very active when it comes to my website. Thus it never occurred to me the credit card they had on file had gone out of date. At least that’s what I’m thinking the problem is. Or at least part of the problem.

Since it never occurred to me the card they had, had expired, it never occurred to me to contact them about it. You’d think they would contact me, but they did not.

Day before yesterday I spent a good deal of time researching web hosting sites and reading reviews. I mentioned previously reading lots of scary posts on addr.com, but they were all on one site that seemed to be promoting another hosting service so I went looking for reviews that might be a bit more impartial and recent.

Well, those were not good, either, though this time a number of them were written by folks like me who had been with the service for ten years or more and had mostly been very happy with it. But within the last five years, everything seemed to go downhill. Problems with disappearing emails were mentioned, also the chat ALWAYS being down, and the phones ALWAYS being too busy to answer so send an email, and the email almost never being answered. On the rare occasions someone did manage to get through on the phones they were routed to a person in India who barely spoke English and didn’t even know the system.

I wonder if they might be out of business. Wouldn’t my website have gone down entirely, though, if that were the case?  As of now it’s still up, though you can’t use the email any more… (even before I changed it)

Anyway, I’ve signed up with a new service and will soon be working on a new website (the old one was getting stale anyway) that will be integrated with this blog — something I’ve wanted to do for some time.

At the moment though, learning my way around Windows 8 is quite enough for this old and shrinking brain of mine to handle. 🙂

I’ve Started a Second Blog

Am I nuts? Probably. It’s called A Thing for Paper.

I originally intended to keep the two blogs separate, because they have nothing to do with one another. This one is for writing and musing, the new one is purely a place for me to publish the cards I make so I can participate in the challenges over at Operation Write Home (they collect handmade cards from folks like me to send to our troops overseas so they can have something to write home on). Today, having commented on one of the cards I liked in the current challenge I’m trying to participate in, Blogger wanted me to choose a profile to comment under. WordPress was one of the options so I chose it, but then discovered, after publishing of course, that it would be directing anyone who clicked on my name to Writing from the Edge and they would be wondering how in the world they got there.

I have yet to figure out the ins and outs of all this stuff, (and now in the process of trying to find the link to the other blog, I figured out that I shouldn’t have put my name in the box, but “athingforpaper”.  Well… live and learn…)

Anyway, I am hoping to be back to blogging here regularly soon. Maybe even tomorrow. Stay tuned…

Guest Blogging at Seriously Write

first big roses - web size

First roses of 2013 — they’re huge!

Yes, I’m still here. I do plan to get back to blogging, but first I have to get some kind of traction going with Sky… I’ve been doing pretty good this week…

Anyway, I was contacted by Dawn Kinzer over at Seriously Write Blog around six months ago about doing a post on my journey to publication or maybe offering words of encouragement, and I said yes since the due date was six months off. Surely it wouldn’t be that hard to get something written in six months.

Ahem.

Better not go there.

Anyway, I wrote the post last week and found it to be a particular challenge in that she wanted something that was between 200 and 500 words, and of course I rarely confine myself to something that short. I’m sure at least one of my own posts here falls into that word count, but the vast majority are much longer.

The piece, which I called He Will Bring it to Pass, is 916 words long — slightly over the limit… I did get permission before I left it that long because I think it works best that way… it’s a boiled down story of my 26 year journey to publication. Many of you are probably familiar with the story, but I added a little more than I have in the past…  Anyway it goes up Friday, May 9 (tomorrow, as I write this). So if you want to pop on over and give it a read, maybe check out the site while you’re at it click HERE.

As for that traction on Sky… I’ve actually started making some headway this last week and am hoping to be back blogging  about that very soon…  It all depends on if this new routine/infusion of motivation holds…`

Reprise: Why I Turned off the Comments

In view of my references yesterday to this decision — made in June of 2007 — I am reposting it here today.

Why I Turned off the Comments

Thursday, June 14, 2007

In a phrase, because God told me to. In rather stern and shocking terms. I know that sounds wacky, but… guess I’ll just have to sound wacky.

It has little to do with the quality/nature of the comments themselves and everything to do with my motivations and the fact that I am too easily led into the wrong ones. When I started this blog it was something I was doing as unto the Lord, something I believed He was moving me to do for His purposes and not my own. But then came the comments and my own predilection toward fretting about them. Writing something, posting it, then wondering if anyone said anything. Worrying about what people might think of certain topics, and then sometimes hesitating to write what I was feeling led to write. And then, regardless of what I wrote, checking a bunch of times to see if anyone had left something — when I was supposed to be writing. If no one commented, then I might feel dismayed, and that in turn disrupted my mood and confidence for writing, and pretty much annihilated whatever concentration I had before I broke down and checked.

In short, it became a distraction. To make matters worse, the absence of comments would often lead me to start surfing, reading blogs, even checking Amazon, heaven forbid. And if none of that yielded anything, then I would fall into unending repetitions of the entire process. The upshot was… I wasted a lot of time with it all, last year and now. The Lord pulled me through it last year — got the book done in spite of me — but now that I see it happening again, I am convicted of the need to make a change. And I have to say that so far I’m pleased with the peace and the ability to focus that has been restored to me because of this.

I’ll admit that at first I was afraid of offending people because, after all, the accepted, generally publicized reason for a blog is to get out there and start conversations, generate all this cross linkage, interact with readers, draw a lot of attention. Turning off the comments would stop all that and possibly chase readers off. Ultimately though I had to bow to what the Lord was telling me to do and not worry about that. If that’s what happened/happens, so be it. It’s not my intent to offend, and if you wish to comment on a blog post you can always email me through the address in the profile in the side bar. You might even generate a new blog post with your emailed comment!

With WordPress, I’ve not turned off the comments, because I haven’t had the same problems with them that I described in this article. The other stuff though — the likes, the idea that I must go and read other blogs, the supposed requirement of all the cross posting, and etc., so far that’s been the stuff of distraction for me. So, while I’ve not turned off the comments, I have turned off the function that sends an email to me every time someone “likes” a post (an email which then encourages me to go to their blog out of gratitude and leave a comment or like in return).

It’s not that I’m ungrateful, just that I don’t have time or as, Sherlock Holmes recently put it in the new show Elementary, not enough “attic space.”

LOL.


Categories

My Online Church

Visit my Old Blog Here:

Music I’m Writing To

Transformers (Revenge of the Fallen) Soundtrack - Steve Jablonsky


%d bloggers like this: