Is WordPress Dying?

Yes it is. FaCT!

In fact, WordPress.com (not org mind, but those guys have huge problems of their own) is probably going to shut down tomorrow and the internet as we know it is going to go kaput! I suggest a brisk regimen of running in circles, waving your arms wildly and screaming as loudly as you can. It won’t stop WordPress from going out of business but it will prepare you just in case any assassin dinosaurs jump out of black helicopters while attempting to kill you. Always be prepared is my motto.

In a less serious vein though, has anybody else noticed that their feed and general interaction have been down this summer? I thought it was just me and wasn’t sure that it was accurate, but both Jeroen and Wakizashi mentioned it earlier this week in my comment sections so at least I know I’m not alone in my paranoid delusions!

I’ve included a snapshot of my “Monthly” stats from the last 2.5 years. Why 2.5 years you ask? Because that’s what WordPress gives me and you. You can see a big drop off in May of this year. Right at the beginning of summer. Now while the stats show things improving in later months, that is only because I started posting 6-7 days a week in July in stead of the 4-5 like I had been previously. (thank goodness for google calendar. a nice visual reminder of what’s getting posted when). So what I think that means is that my core group of followers picked up the slack from all the casuals who seem to have disappeared.

Anecdotally, I’ve had more than a handful of people I follow announce they’re going on hiatus, whether for a week, a month or to be determined. I’ve also had more than a handful of people, who used to post 4-6 times a month cut back to 1 or 2 times a month. And I’ve stopped following almost 10 people over the summer who stopped posting even once a month (that’s my determining factor by the way. If someone stops blogging for a month without notice, I’ll stop following that person). So those data points, backed up by Jeroen and Wak’s observations, lead me to the conclusion that bloggers in general are either getting burned out or the casual blogger is just stopping. It makes me wonder how much the Block Editor has to do with this.

I’ve written several times (Peeved) (Beaten) (and Others) about the forsaken editor and have nothing good to say about it. While I am now completely used to it and use it without a second thought, it never fails me to remind me that it was not created to write casually, like you know, for a blogger. How many casual bloggers got sick of trying to use the block editor and have just given up? That would definitely feed into the downturn I, and others, are seeing.

At the same time, there seems to be more stress and pressure in the world (whether there actually is or not, it all depends on how much you believe the mainstream media) and when people are stressed, they burn out easier on hard hobbies. And blogging is a hard hobby. Covid, and peoples’ fear of covid, has changed things drastically and when you are on the edge, you retreat from anything that takes effort. And blogging takes effort. Sometimes just following people takes effort and you can forget about writing posts.

I’ve mentioned to others that I’m going to have to change my blogging habits in ’22. I don’t plan on taking a hiatus or quitting, but I’ve got to reformulate my schedule because writing 15-20 reviews a month is exhausting, even with my “reviews” usually being under 600 words 😉 But part of that reformulation is figuring out what is going on with others and to see if it is going on with me. Once I know, I can deal with whatever it is much more effectively.

No Giving Up Allowed on this Blog! (even if the flipping block editor won’t allow me to center the caption like the old editor did)

I’m writing this in hopes of getting some more input from anyone who reads this. Has your blogging changed or have you seen a change in those who follow you? Hit me with all the gory details, because “I’m Listening”.

Capital Murder (Arcane Casebook #7) â˜…★★★☆

Capital Murder

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Capital Murder
Series: Arcane Casebook #7
Author: Dan Willis
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 336
Words: 110K





Synopsis:

Alex Lockerby gets snagged into going to Washington, DC (the capital of the United States of America) with one of the Sorcerous Six. Of course, he immediately gets sucked into multiple investigations, all of which are “Top Priority” by the clients.

Then it turns out his girlfriend Sorsha is involved in one of the cases and the papers are publicly speculating that she can’t solve it without Alex’s help. As a top FBI agent, this doesn’t sit well with her. Placing more strain on an already irregular relationship, Alex and Sorsha have to figure out if they can both have their careers and each other.

The main case ends up involving The Legion, a secret society of Runewrights dedicated to Evil, wanting to abscond with a whole military base’s worth of secret runewright papers. They partially succeed but Alex manages to stop the majority. In doing so, he gets a target on his back from the Legion and the book ends with Sorsha in a coma and an up and coming Legion member preparing to hunt Alex down.

My Thoughts:

Another thoroughly enjoyable entry in the Arcane Casebook series. As convoluted, over the top and larger than life as usual, this hit all the points that continue to intrigue me about this series.

I do hope that Willis can slow down the pace here a bit. Alternate World War II is looming and it’s obvious Runewrights will be largely involved. As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, I don’t like intensive ramping up of the plot “just because”.

Sorsha and Alex’s relationship hits the skids and while they haven’t broken up and have decided to really make it work, they haven’t addressed the issues that are causing the problems in the first place. I’m concerned that Willis will treat it shallowly. That’s not necessarily a bad thing since the series is pretty light but you can’t treat a heavy subject lightly without a disconcerting dichotomy in your literary tone.

Willis is really churning these out and I’m pretty happy at the pace he’s setting. Book 8 is already scheduled for April of ’22. Yee-haw!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

ps,
the bleeping editor has changed YET AGAIN. I hate wordpress for their continual messing about under the skirts. Having to re-learn the damnable block editor every couple of weeks or months, it’s too much. I need stability in my blogging platform.

My REAL Promise To You

Mr Bojangles. THE Tap Dancer!

This first paragraph is going to be me tapdancing and covering all my bases so I don’t hurt anyone’s feelingz. Because I hold feelingz in as high regard as anyone. In fact, My middle names is Feelingz. Bookstooge Feelingz Kickyourassrightnowsosuckitscumbag. (yeah, makes filling out paperwork a real bear!) So, let the tapdancing begin. This post was not written with anyone but myself in mind. I am not applying this to post to anyone but myself. I am not applying this post to other bloggers or trying to tell anyone else how to run their blog. This post is to tell you how I run my blog. Period. Ok, stop the music Vincent, I’m done dancing.

Dr Phibes knows how to have a good time

I went Dotcom in January to get rid of the ads and the damned “native sponsored” posts by WordPress, posts inserted into free wordpress blogs that are just gigantic ads you can’t do anything about. I didn’t want anyone following me to be subjected to seeing such things on my site. So I paid and went to dotcom. Hopefully, now if you ever visit my site you will not see ads of any kind. That is why I went dotcom.

I did not go dotcom to make money in any way, shape or form. I am not a part of WordPress’s Adsense Program. I do not use affiliate links for any products I review. I do not have any sort of donation widget setup. I am not writing this to say that that makes me a “better” blogger than anybody else.

No it isn’t. Which is why I don’t pimp my blog

I blog because I have to write but I do not want to be an author. I’ll leave that tortured lifestyle to those that want it. Me, I just want to blab and have some fun with people. So my promise is that you’ll never be used by me to collect money for myself. That is what my job is for.

Dr Lord Bookstooge Has Been Subsumed

Yes, this sad day has finally arrived. Dr Lord Bookstooge is no more. After #wordpress.com began Whoring Us Out, I’m sure you all realized this day would come too. I also realize it has been a mere 10 days since I wrote about it and maybe I’m over reacting. In that 10 days, I’ve seen more of the damnably evil “native sponsored posts” on active users blogs and I don’t want that on my site, period. I will do what I think is necessary to prevent that. Hence this post giving you all the heads up.

I have gone Dotcom. In my defense, I did use the promo code “FLASH50INSTANT” at checkout so I saved 50% for this year. I don’t know how long that code will last but I am thankful it worked for me. I have been using free blogs (blogspot since ’05 and wordpress since ’13) for years but the cost of free has become too high for me.

This is exactly the outcome WP had in mind when they started those NSP’s and it makes me feel dirty, used and manipulated to do this. But the other choice was to stop blogging. I don’t have the “oomph” to fight the fight of blogging on dotorg and as I’ve mentioned before, I like the security and comfort of the ecosystem here at WPdotcom. So here my butt remains. Plus, my Blogging Project has pretty much nailed me down here.

To commemorate this momentous occasion, not to qualify that with a rejoicing or crying, I have put away such childish names as Doctor and Lord. Today, before your amazed eyes, of which you can tell your children and grandchildren about, The Bookstooge was reborn!

ps,
if you notice anything hinky, let me know. The Incredible Bookstooge (you won’t like me when I’m angry) doesn’t like hinky and wants it dealt with promptly. Thanks.

WordPress is Forcing Me to Double Dip (and that is disgusting and gross)

Starting sometime this week, possible last weekend, WordPress.com began forcing me to double dip. Double Dip on “likes” that is. Every time that I have “liked” a comment, whether on my own posts or on someone else’s, after about 30-45seconds, it magically “unlikes” and I have to hit the “like” button again for it to stick. How unhygienic and disgusting is that?

I might as well be making out with Corona-chan! And here I thought WordPress had the best interest of their users at heart. I mean, if they forced the block editor on us because they knew better, I’m really surprised they aren’t embarrassed to be encouraging such behavior during this time of pandemic’ness. Shame on you WordPress; I claim the Dishonor Meme against you!

I am doing my part though. Washing my hands between double dipping AND I’m wearing a mask. So don’t worry, those “likes” from me are completely hygienic and totally covid-free. No thanks to WordPress though. I’d go protest peacefully by burning down a few cities but honestly, I’ve got a Wild Mike’s pizza just waiting for me. Ohhh baaaaaby…….

Oh Hurray!

I just finished editing the blog (for today, not as in “It is Finished”) and have gotten 2007 done. This was a huge step, as 2007 was when I started recording the volumes of manga that I read alongside the novels, which meant that my numbers exploded on a monthly basis. With 2007 and up done, what I still have to do back to 2000 is much more manageable.

I’ve been working on this Project for the last 2 1/2 years and I must admit, there are times I wonder if it will ever get done. Then there are the times when something like the Block Editor happens and I wonder if I’ve wasted my time. Thankfully, little milestones like this keep me going. It is also a milestone in that I have now passed the 3400 post mark.

While the end of this project isn’t exactly near, it’s a LOT nearer than it was 2 1/2 years ago 😀 I guess I should probably start thinking of what my next blog project should be.

Anyway, this just felt good to accomplish this today and I thought I’d share. Cheers!

Bookhype – Exceptional Or Execrable?

I recently joined Bookhype when a fellow wordpresser left WP because of the forsaken block editor. It seemed the best way to keep track of what she was still reading. I’m usually willing to experiment on new book sites just to see what they have to offer. Who knows, maybe I’ll find another Booklikes (well, it COULD happen). You can find me HERE.

I have to admit, it’s pretty limited. I can add all the data I want and even like and comment but the notification side of things is almost non-existent. There is no way to be notified if someone likes or comments on a review (at least not that I could find). You can import your devilreads export file (which is what I did to get all the books I’ve read this year quickly onto Bookhype) so they do realize most people don’t want to start from scratch.

They do have a cool looking “stats” page with all the graphics I could ask for. The problem is, I can’t save any of them as pictures to use on my own blog. I’d have to screen shot, edit and then faff about and with all that work, I might as well make my own graphics. So close and yet such a fail.

It seems to be very Twitter oriented. I’m not on Twitter and have no intention of joining that cesspit, so that isn’t a plus for me.

I’m going to keep using this until at least the end of year just to see how it shakes out. If they don’t get some sort of notification system for the likes and comments though, I don’t see myself staying there.

Have you used Bookhype? If you have, what’s your experience been like?

The Block Editor ….. Beaten into Submission?

I beat this block editor like a nun with yard stick!

After all my complaining about the damnably evil block editor, I sat down and worked out how to make it work for me. I’m going to outline, in excruciating detail, just how I create my review posts with it. Doing this has made me realize that WordPress is no longer a blogging platform.
* whole paragraphed removed due to self censure *
I’m going to outline how I used to write a review and how I do it now.

BEFORE:
1) Write the entire post in Open Office using my Review Template.
2) Start a new post in WordPress w/ Review Title
3) Insert my cover picture
4) Copy/paste my entire review from Open Office
5) Left align the cover, thus bringing all the text into its correct place
6) Insert my avatar at the end of the post
7) add tags
8) add date and time for scheduled post
9) hit “schedule” and voila, done!

AFTER:
1) Write entire post in Open Office using my Review Template
2) Start a new post in WordPress w/ Review Title
3) Insert a “Classic Block”
4) Inside the classic block, insert my cover picture
5) Inside the classic block, copy/paste ONLY the info part of the review (legaleeze through the Word count)
6) Left align the cover, thus bringing the info into proper alignment
7) Insert Spacer Block (at 20pt, the minimum)
8) Copy/paste the rest of the review into wordpress
9) Insert Spacer Block between the last sentence of the Synopsis and My Thoughts
10A) Insert Image Block at end of review
10B) Insert Avatar in Image Block
11) Insert Spacer Block between star rating and avatar
12) Insert spacer block between avatar and any additional links
13) Click on “Document” over in the settings on the right hand side
14) Select Category
15) Add tags
16) Open a new tab in my browser
17) Select the Google Calendar shortcut
18) See what days of the month have no posts and select one
19) Type in the blog title into google calendar on that empty day
20) Close tab
21) Add date and time for scheduled post in WordPress
22) Voila, done!

Wow! I guess I was wrong and the gutless, spineless code engineers pimps at WordPress were right! What a time saving, incredibly efficient way to write! Those 14 extra steps make my review look SO MUCH BETTER (no, it takes me 14 profanity laced extra steps to make it look the same as before!!!!)

I have tried using only the classic block, but it doesn’t honor double returns (double space) between paragraphs so everything looked like total crap. So I’m forced to kluge together this abortion of a process to simply keep things looking how I’ve had them. How, in anyone’s brain who is sane, can this be considered a step forward, a net positive, something good?

23 steps. To write a FORSAKEN review. My workload to write a review has more than doubled and I’m supposed to be happy and ok with that? I’ve just completely depressed myself. See you all tomorrow ….

August ’20 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Books – 16

Pages – 3968

Words – 895.5K

Average Rating – 3.0 Stars

The Bad:

The Big O Manga: The Whole Series

The Good:

The Fires of Heaven – 5 Stars

The Screwtape Letters – 4.5 stars

Movie:

Spriggan was a more successful foray into my anime collection. Next month will either be Place Promised in Our Early Days or Voices of a Distant Star. More anime, but of such a different tone from Spriggan that you might as well call John Wick the same as Casablanca because they’re both “movies”.

Miscellaneous Posts:

Didn’t write nearly as much as I thought I would.

Personal:

While the title of my Vacation post might have led some to believe that there would be other King & Queen posts to follow, I was just too lazy. The vacation went as perfectly as I could have asked for. I didn’t blog or work on my blog or do anything, as much as I thought I would. I spent a lot of time simply sitting and doing nothing, barely thinking. I didn’t even realize I needed that until I found myself at my sister’s pool one day looking at the sky for about an hour without having thought a thing. Of course, I had to get back to reality once we got home, but that is the darkside of Vacations that we all know about but don’t discuss. Both of us survived the weather just fine, so a possible move in the future isn’t out of the question any more. Pretty much spent the rest of the month wishing we were back on vacation. Sad but true.

Took a short break from interacting online near the end of the month. Sensory overload was just too much. Thankfully, pizza and books helped me cope and Mrs B and I had some more good “connection” times. During that week I did a lot of work on the blog and got a lot of old reviews posted.

Plans for Next Month:

Tomorrow I plan to blog about how this month of using the block editor went. #Blockeditorsucks ! (hint, it isn’t good)

Read BETTER books! I can’t believe my average for this month was a paltry 3 stars. The blame is squarely all on Big O but that DNF for The Well at World’s End didn’t help either, sigh.

I feel kind of overdosed on manga, as Big O was just such a disappointment. As such, I’m going to start the Yotsuba&! series. I’m going to take a break from manga in September though and start it back up in October.

I’m going to try to bulk up my numbers in terms of books read, so be prepared for a few extra book reviews and a few less non-review posts. End of the year is fast approaching.

See you tomorrow.

Taking an Online Break

These last couple of days have made me realize that I’m getting worded out. Both in writing my own posts and reading others posts. Plus, the damned wordpress jackasses forcing the block editor on everyone, yet again, makes me pissed off. Even though I’m using the block editor, they need to stop forcing it down everyone’s throat. The forum is filled, again, with angry users wondering why this is happening.

So I’m going to be taking a short social internet break. I’ve got scheduled posts but I won’t be responding to any comments until I come back and I won’t be reading anyone’s posts.

See you next Wednesday.