Bend Over Bloggers, WordPress Wants Your *ss

If you haven’t heard, WordPress now has a new set of plans for us bloggers. HERE is the actual wordpress page, which is so much propaganda. Think 1984 and getting a raise of your chocolate ration, up to 8oz (when the reality is that yesterday you got 12oz). The upshot is that there are now only 2 types of plans going forward. A free ad supported plan and a Pro plan which will cost you $180 a year. THAT IS IT.

Before this, WP had 5 levels of plans. A free plan with 3gb of space, a personal plan with 6gb of space for $48 a year, a premium plan with 13gb of space for $96 or a business plan with 200gb of space and a lot of bells and whistles for $300 and then an Ecommerce version which is basically a fully loaded store for about $550.

For the big players, this new change to Free or Pro probably won’t be a big deal. But for the free, personal and premium members, this is rape, plain and simple. I tried the personal plan last year with a domain (bookstooge.com) and it went so badly that I quit after 6 months and went back to free. However, the ads and inserted posts by WP were getting so intrusive that in January of this year I signed up for the personal plan again, but without the domain (so I stayed at bookstooge.wordpress.com). It was mainly to get the extra space and to get rid of the ads.

When I heard about this plan change, I sent off an email to WordPress’s Infamous (un)Happy Engineers. I asked what would happen to my site when the personal plan expires. I’ve quoted the pertinent part of the email.

When your Personal Plan expires, your site will switch to a free plan with free features.

1). The storage space will be 3GB instead of 6GB.
2). No ability to upload audio files.
3). No ability to add payment buttons.
4). No ability to offer premium content.
5). bookstooge.wordpress.com will be your site’s address.

All the features of a Personal Plan will stop working.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any doubts.

So, once I reach 3gb, I either cough up $180, EVERY YEAR, for a casual hobby, or I end my time at WordPress.com. Also to take notice of, the Pro plan is annual only. You can’t pay on a monthly basis.

I called it “rape” in the paragraph above, but really, it is extortion if you have the personal or premium plan. If you’ve been on the Premium plan for years and have used up 10gb of space, what happens to you when your premium plan runs out this year? You either pay through the nose or you lose. I have reached out to WordPress asking what happens if I have more in my media library than I have space for. I don’t have an answer yet but I will find out.

Another thing to note is just how badly WP botched this rollout. Many long time users woke up Friday morning with a notice that they now only had 0.5bg of space (that’s the new limit for new users who join up after today. Us old guard still get the 3gb). WP forum staff admitted this wasn’t correct, that it was a bug and that “other people” were working on getting this fixed. What kind of idiot coder affect long time users?

Stupid Code Monkey, that’s who!

If you are an existing free user who isn’t near the 3gb limit, this change by WP won’t affect you at all. But it does affect all their paying users, which is what boggles my mind. I know I am not going to be upgrading to PRO when my plan runs out. If my media library gets close to the 3gb limit and I can’t cheaply upgrade, I’ll just leave. Whether that means to another platform, to a self-hosted site (oh dear lord, I hope not. That’s a lot of work and a lot of nightmares and nothing working right, at least from what I’ve seen of other amateurs like myself) or just in general, I don’t know.

I’m going to be spending the rest of the year looking into alternatives to WordPress. Even if I stick around, WordPress has just shown me that they are predatory pimps who will shank me with no warning if they want an extra $150 out of my pockets. There is no guarantee they won’t do something like this again. In fact, this move pretty much makes it certain they WILL do something like this again in the future.

I’m done ranting.

UPDATE 1000 (GMT-5)

I received the following email response from WP about midnight:

If a site uses more than 3GB of storage space and switches to a free plan, some of its content, including photos, will be removed because it does not have enough space.

WordPress.com has changed its plans recently. I understand your concern. But you can keep using your Personal Plan as it is. The price will remain the same for existing plans.

ps,
just so this isn’t a completely hate filled post, here are 2 solutions for storage space, one of my own posts and another I found while searching for space solutions. I hope they can be helpful to you.

Project X – W

For all the bionic details about what led to the Creation of Project X, please visit the Intro Post. Itโ€™s totally worth six million bionic dollars.

LIKE
Waldo!

As I’ve been reading the Groo the Wanderer comics, I’ve had several good conversations about the Where’s Waldo books. If you’re not from the United States, you might know him as Wally. I was impacted by the Waldo craze of the late 80’s and early 90’s and whenever the library got in a new one, we were first in line to fight and claw over getting it into our grubby hands. I can’t imagine trying to enjoy this kind of book now (diabetic eyes after all) but I sure do remember how much fun they were back in the day. The picture above is the cover of the first book and should be clickable for a larger version.

DISLIKE
Wannabe’s

You really want to know what I dislike about Wannabe’s? They don’t have enough guts to be themselves. Being a responsible adult is too tough for them, so they cast it off and pretend to be somebody else. You are not Tom Brady. You are not Snoop Dogg. You are not Bill Gates. And you sure as shooting are NOT John Wick. So for goodness sake go to work, save your money and move out of your parents house.


And that is it for this week. Stay tuned for our next episode about X, about which I can’t come up with any clever bylines.

Remember Bookstooge.com?

Way back when, many moons ago, I went DotCom to get rid of the ads on my site and to see if the ego boost was worth it. Sadly, I had so many unsolved problems with following myself and some other people that I gave up. It only took me Six Months to Decide to Un-Dotcom ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I’d heard about Site Scalpers, jackasses who buy up recently unused site names and jack the price up for those idiots who have remorse and want their site back. Well, I kept an eye out to see if any jackasses did that to bookstooge.com. Of course they did, because they’re jackasses. When I first checked Bookstooge.com was being offered for $3,000. what a bunch of idiots. Over the months it has steadily dropped until recently it was available for just under $700. What a deal, eh? I just had to roll my eyes. What do these jackasses take me for, some jamoke right off the turnip truck?

Anyway, that’s pretty much the end. I just needed to get some words out and I found this whole situation amusing. Kind of. Because I hate speculators and I’d gladly take Jimbo the Desperado’s hatchet to appropriate parts of their anatomy, virtual or otherwise.

Jimbo says “Just say no to jackasses

Joly Jalapenos, Tabasco Man!

In November, I was the unwelcome recipient of 1500 spam comments. I had emptied my trash at the beginning of the month, and as you can see in the picture below, that is what has accumulated over the bleeding month. I realize the picture is a little small, but that is a 1.5K that the star is around.

99.9% of it is that bloody spanish spam bot asking to login. Whoever created that is going to burn in hell! but don’t worry, they’ll be right next to the person who created automated robocalls at 9pm. Grrrrrrr.

Thanks. Just needed to vent for a second there. * deep breath * I am relaxed and in control. Psychic Grandma is not haunting me. I will win the lottery next week. Ommmmmmmmmmmmm

Of course, relaxed or not, if I ever meet the person who created that bot, their face is going to meet my T200 Iron quicker than you can spit.

This sounds like a job for …. Tabasco Man! With his ultra-secure condiment belt, hotsauce is within reach at a moment’s notice. Cayenne pepper is going straight into the eyes of that bot’s creator! Stick a couple of spatulas up their nose and then pull their tongue out with the salad tongues. No longer do us solid, dependable citizens of the blogosphere need fear the Spanish Spam Bot! Hurray for Tabasco Man, My Hero!

Just to clear, I am NOT Tabasco Man. He might just be the most dashing, the most intelligent, the most handsome and buffest hero the world has ever known, but that in no ways means he is me. It is simply a coincidence that all those descriptions fit both of us. On Psychic Grandma’s honor….

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…….

Been That Kind of Week

Thankfully, the fever part isn’t real. But here’s what this week has been like. Monday my co-worker came down with a wicked bad head cold, bad enough that he called out of work on Tuesday. I came down with it Tuesday night. I wasn’t smart enough to call out of work for a day, so while I didn’t have it as bad, it is lingering longer. Made work miserable and I pretty much just came home and sacked out each evening.

Been having some issues with my car starting, had to jump it once the previous week, but it was doing ok. So Wednesday morning, it just won’t start. Mrs B gives me a jump and still nothing. Thankfully, she was able to give me a ride to work. But with being so run down, I can’t deal with it Wednesday night. Thursday we have it towed over to a place and Friday they replaced the battery and starter. It was a LOT more money than I was thinking it was going to be.

Then throw in some drizzly days next to a sunny day in the mid 70’s and well, you’re just asking for sickness.

So that’s about how I’ve felt all week. Then add in the fact that Mrs B is going to be switching to the night shift for the next 2 months (because the Corporate Barstards want less workers in the store during the day so more customers can go in and shop) and you’ve pretty much got a donkey excrement soup of the week as far as I’m concerned.

Next week HAS to be better. Thank God it’s Sabbath right now.

When Do You Stop Following?

A couple of years ago (my, how time flies!), I wrote a rant about the Invisible Reader, those people who follow you but never interact with you in any way. That was coming from a Content Creator’s viewpoint. Today, I’d like to discuss things from a Content Consumers viewpoint.

Recently, Lashaan posted about Who Do You Follow? where he discusses what draws us to various blogs. Listing several broad categories, he goes into more detail about each and how they play a part in how he chooses who to follow. The Orangutan Librarian also wrote a recent post about How Her Reading Tastes Had Changed where she discusses the slow change she’s experienced as a reader in the genres she gravitates towards.

It got me thinking. First off, it got me thinking about how my reading habits have slowly changed and how that looks to someone who follows me. I also started thinking about how much another blogger needs to change for me to lose interest in following them any more. If I follow The Masters of Ironing, because I’m convinced Ironing is the Hot New Thing and I want in and then in 6 months they start posting about knitting and crochetting, should I still follow them? Or what if I start following a Book Blogger because I found an awesome review of a favorite book of mine on their blog, only to find out that they have never reviewed another book in that genre? In my own case on this blog, what if someone started following me because of all the Epic Fantasy I read and this newer trend of more manga, non-fiction, classics, etc isn’t what they want to read about?

At what point do I stop following someone whose content has changed? And not even necessarily the genres of books they read but the output? Say real life has intruded on them and they’ll be offline for the foreseeable future with no idea when they might come back. Do I just stick around hoping I won’t be left hanging in the wind? And if it is content, that doesn’t interest me, do I let things kind of fade away or just make a quick cut?

In many ways, this resembles the quandary people have with real life friends. Are you friends with someone because of shared background or experiences or do you both have a passing interest in the same subject? How well do you get along with each other? One problem is that blogging isn’t actually being friends. Just because I follow someone and interact with them doesn’t mean we’re friends. So the same rules don’t apply.

I certainly have zero problems with this subject. I’ve stopped following people because the comments section of their blog didn’t work and it was obvious they didn’t care. I’m definitely not wracked with indecision and guilt about this subject, hahahaaa.

Anyway, not a lot else from me. Just something I’ve been thinking about and wonder what any of you think about the subject.

Akismet – Top Notch Customer Service? Not Quite…

Last Saturday I posted about my issues with my comments going into Spam. I was able to contact Akismet and one of their nice people fixed things up for me. However, my comments started going into spam again mid-week, so I contacted them again. This time, another Akismet employee contacted me and I’m going to publish the email I was sent. I went ballistic but I admit that I’m not exactly objective. Let me know what you think. Especially if you think I am wrong to be pissed off.

Thanks for getting back in touch. It looks like your commenting behavior keeps triggering our spam checks. I would recommend you slow down the rate at which you’re commenting. Comments are meant to be discussions about the topics in the post, not rapid instant-messaging style communication or trying to comment on as many posts as possible. If you comment on posts through the WordPress.com Reader, try visiting the site instead to leave a comment.

This behavior does mimic the behavior of an actual spambot, so I’d just slow down and be more thoughtful about your commenting going forward.

I hope that clarifies things! Let us know if you have any questions.

I LIVE to comment. And I’ve been commenting like this since 2016. So to be told it’s my fault? Doesn’t sit well.

Poor me. I am totally the victim here. And I plan to milk this for all it’s worth. I’m thinking a GoFundMe for emotional scarring and psychological damage. I’m pretty cut up and I’m wondering about stopping book reviewing and getting into the Ironing Scene. I hear it’s the hot new thing.

Akismet – The Progenitor of Skynet

Over the last week, maybe 2, I have noticed a quite a few of my comments going into the spam folders of other bloggers that I comment on. I have also noticed an upswing in other blogger’s comments going into my own spam folder.

This is ALL akismet’s fault. And it highlights the reason why a machine can’t be trusted, nor should it be, to do a human’s job. It pisses me off because there have been several times that I’ve tried to contact a new blogger about something and I know they’ll never see my comment.

I’m just complaining because this month it seems like a lot of stupid little things are all coming together at once and causing nothing but constant low level stress. I just want to enjoy blogging again and things like this happening are making that really hard to do.

So I hope akismet dies. The End.

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 ….