โ™ชCelebrate Good Timesโ™ช Come On!โ™ช

Kool & the Gang Approve this Message

I was reading Another Blogger’s Post and he mentioned he had hit the 1000 post mark. He threw it out as a little one liner instead of making a big deal about it but numbers like that are really worth celebrating. It got me wondering how many posts I currently have on wordpress. With writing as much as I do currently, and a big back catalog of reviews (that I am ALMOST finished with by the way! Another reason to celebrate), I haven’t even tried to keep track. Thankfully, wordpress has kept track of that data for me.

While I am not a tv, I am a blogger with 4000 posts under my belt. I must admit to scamming the system and posting some old reviews so this post would be number 4000 at the time it is published. But oh yeah, it feels good! So celebrate with me!

If you have just recently started following you, you might feel this post is chock full of braggadocio, possibly arrogant and completely egotistical. If you’ve been following for some time, you’ll know it IS all that. You’ll also know that I’ve been doing this since 2000 on one platform or another, so forgive me as I toot my own horn for one post (ok, you got me. I am always tooting my own horn. But we can all pretend I’m usually humble and self-effacing, can’t we? I know I can).

Milestones are important. Whether it is getting tagged for some blog award, or noting how long you’ve been blogging, or reaching a number of posts or having reviewed a certain number of books/movies, big fat round numbers are easy to remember and help encourage you when the blogging journey gets rough.

So rejoice with me and think about what you might be able to rejoice about yourself. I’d love to celebrate some good things with any of you all.

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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”.

2003 is DONE!

This is just a little note to myself that Iโ€™ve finished down to 2003 in myย Blog Construction Project. Every time I get to knock another year off the To-Do list is a good moment for me. 2002-2000 is looking more and more doable.

It took me a year to do 2005-2003, so I am really hoping I can finish this blasted project by the end of 2022. I started this project back in ’18, so it will have been 4 years. That’s a LOT of work, sigh.

Anyway, carry on with your day and know that I’m giving you the queen wave….

“Whether ’tis Nobler in the Mind to Un-Dotcom….”

…..The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?
`Hamstoogelet, Act III, Scene I

As I reported in my post Apparently I Hate Me I’ve been unfollowing myself multiple times since I went dotcom. I’ve contacted WP and they finally admitted it was an ongoing issue with other users as well. They didn’t say, but I’m sure it is due directly to those inept idiots who pretend to be “code monkeys” playing around under the hood of WP and breaking crap.

I told them that if it continued I’d be cancelling my paid account as I wasn’t going to pay for worse service. Well, since that email I’ve unfollowed myself at least 6 times, if not more. Since that has happened, I’ve decided to pull a Hamlet and oppose the evil that calls itself WordPress. Tomorrow I’ll be going back to a dotwordpressdotcom address. It really pisses me off, as that means that ads and native sponsored posts are going to be back. It also means that about 7 months worth of links aren’t going to be accurate and I’m not going to go back and correct them all.

Bugger all.

I don’t know how this will affect any of you. WP automatically moved all of you as followers when I went dotcom and I’m hoping the reverse will be true. But please keep this in mind if you don’t see any posts from me. I’ve got posts schedule almost every day so that should be a dead giveaway that things didn’t go well. WP did tell me that when I downgrade everyone should follow the new site automatically, but considering their track record of making things work, I’ll believe it when I see it.

I’m just annoyed because I have to admit, I really enjoyed being a dotcom. But for all the complaints I have against the free plans, at least I don’t pay money for those problems.

See you tomorrow at Bookstooge.wordpress.com, hopefully!

Apparently I Hate Me

Ever since I’ve gone Dotcom back in January, I’ve had a strange issue where I will spontaneously unfollow myself. I follow myself to make sure my posts make it into the WP Reader and to make sure I’m seeing the same things that everyone else is seeing. It just makes sense to mingle with the masses and to try to see things from their perspective after all.

WP’s “Help” aka “Happiness Engineers” (gag me) helpfully suggested that maybe I’ve accidentally clicked on something in the reader to unfollow myself. I didn’t naysay that because I never payed attention to that. But today it happened again, while I was away from the computer and it was impossible for me to have clicked anything. I’ve just sent them an email and we’ll see what they have to say this time.

I’m just wondering if any of you have experienced something like this? Or am I truly unique and having issues that nobody else has ever had before? I am not a big fan of being unique this way :-/

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.

Eureka!

As you know, if you have followed me for more than a month, that I have a Synopsis section for my book reviews. You will also know that some of those are taken from other sites so that I don’t have to waste precious brain power on it. The Wheel of Time books are a great example. They’re also the perfect example of the problem that is. Look how long that synopsis is. Who even wants to bother scrolling through that much text? Not me. But so far I have been stymied and you have been forced to scroll and scroll.

But stymied I am NO MORE!!!! The Details html code has come to my rescue. My lurking around the WordPress forums (where I am banned) has paid off big time. When I write a long synopsis, I now know I can go into the code editor (instead of the visual editor which is the standard option) and add (details) blah, blah, blah, blah(/details) and it should hide it. Of course, changing the “( & )” with “< & >”. Let me show you the magic.

So why the anime picture instead of a naked Archimedes? Firstly, because the anime is called Eureka Seven and secondly, showing pictures of scrawny, old naked guys doesn’t happen on this blog.

So, that should have worked. Click on the little arrow to reveal the secrets of the universe and be amazed. I’ll keep playing around with it just to make sure there are no hiccups.

Cheers! Feel free to celebrate that you will no longer be subjected to 6 page long synopses

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.

2006 Is DONE!

I know, you probably think I’m a little late to the party. Admit it. In my defense, it’s only been 15 years. And besides, 2006 was a good year. Tennant was the Dr and Billy Piper was his lovely companion. Good memories!

Anyway, this is just a little note to myself that I’ve finished down to 2006 in my Blog Construction Project. Every time I get to knock another year off the To-Do list is a good moment for me. 2005-2000 is looking more and more doable. So be happy and rejoice with me!

PSA: #WordPress – Whoring Out the Free Blogs

Yep, it’s official. Time to bend over Free WordPress Users, Big Daddy Pimp has shown up. We all know that the free blogs have ads on them but if you have an ad blocker you don’t notice. Big Daddy has decided that it’s time to take things up another notch however. Introducing, Native Sponsored Posts!

Yep, ADS are now going to full on posts inserted into our free blogs. If you read the above article closely, you see that right now it is just for WP’s use but they promise that eventually these sponsored posts will be available for use to others. So get ready to be gang raped by proxy.

And they lie their asses off about it on the official forums: My Website has been taken over/hacked by an ad. In particular, please note Quote ##3610590 by JerrySarcastic. He states that “As long as one post is published on the site, this sponsored post is not shown.” That is a complete lie and Jerry is an official staff member on the official WordPress.com forums.

I can testify that I have seen these native sponsored posts on extremely active, but free, sites. I’ve seen them at BookWyrmReads and EarnestlyEccentric. Unfortunately, I did NOT take a screen shot. Thankfully, and I have permission from Alex to use his address, I did catch a screen shot of what they look like at AlexonFilm.com. Alex, while using a dotcom address, is using a free wordpress.com plan.

The reason I’ve included this screenshot is because these “posts” are a moving target. They don’t stay there. They’re inserted and then randomly disappear. So you can go visit Alex’s site and chances are you’ll never see that post at all. I want a record because if anyone brings up the issue on the forums I fully expect Jerry and his ilk to backpedal and lie again.

I’ve deliberately used inflammatory language throughout this post. That is because I’ve only got words to use. Make no mistake, this isn’t some Call to Action, or to Boycott WordPress.com or to leave or to take ANY action at all. The truth of the matter is, there isn’t anywhere else you can go for free (and remember, if you’re not paying for it, you are the product). Over the last year WP.com has been actively and I might say, hostilely, doing everything they can to monetize their services and make using the free option as painful as possible. What this post is is a call to awareness. You need to know what is going on on your own blog and then make the choice what you’re going to do about it, even if that choice is to do nothing, like me.

I have decided to do nothing for now. But being aware of this, I’ve decided where my Rubicon is. If WordPress starts inserting posts sponsored anyone other than WP.com then I’ll have to leave the free plan. Whether I leave WP or just upgrade to the personal plan (ie, dotcom) I have not decided yet.

In closing, please give this a minutes thought and at least decide if this is an issue or not for you.