Archive for blog problems

So, I’m A Blog Stalker

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , on May 10, 2010 by AF

I was wandering around the blogosphere (as I have a habit of doing from time to time) and I came across an interesting site here – the specific post I’ve linked is by the blogger’s daughter and it seemed like a pretty good one to me, but I liked much of the rest of the blog too. I noticed also, though, that it said quite prominently that if I didn’t comment, I was just a blog stalker.

I get the sentiments and I imagine it’s just a fun comment – a light-hearted joke designed to encourage comments. However, in spite of the reproach, I didn’t comment – I might do so yet, but I didn’t on that occasion – so I guess that makes me a blog stalker…

To take it just a touch more seriously for a moment, though, there are many reasons for not commenting – not least of which is the simple fact that I wasn’t (as I’m often not) logged into a blogging ID. Secondly is the fact that the blog is on Blogspot (Blogger), which if security is enabled (especially with word verification engaged too – why do people bother with all that junk?) is simply too much of a pain in the arse to bother with, unless you really, really have something you want to say.

In view of all this, I’d like to make a plea to all bloggers out there to take off all the controls and security features you reasonably can and see if it helps (in time) to encourage a better and freer “community spirit”. If your trust is abused, you can quickly block the abuser, or reinstate the controls one at a time until it stops  – it’s hardly rocket science.

Like most bloggers, I also like it when people take the trouble to comment, but I understand when they don’t – it’s their right and I’m pleased if they have (hopefully) visited and read what I write. I have the Akismet spam filter in place and very occasionally a genuine reply gets caught by that, but it’s rare – other than that, if you want to say something here, please feel free and, if I really detest or am offended by what you say, I can just delete it, can’t I? So, what’s the big deal?

Everyone seems to be more and more nervous about almost everything these days and we appear to be becoming almost afraid of our own shadows. I’m not sure, though, that the fear of the threats most people seem to be afraid of isn’t often far worse than the “threats” themselves – if they exist at all.

So, if you want to comment here, then I’ll (probably) be delighted to read what you have to say, but if you don’t, then I’m almost as pleased that you at least stopped by and read my drivel. On the other hand, if you didn’t, then I won’t of course know about the fact and you won’t know I wrote this, so neither of us should be upset about that either, should we?



The Times They Are a-Changin’

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , on April 30, 2010 by AF

One of the blogs I love is Sarah’s Etcetera Etc. as I think I have mentioned quite recently. Of course, as I think I probably said before, being a guy, I’m quite happy to read her words of wisdom about sex and her gender bits all day long – well, what else would you expect – but she has a lot of important things to say on all sorts of subjects and her latest post is a good one about one of the newer and somewhat different blogging platforms – Tumblr.

I have to say that I agree with almost everything she says and she’s usually right about most things. Naturally, of course, my strong sense of self preservation means that I don’t in any event have the necessary suicidal tendencies required to disagree publically with most women anyway, but I generally only say more than, “Yes dear,” when I actually mean it – like in this instance.

However, being somewhat mature, I do sometimes struggle to see the point of some of these things and, whilst I’m quite a fan of technology, I don’t automatically equate “new” with “good”.  To me, the latest fads are frequently interesting to find out about, but I still reserve judgement on the quality and value of them, particularly until I’ve tried them out for myself – which is why I had to open an account (a free one of course) and give it a go. There’s not much there at the moment, although it should automatically put a brief summary and link to this post via RSS into the body for me. You can take a look here at this early (and I think fairly crude) version of “A Bit Scandalous” on the Tumblr platform, if you really want to, that is.

I could see the attraction of Twitter for kids, teens and even twenty-somethings (and I dare say for many of the rest of you – just not for me, but I did at least register and try it. Much the same applies to Facebook and Myspace at the moment, although they at least don’t have the 140 character brevity (not my strong point as you will realise) of Twitter.

The truth is, though, with Tumblr, I just don’t get it at present. What’s the point? Yes it does a few things that WordPress won’t do (particularly the “follow” buttons of Twitter), but then so does Blogger (which I’ve also tried), but I’m still with WordPress because, in spite of its restrictions, I’ve been able to create something that is much more along the lines of what I want. Tumblr has a host of themes, but you have to buy many of them and it claims to give its users access to the whole theme if they want to alter the html, but how many of us ordinary bloggers really want to get into that?

Still, I guess we’ll see in time and, meanwhile, if anyone has some advice about the benefits or otherwise of Tumblr, please don’t be shy about letting me know what you know – this male at least is always pleased to receive any help offered – especially from women, since they have an annoying habit of seeing at once what us guys can’t figure out to save our lives…


Love Thy (Blogging) Neighbour

Posted in Miscellaneous, Writing and Things Literary with tags , , , , , , on April 18, 2010 by AF

I was intrigued by something said by Sarah, whose excellent blog, Etcetera, Etc., always seems to me to have something interesting to say about life. She doesn’t pull any punches when talking so very honestly about sex, women and relationships (How dare you! Of course that’s not the only reason I like her blog!). However, in truth I frequently find it to be an all round interesting blog about life in general and all sorts of things and, above all, I probably like the honesty best – you can check it out for yourself here

Anywaaaay – I hope she won’t mind me quoting this little bit of her email to me – she had this to say when I pointed out that her name against comments on my blog doesn’t link back to her blog, just in case she hadn’t realised that fact (which she apparently didn’t)…

“[…]While it would probably be in my best interest to promote my blog a little bit better, I like leaving comments for people when their prose makes me laugh or strikes a chord; not for the purpose of self promotion[…]”

I must say that I applaud that attitude and it’s exactly what I do myself – I do read a whole lot more (much of which I thoroughly enjoy) than I comment on and that’s probably not in my best interests either.

I’m not judging anyone here (even spammers, though robot generated comments are a real pain in the ass) – just agreeing on a very personal level with Sarah, but I do wonder about this process. All the perceived wisdom on this subject suggests that, in order to expand your readership, you need to visit other blogs and comment and I do try to do that, but I only seem to be able to work up any enthusiasm for that when I find a blog I like and, even then, in Sarah’s words, something has to “strike a chord” of some sort before I will comment.

However, there is another side to this when looked at the other way round. I love it when people comment on my stuff and that, I imagine, is mainly because I assume they’ve taken the trouble to read what I wrote and it amused them, or made them think about the subject, whether they agree or not. The fact that people comment gives me a little fillip and encourages me to continue writing the drivel I do – I know, you’ll all stop commenting now in the hope that I’ll go away, but I probably won’t – I’m stubborn that way.

That is, though, part of the reason I usually also take the trouble to reply to comments left on my blog because it seems to me that most of them are thoughtful and, if people take the time to give me an opinion, then common courtesy (for me) dictates that I should think about that and respond.  In any event, it’s simply a fact that engaging in any kind of discussion (however briefly) on any subject whatsoever with others from around the world has got to be a good thing, hasn’t it?

So, please keep on commenting and I do promise that I’ll at least try to do a bit better in return in the future. The world is shrinking and our communities are growing and, sooner or later, that has to be good for humanity, doesn’t it? As Winston Churchill once famously said, “Jaw, jaw is better than war, war!” and as long as honest opinions are being expressed, talking together has to increase understanding somewhere along the line.

This Blogging Thing

Posted in People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2009 by AF

It’s weird! Just weird…

As I’ve said before, there are lots of different blogs and just as many reasons for blogging. For instance… There are the “expert” blogs about almost everything and from all sorts of people, some of whom have a very doubtful level of expertise indeed. There are also the “hard-line” blogs too, from the religious and/or political extremists who are always convinced that they are right in all things, despite any evidence there may well be to the contrary. The writers of those sort of blogs, of course, are intent upon telling the whole goddam world of their special knowledge and are hell bent upon converting the planet to their way of thinking.

I guess we can all see how the commercial and corporate blogs and the “How to Make a Million Dollars in Ten Minutes” ones would want it to be that way, but as to the rest… well, I have no idea why they have that so desperate need to be believed and “spread the word”, but there it is.

Ordinary blogs, though, like this one and a whole host of others ranging from “My Life as a Whore in Afghanistan” to “Little Willy Growing Up” to “What to Eat on Thursdays” and everything in between are much more personal and we tend to think of our readers as friends that we are chatting, joking and even sharing confidences with.

In reality of course, when babbling away like that, we may potentially be telling the whole world of the internet that our spouse has contracted a socially embarrassing disease, or even that our little Willy has a little willy, or whatever. Yet few of us give that more than a passing thought at the time, not because we don’t care, but because, in our minds, we’re just chatting to the few friends we’re writing for and they wouldn’t say anything to strangers, would they?

It can be extremely embarrassing and hurtful for third parties and, often, we wouldn’t hurt those people for anything in the world! And yet, as with all our words and actions, we accidentally do, sometimes, don’t we?

Ho hum… nothing in life is ever as simple as it at first appears, is it?


So Far, So Bad

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , on October 24, 2009 by AF

Sorry to compound my failings in terms of indecision, but I did give it a try on Blogger and put quite a lot of effort into it. Sadly, I just found the Blogger/Blogspot platform too darned idiosyncratic for my tastes and, in the end, I simply couldn’t be doing with that.

For the time being at least I will continue to blog here, although I will, of course, persevere in my search for other options and I might even try installing the WordPress software on my main website – something I didn’t really want to do. Still, that should be interesting!

PLEASE, bear with me and, as they say, watch this space…

A Problem Solved? – Part 1

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , on October 22, 2009 by AF

Well, not actually solved, but maybe altered, or lessened even. I guess I must be some kind of an idealist or something like that because I’m almost invariably disappointed by technology.

Take for instance – the hosts of this blog: WordPress is, in my opinion, a superb platform and in many ways superior to Blogger – BUT (and it’s a big but) they stubbornly refuse to allow their users to get into the mechanics of the thing. It’s true that you can do almost anything you like (supposedly) if you use it by downloading the (admittedly free) software from and installing it on your own host. But that’s the point, isn’t it? Your own host – which you not only have to pay for, but you also then have all the trouble of keeping up with new innovations, additions and upgrades. Sure, some hosts offer that service automatically too, but then they don’t seem to offer me what I want for my main website.

So, here I am, screwed again and disappointed as ever. Why is that? Why is it always like that? One version of a piece of technology offers great this, but if I want that I have to go to another manufacturer or supplier who offers that – sadly, though, they don’t offer this! Just why can’t I ever find it all in one place? Still, with some trepidation…

here is the new (experimental) home for Scandalous

However, The Peach Tart tells us she is into a period of “self reflection” in her post Would You Like You If You Met You? My answer to that scary question would probably be a resounding, “no”, but I’m not sure that’s particularly relevant. However, it has made me question all sorts of things, which I will explain in greater detail later.

In the spirit of trying to get my readers to follow me onto the Blogspot platform, part two of this post will be on the new site, but I’ll have to see what happens, because I don’t honestly like it all that much – considering the giant that has produced it, it’s a bit “clunky” to my way of thinking, to be nice about it.

PLEASE, take a moment to go there and tell me what you think about this right now over THERE on the new site

Blogger is Becoming a Pain in the Ass!

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , on July 26, 2009 by AF

One of the great things about the blogosphere is that, despite all the varied blogging software in use by different people with their many and various preferences, apart from a few short sighted (in my opinion) membership only systems, everyone can read everyone else’s posts and comments, whatever software has been used to create the blog.

Sadly, that’s all except for (in some cases) Google’s Blogger! One of the biggest!

The problem is somehow connected with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8, since the difficulties never appeared (to my knowledge) until that latest version started to become widely used. It may well be that it’s really, morally (and conceivably legally) up to Microsoft to fix it, but I really can’t believe it can be that hard for Blogger to sort it out. In fact, they even have a suggestion on their support website at this location that tells Blogger users how they might be able to get around it.

Supposedly, the problem can be cured, or at least lessened, by being very careful about the positioning of a particular widget (one that lists your followers), or removing it. However, there are enormous numbers of blogs out there that I can’t easily fully read and, more specifically comment on – and anyone using MSIE-8 is likely to have the same problem. Yet many Blogger users don’t even know of the problem, though they might perhaps wonder why they don’t get as many comments as they sometimes might expect.

If you’re using MSIE-8 (I’m not aware that any other browser has this problem, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t so) you will, I suspect, quite frequently come across blogs that appear perfectly readable – until you try to look at an individual post, perhaps in order to leave a comment. It can be really annoying too: you search the Internet, scanning quickly through blog after blog about baby’s first throwing up session, or some religious nut’s take on why God couldn’t possibly have seen women as important 6000 years ago when He created dinosaurs, people and everything else, or yet another bigot who just can’t cope with the idea that there might be a point of view other than his (or hers).

Then, bingo, out of the blue you find this gem, this oasis of skill, or fun, or proof that intelligent life does after all still exist on Earth – and what happens? You think, “Yeah! I like this. I should comment.” Click on comments! “Internet Explorer Cannot Display The Page – DIAGNOSE CONNECTION PROBLEMS!” What bloody connection problems? The goddam system shut ITSELF down because Microsoft and Blogger apparently can’t agree on something or other!

If someone knows what I can turn off on my Explorer browser to fix this, then I’d be delighted to know, if there is such a cure. But why, oh why, hasn’t Blogger sorted this out ages ago? I do hope it’s not because (as my extremely cynical alter ego would suggest) they want to encourage as many people as possible to get fed up with MSIE and download Google Chrome.