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Archive for the 'WordPress' Category

Marching Toward Spring

March 14th, 2009

The weather is back on a warming trend. Isn’t this a great time of year?  There’s so many changes each day as you walk around outdoors- I came around the corner of the house the other day and was surprised to find a small patch of jonquils in bloom with a little crocus nearby.  The daffodils are awesome this time of year and soon we’ll have large and small yellow flowers everywhere. 

jonquills-and-daffodils

 

By the way, I did finish the upgrade to the latest WordPress version. Hooray! Of course I was then locked out of the account for about 6 hours as I tried to reconnect to the database.  Oh boy… and then the login data was corrupted, but after much googling, tinkering, and gnashing of teeth, everything came together.  Other than a few formatting challenges it worked as advertised.  I was struck how after more than two years of writing here that I really enjoy it- and I would feel really bad to lose the data and writings.  I back up the database of course, but I haven’t printed out hard copies or anything.  I don’t know where it will lead, but perhaps after we’re all long gone someone else can read a little history of this time.  I wish I knew more about my own ancestors- what their lives were like and the thoughts they shared.  I’ll have to ponder that a little more.

Did you know that for the northern hemisphere the Vernal Equinox will take place this year on March 20th, at 11:44 am…?  Call me curious…  so in six more days we can have lunch and welcome spring once again.  Oh, wait… that’s UTC.   So let’s see for Central Daylight Time that means the equinox will take place at 6:44 am here in Missouri.  So make it breakfast then for the midwest… we can watch the sun rise and welcome a new day and a new season.  

I’ve been watching the pussy willow tree (Salix discolor) this week and the catkins are really full.  Soon they will burst forth with tiny yellow flowers and the bees will have a party.  Maybe we will too!

pussy-willow-catkins

Big and Tiny Bubbles

March 11th, 2009

Isn’t it strange how when it’s warm outside there’s a bunch of fun things to do that we haven’t thought of for a while!?

Bubbles © Fox Haven Media 2009 

Among other things, I’m working on upgrading the ‘ole Journal this week… a scary proposition.  I’m not a techie by trade, but usually get around okay.  Problem being that I’ve missed (i.e. not done) about the last six WordPress upgrades because I’ve customized this blog theme so much and was hesitant to change anything.  So I’m backing up the database and exporting a bunch of files, deactivating plugins, making notes… and maybe one of these days I’ll get the gumption to push a bunch of buttons and go for it.  

Soap bubbles come to mind when I think of upgrading the blog… I can see it all, even through various parts to ultimate place I want to be, but what if I do everything right, start the upgrade process and then, “Poof!” it’s gone?!  Figuring out how to bring it back is worse than upgrading it.  At least for non-scary-smart-(non-specific-gender)-techie dudes like me.   

Need to grab an ice cold drink before-hand maybe.  But then those other little bubbles might impair my judgement and then where will I be?!  Ah, but the new WP versions are much more friendly to administer (thanks to a lot of really scary smart techie folks) and security is much better, upgrading is easier, media files work better, blah, blah, blah.  So if things look kind of strange around here at some point, you’ll know why… it will either be my fault or well, the bubbles fault! 

Using MS Word to Write Blog Posts

February 22nd, 2009

I’m trying a new experiment today, using the “blog post” function inherent to MS Word 7.0.  This is not the same thing as “copying” and “pasting” from Word- it’s a new capability, and doesn’t insert a plethora (did I just use that word?!) of extra HTML markup that clutters the post code.   Practically speaking, it’s not too different than logging in to your blog platform and using the administration tools built into it. But Word does offer greater flexibility such as using my 19 inch widescreen monitor with a much larger screen size to type/write on, manipulate images, etc. Using WordPress I have to constantly “re-size” the text editor to fit images and such. But with Word, you can maximize it to full screen size just like typing any document offline. I should note that I’m not using the latest WordPress evolution, so other users may have different opinions. It should also be noted that Word’s blog post capability can be used with Blogger, Windows Live, TypePad and other platforms too.

I like the fact that the Word software has made it pretty simple to set up your “accounts” for publishing, offering the ability to publish right away, or as a draft. Which means if you’re using a computer without internet access, you can finish a post and save it for later publication as well. I like that feature in terms of the idea of bringing a laptop with me while traveling and publishing later when internet access is available. Sure you could always do that when writing in Notepad or another text editor, and then “copying” and “pasting” text to your blog platform- but with MS Word you can save all your formatting and image placement too, and simply post right away once you have internet access again.

Sunset while camping

Last year for example, we took a two-week trip camping around the Midwest and didn’t have internet access very often. I remember typing a few posts in advance as a rough draft, but then had to scramble quickly to finish, edit, format and publish the article when we finally had internet access before moving on. So with this ability I can have it ready to go in advance, and upload it quickly at my convenience when we get internet access again. If you’re only typing text without images it may not matter to you though.

Realistically I’m not sure if I’ll use the “blog post” function within Word very often- I like having the functions within WordPress available while writing new posts, and changing your writing habits isn’t easy sometimes! There is one other thing although it doesn’t happen very often- I have lost several posts while trying to publish them after spending an hour or two writing them. That’s a big “Aaarrrghh!” moment.  WordPress has a great “autosave” feature that works pretty well, but sometimes you can still lose a post and writing it up offline in Word may prevent that from happening. It’s nice to have options and other ways to do things. 

So how did it work out?  Well, I first published this as a draft, and it turns out that my pictures didn’t show up- I had to go into WordPress and reload them.  I may not have set it up properly so I’ll try again.  Also I found that Word inserted a backslash wherever a single or double quotation exists.  That’s not helpful… so I’ll see if there’s anything I can do to change that.  Otherwise it seems to work just fine- does anyone else have user feedback on Word’s blog post capability?

By the way, I’m excited that the little shrub, or smallish tree, in the middle of the picture below is growing bigger this year. 

Do you know what it is? 

Winter flora

Fixing Stuff and Heading Outside

March 2nd, 2008

One of the neat things about sharing thoughts and pictures with a blog is the ability to reach so many people. The internet still amazes me, and through writing on a blog we can appeal to a diverse array of people from all walks of life and all over the world.  Sometimes we find a blog accidentally while searching for something else.  But most people who visit a blog or website do so quietly, preferring the anonymity of the web.   In blog jargon, people who visit a site but don’t comment much are called “lurkers.”  I read somewhere that more than 80% of a sites visitors usually just browse the site without commenting.

I must admit that I’m a lurker on most of the sites I visit!  Usually I just don’t think I have much to share or contribute.  When I do make a comment however, I find that the host really appreciates it.  Sometimes I’ll “subscribe to a feed” or RSS link in my newsreader, and receive updates on daily posts. 

Kuma of Fox Haven

But for other sites I’ll sign up directly for an email subscription so that whenever a blog post is made, I’ll get that email on the same day even if I have not visited the site in a while.   I find it easier because I don’t always remember to visit different sites, and frankly I just don’t have the time.

One of the companies that has simplified blog feeds and email subscriptions is FeedBurner.  The company grew so quickly and was so effective that Google bought them last year!  But FeedBurner is not perfect as I found out yesterday.  I’ve had a “Subscribe vie Email” page and link on the site for some time, and when I went to help someone sign up yesterday I found it wasn’t working. Arrggh!  It seems that if FeedBurner makes some tweaks to their system without notifying users it results in a broken sign-up process. 

So that link is now fixed… if you’ve tried to sign up in the past and didn’t succeed, I offer my apologies.  And if you haven’t tried to sign up in the past, well then I hope you’ll consider it now! :)   

Feedburner!

I certainly understand if you enjoy reading quietly from afar.  But if you ever think about commenting on a post or topic, please feel welcome to do so.  Soon it will be time for the garden, and I hope some of you can share your growing insights! 

After fixing the links on this site, it’s time to head outside.  It’s supposed to warm up to 73 degrees today before turning colder again this week.  But the cold won’t last for long!  I hear the birds singing… Best regards-

10 Things to Know about WordPress in 2020

January 25th, 2007

Updated for 2020. 

Beginning in 2003,  WordPress now commands nearly 40% of the published webspace for everything from self-authored blogs and niche sites, to galleries, forums, shopping and advertising sites, and so much more through an amazing range of creative business and media organizations. 

Here are my 10 Things to Know about WordPress:

  1.  WordPress has revolutionized self-published content on the internet.  Through WordPress and similar platforms, everyone can publish nearly anything they can dream of directly to the internet to share with the world. 
  2. WordPress has produced entire new media, software, advertising, publishing and other related industries, leveraging creativity into economic expansion.
  3. WordPress has made people a lot of money. (see #2).
  4. WordPress has given a voice to people; even providing opportunity to the smallest publisher in the farthest reaches of the world.  In some ways, WordPress has enabled free speech and liberty where previously voices struggled to be heard.
  5. WordPress has lifted people and communities out of poverty through education and awareness of issues, and fostered visibility and relationships through the stratum of local community and national economic needs. 
  6. WordPress has helped people survive disasters and enabled recovery efforts and continued charitable and government support.
  7. WordPress has helped people to learn and to improve their lives both at home, in schools, and in their communities and workplaces.
  8. WordPress has enabled families, relatives and friends to share thoughts and stories across time and distance in ways they never would have before.
  9. WordPress has helped people learn to do new things, to fix things, to create things, to understand things, to recognize things and to appreciate things in so many new and different ways.
  10. WordPress has driven countless publishers crazy with the need and desire to keep writing and publishing!

 

 

 

Conversely, I will add that through WordPress (and similar platforms) we may also risk suppression of the very same free speech, creativity and economic freedom by the intolerance of those who would force their narrow viewpoints, ideas or beliefs on the rest of the world.  

I believe WordPress is a force for good– and will continue to be an amazing publishing platform.  We must remain vigilant and stand up for freedom of speech, the rights of every citizen, and the ability to share individual expression in positive ways. 

 

If you are new to WordPress and considering your own hosting enviroment, please see the WordPress Homepage.  Or you can visit WordPress.com for a simple, managed hosting environment.

 

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