Self Sabotage

This little video below is full of great advice. Although I am on a self-improvement book reading and video watching hiatus, I watched this anyway. Because, you know, I self-sabotage. A lot. :)

The only thing I disagreed with was the advice to proclaim your goal publicly. I read something a while back about how sometimes we get a dose of real satisfaction from broadcasting our goals that substitutes for the actual accomplishment of those goals. I saw myself in that and since then, I’ve been trying quite valiantly to keep my goals to myself.

The thing I most agreed with was the comment about change and suffering. I’ve always believed that epiphanies aren’t enough. Without real suffering of some kind, change is almost impossible. So the trick has been to try to find whatever it is that it’s going to take to change myself so I can stop repeating my mistakes.

Listening to (against my will): Good Luck Charlie

Monday Morning Update–Well, Crap. It Was Supposed to Be Morning Anyway, Now It’s 2:10 PM

So, today is the first day of an exciting time in my life. I’m about to tackle a topic on a website that’s near and dear to my heart and that has interested me since I was about 13 years old, and it’s going to make me a ton of money.

As if.

I’m about to get to work putting together some stuff that probably won’t earn me a dime and then what’ll I do when all my domains and hosting accounts come up for renewal?

Cry?

LOL.

The thing is, I’ve tried a lot of different things over the years when it comes to building websites. One thing I tried was running a site about something I loved doing in my personal time. I had a big, big site about this topic and it did okay. If I had only been spending 2 hours a week on it, it could have been seen as profitable. Since I was spending so much more time than that on it, it was instead seen, by me, as a big fat flop.

I wanted to parlay it into a career. Didn’t work.

Now I’m thinking about doing the same thing all over again, but with a different topic that I love.

I think this makes me crazy*.

*Legal disclaimer: This is not an actual statement on my mental health. Think of it as a metaphor. Noun: metaphor: 1. A figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote…

Sunday Morning Rambling About Some Dude’s Articles

I’ve read three posts by this dude (or dudette, because I haven’t read the about page yet, will do shortly) and I want to get something said before I forget what it is I want to say. His/her—okay, never mind, I feel compelled to read the about page now so time out…

OMG. That’s an awesome ‘about’ page. I know this already: it’s a guy, he’s four years younger than me, we both ran Windows 3.1. What I don’t know is if he’s single and honestly anyone who writes that well and engages readers so smoothly, probably isn’t. Dammit.

Okay—time to move on. :-o

Pixelrage posted "Business Without The Internet?" and although I totally see his point, for me, that’s not the point at all.

You see, I’m an employee, but I’m treated very much like a consultant and I have done some consulting work on the side a few times. I’m tired of it… so, so tired of it. I admit, though, that my current work on websites is more like that of a hobbyist than a professional (don’t tell the IRS though, they get picky about that stuff when you claim losses!). That’s not to say I don’t think of my websites as a business, because I do…I just don’t treat them that way because frankly that takes all the fun out of it. I have the kind of career where I can easily transition to my own business (professional services I won’t name because I’m not ready for my bosses to discover me here and realize I’m unhappy in my choice of career), but I don’t want to.

The silence I get from working at home, alone? That’s the sound of peace and contentment, and I admit it. You want a poster child for who this woman, author of Quiet, is talking about? That would be me. Running my own consulting or product business? Diametrically opposed to the things that drew me to the internet to begin with and not a road I want to go down.

My point is that I see why affiliate marketing is running into problems. The other 2 articles I read address the problems quite well when Pixelrage talks about the 2012 affiliate marketing apocalypse and how Google is against you if you have an affiliate site, particularly a storefront. The good news is that I’ve never done storefronts. They suck and I know they suck and Google’s dude has it right when he says they’re "…just an unnecessary step in the sales funnel." They ARE. Face it. That’s what stings, when you already know or suspect something and someone comes along and confirms it for you when you really just want to hear that you’re being silly and that of course your work is great…when it’s really not. I’ve had that happen a lot and it, too, sucks. But we all have to face it sometime. We’re often less stellar than we’d like to believe, and more ordinary than we ever want to imagine. The good news is it doesn’t matter. There’s still no one else who can live your life, and we each get to decide what we’re going to do a moment from now and even if the choice is terrible, or the consequences are disastrous, we can own that decision.

If brands are where it’s at, there’s still a chance to make a career out of something that doesn’t leave you holding an inventory of products and dealing with clients every day in your consulting business, or your lawn care business, or your sports memorabilia business.

There IS.

I’m not going to ramble about all that authority website crap that’s all over the internet these days, because the fact is, I feel like it’s stupid. You’re not an authority because you say you’re an authority. You’re an authority because other people say it. You need to be a destination, not a train depot. But you also need to have roads leading out to other interesting places, or you’re just a dead end. Get it?

This is going to be the difference between dead affiliate storefronts and actual internet businesses that don’t rely on Google to survive.

Pixelrage says it quite clearly when he says, "Become a Brand" and "This truly is the only way to stay alive these days: brands, as defined by search engines, are most likely websites that have real shopping carts and checkout systems. They supply products themselves, instead of shilling affiliate links to real storefronts" and I can’t disagree with the message, but I do disagree with the point. There are a lot of brands online, places I visit day in and day out, without any help from Google or any other search engine, that don’t sell their own product or service in the way I think he’s talking about, not the way a consultant sells a service. Their service is being a destination website. I don’t care about authority. I want to go somewhere to browse and hang out and waste what little free time I have. I tell my friends about these sites. I revisit when I want more information or another perspective or a few minutes to think about something besides the drudgery of my job.

Easy money days might be gone forever when it comes to internet businesses based on the affiliate model, but if I can build something that’s important because of what it is, not where it sits in Google’s search results, then I don’t know that I care. Work is only drudgery when you’re doing something you don’t want to be doing. Working hard for your money (thank you Donna Summer) doesn’t have to suck.

Disqus for Static Site Commenting

Although I personally hate(d) Disqus, as a user, I’m testing it on a website that I turned static.

The reason I hate hated it? Login/sign up requirements.

Why I want it anyway? Because some of my sites are just begging me to have some interaction on them, and the static HTML that I moved to doesn’t really let me do that easily. The sites would be so much more fun to run with other people commenting occasionally! I thought about setting up a comment form on each page I want comments enabled on and have visitors email me their comments. Since I moderate everything anyway, no one will notice. But what if things take off and I don’t want to moderate? Or I decide discussion is being stifled by not having more real-time comments?

I’ve since discovered that site owners set the requirement to login to Disqus or not, so maybe I don’t hate it as much as I just hate the site owners who make it so that only people who want to actually sign up with Disqus can comment. Oh yeah.

I don’t like having everything I do online being all linked up. It creates the creepy feeling of being followed around and spied upon and I already have enough of that paranoia, thank you very much!

The requirement for an email address is still there, and I had that with WordPress anyway, so that’s no biggie. I hadn’t realized though, that I could set this up as not requiring actual Disqus membership and that’s really nice! This might be just what I want.

I’m not that interested in the content from commenters showing up on my pages for search engines (it won’t, because you use a javascript code with the universal setup that works with static html sites) but I’m very interested in having some interaction with visitors on certain of my sites…

The only thing left to decide is whether or not to have multiple accounts myself. I set this one up with an admin user(name) that matches the site and realized quite quickly that that’s going to be awkward to reuse on another site. ;-)

Update: I eventually abandoned this idea, because comments are few and far between and the overhead definitely outweighs the benefits of the few comments I was getting. :-)

Static Site Hell

I am in static site hell.

So, I got rid of WordPress on so many sites I can’t even count them… I also got rid of a lot of sites, period. Although I do have wide interests and an amazing capacity for picking up domains that I find appealing, I’ve decided I’ll have to forego that in the future. Life is WAY too short to spend it buying domains I’ll never develop. A (not so) short while ago, I bought my last domain for a (long) while.

Getting rid of WordPress isn’t a bad thing IMO. The bad thing is that I actually like discussion and not having WordPress means I have no commenting system on those sites now. Some of them don’t need commenting and that’s great. But some of them are definitely sites I run because I love the topics and those sites? They need commenting because without commenting I feel like I’m missing a huge opportunity to have fun with the sites!

And then there’s the updating. This is a mental block that I’m just going to have to overcome. The fact is, I’ve done the time studies to prove that I can update a static site just as fast as I can update a WordPress run site. Sure, the front-end effort is more time efficient in WordPress when I have a super-short post I want online. But it evens out when the posts get longer and the number of new images increases. I can whip out a formatted block of HTML just as fast as I can type in Word (or OpenOffice Writer when I’m stuck with it instead, no offense to Ooo fans everywhere, because it is a great free program, but dammit, I LIKE Microsoft Word). And when it gets complicated? Handcoded HMTL is unbeatable for customizing on a page by page basis and I can create a complex mini-site within a site with 10% of the effort and time I spend in WordPress trying to get it to do what I want. And I do have sites like that, where I want each section to be unique and have very little use for cookie-cutter pages.

But the problem is that even though I know this, it still feels like more of a chore to add a new article or page and I’ve really let that interfere with my site updating!

Then there’s another issue. When I converted, I kept all the old content, including tag and category pages. I can’t decide if I want to continue to update these (and even expand where appropriate) or just leave them as is and not add the new content to them (seems like a sure way to make the site look out-of-date even when it’s not), or delete them as I decide I don’t need them and convert relevant, useful tags and categories into actual subsections of the site(s). Guh. Over-categorizing just seems like a sure way to end up with a mess.

Maybe I’ll get this all straightened out soon. If not, I’ll just go back to worrying about my spy and not doing anything… ;-)

I am an Idiot

[Disclaimer: Okay, for the spy, you know, spying on me. I’m not really an idiot. This is what you call making a statement for effect, to make a point, and  if this ends up quoted in any way in a legal document, then don’t try to tell me you aren’t spying on me.]

For everyone else: The title of this post is possibly true, while the above statement is possibly false. ;-)

There are certain times in your life when you realize you might not be doing the thing you’re meant to be doing, for whatever reason.

There are also times in your life when you do something, for a seemingly good and valid reason and then wish you hadn’t.

This is one of those times. (Both.)

And there is the crux of my problem. I do the same thing over and over and over and for some reason I expect it to be different every time, even though it doesn’t turn out that way.

Listening to: Gotye – Somebody That I Used to Know; Flo Rida – Wild Ones

Ugh. eHarlequin Affiliate Program Ending

Well that’s a bummer. I use the eHarlequin affiliate program to generate income for a few sites I have. They were about 5% of my income last year, and I just got the news today that the program was closing effective May 10, 2012. That doesn’t bother me as much as it probably should, but the main site I use them on is a site I don’t actively work on any longer. Haven’t in a couple of years.

Still, if I want to get them off the site and replace the links with other links that might still earn me a few dollars, it’s going to mean changing thousands of links. Yes, that’s right. The site has about 3,000 pages and a large number of them have links to eHarlequin.

I really wish they’d given me more notice because this isn’t really what I had wanted to do with my weekend.

Peace of Mind is Worth a Thousand HTML Sites

I just turned a bunch of WordPress sites into static html, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are the following.

  1. Security
  2. Peace of Mind
  3. Ease of Maintenance
  4. Peace of Mind
  5. More Peace of Mind

I love WP, really. However, I also love peace of mind, and I had too many sites using WP to have any peace of mind.

Why? Because although WordPress is great and gives added functionality to a site and makes updating content easy as typing in Word or OpenOffice, it has a bad habit of making my life harder than it has to be.

I want to make a page look a certain way? I need to create a new page template. I want to make a site look a certain way, I need to edit a theme. I want to backup my files, I have to backup files by ftp and export a database. I want to restore a site? I have to upload files, fix or create a database, and pray it all works together the way it was supposed to. Oh, accidentally delete my WP config file and wow, what a mess that new one made of the character encoding! I have freaky symbols everywhere. Ugh!

Then there’s the scary stuff.

I found a few sites where a plugin had opened a backdoor and someone—whoever you are, you are a [bleep]—uploaded some crappy IM type posts for backlinks into a few of my directories.

It was then I decided static html (or even php with basic includes) was my friend and WordPress wasn’t. Sometimes you like something (like swiss rolls) but sometimes you have to give them up because they just aren’t good for you.

I still have my blog and it will stay WordPress because that’s where WordPress works best. But because it’s a simple blog, I have no need of crap plugins or special templates or anything else.

Footprints and Your <head>

Ah, so I was looking at some stuff this last week and realized I had let a few things slip by me when it comes to site footprints. (Notably, not footprint, which would imply how large my site is and how much space it takes up on my hosting plan, which is not what I’m getting at here at ALL.)

Of course, there are the things you can’t control, such as tracking ids and publisher code. However, whenever possible, I try to use a different id or code for every site I own, just because I’m like that. Sure, I link a lot of my stuff together because it’s all relevant, but not all of it, because it just doesn’t share a topic or market and it makes no sense to do so (or I want to hide it from prying eyes—whose eyes those might be, I will not say—but I have a passion for several online fandoms and I don’t particularly want everyone to know that I squee! and woot! every other sentence, and that when it comes to these things, I am not quite as mature as my age would imply. ;-)

Anyway, my point is that there are just some things you can’t eliminate, such as if you use certain contextual ad code on your sites. It’s against the rules to have more than one account unless you create independent businesses and I am too cheap to do that. Don’t want to file the tax returns and don’t want to apply for the requisite federal id numbers. One tax return is quite enough, thank you very much.

So, my next work day is going to be spent consolidating and eliminating such codes from any and all sites that don’t earn enough to make it worthwhile to have such code on them.

And I might tidy up a few other things while I’m at it. Footprints are messy and I don’t particularly enjoy mopping up the mess but it must be done.

If you use WordPress on a lot of sites, check your <head> space. You might be using the same theme and thinking that it’s okay because you made your sites look different… BUT unless you’ve edited the html code, or created a child theme with a unique name, you probably haven’t made as much of a dent in those footprints as you think you have. Bots don’t see the end result, they see the code. :-)

This is also part of my push for saying bye-bye to WordPress and hello to static HTML (again). The control you have over output and the individuality you can give every site is a huge plus. Biggest mistake I ever made was converting almost every site I had to WordPress, not the least of why is because it takes twice as long to go back to HTML as it did to go to WP. Ah, well. Live and learn.

We Can All Use a Little Help Sometimes

Keyword research is not overrated. I used to build sites and pages without ever bothering to check the keywords for anything. I made sites that never got traffic, that never made sales, that—oops. Wait.

I had never heard of keyword research when I first started building sites. I made several that got plenty of traffic, and made several sales. In fact, one of those sites still makes sales and still gets traffic.

The thing is, you can build sites that work just fine without keyword data.

But, and it’s a big one, you can make sites earn a lot faster if you have keyword data that tells you what people are searching for in your niche and then you create pages that match those searches. You waste a lot of time building pages that possibly don’t help anyone because no one really wants to know anything about what you’ve just built a page around.

I can’t stand to do massive amounts of keyword research where I pull words, get traffic, figure out possible earnings, and then try to incorporate all that into my pages. I pay for that lack of interest though in slower traffic growth, less earnings, and fewer breakout sites.

I still don’t bother with traffic and earnings data, but I have been using a cool tool to help me pick out all the interesting things people search for related to some of the site topics I build around. The tool tells me what people type into the search engine when they’re looking for that topic and it has helped me with something I didn’t expect it to help with.

Article ideas. :)

I have the worst time dealing with large topics. I become overwhelmed and unable to focus. When I see the list of keyword phrases this little tool spits out for me, I immediately have something solid to grab onto—something that’s not possible when I have 4,822 ideas popping into my head at once when I think of my topic! This has saved me a lot of time just by keeping me focused and working and not flitting all over the place writing drafts I will never finish because I didn’t know where I was going with it when I started it.

And the good news is that if people are searching for these phrases, then writing that article is certainly going to help someone, somewhere.

<strike>GEOLOGY UNIVERSE</strike> Oops! Guess not

Because I have too few creative bones in my body and they mostly involve fictional tales of romance and foreign planets. This was a tough one. I had a really hard time picking out this name. I wanted something not related to the poor guy who gave me the idea, but in the end, this was as good as it got.

  1. geologyworld.com – taken
  2. earthgeology.com – taken
  3. geology.com – taken (seriously, I didn’t even have to check)
  4. geologydaze.com – not taken, but we know why
  5. geologyoftheworld.com – not taken, but doesn’t this limit me to only earth’s geology? Why would I want to do that? Mars has interesting geology and I love thinking about how the geology on other earth-like worlds might have developed.
  6. geologynews.com – taken
  7. geologyviews.com – Dang. I just thought of this one and I think I would have liked it.

I think I might be a little too tired after an overly stressful day. I now have 2 domains for the same site that I’m probably never going to build. :-o

Listening to: Cyndi Lauper – I Drove All Night; Blake Shelton – Some Beach

Site Focus Redux

LOL. I wrote this… And of course, I immediately started thinking about what topic I would pursue if I could honestly make money from anything I enjoyed learning about. Geology popped into my head immediately. That’s one of my few regrets in life, changing my major in college from geology to accounting. I mean, what the heck was I thinking at the time?

I’m not obsessed with geology, but I am fascinated by natural disasters of a geological nature like earthquakes and volcanoes. In fact, I once started writing a novel of fiction about the possibility of a super-eruption at Yellowstone. I even did some research. LOL. Famous author Harry Turtledove has officially beat me to the punch though, so I guess that’s okay. The world doesn’t need two. ;-)

I could devote some time to writing about and collecting news around the topic of geology and natural disasters without much effort spent to motivate myself.

And that IS a problem I have with a lot of the stuff I write currently. It’s just plain drudgery, not much better than the job I have that I’m no longer happy working.

I swear, I almost bought a domain for this before I came up on the brick wall of having to pick a domain name for this unnamed, insane project that would suck up too much of my time when I need not another 10 year website project, but something that would pay dividends much more quickly. Oops.

Sometimes I hate inspiration.

Listening to: Gary Allan – Life Ain’t Always Beautiful; “Weird Al” Yankovic – Party in the CIA (Parody of Party in the USA); George Strait – Fool Hearted Memory

Dude Has a Point But What’s the Point?

So I was looking for something to distract me today and I came across some new podcasts about a topic near and dear to my heart. Websites! :)

Anyway, the topics of the podcasts were pretty standard stuff, but the content was really good. If you’re into building websites, especially the kind that focus on one or two main topics and branch out from there—as in not just a blog of whatever’s going on in your life—you’ll probably enjoy listening to these.

I needed a break from real life for a few minutes, and I had a drive ahead of me too, so I queued them up on my phone and listened. The guy has a really nice voice too so that helps. ;-) Apparently he runs the site Universe Today, a site about space and astronomy, a topic I’m halfway interested in. Space, not astronomy. LOL.

What I found most compelling, and most vexing, was his assertion that working on multiple websites is going to mean you create sites that are only good enough, and that’s not good enough, according to him.

I actually agree. But that’s not what I do. I’ve gone back and forth with this issue for the last 5 years and I keep ending up back at the same place—with too many websites to keep even half of them straight in my head.

The only problem is, I didn’t see any real income growth with my hobby turned business until I started building all these other sites. I spent years chasing my passion with a site that now gets almost a thousand visitors a day and I haven’t updated it in over a year at this point. But I grew away from the topic, and where does that leave you? I mean, I have a short attention span, really. How do you deal with building up only one site over the span of 10 years and then deciding you really don’t like it that much anymore after all? What’s the point? That’s what happened to me a few years ago, and no, this wasn’t some whim. I had loved that industry, that topic, for 10 years before I ever started a site on it. I could never have imagined I would outgrow my passion for the site. But it happened.

So although I agree with him in principle that if you want to build something that stands the test of time and is really the best it can be, working on one site at a time is about the only way to go unless you have money to burn and can afford to hire lots of help.

In actuality, it’s a lot more complicated than that. It takes a long time to get a site to the point that it will earn a living. I never got that monster I created to that point.

Listening to: The Cure – Just Like Heaven; Eric Church – Homeboy; Pink – So What

Looks Like Storms

The wind is picking up outside, and thunder is rumbling. The rain has started and weather.gov shows tornado warnings nearby. The school where my children attend has announced that it will be dismissing today at 12 noon.

That doesn’t matter for the moment though. I am writing content for my websites and trying to decide what my next move will be. I have decisions to make and things to think about. I still have time to work without interruption even if it’s just for another hour. A lot can be done in an hour. :)

WordPress 3.3 – Woohoo! Much Improved

I like it. I’ve only had it up for a few minutes on one of my sites and I am already loving the improvements. I can’t say that I won’t find something I won’t like at some point but so far, the admin area is much faster and cleaner. I especially like the fly out menus, the new permalink settings (same old but now no performance hit for the one I really like best (the post name and nothing but the post name)).

WordPress vs Static HTML vs Database Driven PHP vs My Serious Lack of Mad Design Skilz

I’m not gifted with mad design skills. I’m not blessed with any design skills at all, frankly.

That’s not to say I’ve never designed a website that I didn’t like, or that I’ve never managed to be satisfied with something I’ve created from scratch. However, those sites are few and far between and I don’t hesitate to admit, the designs for those sites took at a minimum a month apiece after reworking the designs until I was sick of them.

These days I try to use templates and themes to help out, but I struggle with the idea that I should be able to create my own designs and code my own sites, because that’s where the fun is for me when it comes to working with my websites. Knowing my sites are exclusively my work is where I get the most satisfaction.

This is one of the core reasons why I struggle over the WordPress, static html, or custom dynamic database site issue. I want the ease of updating the content that comes with WordPress, the simplicity of picking a pre-designed theme, and the security of a frequently updated software, but I also prefer not having to update WordPress and that only comes with static html or a custom database site.

With all that in mind, I’ve finally decided how I want to use this website. I want it to be a place where I can discuss the things I learn about web design that other ordinary people like me might find useful.

This site isn’t for the graphically gifted, nor for those who won’t hesitate to buy or borrow graphic work from talented friends. This site is for people who want to do it themselves, all of it, from coding their html pages, creating their own WordPress themes, to designing crappy graphics for their sites even though they know their work is never going to be good enough for some.

It’s good enough for us, and if we work at it long enough, we do end up with presentable web sites. And we don’t care if any one else agrees. :)

Finally, I also plan to continue to update about the progress I’m making toward my goals of doing some kind of web work to make a living. Although I’m still working my part-time job, I’ve recently been pushed into a situation where it has become important for me to make some real progress.

Abandoning Akismet for Privacy and Control

I’ve recently switched the particular anti-spam plugin that I use on my websites (those I run on WordPress anyway). I deleted Akismet when I discovered that I was having some of my own comments deleted before I ever saw them, because Akismet was treating them as spam.

Not all comments were deleted or treated as spam, mind you, but any comments where I had tried to use a URL that didn’t lead directly to my homepage.

There are instances where not linking to the homepage makes more sense, for example, when I am posting on a topic specific blog but my blog is more general in nature. In those cases, I prefer to link to a relevant category or tag page (because I use categories and tags in VERY specific ways on several sites, so I can better organize and share my content). Occasionally, I like to link to a specific page on WordPress too, when that seems more logical.

Akimet seems not to care about logic, only controlling the web and who and how we comment on blogs.

Apparently, it doesn’t matter how grammatically correct you are (most spam fails a grammar test), how coherent you try to be (again most spam completely fails in this regard), or how relevant you make your comment. Akismet doesn’t like links that don’t go either directly to your homepage or your /blog/ index.

I found this out the hard way when a friend and I (who often exchange comments because we have the same interests and find each others’ material comment-worthy) were penalized because we had not linked directly to our homepages in the Author website field. My comments ended up in her spam box, and her comments ended up in mine.

So, as someone who isn’t above holding a grudge, I deleted Akisment and went looking for a better alternative.

I found Growmap’s Anti-Spam Plugin, installed it, and haven’t had a “spambot” comment make it through yet. GASP put me back in control of comments and I like that.

Check it out if you’re interested in an Akismet alternative.

I use Simple Trackback Validation (with Topsy Blocker) to handle trackback spam.

CSS Stuff that I Needed to Know but Didn’t

Ran across this CSS tip today, when I was researching an issue. I wanted to override a width in an element but the element already had a lot of styles applied to it and I didn’t want to create an entirely new ID.

Creating a new ID was my first instinct just because I don’t work with CSS nearly as much as I did when I first discovered it. I’m comfortable with the layout of most of my designs and just haven’t felt the need to more than tweak in years.

Really useful info, so check it out if you like to play with your CSS sometimes but want to keep it as streamlined as possible. http://css-tricks.com/multiple-class-id-selectors/

What I Want is What I Get

You know how when you have a site and it’s your site you can do anything you want with it?

That’s what I have here.

What I don’t want to do is keep updating this crappy challenge thing. All right. Yes, I know. I sound like a quitter. But sometimes you’ve got to quit the things that are making it hard for you to stay focused and do what needs to be done.

I prefer to think of my website empire in the making as my own personal thing. Making it public was a bad idea in the way I’m making it public, and frankly, I’m not comfortable with it. I prefer to feel free to talk about my sites and not worry about all the crap that I’m worrying about with them.

This post might not ever see the light of day, but getting it down here is helping me to realize a few things.

I’m not cut out to publicize my life.

I like my privacy.

I like to make decisions and then reevaluate and having a “challenge” like this is interfering with my methods.

I’m bored with this site. :)

Sorry, if you’re reading this, this is the last post on this site before I gut it and do something else with it.

By the way, read You Are Not a Gadget if you have a few hours. It’s quite interesting. It’s unrelated to the topic of this post, sort of, but it did have something to do with my sudden desire to change things up.

You Are Not a Gadget

0307269647-you-are-not-a-gadget

Jaron Lanier

Google books has pages available to read if you just want a taste of the book.

Tried Pligg On a Site But it Failed to Live Up to My Expectations

Here’s the thing, I’m always first in line to call others out for complaining too loudly about the limitations and bugs you find in free software. Don’t get me wrong, though, because I love using open source software for my websites and on my own computer. The thing is, however, there are a lot of times when I get all excited about what a piece of software is promising to do for me and I go to the trouble of installing it and playing around with it and discover to my disappointment that the software just doesn’t work well at all for what I want it to do.

I should say now that I’m a controlling, exacting webmaster. :) I know what I want and I want software that’s reliable, fast, secure, and relatively easy to work with.

So, on that note, I read a lot of good things about Pligg and thought some of its features would be perfect for a site I’m developing (or trying to develop). I installed the software on a test directory, and after it looked promising, gave it a whirl on a domain of its own over a 48 hour time period during which I spent ENTIRELY too much time at my computer.

What I discovered was that the concept of Pligg is wonderful, but the actual software, not so much.

I found the Category Administration extremely buggy. I found the modules lacking, unless you want to buy some, but even those didn’t look like anything I was interested in. I found the customization of the default templates to be awkward.

In summary, I found that it just didn’t meet my expectations. All this really means though, is that I have to move on to something else that might work better for me in the long run. It’s like my trial run with Joomla a few years ago, except this time I didn’t build 3 complete websites before I discovered that I and Joomla didn’t get along. This time I only built one and a half. :)

Here’s my toast to figuring things out in a hurry.

Finally, have I completely abandoned Pligg? Probably.