Reader Mail – 10/16/2011 To 10/22/2011

I decided to start doing “Reader Mail” posts again.  Some people said that they missed them.

I liked doing it, because interesting discussions sometimes get buried in the comments.  If you don’t read the comment feed and don’t go back to the post, you may miss some interesting comments.

On Blogger, I stopped doing “Reader Mail” posts.  It was a PITA to cut+paste and make the posts.

On my own WordPress, I have no such problem!  I wrote a PHP script that reads the WordPress comment table and generates the post template for me!  I left the non-FSK comments as-is, but I enhanced some of my responses.

Right now, it’s in beta.  It’s still not fully done.  For example, I have to manually edit the PHP source to fill in the date range.

I’m thinking of making it into a WordPress plugin.  Is anyone interested in my “Generate Reader Mail” script for their own blog?

Anonymous 2274 commented on Editorial Decision – I’m Not Importing My Old Archive.

Also, I might suggest doing a 304 redirect when you rewrite those posts in order to get the linkjuice to this site. Also, when someone then goes to the original post, they’ll actually be transferred to the new one. That usually works to transfer all the PageRank to the new site.

Anonymous 2274 commented on Editorial Decision – I’m Not Importing My Old Archive.

I apologize; it is known as a 301 redirect, not 304.

Unfortunately, Blogger does not support 304/301 redirects when you move your blog. It’s annoying. It’s one of the ways that Google attempts to lock in their users.

I’m forced to restart from scratch when I move, PageRank wise.

That might be one of the reasons AdBrite banned my new blog (see below).  It has zero PageRank.  Their admin system couldn’t tell the difference between this and a spam blog, and their customer support was too lazy to notice that I was a real publisher and not a scammer.

That’s what really annoys me about AdBrite.  I’ve been publishing their ads for more than 2 years, and someone didn’t actually read my customer support E-Mails.  Why don’t any businesses have customer support anymore?

Anonymous 2274 commented on FSK Asks – Good Free WordPress Themes?.

There are some good paid themes, but as far as a free theme, there are many good options; not one that comes to mind immediately. Desingpile seems like it might be a good fit (the blue or green version, of course). You might want to check out MagZine and The Hybrid, too. Since you don’t use photos in your posts, your options may be somewhat limited. If you are interested in a paid theme, Thesis and StudioPress are two best to my knowledge.

I looked at those, and wasn’t impressed.  “The Hybrid” didn’t have a clear list of features.  I don’t need a 100% customizable theme, when I can edit the PHP/CSS myself.

I’m going to go with an unpaid theme, and then edit it. “Simplemarket” seems OK so far. I’ll look around for others later.  I’ll probably just use simplemarket, and add my own custom enhancements.

I’m not concerned too much with my theme choice.  I’m going to edit it later.

My theme requirements are:

  1. left sidebar – I never understood why anyone would want a right sidebar.
  2. variable-width – I want the page to expand and contract based on window size.
  3. header doesn’t take up too much space – Some themes had a header that took up half the window!

Toni commented on About FSK.

I like yr blog a lot. just obe suggestion: delete the degrading “just another WP blog” in yr header. You’re better than that:-)

I was going to do that. I was trying to write a PHP script that displayed a random phrase phrase, but couldn’t get it to work.

One interesting rule for working on your blog/website is “Do one thing every day.”

Esse commented on FSK Glossary.

I love the idea of a glossary for this blog.

I’ll work on filling that in. I’m doing a little bit of setup every day.

I did add some more stuff, but it isn’t done yet.

Anonymous 2274 commented on Initial Impressions – WordPress vs. Blogger.

I haven’t had any performance problems with the new site (yet). There’s no question that WordPress is years ahead of Blogger. However, some of the thing is that you’re using the self-hosted WordPress, versus the free WordPress. The free WordPress is better than Blogger, but still restrictive. A self-hosted WordPress blog is definitely the way to go.

This is 100% self-hosted WordPress.  I have my own Linode.  It’s amazing.  It was a great idea.

I learned a lot, just setting up the LInode!  I learned more in a few days of setting up my Linode, than in my last couple years of jobs.  I was surprised how many hackers try to grab phpymadmin, which I never installed.

The best thing is that I can write my own code.  I wrote a PHP script that generated this post.  I can make my own Analytics from the raw Apache logs.  I may expand to other things later.

There’s practically no way I’ll use up the disk and bandwidth allocation of a $20/month Linode.

Anonymous 2274 commented on AdBrite Rejected My New Blog!.

I’ve also not liked Google Analytics. The best alternative I’ve found is Get Clicky. It’s also free (although they have a paid level, too), and I’ve found it to be better and more accurate. I’d definitely recommend it.

Why would I need a 3rd party tracking service? I have the full apache server logs.

If necessary, I’ll write something that parses out the logfiles myself.

Also, 3rd party tracking codes don’t work 100%, if people use NoScript and block it. For example, Google Analytics is still showing 0 actual readers.

Anonymous 2274 commented on AdBrite Rejected My New Blog!.

That may be because Google Analytics has a few hours delay. It takes a while for it start tracking. Google Analytics seems to have suspiciously low numbers. That’s probably largely because it’s the most used service, so it’s more widely blocked.

Definitely a third party service isn’t necessary. You just mentioned you were going “to try other WordPress analytics alternatives” so I thought you might like to check it out.
I suspect that a lot of people block Google Analytics.

That’s another advantage of my own site. I can see how many people are blocking Google Analytics.

I don’t mind if you block Analytics or ads.

Anonymous commented on BlackBerry Outage – What Really Happened.

“Suppose you’re a middle manager at RIMM, and you’re ordered to fire a subordinate. Do you fire your friend? Do you fire the guy who actually gets the work done? Obviously, you fire the competent guy before your fire your friend.”

Why would this be different in an Agorist society? I read an article where you said we shouldn’t go back to the Constitution, because it’s breed the current environment. Why should we go back to a society without a government, considering it breed the current society? What would prevent middle managers from being inefficient and firing good workers as opposed to their good friends?

There are several reasons that would not happen in an agorist/free society.

First, large mega-corporations are only possible in collusion with government. In the present, a highly skilled manager can’t easily start his own business. In a really free market, the skilled middle manager would be managing his own business.

It would be hard to organize a business bigger than the leader’s “monkey number” (200 workers), without support from the State. It would split into smaller businesses working together.

Second, suppose that in business A, management only hires their friends, but in business B, management hires the best workers available. Obviously, business B will rapidly bankrupt business A. In the present, State restriction of the market prevents a group of skilled workers from getting together and starting business B.  If you have a monopoly, you can afford the inefficiency of hiring based on connections rather than ability.

In a really free market, corruption is punished by the market. In the present, corrupt middle managers don’t matter, because the corporation has a State-backed monopoly.

Of course, if all your friends are highly skilled and hardworking, it’ll work out well if you only hire them. You’re severely restricting your worker pool, if you only hire friends.

Anonymous Coward commented on BlackBerry Outage – What Really Happened.

>Therefore, middle managers will fire competent workers before their friends, if >they’re
>ordered to fire someone.

I’ve seen this happen in a few different companies.

Additionally the workers doing the most work may get fired first.

I once worked for a famous tech company. About 10 of us were moved from one division to another. There was a huge scramble for everybody to get onto long term projects or easy jobs. A few people just had to add 1 line of code to every URL handler so a manager could compile statistics of which were the most popular pages. A far more through implementation of this was already available on a whole company level, rather than just for our group. The managers either ignored this or didn’t care.

Of the transferred people I was the only one that got stuck doing “hard” front-line work. Whereas some people only did 1 project over the space of 1 year, I did about 6 different projects and had fix old bugs in the code or bugs caused by other people and groups. For months at a time I had to work weekends and evenings.

It is very easy to get imaginary “dirt” on someone if they are doing loads of important work. It is difficult to get dirt on someone that hardly does anything or who only does work managed by friends or people in on the same game.

The “dirt” they got on me was simply because a manager and his reporting employee wanted to get credit for a project they weren’t entitled to.

Because I did so much work in so many different areas, the chances of encountering bad people were much higher. The fact that I had done 5 projects perfectly well before encountering these clowns was discarded. The fact that I had done 4 projects perfectly well after encountering these clowns was discarded.

Do nothing ===> No dirt can be found on you

Do lots and work hard ==> People want credit for your work or are worried that you have done work they should have done

This explains why a couple of do-little people were left behind but three very competent workers were fired.

Just to make things worse two fired, incompetent workers managed to get other jobs in the same company 1 – 2 years later!

I wonder how serious a problem that is.  Are the more competent workers always fired before the people with political connections?  That certainly would explain why layoffs tend to cripple a corporation.  That always would explain why the economy is collapsing.

Also, when you’re unfairly fired, it leads you to thinking “I need to be smarter and work harder!”, rather than what’s actually happening.  If you’re fired due to excessive competence, working better isn’t going to help!

Argh!  I just noticed that my “Reader Mail” script is messing up sometimes.  I can’t figure out why.  I think it has something to do with WordPress trying to reformat the post after I enter the “raw html”.

I see now.  If you put more than one line in your post, I wasn’t properly replacing the 0x0d and 0x0d 0x0a (damn Windows) with <br>s.

Anonymous 2274 commented on FSK Asks – Good WordPress Plugins?.

Here are the plug-ins I’ve found to be the best:

All In One SEO Pack. This plugin lets you easily enter in the meta title, meta description, and meta tags, without having to code it manually.

Google XML Sitemaps. This plugin sends your site and updates to Google. This is an absolute *MUST*. It will really help with Google ranking.

GrowMap Anti Spam Plugin. Most people use Askimet, but it has a lot of bugs, often spamming non-spam comments, and has become an overall mess. GrowMap adds a checkbox at the bottom of the comment box (undetectable to spam bots) to prove that someone is a human. Since I’ve added this on my site, my spam went down from several a day to zero.

Broken Link Checker. Broken links really hurt your SEO. A commentor’s site might go down, or a site that you’ve previously linked to. This also really helps with SEO.

Sharebar. Lets people easily share your post to Twitter and FaceBook.

WordPress Database Backup. This can be extremely useful in some cases. If your blog is hacked, or somehow goes down, you can easily restore it, as this plugin emails you a backup of your website once daily. The only problem is having your email account hacked, so you might want to create a separate email account for this plugi.n

W3 Total Cache. This will help improve load times.

Contact Form 7. An simple contact form so people can easily get in touch with you.

WordPress Editorial Calendar. Lets you easily see all the posts that you have scheduled in order (on an interactive picture of a calendar). WordPress doesn’t let you easily see your editorial calendar by default.

These are all free, by the way. Let me know what you think.

Anonymous 2274 commented on FSK Asks – Good WordPress Plugins?.

In terms of an archives plugin, Collapsing Archives looks good to me. I haven’t used it personally, though.

It’s going to take me awhile to go through those.

Collapsing archives is definitely what I wanted for archives.  I put in that.

I don’t need any type of caching (yet).  A Linode is overkill for a simple WordPress blog.  I doubt I’ll every get enough readers to be slashdotted or otherwise overloaded.

I’m still angry at Google for unfairly banning me from AdSense.  They are #1 in search and search traffic helps a lot.  I put in the XML sitemap.  I should set up Google Webmaster Tools, so I can see if the sitemap feature is working.

Surpisingly, I haven’t had a spam problem yet.  I refuse to publish spam comments and don’t auto-approve comments.  Maybe that’s why things don’t get out of hand.  I look at some blogs, and the comment section is almost all spam.

I don’t need a contact form.  You can E-Mail me or leave a comment.  I’m going to set up the ad-supported free gmail on your domain.

I also considered “popular posts” plugin.  It was a PITA to manually generate “Best of FSK” on my other blog.  I’ll write a script that manually parses my Apache logs.

I’m not going to clutter things up with “share on Twitter/Facebook/etc” widgets.  You can always cut and paste the link yourself.

I’m going to write some custom PHP.  I’m not adverse to writing custom PHP to get the features I want.

I’m going to write something that parses my Apache logs and creates Analytics and a “Best of FSK” (already did the latter).

I’m going to write something that generates a template for a “Reader Mail” post. (On Blogger, I had to manually cut+paste from the comment notification E-Mails, making me give up.)

Erin Leland (LadyPhoenix) commented on FSK Asks – Good WordPress Plugins?.

What kind of functionality are you looking for? I have installed a few, but don’t want to list them all until I know what you’re looking for, specifically. :) If anything.

First, I’m looking for a Google Analytics equivalent. I don’t want any 3rd party cookie or tracking code, like Google Analytics uses. I decided to parse out my raw Apache logs.

Second, I’m looking for a post archive widget that’s sort of like what I had on Blogger.

Third, I’m looking for something that will compile a list of my most popular posts. I may also do that myself.

Otherwise, I’m looking for stuff that’s generally interesting.

Anonymous 2274 commented on WordPress Admin Panel Hangs?.

I still haven’t experienced any performance problems. I’ve also never had that problem with WordPress. Did the problem you identify solve it?

I think that was the problem. I misconfigured “rotatelogs”, causing Apache to hang.

It hasn’t occurred again since.

So you’re “Anonymous 2274″ now? Do you have a static IP address? Is there some way I can configure WordPress to auto-approve your comments?

One nice thing about WordPress vs. Blogger is that I get to see the IP address of all comments, even Anonymous ones. If you’re always using the same IP address, then I know it’s almost definitely the same person.

Sadly, Verizon DSL gives me a dynamic address. That shouldn’t be too big a problem with my own Analytics, because I’m going to filter out duplicates (multiple visits to the same page from the same IP).

Erin Leland (LadyPhoenix) commented on WordPress Admin Panel Hangs?.

Hey there. Been running WordPress since before the advent of the admin panel. I’ve never had a problem with it. :(

Esse commented on Verizon And The State.

This is really interesting about the politician. I had a huge problem with Sprint screwing things up many years ago and was totally getting the run around. Finally they went one step too far and triggered my thermonuclear detonation switch, which is a state i very rarely can be provoked into where I drop absolutely everything I am doing and focus all my efforts on destroying the other party that has wronged me. Normally I am an easy going guy, but once I get to this point it is all over. I had tons of documentation, organized in extremely well, and it got copied and went to three state attorney generals, both federal US senators in each of my state and Sprint’s headquarters in Kansas, US representatives, better business bureaus, and state senators and representatives in my state and in kansas. Of all of them, my own state representative and senator seem to have had the most free time and nothing better to do to devote to reading my material and a massive shitstorm ensued. At one point there was a phone call from the CEO of Sprint on my answering machine personally apologizing.

Esse commented on No AdBrite For FSK!.

Thanks for the warning, clearly they are yet another company run by idiots.

Hm, do I have to give a real email address.

No. I configured WordPress so you can leave all 3 blank and comment completely Anonymously. However, I do get to see your IP address. That should work. You also can give a name, but not an E-Mail. That should work.

If you do put in an E-Mail, it’s probably doing a regexp match to see if it’s of the form

I thought I set WordPress to auto-approve comments by someone who had a previously-approved comment.

The thing that annoys me about AdBrite is that I’ve been using their service for 2+ years, making about $5/month (and presumably some money for them). I put the ad widget on my new blog when I was first building it, and they flagged my blog as a spammer blog. Their customer support said “Sorry! You’re a spammer! Blog not approved! Ticket closed!”, and they didn’t even read what I wrote.

Their filtering software rejected my blog initially due to “insufficent content”.  I asked AdBrite customer support how much content I needed – 1 month, 2 months, whatever.  They refused to answer.  They merely responded with “Blog rejected!  Ticket closed!  Get lost you spammer!”

Esse commented on More Interview Stupidity.

I’m sorry, but the correct answer was “B”.

That’s one part of those tech screenings I really find offensive. Even if I do give the wrong answer, they never tell me what the expected answer was. I guess that prevents anyone from challenging them later.

When the tech screening test is obviously flawed, I wonder if preferred candidates are given the answers ahead of time?

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