Some people just won’t take no …


I keep getting followed by a blogger/organisation or whatever that I’m not interested in. Each time they appear, I remove them. But like one of those rashes, they keep coming back. Itchy RashI have been removed from a couple of sites over the past few years and I take the view that “If they don’t want me to see their words, then I don’t want to see them”. It is as simple as that. I may try and follow again, but if rejected twice, then it’s their loss not mine. However, some just don’t get it. I’ve looked at the site and it appears to be some kind of American recruitment site. Now I accept, that after the farce that is Brexit is over we may need to look to other parts of the world, I don’t think I’ll need the kind of recruitment service this blog offers.

The next time they follow, I’m going going to ask them why. Why they are following a semi-retired Council worker from the UK

Change to my blog settings …


Just trying a change to the feed setting on my blog. Not sure if it will make any difference, but I’ve been told that it may drive more traffic to my site. I’ve been Feed Settingsadvised that I should limit the feed content to an excerpt of the post. This, I’ve been told will mean that readers will have to visit my site to read the full post. As I say, I’m not sure it will improve my stats, but I will monitor the situation and make any changes that are necessary.

Just had a bit of a test/trial …


I’ve heard a bit about Gutenberg, the new WordPress editor so I thought I would give it a go. “Be bold.” I said to myself, “Don’t get in a rut” and a few other motivational phrases that I don’t want to go into.

My first impression was that it had a quite confusing interface, and I found switching from what they call “Block” and “Document” to add a tag or category, very frustrating. I like to addclipart430159 tags as and when they appear in my text. Then there is the text formatting which seems to be missing ‘full justify’ which is how I usually format my words. Embedding an image within a paragraph does not seem to work. There may be a way to do it, but I could not see how. I didn’t seem to be able to post my words as a draft post. Although I selected ‘pending’ as an option the post went live (now deleted). All in all, unless WordPress are prepared to give us a full tutorial, then I’m going to sit in my rut like the cowardly lion and stick to what I know. It’s the same feeling I had when Windows Live Writer was withdrawn (before I found Open Live Writer) and I tried using Microsoft Word to write a post. I would possibly get used to it, but in the end, is it worth the stress of change?

I can quite see, that WordPress might want everyone to eventually use Gutenberg, but until then, I’ll stick to Open Live Writer.

Blog editor trial – results are in …


Now here is where in time old fashion I should say “In no particular order …” but I shall resist the temptation. Instead I shall just list some of the ‘pros and cons’ of the applications I have tried.

1. WordPress editor
Positives: ease of use, built in, WYSIWYG, available on all my devices
Negatives: formatting images not as good as Open Live Writer

2. Word
Positives: fully featured, WYSIWYG
Negatives: too many features, no tags, image manipulation not as good as Open Live Writer

3. BlogDesk
Positives:
Negatives: Could not get it to connect to blog

4. Open Live Writer
Positives: Ease of use, familiar, WYSIWYG, tags and categories easy to use, image control good
Negatives: Not been updated since 2015, random crashes

5. BlodPad Pro
Positives: ease of use, good when away from desk
Negatives: iOS only, image manipulation not easy

After a little amount of brain activity, I think I am going to stick with Open Live Writer as my main editor for the time being. However, I may be tempted with the WordPress editor. With it’s ability to be used on my laptop, my iPad, my wife’s iPad, old laptop and even my phone if the desire took me, it comes an extremely close second.


Still going – just …


The issues with the laptop continue, although they seem to be not as bad as they were at the beginning of the week. After reading some the comments online, I’m more and more convinced that at least some of the problems are linked with the last Windows update. The annoying thing is that whereas at one time you could choose to update or not, now it is more or less forced onto you. I also think. that there may be some compatibility issues with some of the software I’m using. However, it is looking likely that I may have to bite the bullet and get a new one, with all the issues that brings.

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Coming back to my Blog Editor trials, I thought last night when R*** was using my laptop, that I had forgotten to include BlogPad Pro app on my iPad. It worked quite well when we were away and providing I can upload the manual to my phone, for reference, it might just be a contender. I have decided against using Notepad as it would me more effort than it’s worth copying and pasting, so I’m going to cross that of the list. This post is being written with my favourite application, Open Live Writer. This is the one that I started having problems with which prompted my testing.

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The village seems to be the target of a couple of gangs of thieves. Properties are being broken into and it appears that the thieves are after the car keys of high-end vehicles. These  cars are then stolen and either shipped abroad or broken-up for the valuable parts. The local primary school was also hit, but that was for the laptops. It’s a bit of a worrying time for all.

(Written with Open Live Writer)

Decisions, decisions …


When I first had the idea of creating a blog, I sought some online advice as to how I could go about getting my thoughts online. It became apparent, quite quickly that the free version of WordPress was the way to go. I toyed with Blogger, but it seemed to lack any kind of quality so I went for WordPress.

Much of the advice centred on the software I could/should WLWuse to get my message into the blog. Quite a few people said that if I wanted an off-line editor, then there was not much to fault the built-in Windows program “Windows Live Writer” or WLW as it became known. This was part of a suite of applications called  “Windows Live Essentials” that came, ready to use with Microsoft Windows. It seemed the most logical way to go, and most of my earliest posts were written using WLW. Then, OLWas is usual with Microsoft, it was announced that Windows Live Essentials was being run down and no further development work would be done. Around about the same time coincidently, a piece of software appeared called “Open Live Writer” (OLW). This was an open-sourced version of Windows Live Writer set to replace the former. I have used this now for a long time, being my prefered editor.

Now to the point. Over the past few months, I have had a couple of occasions when uploading a post from OLW, that the upload fails and the post is lost (the draft post seems to get corrupted). The problem is that there has been no development work on OLW for some time, and it is now beginning to show its age. In fact a post that I was going to upload yesterday failed and was lost. So now, Im beginning to think that it is time to move on again and choose anothe blog editor for my laptop.

I’ve done a little research and have come up with the following options:

  • Continue with OLW
  • Use the WordPress editor (this was written with the WP editor)
  • Blogdesk
  • Microsoft Word
  • Windows Notepad and paste into the WP editor or
  • some other paid for application (not my ideal choice)

So for the next few posts, I will be writing using a different method each time to test which I find is the most suitable method.

(Written using WordPress editor)

 

Bye bye Blogger, Blogger goodbye …


Not my interpretation of a 1970’s Bay City Roller’s classic, but me saying farewell to my blog on Google Blogger. I created the Blogger one in 2009, and it was my intention to ‘get my message’ out to as many readers as I possibly could. The idea was that I would write a post here in WordPress, then repost it in Blogger to maximise readership. It was not long after my first repost, that I discovered that this kind of activity was called ‘cross-posting’ and is highly frowned upon in the blogging community. I was advised that both blogs should be unique, but that I could reference each blog in the other. All seemed a little bit too much effort really. As a consequence my Blogger effort suffered which resulted in only five posts of which only four were unique. A few months ago I promised myself that I ‘must try harder ’ with what was called “At Home With The Hub 2”, and post more often on Blogger. FAIL !  I don’t really have that much to say that justifies having two blogs.

So this morning, with hand on heart I said goodbye and deleted the blog.

Break over …


Well we all managed to get through the week without any major upsets. Some of the family were going home one way and the others were going a different way. K***, S**** and me decided that we would just go straight home. We called in Aldi and were going to have lunch at Ask Italian, in Wetherby. However S**** had found out that his house having a viewing and he just wanted to get back. So we left it at that.

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R*** was home a bit later than usual, and he didn’t look too happy. He was droning a lot and then started shouting and banging the furniture. He was also getting quite violent. We gave him some of his medication that calms him a little,but it took quite a while to work. Eventually he did calm down. We have no idea what caused the melt-down, but I think it may have been some issue with some YouTube videos that he was looking for. Often when new ones that he likes are added, some of the older ones drop off the suggested list. He slept all night without a problem, and whatever it was was no longer an issue. It has been a long time since he was like that. We have had the occasional angry outburst every few days or so, but have not needed his medication for months.

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I think there has been an update the the web version of Outlook.com and I’m not sure if I like it. formatting the afore mentioned break, there was a button in the Spam folder, that allowed you to block an email address. This button is no longer there. I liked it, because you could select three spam mails, hit the Block button and Outlook.com would display the senders address. That way you could make sure that the emails were really spam before you blocked\deleted them. Now the only viable option is to delete. I feel that Microsoft is taking away more of my control and I’m not sure I like that.

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I’m still learning how to use this BlogPad Pro app. Each time I use it I find new things about the software. For example, I prefer to have my posts full justified and using Open Live Writer, that kind of formatting is easy. This was a tad more difficult to find the formatting button, but I got there in the end. Think it may be a long haul to fully master it.

 

Where now …


The demise of the “Daily Post” has left me feeling a little bit lost. Like many WordPress users, I used the “Daily Prompt” for inspiration rather than a resource to find other blogs. I recently purchased a ‘Personal Plan’ as opposed to a free plan, with the intention of using the Daily Prompt, as what I felt it’s purpose was, to encourage me to write more. My reasoning was that if it cost me money, then I would use it more.

I often tell people, when they ask what my blog is about, that it’s about “… what I want to share, when I want to share it …” There is no basic theme running through it, except when I wrote many posts about my heart operation back in 2014. I have thought about writing about a specific topic, but never got much further than thinking.

So, where now?  Where will my inspiration to blog come from? I have had a look at some of the so called ‘Blog Generators’ but none of them seem to be a fit replacement for the Daily Prompt. I looked at the WordPress ‘Discover’ site but the thought of selecting my best post and ‘pitching’ for a random chance of blog promotion seems a bit alien to me. I don’t feel it is up to me to decide which is my best post. My readers will decide that.

If anyone knows of a place that does a similar type of thing to the Daily Prompt, I will be very grateful if you would share it with me.

Not happy … Daily Prompt


I’m fast coming to the conclusion, that the iOS WordPress app should be renamed the iOs WordPress (CR)app. I’m sat in the sun, with a nice drink and I quite fancy having a go at today’s Daily Prompt. “Hmmm,” I think to myself. “How do I get the ‘ping-back’ with the issue I’m having opening the Daily Prompt notification?” I know! I can go to the Dashboard, open the notification from there, then open the post and copy the link. I’ll just have another drink before I start.

Twenty minutes later, and the bl**dy post is showing as “Not available…” Awkward is not the word I used. It is so frustrating and I cannot believe I am the only one having this issue. I don’t like using the editor, as I prefer to double, even triple check my musings before they go public. I’m using the BlogPad Pro app, which I’m gradually getting used to, and I don’t want to have to lug a laptop on holiday with me. I know I don’t post every Daily Prompt, but it would be nice to do so when I want to.

The developers are supposing looking at the problem, but it seems to be taking some time over it. I know where I worked, if we had a problem, I would have to have it fixed within a couple of days or questions would have been asked!

Just a quick test …


I thought I would give this “Blog Pad Pro” iPad app another go. It’s not the easiest app I’ve used, but it is a lot easier using a separate keyboard.I really need to get up to speed with it. Struggling with adding categories and tags. It’s not as simple as with the laptop software, and I’m not sure how to post as draft. I must try and find a downloadable manual.

But to other things. Today is the “Royal Wedding” and that is all I want to say on the matter, as far too much has been said already.

Moving on. Today is also the FA Cup Final, but as I’m not a big fan of football, lets move on again.

That’s about it for now.

Back to the usual …


Blodpad IconStill testing the Blogpad app on my iPad. A bit of a way to go yet, but I’m starting to get the hang of it. One of the downsides I’ve found, is that you cannot post your missives (is that what I mean?) as a draft in your WordPress blog. Well I’ve not found a way, if there is one. The way it works is thatBlogpad 2 it is stored as a draft in your defined storage area. You can then ‘preview’ your work and see how it looks, before finally publishing it as a live post. Another downside seems to be the ‘autosave’. I can’t find a setting that sets the autosave frequency. I Blogpad 3discovered, to my cost when the app crashed, that the crash happened before the ‘autosave’ kicked in, so I lost a good portion of the post. I’ve now decided to click/tap on the Save icon every 20 words or so.

This app is not going to be my main blogging editor, I’m still firm friends with Open Live Writer, but I needed something to work with when I go on holidays. Don’t want to take the laptop with me (K*** would kill me if I did) and as I have mentioned before, I’m not too keen on the WordPress built in editor. At the moment, there are more ‘up-sides’ than ‘down-sides’ to the app, although I’m not liable to have a tantrum, I just hope ‘up-sides’ continue to grow faster than the ‘down-sides’.

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I’m still having an issue with the WordPress app on the iPad. When I’m in the ‘stats’ screen and I click on the Notification Bell at the bottom right of the iPad app, the notification list comes up as normal. Now the issue is, that if I tap the Daily Prompt notification, I get a very unhelpful message telling me that there has been an ‘Error Loading The Post’. I hadn’t noticed this before, it’s only since I have been having a go at the Daily Prompt that the iPad app has become more active. Anyway, the good people in support are looking at the issue and I am hopeful they can come up with the solution.

Having another play with the new app …


I found that the help/user guide is an upload from a WordPress blog, which is useful. There is still a lot to learn, but I think I’m getting there. I’ve discovered how to add links which was one of the things I was looking for when I posted lat time. I sometimes like to colour my text as an emphasis and this has proven more difficult than I expected. I did get there in the end, but it is not very intuitive. The spell checker seems to work quite well though. Would have like a ‘spell as you type’ but it is a free app, so can’t complain really. I also found the preview option. That works really well. Impressive!

Just giving it a try …


The ‘it’ in question is the “Blogpad Pro” on the iPad. I normally write my posts on my laptop using the “Open Writer” software that replaced Microsoft’s “Live Writer” when said company decided to drop the application. I’m not a big fan of writing with the WordPress editor, and I wanted to be able to write a post if I’m away from/home and only have my iPad mini.

At first attempt, it seems to be quite good, but there are a lot of controls and features that I have not had chance to try yet, It’s still early days.

Looking for your advice …


Right from the first day, I have always allowed people or organisations to follow me without hindrance. I always thought that the point of a blog was to maximise the number of readers and subscribers. That was until recently. I don’t always follow back and don’t always look at their site either. Earlier this week, I noticed that I had a follower that appeared to be offering blogging advice and tips. Always on the lookout to improve, I thought I would take a look at their site. Clicking on the link at the top of one of their posts, opened up my browser with a warning message that the site was unsafe. Being the over-cautious one that I am, I quickly closed it down. I then removed subscriber from my reader list and breathed a sigh of relief. I also noticed that a couple of subscribers no longer had a ‘clickable’ by their name/site name and I removed these also.

So, the advice I’m looking for is: should I enable the Blog by Email option on my site? Does it deter the casual reader? Is it worth it for the number of subscribers that I get? Is it actually any safer?

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