Tag Archives: Reader

A little of this and that

Today is the day I took off from the paycheck job. That doesn't mean I was idle all day, no siree.

It appears WordPress is listening to the masses for the first time I know of. There have been changes to the new reader, and they are positive ones. I made a comment on the original launch blog, and a fellow commenter asked me to chime in on one of the forums. She even provided a link.

This was in the middle of a pretty tough work week, but I made it there for a look around today. I didn't stay long, because they've made some changes. Another whiner isn't going to help matters at this point.

It looks like they did away with the estimate about how long reading a post should take. Many commented on being insulted by this, and mentioned that it encourages viewers to pass over the post. The old word count version is back. I suspect it was the visually handicapped commenters that saw this through, and there were several.

There is now a link button at the bottom of each entry. If you click on that, it goes directly to the website without all the BS stops in between. I'm not changing back from the preview just yet. The dust hasn't completely settled.

Reblogs are kind of a nightmare still, and I'm not changing anything in my life over it. They may address it soon.

I exchanged emails with a couple of artists today. I'm pretty excited about my upcoming projects. My goal is to self publish two books by the end of the year.

I assembled one of those books today. This is the book of short stories. I probably ought to include a free section of one of my novels at the back of the book. Opinions? What are Amazon's rules about this? I may have an additional research project ahead of me.

I still have one short story that's half written. This really galls me, because I hate to leave things unwritten. It was the idea I was most in love with, and it just isn't coming together. I may scrap the idea. I may start over again and scrap the writing I have so far. No idea yet. It may not go in the book.

Speaking of the short story book, does anyone have a simple tutorial to make a good active table of contents? I have some various links saved, but I'm looking for something more like a recipe card. Step one, step two, etc. This has never been a problem when my novel chapters are labeled 1, 2, 3, etc. Does anyone do this for goodwill points?

My goal is to release this book somewhere between September 1, and October 15. Would anyone like to chime in about the value of pre-selling a book? I'm willing to try new things.

I also need to spend more time on the details, and polish it a bit. I'll probably ask for advance readers in a few more weeks.

I finished my beta reading project today and sent the notes off. These are fun projects, but are a lot of work. There were people there for me, and I believe in paying it back.

If you look way back to January, I posted about how I don't make resolutions. I like to have a loose business plan instead. Part of that plan was to get some nice business cards made up. A friend designed them for me, and I ordered them from Vistaprint today.

I'm awaiting an invoice for some new blog art. I'm looking for two images to help with the short stories, and two to help with the release of The Playground later on. Lisa, the robot girl, is pretty excited about it all.

I also managed to pay all the bills today. My wife made an unexpected visit to Nevada to visit family. I'm a bachelor again this weekend. Does anyone want to go see Antman?

Maybe I should just get back to my researching and outlining.


Filed under Writing

Blogging just got a whole lot less important

I intended to say something about returning from camping. WordPress changed my mind about that. I have my doubts whether anyone will read this post, because I have my doubts about whether anyone will find it now. I have a cool photo from camping, and I'm not including it on purpose. I want to see how this post comes across.

WordPress changed its Reader design this afternoon. I don't like it, and wonder if WordPress continues to hold the value for me now. As of today, they are taking my (your) content and spreading it across a white page. If you decide to read this post it has all the appeal of a typewritten letter. Gone is a link to my site, the one I change the wallpaper on every month, the one that is as individual as I am, the one where my book covers are proudly displayed.

There is no point in coming to my site if you can get the content via reader. Those people will never see my cool covers, and their all important links. They will never see my free paper dolls either. I've never hidden the fact that I started this blog to connect with people who might want to actually buy my books. Future connections are going to be a lot harder to make.

The new Reader is designed around photos and images. I'm not a photographer, I'm a writer. I think a decent image can help out a post, but most of my posts are written words.

I tested my re-blog post of Mae Clair's announcement. The first click was a boring white sheet about my reblog. You have to click again to read more, in fact you have to click three times to get to Mae's site. People will never do this. This could mean the end of any value in reblogging something interesting. Reblogging shows support, but if I reblog something I kind of hope my fans will check it out. Now it's kind of similar to another like button.

The like button remains on the Reader. This means you can like a post without reading it. If you bother to read it, there is no like button. (But you can like comments from there.) You have to click all the way through to the original post before getting the option of showing your appreciation. (Or go back.) I sincerely doubt this will happen. I honestly read your posts before I click “like.”

I have a concern about stats too. If people view content in the Reader, but don't follow through to my site, will I be able to track my progress?

When I clicked through to my site, it was displayed as a single post. I like the fact that people could scroll down and read more, now they can't.

I like having my categories displayed in the sidebar. If someone enjoys one of my Idea Mill posts, maybe they want to open the category and read more of them. I honestly don't believe anybody is going to click four or five times to get there.

The value in WordPress was that I got an original site to display something about myself. WordPress just stripped me away and homogenized us all.

Like I said, I have my doubts whether anyone will find this post. If you're out there knock twice, or something. What do you think about the new Reader?


Filed under Blogging

What’s up With WordPress

I decided to change up from the title of last night’s post. WordPress has always been a little bit buggy. I’m used to the quirks by now. We all see it on occasion; you’ve had three visitors from seven different countries.

This week it’s getting kind of obnoxious. I’m not getting the little orange alerts for comments, likes, and follows. I try to respond to everyone, and I may miss someone. I promise you it isn’t intentional if I miss someone. The conversations are some of the best parts of blogging.

I experimented with this a bit. The error is only on the parts that belong to WordPress. If I go to my own blog, or one of yours, the alerts are there. They’re only missing in Reader, Stats, and places like that.

I’m having the most trouble with default reloads. I follow a ton of blogs. I like to see what the world is up to with my morning coffee. When I log into Reader and open one of your posts, Reader will return me to the very top (most recent) post. It used to take me back where I opened the post I read. This is something like reading a newspaper article, and then being forced to fold it up and place it on the doorstep and start over before being allowed to read the next article.

I can’t put up with this. The world is a bigger place than just Idaho. I have friends in time zones where their morning post happens as I’m going to bed. I have to catch it ten hours later. It’s maddening to have to scroll past a hundred posts to find where I left off, then do it all over again for the next one I want to read.

I’ve seen others who don’t like the new post button and some hokey message it displays. I learned from these posts that WordPress is doing some upgrades. (They don’t feel like upgrades) Here’s to hoping they get it all figured out soon.

In the mean time, if I miss your post, or fail to respond, I’m sorry.


Filed under Blogging