Don’t Quit – You Didn’t Mess Up Your Blog!

I’ve blogged seriously for long enough to have done several dirty deeds, yet somehow I’m at what I find to be a satisfying position regarding growth and participation.  So how did I come back from blog-killing mistakes?  There’s a key lie in that question:

There are almost no blog-killing mistakes.*

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Here’s some hints to handle some of the boo-boo’s and uh-oh’s that come around.

I Accidentally Turned My Comments Off for Like A Week!  How Do I Survive?

I just got through this mess – and Lord knows it ain’t fun.

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If you’re lucky, you’ll have friends who’ll take the time to make the way over to your contact page (MAKE ONE IF YOU HAVEN’T) and submit something on that little form.

If you’re just starting out or your readers are on the new/untested side, you might want to schedule a check to make sure your comments are on your new posts.

Right now, you can check each article by clicking on ‘more options’ on the post maker and finding the “Allow Comments” checkbox.

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Unless you’re really neck deep in trolls and hackers, do a double check before you post.  It’s way easier to comment if the comments are on!

Oh Snap – My Post Didn’t Make the Reader!

Sometimes this happens, and I’m not even sure why.  Most of the time it’s because you accidentally backdated your post so that it appears on the reader last year or something silly.  Sometimes blogging software is like, “Screw it, just not going to work.”

But that SUCKS.  Having your post not make the reader is about the same as missing a post entirely – and if you’ve been looking at any how to blog help articles, you know that consistency is important.

But don’t panic.

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There are some silver linings to this. First, a post not making the reader doesn’t mean your post was bad.  You can try to rescue it.

If you want to rescue it now, make a copy of the post, check all the settings, and publish it.  Take down the old post so people don’t think you’re spamming (and so comments don’t get strewn around), then leave a note explaining potential email shenanigans to your readers.  You should still get most of the benefits of the original post with only a trifle more effort.

Something else you can do?  You can easily mark that post to reblog again on a later date.  With so few people seeing the post, you should be able to publicize it again without seeming lazy.

And those people who still read your blog post anyway?  Well, it means someone loves you.

Why Are Other People Politically Idiots!?

Tip one: stay out of politics if it’s not your professed thing (oops, I suck at that).  But, you know, sometimes you just gotta get some dip and speak the truth:

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And those fools out there just don’t understand!  Still, the best thing to do is to ignore it or block them.  Here’s how you can do that: Go to Settings, then click the Discussion tab.  Scroll down to Comment Moderation.

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You can also block annoying people without political aspirations like I have (I reserve the rights to moderate anyone with the words ‘sexy,’ ‘id,’ ‘.website,’ and ‘.ru’ in their names, comments, or URLs – this has blocked quite a few annoying spammers, actually).

The bigger problem is if someone is being real mean to you.  Do you ban them?  Try to ignore it?  Or do you spread dirt around about them?

Just ban them like an ordinary spammer.  There’s nothing you can do to make yourself look like the winner of an argument like that.  Who knows – that person may even be popular or influential, and you don’t want to tick off your mutual friends.

But, you know, what if you’re the person spouting stuff and getting banned?

Well… you’re gonna have to get off that high horse.

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There are a couple things you can do to save yourself if you say something obtuse:

  1. Ignore it and DON’T KEEP STOKING THE FIRE.  Wait and see if the blog author thought it was funny too, or if it’ll slide away unnoticed…
  2. Apologize privately if you can, publicly if you can’t.  This will let the person know you recognize the mistake.  As long as you’ve not been mean in the past, they’ll probably understand the limitations of written word and forgive you.
  3. If you can’t stand letting them win, write up the argument in a document you’ll save on your computer and NEVER POST.  Once you take the bait, you run the risk of becoming a target.

As far as I’m aware, the goal of most writing bloggers isn’t to win arguments – it’s to meet people, improve our craft, and create a community.

But I guess if your goal is to put the smackdown on as many people as possible, go for it?

Have You Nearly Killed Your Blog?

What’s happened on your blog that made you want to quit?  Is there anything frustrating that you wish could be done better?  Let me know in the comments – maybe I or someone will know some work arounds!

*You may be able to kill your blog if you do something illegal or so distasteful that you get permabanned.  Be reasonable, folks.

Vote!

Today, I’m encouraging you to vote.  Even if you don’t agree with me politically, I want to at least make you think.  I also wt to complain openly about some North Carolina specific stuff, and you may find that fun, too.

Climate Change

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Right now, this is the biggest issue on my plate.  Economic prosperity, military might, and even human rights don’t mean anything if the world doesn’t exist.  If there is even a slight chance (and I don’t believe it ‘slight’) that climate change could destroy Earth, the only living planet we know of and have access to, then I think it completely unreasonable to heed these concerns.

To this end, I look at who I vote for with environmentalism in mind.  And I fucking hate that.  I find myself sometimes torn between a complete dipshit who cares about the environment, or someone reasonable who doesn’t.

And I will choose the person who cares about the environment.

I think it’s that important right now.  If we don’t start caring soon, now, it’s just too late.  My family giving up meat, getting an electric car, and going for solar panels isn’t going to mean shit if corporate interests don’t change.  We hope that, by using our money to buy environmentally sound things, we can add to consumer demand – but it’s not going to be enough.

North Carolina – Gerrymander It UP

North Carolina is SUPER Gerrymandered, and I can 100% guarantee you that our situation is going to be lumped into a greater Supreme Court case with other (arguably) lesser Gerrymandering cases.  Look at how cleverly they split up the two major metropolitan areas – numbers 4/2 and 12, most notably.

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This map was made by the NC General Assembly, which is already made up of people elected from Gerrymandered local districts.  They made it by looking at 2016 voting data and splitting it to give the Republicans an edge.

“What do you have against Republicans?” you may ask.  Well, you know, I’d find it shitty if the Dems pulled this same crap – and I genuinely don’t like how it’s possible that the supreme court may OK drawing political boundaries based on partisan lines intended to be partisan.  I think that’s garbage.  But it makes voting harder, because you know you’re going to lose no matter what.

Slew of State Constitutional Amendments Up for Vote

In case you couldn’t already tell, North Carolina politics are a brand of crazy you just don’t see everywhere.  Maybe Michigan – they look pretty fucked too, really.  Anyway, the powers that be are offering amendments that, while some of them sound good or ok, others are deceptively power-hungry.  It’s just so weird.

If there’s anything more important than the US House elections for me this year, it’s these amendments.  I had to think about them, but they’re all important and probably affect my life more than any single congressional term.

So check out your own state and district’s (or country’s!) next sample ballots.  Look at those ‘lesser’ races and figure out what each position does and what matters for a candidate.  Ballot measures are also very important, so look those up!

Please, go vote!