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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Tue, 28 Feb 2017

WordPress WordAds revenue expectations are depressing

I've been going through the excellent WP Tavern blog on WordPress news today, and I stumbled across this post on how much bloggers can expect to earn from the Jetpack-powered WordAds platform.

tl;dr: Not very much. But the numbers are all over the map. One thing WordPress tells you: better content, more money.

Linked from the article above, a blog that makes about a month from WordAds on 2,600 to 16K page views.

WP-CLI is so very, very cool

At the moment, I only have two WordPress sites for which I have shell access, so WP-CLI shouldn't be a big deal for me. But it is.

The whole idea of managing WordPress.org sites in the console (and being able to avoid the WP Dashboard) is such genius, I wonder why nobody thought of it before now.

The possibilities, especially when WP-CLI is combined with traditional shell scripting, are many. From updating the software, installing and managing plugins, this drags WordPress into a realm where sysadmins can really get things done and save a lot of time doing it.

Tue, 26 Nov 2013

Markdown comes to WordPress.com

John Gruber's Markdown, the human-writable markup language that can be turned into HTML in many your favorite blogging applications, has now come to WordPress.com.

That's great news since Markdown will really help those of us who use WordPress get posts formatted that much more quickly. I hate using the formatting buttons that come with WordPress, and Markdown beats hand-coding HTML any day.

(Note: This is an Ode blog, and it uses Markdown.)

Now all we need is Markdown in self-hosted WordPress.org. Then we'll be cooking with gas. The thread that announced Markdown for .com sites says it will be eventually be part of Jetpack for .org installations.

Until then, WordPress people remind that there are many Markdown plugins available.

WP.com is also offering this quick reference page on its particular implementation of Markdown and a general Markdown support page.

Mon, 11 Feb 2013

Ubuntu developer Mike Rooney, who was blogging with Octopress, moves to WordPress

I see via Planet Ubuntu that Ubuntu developer Mike Rooney, who had been blogging with geek-favored Octopress, has now moved to WordPress.

He acknowledges that most people seem to be moving it the other way (from WordPress to Octopress), but he cites a few things that he couldn't get past in the Ruby-on-one-side, static-HTML-on-the-other world of Octopress:

  • Hard to set up on OS X
  • Doesn't like Markdown
  • Hates lack of copy flow
  • Wants portability in composing entries (from machines without his private key)

WordPress has all of this, of course. It's not geeky sexy like Octopress, or the Jekyll project on which it's based.

Acknowledging that something isn't working for you and seeking something that does? Nothing wrong with that. And a whole lot right.

By the way, I love Markdown. And you can get it in WordPress

Mon, 29 Oct 2012

My new, old WordPress blog

Click, the blog I write under the auspices of my employer, has moved from Movable Type to WordPress.

The move was prompted by the company's decision to phase out Movable Type, which they've been using since the MT 3 days.

I can't say I'm surprised. While there's a certain flexibility in what you can do in Movable Type (like setting up any number of feeds and kinds of HTML output without regard to themes), the multiblog capability is integrated in a way that WordPress isn't anywhere near, and every damn thing is a static HTML file (if you want it that way), the platform is getting creaky, there's not much of a community, especially compared to WordPress, and the whole WP ecosystem of plugins and themes is pretty much nonexistent.

That said, I got to know Movable Type pretty well, I will miss it, I have to figure out how to build a whole lot of stuff that is easy (and already built in MT).

But there are so many things that WordPress brings to the proverbial table, things I'm learning about as I go, that it's going to be an equally proverbial adventure.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012

WordPress: What am I doing wrong?

OK, here's the deal. In Ode I can get any kind of output I want through the project's infinitely flexible theming. In Movable Type I can create any number of custom Javascript output files that draw on the blogging system's database.

So how do I do this in WordPress? I'm looking into child themes (I confess that I've -- horror of horrors -- modified the main theme in a WordPress blog), but I need EXTRA theming. What I need is the ability to tap the blog database for custom HTML output that includes only the elements I want with accompanying HTML so I can display that output on other sites.

It's so easy to do this in Ode and Movable Type. Why is it so hard (or seemingly so) in WordPress?

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Mon, 11 Jun 2012

Allowing the use of multiple themes simultaneously would solve many #WordPress problems for me.

Mon, 25 Jul 2011

BoingBoing drops Movable Type for WordPress

The recent BoingBoing post about the busy/huge web site's changes focuses on the move to Disqus comments, but the bigger news is that it's dumping Movable Type for WordPress. Even Matt Mullenweg of Auttomatic fame mentioned it.

A few years ago, BoingBoing, which does something like 1 million views per day, made the move to Movable Type from whatever it is they used until that point. The reason behind the move to MT, as I remember it, anyway, was the high availability of a statically built Movable Type site and its ability to handle the kind of traffic BoingBoing was drawing.

Well fast-forward to now, and BoingBoing's Movable Type days are over. It's still plenty popular but is now running on WordPress. I guess this means that WP is more than able to function in extremely high-traffic environments like that of BoingBoing.

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