Dammit WordPress

b558d83d-f9dd-4807-b3d0-dc6ebf12b60dThis is what I’m talking about, WordPress! What is going on with the Reader in the iOS app? I know that there wasn’t a five hour gap where no blogger I follow posted anything last night! So why the fuck aren’t their posts showing up in my Reader on the app.

Hang on a second, WordPress. I’m going to log into Safari on my iPhone. Give me a second, okay?cda1004d-9aa2-4bb8-9e9a-bee5864797c0Okay, I’m back. Do you see that, WordPress? The “missing” posts are there in the Reader on the web browser, but not on your app.

Get your shit together, dammit.

Wonky WordPress

5b27ffd4-6941-42e4-8573-1247401e1208As we all know, the keepers of our platform, those hapless — I mean happiness — engineers at WordPress, have been doing some wonky things lately. Unexpectedly changing colors on the site, for example. Apparently hot pink is a favorite of some of those happiness engineers.

And on the WordPress iOS app for the iPhone, there are gaping holes in my Reader. I’ll turn on my iPhone when I wake up, go to the WordPress app and start reading posts of the bloggers I follow. I’ll read a few posts that the Reader shows were posted 8 hours ago and then the next post I see in my Reader shows that it was posted 3 hours ago. WTF? Why is there a five hour black hole into which a bunch of posts got sucked into.

So I open up my iPhone’s web browser, log into WordPress, go to the Reader via my browser, and voila! All the missing posts are there! Wonky.

But last night I discovered that I was no longer following at least half a dozen bloggers who I’ve been following for months. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason for those blogs that were dropped from my list.

This is frustrating to me because I try to read each day the posts of the bloggers I follow, but given that I follow about 160 bloggers, I don’t always notice right away if the posts of a blogger I follow suddenly doesn’t show up in my Reader. And in some cases, not seeing posts from a blogger I follow might be legit. Perhaps the blogger decided to throw in the towel, or to take some time off from blogging. But it seems that WordPress just randomly stopped following some bloggers on my follow list.

So if you haven’t heard from me (likes or comments) in a while, that may be the reason why. Sorry about that.

The Talkative Tag

D8215BD6-0928-4740-80C1-7538D06B6649There is a blogger, The Eclectic Contarian, who started a tag that he calls “The Talkative Tag.”

This tag, he said, is to offer a little “thanks” to those who have been very talkative and involved with his blog and to show his appreciation.

Eventually this tag found its way to Sadje, of Keep It Alive. And then Sadje tagged me, among others who have commented on her posts. She wrote, “What can I say about Fandango! He is a great writer. He is also the inventor of The Fandango One Word Challenge. We all look up to him and wait for his prompts. You also should check out his new series of questions; FPQ!”

So it seems what you’re supposed to do is bring up the screen from you WordPress stats where you can see who has been commenting on your blog, take a screenshot, write your own Talkative Tag post, include that screenshot, and mention the people who have commented on your posts the most.

And here’s that screenshot:B36070DB-D0D5-4B61-9161-0258BACAEACBNow I’m not sure what period this covers, but I also saw in my stats that so far in 2018 my posts have received around 22,000 comments, so I find it a little strange that these number of comments were so low. But, you know, whatever.

As to my top six list in the screenshot, Marleen, who tops the list, doesn’t have her own blog, but she does comment a lot on my posts and her comments are generally well thought out and insightful. And Sight, number three on the list, just announced that he’s taking an indefinite hiatus from blogging. So I suppose I can’t pass this “Talkative Tag” to either of them. And I can’t tag Sadje because she tagged me.

So I am going to tag the next three on the list. First there is Leigha Robbins, who consistently responds to my daily One-Word Challenge with great poetry and prose, and who comments on pretty much ever one of my posts.

And then there’s Teresa Grabs, aka, The Haunted Wordsmith, a prolific and creative flash fiction writer who also offers many of her own writing prompts to inspire us.

And finally, Marilyn Armstrong, a blogger who has been sharing her life with the WordPress community for a number of years and whose posts are personal, insightful, and inspiring, and who is a terrific photographer.

So Leigha, Teresa, and Marilyn, feel free to do your own Talkative Tag post. Or not. Your call.

1337 5p34k

C5664DEF-6BE3-48C6-BE1C-4C38CCB88054Yesterday I received this strange notification from WordPress congratulating me on having received 1,337 followers on my blog.

That seemed to me to be a rather random number to have generated a special WordPress notification. I got one at 1,000 followers and I figured my next one might be when I reached 1,500 or 2,000. But 1,337? Huh?

So I typed “1337” into Google and learned that 1337 means “elite.” Apparently, “1337” is a sort of webspeak kind of symbol for elite. And “1337” is also referred to as “Leet.”

Curiosity piqued, I did a Google search on “Leet.”

LEET (1337) is a written language or cipher used in online gaming, emails, text messaging, tweeting, and other electronic communication. The root of the term “leet” is the word “elite” — translated as 31337 — and 1337 was initially developed as an exclusionary language: a way to encode text so that messages could only be read by the initiated. The defining characteristic of 1337 is substitution of symbols and numbers for letters (for example, in the term “1337,” 1=L, 3=E and 7=T).

Apparently there is this whole language called “leet speak,” and its alphabet is a specialized form of symbolic writing. According to Wikipedia, leet originated on bulletin board systems (BBS) in the 80s. Back then, having “elite” status on a BBS allowed a user special access and privileges.

Leet symbols, especially the number 1337, have become internet memes that have spilled over into popular culture. I guess I’m not so in touch with pop culture because I’d never heard of leet speak or was aware of any special significance to the number 1337.

And while doing my Google research, I also came across “1337 5p34k,” which translates to “leet speak” in, well, leet speak.

So essentially, “leet” is shorthand for the word “elite,” which, in leet speak, means “better than everyone else.” And apparently, the 1337 badge from WordPress is WordPress’ way of telling you that your blog has somehow achieved elite status for having reached 1,337 followers. Woo hoo!

I suppose this is a good, albeit weird, kind of recognition. But I came across another definition of leet speak that defined it as “the language used by geeks to help them identify one another.”

Now I’m not so pleased anymore. I’ve been called many unflattering things in my life, but “geek”? Seriously?