How I Spend My Time

Some of you are aware that I use my iPhone for blogging. I have the iOS WordPress app, which I use for reading and responding to comments on my posts and for reading what other bloggers I follow have posted and for commenting on their posts .

But for writing my posts I use my iPhone’s Safari browser to log onto WordPress because it’s easier to use for composing posts than the WordPress app for iOS editor. And it gives me a real-time word counter, which comes in handy for prompts with word limits.

Why my iPhone and not my laptop? I do it because I can read, comment, and post from anywhere. My bed, my living room, the dining room, my backyard, on a bus, at the park. And, if I do say so myself, I have become quite adept at using my iPhone’s virtual keypad.

Anyway, a few days ago I downloaded iOS 12, the latest iPhone operating system, to my iPhone. I have found a few quirky things (i.e., bugs), which I’m sure (hope) will be addressed in iOS 12.1. But one of the new features on iOS 12 is something called “Screen Time.” It keeps track of how much time you spend on your iPhone and how you’re spending that time.

Out of curiosity, last night before I went to bed, I checked Screen Time. And I’ll be honest with you, what I saw shocked me.D06C4129-5193-4F1D-8ED1-01A160F5EFBE.jpegOf the 17 hours I was awake yesterday (from 6 am to 11 pm), I spent 10½ using my iPhone. And of those 10½ hours, I spent 6¾ hours blogging — either reading, commenting, responding to comments, or posting.

In other words, I spent 61% of my waking hours on my iPhone, which is just nuts. But of those 10½ hours, I spent on my iPhone, nearly two-thirds of it was spent related to blogging.

I’ve been awake so far today for 2½ hours. That time includes taking a shower, getting dressed, fixing and eating breakfast and reading the newspaper. And yet, of that 2½ hours, I spent 1½ hours on my iPhone, one hour and 20 minutes of which were spent on WordPress.

I think I need to rethink how I’m spending my time.

“One Word” of Appreciation

B6287C60-BD79-408A-B77E-8F3C19A0B419When WordPress announced at the end of May that it was dropping its one-word daily prompt, I was disappointed. So I decided to start my own one-word daily prompt, FOWC With Fandango, on June 1st.

Of course, I wasn’t the only blogger to come up with that brilliant idea. There are at least five other bloggers (or teams of bloggers) who have jumped in and started posting daily one-word prompts. These include the team from the Word of the Day Challenge, the Ragtag Daily Prompt team, Sheryl’s Your Daily Word Prompt, Scott Bailey’s Scotts Daily Prompt, and Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions.

I decided a little while ago to support all of these other bloggers by incorporating their one-word prompts into my posts. And I’ve been having a blast turning the five daily one-word prompts from these other bloggers, along with my own one-word prompt, into single posts that use all six word prompts.

It’s a challenge because I never know until the day arrives, what the words are going to be. Yes, even on my own one-word prompt. I create and schedule them up to two weeks in advance and, because my memory sucks, by the time my daily FOWC With Fandango prompts post, I’m as surprised as just about everyone else.

But I’m having so much fun working with these prompts and I want to sincerely and genuinely thank those other brave bloggers who are offering up these challenges to the blogosphere. Believe me, I know how much work it takes to make it happen day in, day out seven days a week.

I hope I’ve been able to craft together cohesive posts using these six prompts and I hope all of you who also participate in my prompt, as well as the others I’ve mentioned, are having as much fun as I am.

Record Breaking

Pardon me while I toot my own horn. Oh wait. That sounds kind of kinky. Let me start again.

Pardon me while I take a few minutes to brag a little.
92B413DD-0AB3-4DB7-8866-C0BBEBFC609EYou see, my blog broke all kinds of personal records in August. It accrued 14,306 views from 2,820 visitors, 4,699 likes, and 2,281 comments. Woo hoo!

That compares with 11,397 views in July and 9,997 in June. Prior to June, my max views in any month was only 4,741 in March 2018.

From May 2017, when I started this blog, through May 2018, my blog received a total of 39,805 views. But in just the past three months, it got 35,700 views. So almost as many views in the past three months as my blog got in its first twelve months!

To what do I attribute this exponential growth?  No question that it was my decision to start my own daily one-word prompt, “FOWC with Fandango,” after the folks at WordPress announced the demise of the daily, one-word prompt.
Before and After FOWCOf my top 10 posts in August, eight were FOWC with Fandango prompts. My post, “Better Than Sex,” was the second most popular post of the month, while “SoCS Badge Contest” came in eighth.

A number of my fellow bloggers jumped in to fill the gap left by WordPress and I would venture to say that each and every one has seen a significant spike in views as a result. It turns out that many bloggers, myself included, are combining multiple one-word prompts into their posts, which can be challenging given the diversity of the daily word prompts.

Anyway, I know I’ve said this before, but I want to thank everyone who has participated in Fandango’s One-Word Challenge each day. I love reading the incredibly wide variety of creative and imaginative responses.

So, the next question is how long will I be able to keep this daily one-word prompt going? Well, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the English language contains 171,476 words in current use. But it also notes that a vocabulary of just 3,000 words provides coverage for around 95% of common texts. So even if I limit my daily posts to the 3,000 most common words, I can potentially keep this going for another eight years…if I live that long!

But the key is for me and for all of you to have fun, so as long as that’s the case, I’m good.

Aptitude for Attitude

I leaned something new yesterday. There’s this thing called a slug. I’m not talking about one of those slimy things that slowly slithers across the sidewalk leaving a filmy mucus trail behind it. Yuck.DD7E9250-3753-477C-A787-172AB6B99FDBNo, the slug I’m referring to is a tool that websites use to be accessed. URL slugs are the exact address of a specific webpage. It is the location where webpages are accessed when their URLs are typed in the address bar. It essentially is used to create a permalink for each post. WordPress automatically generates a post slug from the post’s title. For example, the slug for this post is “aptitude-for-attitude.”

So why is this important? Allow me to explain. You know I host a daily word challenge. Well, I’ll let you in on a secret. I generally create these posts about a week in advance and then schedule them to post at 12:01 am Pacific Time on the appropriate day. So far so good, right?

One of the posts I scheduled in advance was yesterday’s post, which was the word “attitude.” When I originally scheduled this post, it was for the word “aptitude.” But a few days ago, I decided to change the word to “attitude.” I changed the post’s title. I changed the word “aptitude” to “attitude” in the body of the post, and I also changed the tag to “attitude.”

What I failed to do was to look at the scheduled post’s slug. I mean who knows to check the slug? Turns out the slug said “fowc-with-fandango-aptitude,” even though I had changed the post’s title to “FOWC With Fandango — Attitude.”B8D7D1E8-3679-4912-98F9-908FCD700AE7When I changed the title of the post, it did not also change the slug correspondingly. Remember earlier when I wrote “WordPress automatically generates post slugs from a post’s title”? Well, that apparently only happens the first time you either initially publish or schedule the post. If you change or update the post later*, it doesn’t update the slug.

And this apparently led to some confusion, as a few bloggers wrote their posts in response to the One-Word Challenge built around the word “aptitude “ and not “attitude.”

As soon as I saw this, I went back to the post and manually changed the slug to read “fowc-with-fandango-attitude.”

So if you have ever either scheduled a post and then change the post’s title before it’s published, or if you’ve published a post and change its title after it was published, be sure to check and update your slug.

You’re welcome!


*This is not the case with draft posts. If it’s a draft, when you change the title, the slug will also change. It’s only once the post has been scheduled or published that it doesn’t change the slug if you change the post’s title.

Credit Where Credit Is Due

4E213B32-FB7C-45F1-A256-B30D39BC4EB2At the beginning of this month I downloaded an update to the WordPress app for my iPhone. Unfortunately, as I wrote in this post, there was a bug in the update that prevented me from using the app to “like” other bloggers’ posts from the reader.

When I clicked on “Visit” from within the app’s reader, it took me to the blogger’s post, but the “Like,” “Reblog,” and “Share this” buttons were nowhere to be found. But if I logged into WordPress via the Safari or Chrome browsers on my iPhone or the Chrome browser on my laptop, they were all there.

I opened a support ticket with WordPress and, after explaining the issue and sending multiple screenshots, I was told that the Happiness Engineers were unable to replicate the bug. Too bad, so sad.

Finally, about nine days later, I received an email saying that they had finally replicated the problem. I was pleased to find out that I was neither crazy nor technically incompetent.

That was the good news. The bad news was that the email went on to say, “We can’t promise a time frame for when the team will look at this or how it will be prioritised, that will depend on other projects the team are working on as well as their priorities. It’s on our radar, however!” Sheesh!

Well, I’m pleased to say that this tale of woe has a happy ending. I downloaded the latest update to the WordPress iOS app yesterday and the case of the missing buttons has been fixed!

So, in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, I’m using this post as a way of saying thank you to the Happiness Engineers who — eventually, anyway — fixed the bug.