How to Make your WordPress Blog Stop Working by Trying to Make it Run Faster

I finally found the time to update this blog, hopefully some fresh content will finally get me a third reader.

Why I haven’t posted since March, 2010:

I decided that enough is enough and after having been laid off by no less than three printing/marketing places, then suffering through unemployment along with the other thirty million Americans like me, I went back to college to get my BS. That is, an official BS, not the BS I usually deal in (HA!). Thankfully, I have been working during that time, and so was left with very little time left to write on this.

Why my blog went off the air:

I thought that the internet had, like, ghosts or something that would alert me to problems. Let’s say you installed a plug in on your WordPress blo, in order to make it run faster, as an “experiment in www”. Then let’s say that this plug in, out of the goodness of its heart, creates and deploys what’s called an .htaccess file all up in your server’s face to get it to do its bidding. Now, this is a long story, and I’m not going to bore myself with the details of it, but let’s say that the plug in did this WITHOUT TELLING YOU. I’m not mad at it (I am kind of mad at it). Now, when you put a(n) .htaccess file on the root folder of your webserver, usually that’s okay, it actually needs those instructions. But when you put that file in a subfolder on a server, and you point a URL to that subfolder, apparently you are then FORBIDDEN to enter. As in “403 Forbidden“. After a couple days, I was able to find the .htaccess file that was hurting me, hid it, and voila, my site pops back up. Thankfully this is my own thing and I’m not running it for someone else, otherwise I might be looking for yet another job. Thanks a lot, W3TC!!! But I will not give up on the whole CDN thing. Once I nail it down I can pretend to be cool by saying my website utilizes a cloud-computing architecture, or some such gibberish. {I did not know the word gibberish was spelled with a “g;”. I’ll be darned.}

Anyway:

Buried deep in this post is another reason I am back on this experimental blog. I DID in fact set up a site for someone else, and I will probably need to test some stuff out over here to make sure everything paechy before I deploy it on my client’s site. Here it is

StudioLazerus Logo

So, go check it out (yes, I am telling you what to do), buy some jewelry for yourself and your loved ones, and stay tuned to see the results of further experiments in www and in real life as well.

Spam Comment of the Day

SIERRA MADRE, CA - MAY 29:  Spam, the often-ma...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I now spend more time deleting moderating spam on this blog than I do actually writing. Annoying as hell. Although, I found the wording of this one to be pretty amusing:

“The first thing that will happen will be the termination of Lustig’s disastrous buy allegra grab me and pelted towards the door. The policeman there grabbed at me— then folded

Just read that a few times. I removed the link but left the formatting for humorous effect.

Happy Holidays!

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How to Make a Blog on WordPress using Network Solutions

WP_logo1- Buy a domain name (like www.jefflazerus.com)
2- Buy a hosting account on Network Solutions
3- Install WordPress out of the “Tools” panel in your account manager area
4- Login and post, but don’t expect it to work the same each time, and always expect some new useless (?) upgrade from WordPress at random times.

UPDATE 11/05/09:

Network Solutions now allows you to buy a WordPress hosting package, without shared hosting or the high end virtual server, for something like $4.00 US. If you just want WordPress on a nice stable platform, this could be a good solution. If I were going to add WP to a commerce site that already exists I would seriously consider this option.

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Before you make a claim, get the data.

Bronze statue of Karl Malone outside Delta Cen...


This  kind of post is always interesting to me. Someday, I’ll figure out why, but for now suffice it to say that when you claim to be an expert about something, at least follow your own rules. The article (a self-referential metablog which attempts to give you some rules for making a good blog) instructs the blog writer/manager to:

  • Use standard blog interface design principles: Increase usability among blog readers by sticking with what they know and use:
    • Incorporate the topical tags and categories for quick sorting.
    • Include relevant links to other related sites or blogs in the sidebar.
    • Customize your CSS to choose a highly readable font and size.
    • Include your authors’ names.
  • But they don’t include their author’s name. 

    I wish stuff like this didn’t bother me so much, I really do. Maybe I’m too much of a stickler, I don’t know. It’s all about credibility. To have credibility as an expert, you have to be able to prove your expertise. This blog only makes claims about what to do but does not show any evidence to support those claims. 

    Like last night, I was at a party where some friends were saying Karl Malone and John Stockton weren’t good basketball players because they never won the NBA championship. (No mention was made of Jeff Hornacek or Jerry Sloan or, god forbid, Greg Ostertag). This logic breaks down pretty quickly, and I don’t expect a bunch of guys talking about sports to use pure logic to understand reality after three or four beers, but it hits me the same way. Statistically, Stockton and Malone were two of the best players ever to play the game, Stockton to this day has more assists and steals than any player since. They were masters. The 1997-98 Jazz had a 62-20 record. If that sucks, I wonder what the definition of great would be?

    This article was conceived, written, designed and published by Jeff Lazerus. Contact me in any number of ways:

    follow  subscribe   blog   mybloglog   delicious   jeff@jefflazerus.com

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    Personally, I think Ling’s website RULES

    BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 20:  Rob Naish,...
    Image by Getty Images via Daylife

    I can say “RULES” and not sound unprofessional, right?

    Anyway: I first saw this website after a SethGodin post and was inspired! It is actually one of the most interesting sites I’ve ever seen, and considering the buzz about it, Ling is doing something right!

    So I am reading this post, and couldn’t understand his point, except that it’s fun to pick on people (?). I mean, come on, “atrocity”? That’s a bit strong!

    Here’s her reply (she replies to this blog post, which is also great), the key “take away” is in the first paragraph:

    #51 Ling Valentine on 01.27.09 at 11:36 am
    I am sure they do wonder where to go. I am sure I get a lot of drop off. 

    But… if you keep optimising again and again for max superduperness and slickness, you end up with a mediocre but excellently planned site that inspires no one, yet offends no one. It may look VERY professional, but people buy on emotion.

    Clearly, I am going for the 30% who love it rather than the 30% who loathe it or the middle 40%. At least I am targeting an audience and converting them.

    I am in a hell of a sector, competing against real dealers with multi-million £££ dealerships, real cars and real people. Good job they are useless at their jobs. All I have is a website, me, a 130×80 oversharpened car .gif and some emotion. Yet I am converting big ticket items. For an average £250 lease, someone is committing to £10,000 over 3-years. Show me another website that closes that commitment and does it over 250 times a month? Just over half customers pass finance. The rest I discard (nicely). So, I have a further 250 in my sausage machine, being managed on their way to a new car. A big workload. And at the end (read the letters page) everyone loves it! So much so that 60% return again.

    Without wishing to call anyone stupid, how can that be true if the website really is “bad”? It is bloody good! No one else manages these volumes, online, in the UK. Just because it doesn’t fit the “MacUser’s Guide to Coolness and super-conventional Website Design”

    Add to this I am a Chinese female, not an average image of a car salesman… would YOU commit £10k to a crazy Chinese bird for the lease of a £25,000 Audi car that you have never seen???

    …By the way, houses are only as good as the equity in them, and if someone will allow you to get it out of them. Many people have found this out recently. You cannot eat a house or pay the taxman with it. Cash is always king.

    – Ling

     

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    Not Exactly Rocket Science : Top Ten Bacteria

    City of London

    Image via Wikipedia

    My new favorite thing. I think I may replace all the marketing blogs I read with science blogs. I especially love Ed Yong’s bio:

    Ed Yong lives in London and works at Cancer Research UK. Not Exactly Rocket Science is his attempt to make science interesting to everyone by beating jargon, confusion and elitism with the stick of good writing. Ed is an award-winning freelance science writer. He finds writing about himself in the third person strange and unsettling.

    Not Exactly Rocket Science : Top Ten Bacteria

    The Slovenia Report

    When I look over the Google Analytics for this blog, I look for anomalies. Right now, ANY VISIT to the blog is something of an anomaly, so I study them all and try to figure out the where/why/how of that visit. Yesterday’s post and comments are not so much an experiment as they are the logical conclusion of some actual deductive effort.

    Something that was great about the comments yesterday was learning how the companies I mentioned (and I did mention them PURPOSELY as bait, to get proof of my theory) used Google Alerts to monitor blog posts and news about themselves. 

    This morning, after looking at Google Analytics (because of an experiment my friend RT ran last night), I’m finding new direct visitors to the site many from Europe, and the biggest anomaly, visits from Slovenia. I know nothing about Slovenia, so now I am going to read up… and try to figure out what interest someone from there would have in my ramblings.

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    Waiting for Godin, Network Solutions and Zemanta

    Aerial view of a growth pattern in Arlington C...

    Image via Wikipedia

    Well, I finally figured out the way to capture blog readers: mention their company in your post. Since I blogged about Network Solutions the other day, I saw on my Google Analytics page that the person from Arlington, VA, (HELLO ARLINGTON!!! WOOHOO!) did a search for the phrase “network solutions”, found my post, and then apparently went to the bathroom because they spent 12 minutes looking at the one page. I don’t even spend 12 minutes writing these things! And, now I am going to purposely add the phrase to the title, the meta and the SEO stuff to see if it happens again. As I read in the Denver Post not too long ago, some companies are sending people out to Twitter and the blogosphere to try and discover what customers are saying about them. Perhaps the internet is the democratization of commerce. Or from a cynical point of view, perhaps these companies are doing market research without having to actually contact a person. Hmm.

    The other day, I posted a metablog about Seth Godin, hoping that my “trackback” would appear on his blog. No dice. I wonder what I did wrong? There is only ONE trackback under that article. I suppose one must wait for Godin himself to approve and release the post.  (Oh my GOD: WAITING FOR GODIN! THAT”S AWESOME!)

    Zemanta HQ is definitely searching me/checking me/ something. I like Zemanta, but not having received much attention before this is a bit odd. Cool, but odd. Hopefully they won’t have to start CHARGING ME.

    Back to work, and hopefully after my jefflazerus.com Holiday Marketing Blitzorama, I will have a few more regular readers. (Hi MOM!)

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    Seth Godin writes about me, so I should return the favor

    Seth Godin Action Figure - Painted Prototype W...

    Image by archiemcphee via Flickr

    Metablog (blogging about blogging)

    Seth Godin‘s blog is one of the most viewed on the web, so a personal blogger would be wise to model it. Of course, not everyone can be an internet millionaire/bestselling author, and use that cred to drive visitors to their site. (Jealous?) That said, Godin’s blog is frequently provocative, easily read, and contains quips that make you think (OH MY GOD! NO!), and a lot of other bloggers and writers refer to his work, especially in the marketing sphere. His blog is number one in Ad Age‘s top 150 marketing blogs list, just as an example; and Godin’s blog shows up repeatedly at the top of many other blog trackers and ratings from Technorati to Bloglines. If he wanted to sell ads, he could do VERY WELL. One of the reasons for the blog’s popularity, however, has to be because it is ad free — with the subtle exception of ads for his own books (which aren’t really ads, but just mentions), which really makes sense if you think about it. It would be weird if you didn’t talk about subjects that interested you enough to write an entire book about, in your blog.

    So, while I have resisted blogging about bloggers, I thought his latest blog post about blogging was interesting enough to put in my permanent record, check it out. 

    UPDATE: I just realized: This is a blog post about a blog post about blogging. <shudder>

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    Make Blog on Network Solutions

    Wreckage of a crash from Saragossa, Spain. The...

    Image via Wikipedia

    If you want to have “making websites” listed as one of your hobbies, or if you find yourself with this as your hobby regardless of wanting to list it or not… Network Solutions might be a hosting provider you should look into.

    While I realize that no one actually reads my blog anyway, that it is far more of a journal than anything else, I may continue to take the 1st person POV just in case I die in a car accident and someone looks this up. Internet archaeology is going to be big in the future. I want to be a part of that.

    Anyway, I’ve been hosting this blog and a couple other sites on NS for quite a while, and I am actually HAPPY with their service. Which, in the internet service provider business, says a lot. Of course, I am merely a hobbyist. If I were doing this professionally, my opinion might be different.

    Maybe I’ll change the name of this blog to “Internet Hobbyist”. OR maybe I’ll just crack open another blog for that purpose.

    Image representing Zemanta as depicted in Crun...

    Image by Zemanta via CrunchBase

    PS- What the hell are these pictures Zemanta is delivering? I think their software is great, but the picture thing has a way to go.

    PPS- Oh, I get it. I wrote “car accident”.

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