Tag Archives: WordPress

Night #WotW

It’s another sleepless night. Tonight, I’m thinking over whether to transfer the two domains I own, which are both registered with different providers, to one. A third one, that is, because both of my current providers have problems. The one I use for this blog is fine as long as I don’t need to change anything, but it requires a shitload of information if you haven’t memorized your password and you do want to make changes.

The one I use for my E-mail, I just came up with like four reasons to transfer it:


  1. I don’t need 7500MB of space and 75GB of data for just my E-mail and I don’t want to pay for it either. While the hosting isn’t terribly expensive for what they offer, the 7500MB/75GB package is their only product. I could pay a third of the price for a small package at where I want to move to.

  2. Either they or I screwed up the control panel. Not that I did anything to it, but half of the functions that are supposed to be in there, including installing applications, are hidden far away. Their application installer is rather unusual too, so I keep getting errors when trying to install apps. Could be because I’ve been playing with apps through FTP (because again the installer wouldn’t work) when I still used FTP. Which, by the way, I won’t be using again unless anyone can recommend a good FTP client that isn’t loaded with junkware. I just screwed up my computer with a used-to-be-trusted client. But I digress. The hosting provider I want to move to, has INstallatron as their installer, which is basically standard stuff. So if I want to build a site anyway, I could.

  3. I keep getting certification errors when trying to log in to DirectAdmin. This could be normal, but I don’t trust this.

  4. Most importantly for my current usage of this package, I hate their extensive spam filter. It’s a spam filter that sits before the server, so you don’t get to even see your spam messages if you want to. This has led to E-mail from several forums and social networking sites not getting through. I could disalble the thing as it isn’t a standard feature, but their basic spam filter is really hard to work. I don’t know of course whether another provider has a better spam filter. What I’d look for is something where you can just click a button on an E-mail message to mark it as spam and it learns this way.

Then this whole thought led me to thinking of self-hosting my blog too. I don’t know whether that’d be much harder than working WordPress.com, and in fact I have some experience self-hosting a blog that went pretty smoothly (though no-one ever visited and I only had it for like a week or two). Both the good thing and the bad thing is that it allows for more customization. It’s good because, if it works, I can set up more functionality and usability. It’s bad because, if it doesn’t work, I might (or more likely will) just screw up my blog. At least this way I will avoid getting “you should self-host” as an answer to all my WordPress questions in blogging groups. As a side note, even if I don’t end up choosing to self-host, I may want to move my domain name because at my current provider I pay like E22,50 a year whereas it’s E7,99 elsewhere.

I don’t know why these thoughts keep me awake. Last Wednesday, it was trying to find a good private journaling site after all software I tried, even the one that could’ve been great, failed to meet my expectations. I haven’t yet made up my mind on that one.

Technology isn’t the only thing keeping me up at night. Another thing is just a terribly melancholic mood. This evening, I joined some Dutch preemie parent groups. The members have been very supportive, but I keep rewriting my words just to make sure I don’t sound like I’m bashing my parents. Apparently I did with last Monday’s post. After writing that one, I also couldn’t sleep much at all.

As a result of both the technological and emotional navel-gazing, my circadian rythm has been pretty non-circadian lately. I end up sleeping at the weirdest of moments and at least staying up most nights. I am therefore choosing “night” as my word of the week.

The Reading Residence
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My Ideal Social Networking Site

A few days ago, I came across a writing prompt for NaBloPoMo asking bloggers to describe their ideal social networking site. Suppose you got unlimited funds and a handful of tech guys to design it for you, what would it look like? Now I’ve actually been looking for a social networking site that is, well, ideal for me, so I have a pretty clear image of what I would want it to be like. Don’t worry: I don’t have money and I don’t have tech skills, so it’s unlikely to ever get off the ground.

My ideal social network would have a journaling/blogging feature as the centerpiece. The design of the journaling feature would be similar to the old LiveJournal or the current DreamWidth. I know that those who don’t use a screen reader probably don’t know what I mean, so here goes. I mean that all features of the journal, like recent entries, archive, profile page with interests and such, are easily accessible. No annoying mouseover stuff like the current LiveJournal seems to use. I mean, when you go to your or someone else’s profile page on LJ, you only see their bio, the people they have added as friends and the communities they’re members of. In order to see their interests, for example, you need to slide your mouse over the bio thingy, or something. In any case I haven’t figured out how to access interests, friends of, etc. On DreamWidth and the old LJ, these are/were easily viewable directly from a person’s profile page.

The journaling feature would, of course, incorporate full HTML editing. You’d be surprised most current online diary sites don’t have this feature. The entries would also be organizable by categories and tags as on WordPress.

Then, people would get a profile page. It would look similar to the LiveJournal or DreamWidth profile pages, with the person’s bio, external services such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and a clickable list of interests which would connect users to other users. Searching by name, bio, interests, etc. would all be standard – on LJ, you need a paid account to search the directory.

People would also be able to create photo albums, from which they can link to their journal or which stand on their own. Again, this is similar to LiveJournal, only on LJ you need to pay for a “scrapbook”.

I’d also like to include groups similar to Facebook groups. In addition, I’d like users to be able to create writing circles. These are similar to what the Open Diary used to have: you post something to your own journal, but link it up with others writing on the same topic. These circles would, however, be moderated by users in a way much like link-ups are on blogs. The circle moderators would be able to create writing prompts for their circles.

Then, there’d be status updates and a personal messaging system as on Facebook. Lastly, I’d include a social bookmarking feature which is similar to Delicious. No images required like on Pinterest – one of the reasons I hate Pinterest is that I can’t pin my own blog posts as they don’t include images.

The entire social network would meet web accessibility standards. I was going to say “of course”, but then I realized my blog doesn’t meet these standards, so yeah. Privacy would also be important. Given that I would be allocated unlimited funds according to the prompt, there’d be no need for ads. If there are to be ads, they’re going to be non-personalized. People would register with a user name and the site would only display their full name (or a display name) on their profile if they choose so. On each item they post (journal entry, photo, etc) they’d be allowed to select the privacy options of “public (including search engines)”, “registered users”, “friends” or “private”. They’d also be able to set minimum privacy settings on their journal, photo collection or individual photo albums.

Unfortunately, the prompt didn’t say I’d be allocated a number of admins to watch that no illegal or otherwise inappropriate content is displayed on my platform. I’d hire these folks with my unlimited funds though. if I were to design this social networking site, after all, I’d want to sit on my butt after the platform had launched and just play with it. No moderation duties for me please.