Happy New Years! My 2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys (bless their hearts) prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thank you guys for making this year all worth it! Happy New Years :D

~ Devina

Happy 2nd birthday HC&B!

AnniversaryI’ve never memorized the date before so you can imagine my surprise after seeing that trophy icon. What now? Have I surpassed my previous record of insanity, of awesomeness, of laziness? In any case WP couldn’t have known their full extent but with much pleasure I’d like to say that today the 20th of November 2013, I’ve been blogging here for exactly two freaking years!

In these couple of years, my life has changed irrevocably. Mine eyes were pried open the the versatility, the ambiguity and the variety of words, of people and content. I’ve been encouraged to write more, to read more, to think more. More so than I couldn’t have otherwise in my old limited line of sight. Knowing how to navigate the internet and knowing where to look are two very separate things in my mind. The WordPress community has been that place for me, that where I can always come to search and learn and become inspired and it – therefore all of you my fellow WP bloggers – has made a great difference in my life.

So I’d like to say thanks to WP for making this platform possible and to the diverse dissidents that live on it :)

New theme selected: Twenty Eleven … So what do you think?

For a total of approximately 5 hours I’ve been hunting around for a new theme. Oi vey, was it frustrating. I was thinking that I would have to revert to my old theme, Spectrum. I liked Spectrum a lot actually but it was freaking out for the past day.

I could have stuck it out and wait and see if it goes back to normal but I see this as the work of fate that has been telling me to change already! I do feel that I have to change things up, and change it in itself is inevitable, so I might as well get it over with already.

I’ve got life and death events speeding up in my horizons and if I’ll be away for some time I want to disappear leaving a decent blog with a fresh look. I also thought it would be nice to make use of the Polldaddy feature, hence my first ever poll:

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Ads on my blog + Forum deletion and other stupid WP decisions

Via .brentcsutoras.comI’ve switched to WP more than half a year ago from the claustrophobic Blogspot (in my opinion, but I don’t hate it there though) with a boat load of enthusiasm. I applauded their efforts against the SOPA bill earlier this year. I’ve enjoyed the features they’ve provided that free users like me can utilize. I’ve ‘met’ so many great people in this community, a few of them were – and still are – influential to me and I’ve got you awesome viewers!

But not because they’ve provided us with these goodies should permit them to put ads on our blogs, at least without our permission. It was earlier this morning when I checked this here site (after I pledged not to come in the first place to fight this addiction) when lo and behold Global Online Degrees offered by the University of Liverpool appears above my header and my Gravatar in the sidebar. Just like that in a second my mood took a drastic turn, call it irrational but I can’t help it.

I like things just as the were; ad-free. Ads, no matter how helpful, on my blog annoys me. It was neat and clean and, if I may say so, to some extent this blog actually looked professional. Not anymore since the ads popped up. I knew, or I thought I knew, that we had a choice weather or not we wanted to put up ads so I haven’t an inkling on what’s going on but I did tweet WordPress asking what they’re up to but I’m not likely to get a reply so later when I’m in the mindset I’ll go over to the forums* and maybe Time Thief or another helpful blogger can clue be in.

UPDATE: I am so so so feeling foolish but the reason for the ads might be due to the ad-blocker on my browser being inactive. I apologize for that. I could have deleted this first half of the post but I though it’s already there. There’s a possibility others might be experiencing this and are shaking their heads in empathy so this is a heads up.

Again, I’m grateful to WP for such a diverse and exciting platform and it isn’t my intention to come off as unappreciative but as a blogger here I think I have some rights.

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Comments by default changed back again to normal.

Devina a Lemon flavoured Jellybean:

The e-mail notification overload is over! Now I don’t have to go and change my preferences every time I comment on someone’s post. Thanks WordPress, the automatic following thingy wasn’t a bright idea after all.

Originally posted on Legendary Post:

DEFAULT COMMENT SETTINGS CHANGED.

WordPress has changed yet again the settings at comments only this time they have returned it back to the way it was.

This is the link to the post in WordPress at the start of this saga.

http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/follow-comments/

This is a great move because the WordPress community has more or less stopped commenting.  Most blogs have removed the button or the people on left it ticked on selective post / blogs.

So now we can all put the button back and comment and get comments the way we did. People have reported that comments have dropped of by over 50%, and i would agree.

If you would like to re-blog this post just to let your followers know that this has happened.

View original

Tagged again!

Image via soulblues.wordpress.com

The tagging fever has cooled down a good notch and once again I’ve been tagged but this time by Phoenix (who tagged me a long time ago, sorry Kate) She’s got some very interesting questions that made me sit and really think. I’ve found that I enjoy being tagged and tagging, answering the multitude of questions and asking them them as well, but my only peeve is the number of people I’d have to tag in return. It’s not I don’t want to, lordy no, but I will be very honest and say it’s just that it’s a hassle to notify so many people, so I bent the rules a little.

The rules are:

1. You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag how many people you want to.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them! Continue reading

SOPA, PIPA and all that tosh.

I could  write a lot of things about this bothersome business, I could tell you how infuriated I am, how I get strange looks from the other side of the room when I start screaming  “Curse you SOPA!” at the computer screen, but I’m not going to tell you all of that … um well, not more than I already did.

From what I understand is that basically if this bill were to become law the American Government gives search engines the authority to block websites that they find breaching copyright law, of course this would only apply to America but in the end of it all everyone suffers, but more on that later. Copyright holders could sue websites for piracy, that’s good and all but this means that we cannot post links to pictures, music, artwork, etc. on our blogs. But sharing links to the work of others doesn’t mean we say that the stuff is ours, we’re just sharing these document so others can see them too, but at the same time I don’t deny that not everybody does it like that. So why should everyone else be punished for what other people do? Now that ain’t fair. Tell me I’m wrong, I dare you.

Which brings me to another problem Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA)  poses. Social networks like Twitter, Facebook and personal blogging interfaces like Blogger and our very own WordPress would have to monitor the posts For. Every. Single. User. Using. Their. Services. As developed and widespread these interfaces are (WP and FB alone has millions and millions of users) there simply isn’t enough resources to get the job done, not to mention it’s a very time consuming  task. Then, say like, if one or two or a group of blogs infringes the law the WP, the entire website gets – that is, WordPress in its entirety – blocked from search engines and I’m not sure if they can actually delete websites. That is totally unfair, WordPress sould not be at fault and it’s, as I’ve mentioned, virtually impossible to monitor everyone! WP encourages us to cite the works of other persons and franchises on our blogs we as individuals are responsible for what we post.

Even though this would happen in The U.S of A it will also affect those of us out of it. My blog could be blocked out of the U.S if I were to be caught breaking the law, but you see I’m not breaking any law and that goes for lots of others. Our rights of free speech is at risk, American or not. The internet does not belong to any specific person or persons, business(s) or governments, it belongs to all of us. So how come the American gov’t can even propose policing the Internet? Can someone please explain that bit to me? I can understand why many franchises are supporting SOPA but the Internet is a medium where their services are publicized, where consumers share their thoughts on their products, is that so bad? But we cannot even mention the name of a product, a song or a movie, because if they can sue you for the background music playing while your kid dances the baby dance in your YouTube video (as mentioned in the video above), what can we say?

I will not pretend that this didn't scare me - because it sure did. (Image via Wikipedia)

Yesterday Wikipedia and a large number of other websites had gone dark in protest of the bill and us here on WP had that option too, as well as a ribbon like the one I currently have that will be up until the 24th of this month when we’ll see whether or not our voices will be taken away from us. Heaven forbid that other countries implement SOPA because as the video had said, or at least what I thought it had implied, power would be in the hands of those who would want to take advantage of this law, not everyone is an angel promising to do what they had said or we wouldn’t have this problem in the first place. In that respect, SOPA can be dangerous.

If you’re a WordPress.com blogger, you can go to your Dashboard > Settings > Protest SOPA/PIPA page to support the protest. The blackout option was only for yesterday but the ribbon will remain available until the 24th Of January, 2012. Join the protest, help stop the dangerous Internet censorship.

Visit http://americancensorship.org/  or click on the ribbon on the top right hand corner of the page that says “Fight Censorship” to help fight against this nonsense.

I would recommend reading this post on the AIS Journal which had helped me to understand this sordid situation better.

Thanks for taking time out for reading what I had to say, until then,

Peace :)