And We’re Back In The Room


If you’re having trouble seeing the blog try clearing your browser cache.

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That’s better. My apologies; following an entry titled ‘Last Post’ with the sudden and total disappearance of this blog may, just possibly, have created a misleading impression. Don’t worry. The blogging will continue until morale improves.

The fact is I’d decided that, as I am pretty much specialising in creating and hosting WordPress sites these days, it was kind of embarrassing that my own blog was still hosted by someone else. Up to now it’s been a free WordPress.com site. This is a fantastic service if you just want to blog, but if you install WordPress on your own server you can create a really capable website. Which is exactly what I’m doing for a lot of people these days – in fact I’m on the verge of officially launching it as a business. More of this… shortly.

Anyway I hit a snag while changing the domain name I.doubt.it to point to the new version, which meant that most readers could see neither. It was a simple problem, but I’d no time to fix it because it happened just before I left on a visit to the Netherlands to see the big Heironymus Bosch exhibition. Of this too I hope to speak in the near future.

But for now, a happy Paddy’s Day to all of you in places where it’s still Paddy’s Day. Here in Ireland it’s been over for some hours, and I’m off to bed.

Is Spam Evil Enough Yet?

Spam! SPAM! Spam! SPAM! Spam! SPAM! Spam! SPAM...
Now more offensive than ever

You know what’s wrong with spam? it just isn’t rude and offensive enough. Or so some people seem to think. As I mentioned, the comment spam you get on a blog is usually of a fawning, “This is the best blog ever and I’m going to tell all my friends to worship your genitals!” nature. Quite a boost when you get your first one, but when they keep on coming – and you notice they all contain a link to something that wants your money – you learn to ignore them.

So someone has decided we need a refreshing change. Here’s a comment I got the other day:

Anzy Machaczkala – Spam Link Removed

The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.

Hey, that could be true of any blog… But before composing a measured reply – like “Shut up now and never speak to another human being again, or I will kill you and everyone you are related to just to be certain that your vile genes are extinct” – I paused to check that it was genuine. After all, it did seem an odd thing to say about a cartoon of an elephant. Also there were three from the same address, the other two quite complimentary and all of them linked to some site in Polish about soccer.

Yes it’s just another example of phony Search Engine Optimisation, offering the ‘service’ of spamming blogs and message boards with posts containing links to a site on the (wholly untrue) grounds that these will be mistaken for genuine interest and so improve its search ranking.

Tip to spammers: Google is not run by crowd of slack-jawed morons.

And while SEO spamming was already a complete pain for people who have to keep message boards clean, now that you guys have decided to actually insult the sites you’re spamming, it’s become a lot more personal.

So I’m off to Poland, and I have a pointed stick for poking soccer balls.

Shop Talk

The logo of the blogging software WordPress.
You're On It

One of the sweet things about the blogging software I use here is that it searches the WordPress community and offers you links to other posts on the subject you’re (apparently) writing about. I used to reject those auto-links out of hand, but I’m feeling a little more communautaire these days and try to stick a couple in.

However the fact that it’s an automatic search leads to some… odd results. My post “First Impressions of Google+” was auto-linked by another – called “Google+ First Impression“. Which in turn links to…

Damn it, could none of us think of an interesting title?

And for no apparent reason better than that it mentions the same city, a site pushing a restaurant voucher deal in Galway links to one of my recent posts.

The one called “Who Deserves To Die?” Can’t see that selling a lot of two-course meals for two with glass of wine or beer each.

This reminds me, I entirely forgot to mention that I’ve opened a link section here now – or “Blogroll” as WordPress likes to call it for some misguided reason. Here I link to some blogs I occasionally read myself. It should be over to the right there somewhere. So if you have a blog you think I might like, why not send me a link?

Let’s be all sharing-y and cute.

Map Of The Future

i.doubt.it - some class of a blog

You may have noticed this blog has a new address: “I.doubt.it“. No W’s, no dot-com, just a short yet meaningful sentence in English. Not many websites can boast that. As you may know it’s actually an Italian domain name – you don’t have to be Italian to own one (just an EU citizen). I bought this a few years ago but never really got the best out of it, until now.

Naturally I.doubt.it will be the title of the blog as well as its address. As the newspaper column was Micro Cosmopolitan for over fifteen years I’ll use that name in parallel for a little while though. Until the t-shirts are ready at least.

Which could be something like a month. I’m working to a budget made up mostly of coupons here, and had to go for the super-slow delivery option. I don’t quite get this; without being any cheaper it’s actually slower than ordinary post. In order to offer this rate they had to set up a special concussed delivery service, staffed by people in long trailing coats they keep treading on.

Oh, they just don’t print the stuff till later. Right.

That’s the design up there, incidentally. I wanted to keep it simple and slightly mysterious. The strap line “some class of a blog” is a temporary one I think, something vague that won’t tie the blog down too much as it develops. Who knows where this baby is going to go? If the Irish expression is a bit opaque to the overseas contingent, it just means “a sort of blog”, and is faintly disparaging.

So I’ve a month of anticipation ahead. It really is exciting actually – I’ve never done something like this before. Getting t-shirts made feels like the most egotistical thing I’ve ever done. Even though it isn’t.