After all my complaining about the damnably evil block editor, I sat down and worked out how to make it work for me. I’m going to outline, in excruciating detail, just how I create my review posts with it. Doing this has made me realize that WordPress is no longer a blogging platform. * whole paragraphed removed due to self censure * I’m going to outline how I used to write a review and how I do it now.
BEFORE: 1) Write the entire post in Open Office using my Review Template. 2) Start a new post in WordPress w/ Review Title 3) Insert my cover picture 4) Copy/paste my entire review from Open Office 5) Left align the cover, thus bringing all the text into its correct place 6) Insert my avatar at the end of the post 7) add tags 8) add date and time for scheduled post 9) hit “schedule” and voila, done!
AFTER: 1) Write entire post in Open Office using my Review Template 2) Start a new post in WordPress w/ Review Title 3) Insert a “Classic Block” 4) Inside the classic block, insert my cover picture 5) Inside the classic block, copy/paste ONLY the info part of the review (legaleeze through the Word count) 6) Left align the cover, thus bringing the info into proper alignment 7) Insert Spacer Block (at 20pt, the minimum) 8) Copy/paste the rest of the review into wordpress 9) Insert Spacer Block between the last sentence of the Synopsis and My Thoughts 10A) Insert Image Block at end of review 10B) Insert Avatar in Image Block 11) Insert Spacer Block between star rating and avatar 12) Insert spacer block between avatar and any additional links 13) Click on “Document” over in the settings on the right hand side 14) Select Category 15) Add tags 16) Open a new tab in my browser 17) Select the Google Calendar shortcut 18) See what days of the month have no posts and select one 19) Type in the blog title into google calendar on that empty day 20) Close tab 21) Add date and time for scheduled post in WordPress 22) Voila, done!
Wow! I guess I was wrong and the gutless, spineless code engineers pimps at WordPress were right! What a time saving, incredibly efficient way to write! Those 14 extra steps make my review look SO MUCH BETTER (no, it takes me 14 profanity laced extra steps to make it look the same as before!!!!)
I have tried using only the classic block, but it doesn’t honor double returns (double space) between paragraphs so everything looked like total crap. So I’m forced to kluge together this abortion of a process to simply keep things looking how I’ve had them. How, in anyone’s brain who is sane, can this be considered a step forward, a net positive, something good?
23 steps. To write a FORSAKEN review. My workload to write a review has more than doubled and I’m supposed to be happy and ok with that? I’ve just completely depressed myself. See you all tomorrow ….
I don’t know if this will work for everyone but it is worth a shot. If you have been switched over to the block editor against your will, see if this works to get back. I know that I have NOT been forced over to the Block Editor even though it was trumpeted all over my homepage that June 1st was the day it was going to happen. Whatever the reason, it hasn’t.
I use chrome so if you use a different browser things might look a tiny bit different in the pictures below.
Start a new post while being terrorized by the block editor. I personally authorize any use of force you feel necessary, all the way up the nuclear option. We will not be held hostage by damnable traitorous terrorists! Or self-important computer engineers with their heads up their fundaments.
Over on the top right, there are 3 dots. Click those dots. See picture below:
Scroll down to the bottom and click on the “switch to classic editor”. See picture below:
That should do it. I’d be really interested to hear from those of you who were forced to use the block editor to see if this works for you. I’m also including a link to the forums where you can voice your complaints about the block editor. I’ve complained and I’ll probably go back and complain some more.
I’m sure you are all well aware that every wordpress user has been, or will be, forced over to the new Block Editor. I’m writing this 2 days before that actually happens to me, so there might be some things I say here that don’t apply or have been figured out or whatnot.
I am not a fan of this, at all. In fact, ever since they introduced the block editor back in ’19 I’ve tried it several times and each time gave up in disgust.
That link shows you how to get to the classic block and I figure I’ll be making use of it. Not as as good as starting everything automatically that way, but better than not having it at all.
My issue, however, is that I can no longer see at a glance, what days I have posts scheduled. When I went to schedule posts in the old editor it brought up a calendar of that particular month and any day with an already scheduled post was highlighted in blue, thus visually, and more importantly, easily (!!!!!!) clueing me in to what days I should avoid posting the new post on. I’ve talked to a so-called expert and been told that ability has been removed. So I’m supposed to either open a second tab and look at my scheduled posts on my site (which doesn’t show a calendar, just a list of posts with dates in very small writing) or better yet, just get a paper calendar and write down when I’m scheduling posts. What a great step forward!!! That is what I call progress. I could swear….
Yep, sometime in April I passed the 20,000 comment mark on my blog. Now, half of those are mine, as I try to make a point of replying to most comments, but how could I resist this particular benchmark? And while 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea might have been a boring National Geographic story, at least we all got Captain Nemo from it. (Nemo is the model for the Captain Henry Gloval, of the SDF-1, of Robotech fame. Nemo is also directly lifted into the Nadia: Secret of Blue Waters anime. )
I’m pretty happy with this milestone. I consider this benchmark one that marks me as a successful blogger. Considering that I prefer comments to likes (even while acknowledging that the ratio is the reverse), this number makes me very happy. So thank you for chatting away with me in the comments. Please keep it up! 😀
Here’s a youtube video of Sarah Brightman singing about Captain Nemo. While that cover album is a bit off-putting, her voice is divine.
So I’m having some serious notification problems with comments here on WordPress. I’m not getting notified of people commenting on my blog OR on other people’s blogs in response to my comments. The problem is, it is very hit and miss and apparently at random.
I’ve gone over to the WordPress.com Forums and added my 2cents to some others who are experiencing the same issue.
So if you comment and never get notified that people comment back, raise the issue in the forums.
If you’ve started following me in the last year, and you get my posts by email, you might have noticed there are times you get a TON of emails. Short story, I’m working on Phase II of my Blog Construction plan.
Here’s the post I originally wrote in 2018 that goes into more detail than you really ever wanted to know. But it adequately explains what is going on and what to expect:
While I mentioned this in passing in my last Roundup&Ramblings post, I figured I’d better do a separate post so there wasn’t any confusion.
In January I completed Phase One of my Blog Construction Plans. As such, now I am moving into Phase Two, which is a much bigger undertaking and more intrusive, IF you happen to get emails from me. As I will be creating new posts for each review that I formerly lumped together in monthly posts, even though they are backdated, WordPress still considers them new posts and sends them to everyone on the email list.
This is just a fair warning post to let you know that while I’ve toyed around with this Phase Two, I am hoping to really start things in earnest next month. So be advised you could be getting an additional 5-20 posts emailed to you each month.
2018 was a very different year from 2017. Here’s my 2017 in Review post.
Annual Blog Stats:
Total Posts – 248’ish
Total Views – 20K
Followers – 360+/- [fluctuation due to spam accounts getting deleted by WP]
Books Read – 172
Pages Read – 59,371
Average Rating – 3.31
As you can see, the majority of what I read is in the 3-4 star rating range. I explain my rating system Here.
Almost 27% of my books were re-reads and STILL my average is under 3.5. To put things in perspective though, anything over 3.1 is a good year for me. I just feel like grumping about something!
2018 was a year of digging into blogging at wordpress and realizing that the ebb and flow of people I follow and the people who follow me, is normal. I’ve fully instituted my “I don’t follow someone who doesn’t post at least once a month” rule for new potentials and unless someone I follow lets their followers know they’re going to be gone, the same applies to people I already follow. I’ve probably stopped following quite a few sporadic bloggers this year, which has made my feed and interactions with others a bit more stable. It is also nice when people I do follow DO let their followers know that Life is getting in the way and they won’t be around for a bit. What has saddened me though is watching people disappear. While it is completely understandable, it has been a bit tough to see Life, Health or Interest make people just go “poof”. But I’m realizing this is normal and I’m hoping that in 2019 I’ll be a little more inured to such things. I hope so anyway because it is a really sucky feeling to see someone “take a health break” and then never come back.
Ok, enough of THAT!
WordPress is now completely my blogging home. Anything I feel like writing, it roosts here. From the good to the bad, from the happy to the sorrowful, it gets written and posted here.
My post count was almost 100 posts lower than in ’17 but since I wrote a post almost every day that year, I’m not surprised. I can’t keep that level of creativity going. It also came down to me starting to schedule my reviews 2-3 weeks in advance. It has made my review writing much more disciplined but that very same discipline has impacted my writing on the spur of the moment, which is when a lot of non-review posts get written.
On a daily basis that lack of creativity did affect my numbers (ie, views, visits, likes, comments) but on the annual side of things, my numbers are stronger than in ’17. So with less posts I’ve gotten more. I think part of it is that not writing everyday gives people a chance to actually read what I post. If you’re only a weekly blogger and then visit me, 4 posts is a lot more handle-able (my goodness, that’s not even a real word!) than 7 or 8. Whatever the reason, 2018 was a good year for all my numbers and I’m very satisfied with them.
Speaking of satisfaction… (Sing it!)
I feel like I have settled into a good routine. I’m following people who are constant posters. My reading and reviewing schedule has fallen right into line with my whole reading rotation. My followers go up and down, but that is an aspect of what I alluded to in the opening paragraph. It does mean that I am always on the lookout for a new blogger to follow every 4-5 months, which is good for me so I don’t completely get set in my ways.
Overall, 2018 was everything I wanted from a free book blog. I reviewed, I ranted, I had fun. I also updated my little avatar,
I’m obviously moving up in the world!
Blogger is now my backup blog for just my reviews. I started out ’18 trying to mirror some non-review posts but gave it up pretty quickly. It’s a good blog if you like my reviews but don’t like anything else I write. It’s just as disorganized as my wordpress blog but I’m not trying to retro-actively clean it up. I also don’t like how the comment notification works so I’m not really incentivized to make it work.
Had a bit of a dustup in a group because I talked about killing communists & hippies in one of my reviews, so Librarything has pretty much reverted to being the place where I keep track of what I’m currently reading and where I get info and cover data from. I put my reviews there as well, but since there isn’t much of a social thing outside of groups, I’m not very active there. Me and groups, we just don’t get along, sigh.
Best Book of the Year:
Ok, I have to admit, I am beyond stingy when it comes to this particular tag. I am also super miserly with 5star ratings. I only had two instances of this tag and only 9 5star reads. Only 3 of ANY of those was a new to me book. Books these days, they’re just not what they used to be…*sigh*
This category is a little easier for me to write about, as I did read some atrocious books this year. The book that takes this category however, gets this “honor” because while it probably wasn’t actually the most un-enjoyable book I read, the interactions with its author went downhill very quickly; let me tell you, some severe comment deletion went on. That reaffirmed my faith in not thinking of Writers as People. Most people are jackasses. Most writers, surprisingly, are people. Which means that most writers are jackasses. Goodness, don’t you just love Logic?
Ok, now that I’m done being all clever, here’s the loser.
Sandworms of Dune almost beat it, but at least the authors didn’t whine at me and expect me to be their personal editor.
Plans for 2019
Not much. Last year, I was brimming with ideas. Then Life happened and stuff. This year, all I really want is to get my blog fully organized. I’m closing in on getting all my recent reviews fully tagged and categorized (recent being 2013 to Present). Once that gets done, then the BIG job of going backwards in time can begin. 2012 back to 2000. But I’m being super casual and laid back about it, so it’ll happen when it happens.
I did have a goal of breaking the 100 view mark for a post for 2018 and not only did that happen, it happened 10 times. Now, quite a few more posts have also passed the 100 view mark, but they are older posts that either I reference or get picked up in a google search. I’d be happy with the same results for 2019.
Actually, I JUST thought of a goal while writing this post. I’ve mentioned before that I think that the world NEEDS a World Book Czar and that I think I’m pretty qualified. So 2019 is the year I get serious about running for office. And by running for office I mean getting rid of all of the competition so you all have a choice of One. Me. I look forward to discussing the issues with my fellow candidates!
Where to even start? I guess church stuff. January and February were pretty bad and led to us leaving the church that we’d been attending for a decade and begin looking for another. While we have found another, you don’t make changes like that without upheaval and inner consequences. We’ll see how we do in ’19.
Health has been all over the place for both of us. Between a hospital stay for Mrs B and several crohn’s related incidents and my diabetes and then gastroenteritis and flu at the end of the year, we became pretty well acquainted with our hospital bills.
I’ve been working by myself at work since July and it is wearing me out. Things need to change by Spring or I’ll have to make some changes myself. I’m just not thinking about that to be honest.
I did finish up my Bookstooge in 100 Books and pinned it to the side of my blog. That was a lot of fun to write and think about. I should probably also go over my About page and see if anything needs updating. Thankfully, both of those posts tend to be rather static and a once a year check is good enough.
This year I did get into Magic the Gatheringa bit more. Probably played a little less, but have started on constructing my own Commander decks, which takes a lot of time, thought, creativity and if one is so inclined, money. I am also dabbling with the idea of getting into the digital version of MTG, called Arena. We’ll see, as me and computer games just don’t really click that well.
I would categorize 2018 as a tough year but Mrs B and me are still doing ok, praise God.
Here are the top 5 viewed posts in each of the various categories.
I live for comments, so I am glad that WordPress gives me this kind of info. I’d also like to thank everyone (well, except for that writer who got butt hurt that I did exactly what he asked me to, ie, write an honest review of his book) who commented this year. Written interactions on my blog make it so much more fun.
I’ve had more visitors and more comments than last year, so I’m hoping to keep that trend going. I’ve had some wonderful new followers this year who seem to like commenting as much as I do and I’m thankful for that. With almost 5,800 comments this year (to be honest half of them are me), that feeds my soul like you wouldn’t believe.
Who knows, maybe next’s years list of commentors will be completely different people. Come on, you know you want to edge Lashaan out of the top spot!
Once again, my movie list is less than 10, so a top 5 would pretty much include them all. Here’s the Top 2, just like last year.
It’s not so much that I don’t watch ANY movies, but I just don’t review them. It doesn’t come nearly as easy as the book reviews. As much as I’d like to say there will be more movie reviews in 2019, we all know I’d be lying. So folks, there will be MORE movie reviews in 2019 😀
Ok, while this post is shorter than last years Review, it’s still monstrously long by my standards (anything over 1K is monstrous in my opinion). I look forward to reading all of your various yearly posts, if you’re so inclined that way, and I hope to see you around in 2019. Unless you’re a communist, because then I will shoot you.
Back in April I ran across this post about 100 Books. I’ve finally started working on my own version, which I’ve divided into books I hate and books I love. I’ll be linking each title to it’s review here on wordpress. As such, I’ll be having to create whole new posts for about half the books as they were simply in my monthly posts from years ago.
What this means is that those of you who are subscribed to get an email every time I put up a new post will be getting a small flood of emails over the next few weeks. You might have experienced it already this past weekend. Thankfully, this still advances my overall Site Updateplans, so I don’t feel this is taking away from that project. That is already going slow enough, sigh.
Just wanted to give you all the heads up. Once the Project is done, I plan on making the list one of the static pages here on WP, along with “About”, “Star Ratings” and “Review Policy”.
I have decided that it is time to clean this dump up. While my book reviews number in the 1000’s (currently just under 3000), they aren’t all nicely posted one book to a post. From 2000 until 2009 I did monthly posts where I just lumped them all together. It makes searching here on WordPress a nightmare and linking to previous reads or mentions of older books? Forget about it!!! Matt’s Post about him working on his blog inspired me to get my backside in gear and to begin making this place workable.
I’ve got two main phases of construction that need to happen.
First, posts from Mid-2012 through the present need to be cleaned of all links to my old GR account that no longer exists or has covers & links to Booklikes, which I can’t count on staying alive much longer. I then need to add updated data. This includes covers, series information, maybe links and appropriate tags. This is the easiest as each book is still its own post. For the most part, this level of work won’t affect what you see here at all, even if you are email subscribed, unless I come across a discrepancy between wordpress and Calibre. I’m hoping this should be all taken care of by the end of this year.
The second phase is going to be the most intensive and will affect anyone who subscribes to “new” posts by email. I’ll have to go through each monthly post from 2000 through 2012 and write a separate post for each entry in the monthly post. So anywhere from 10-20+ new posts for each month. That is a phracking lot of writing. I’m guessing this phase of construction is going to take years. I won’t be bothering with adding covers to those posts, but there will still be all the prerequisite data that needs to be entered. So once again, series, rating, tags, links, etc. This is the main reason for this post. Any of you who subscribe by email will be getting inundated with emails once this starts up. Obviously, that time is a ways off, but if you have it in the back of your mind, it won’t come as a complete surprise.
I’ve been working on Phase 1 for about 2 weeks now. I can do a couple of months worth of the Phase 1 work each weekend. I pushed it last weekend and did almost 9 months worth of data. That caused me to just be completely “worded” out. This weekend I’m limiting myself to a month each evening, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Seems to be working out ok without burning me out.