Link death

The all-new Twenty Nineteen theme highlights what I’ve noticed across the very many blogs which I both happen to see while working and also while browsing the net of an evening. The new theme is a single column affair. No sidebar. No widgets. No links.

Funny how so many people want others to link to their own site but they won’t link out…

I used to look at snapshots of this site since 2004. At one point I was showing 12/42 randomised links at a time (I’ve yet to find a database backup from then but it’ll be on a CD somewhere) so I made a list of most of the domains I used to link to. Those unlinked either go nowhere, or to a very different owner, or to some spammy site. Those linked are good links.

Of all the above while clicking through only Raincoaster’s site jumped out as having a good list of links to other blogs (I’ll be reading those too).

So why aren’t people linking? Is it just the lack of a sidebar? Is it full width pages? Single Column themes? It’s not like the number of blogs is going down. Are link lists considered ugly? Are new ‘influencer bloggers’ not using them? Sidebars being used for twitter, insta and affiliate ads?

A quick skim of some older established blogs shows blogrolls, so why not new?
I am guilty of missing a blogroll too, something that I am rectifying.

And note all those http links in that list… and those lapsed and squatted domains.

WordPress should be clearer (GDPR)

The 4.9.6 release includes new Privacy features. On the release post it says :

Data Erasure
Site owners can erase a user’s personal data, including data collected by participating plugins.

I really do think that this should have been spelled out a lot better. It’s not in the Codex that I could find.

Say very precisely what will happen.

I wanted to know and the only way to check was to try it.

I made a comment on my last post. This is what I saw in the site admin:

I then entered that email address into the Tools > Erase Personal Data page in site admin and I clicked the link

This shows

I click the button and go to Comments

So the result is that:
– the name is removed
– the url to their website is removed
– the email is removed
– the last octet of their IP is removed
– and the comment remains intact

WordPress really could have done a much better job and explained this to all it’s users.

(and don’t forget that as I get emails whenever a comment is left that will always have all the information now removed from the site. And if it’s in a search engine? Good luck with that..)

This GDPR junk

This is what I am doing.

1. There is no cookie banner/widget
Why? Because this site does not set a cookie unless you comment. You can read every post, every comment and no cookie will be set. Nothing.

2. Tracking
I track nothing. I use no stats plugin, I have switched off the Jetpack data collection.
There IS IP tracking at the server level but I have zero control over that. If it bugs you so much that your IP is stored then contact my host – – because I can’t help.

If you decide to leave a comment there is a checkbox. Read it. Decide what you want to do.

4. Comment removal
See the all-new super-shiny Privacy Policy page. Look up for the link.

5. Data processing
I don’t do it. WordPress plonks your comment data into the database. If – and only if – someone looks at the post then your comment is fetched and displayed.
It is not processed.
I’m sure a lawyer could argue otherwise but I don’t give a crap.

I don’t hold a gun to your head and make you enter information here.
I don’t try at all to find out any more about you.
I will delete what you ask.

That’s it. That’s the full extent of my complying.

Own your information

A really good article on why blogging is not dead and for me this line is really important:

… it is the only communications tool, in contrast to every other social service, that is owned by the author; to say someone follows a blog is to say someone follows a person (This applies both for amateur and professional bloggers; most of the rest of this post is concerned with the latter).

All your posts and pictures on all those other services are not owned by you. If it important to you, shouldn’t you have more control?

I bought Desk earlier. Oops.

and I have just requested a refund through the MAS.
Blogo was also at 50% off but it has so many “Coming Soon” features and “Coming Soon” = vaporware.
Desk looks nice but hell it’s confusing to use and I swear at some point the copied text looked like I’d just pasted from Microsoft Word. 

I’ll be sticking with Marsedit.

Screw Twitter

A Twitter advertising technique is perturbing people. Promoted brands like MasterCard and IFC are appearing in the list of accounts some users follow, even if they don’t actually follow them.

Just like facebook all they want to do is advertise RIGHT IN YOUR FACE.

Solution? It’s called blogging and RSS.

To continue or not?

My writing here in the last couple of years has dropped off a lot. So I’m wondering whether to continue to leave this blog up, or whether to just remove it.

I stopped using twitter because it’s just a distraction, provides nothing useful.
I stopped using facebook because it’s facebook.
I stopped writing here as much because I write on another blog.
I also stopped writing here because I will now share links through internal company blogs, or in Slack, or in the irc channels I inhabit.
I also stopped writing here because I don’t have the time, motivation to write long personal posts any more.
And I post a picture a day – or try to – at another blog and the image probably gives more insight into how I am than any writing I could do.
So what is this blog to be then?

I have an account on ello but do not use it.
I have an account on tsu but do not use it.
I can’t see a situation when I would use either. I just created them because I could.

Do I want to write? If I do then what I want to write about is not going to be something that I would be happy to post here. I have posted personal stuff before, but now? No, makes me uncomfortable.

The blog could just stay though, couldn’t it? Yes, but why keep something around that might not be updated? In less than 3 weeks it will be 11 years since this blog started. That’s a long time.

Not sure what to do. Pondering.