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WordPress Jetpack finally enabled publishing to Google+. So, I guess my blog posts will finally head there.

UPDATE: Google permissions are hard. The first test post showed it was “Shared privately” which by looking closer appeared only to myself. My default permissions for approved applications is “Only Me.” I had to go into Settings > Manage Apps & Activities > edit next WordPress.

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Before upgrading from WordPress 3.6.1 to 3.7, the Updates page said two plugins also in need of updates were both 100% compatible with 3.6.1 and unknown with 3.7. A conservative administrator might wait for WordPress to list 100% compatibility with 3.7 before upgrading to it. I upgraded anyway because really I use both fairly minimally.

After the upgrade I went to upgrade these plugins and both were listed at 100% compatible with 3.7. Seems unlikely both were fixed in under 2 minutes. So, it seems like even though the data was there for 3.7, for some reason it was obfuscated from 3.6.1? Annoying.

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(This assumes a WordPress.org site not one on Wordress.com hosting.)

Placing your username and password in the database of third party sites is not very good. If the account provided is the WordPress administrator account, then that means credentials for the most important account are potentially exposed. The password is going to be kept in the clear or in a form decryption is easy so it can be used to post to WordPress.

Better instead is to create a limited user with the Author role for this purpose. These accounts are so easy to create that I make one for every site I use to post to this blog. If any of these sites are hacked or the credentials otherwise given to others, then the potential damage is just the posts belonging to that user.

One stumbling block for this is WordPress.org installs want a unique email address for each account. A workaround I use is either generating email accounts via my hosting provider or the +anything for Gmail.

Also, it makes easy identifying the posts which came from the foreign source. My Goodreads posts are an example where that site is setup to post for an account I specially created for that purpose.

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Monday after the Game of Thrones Red Wedding reveal, I read a Rolling Stones piece where the author had no clue the song played was the Rains of Castemere, the title of the episode. So, of course, I had to point out that oversight. (Someone on the Internet was WRONG!)

The commenting system RS used is Disqus, which I am using here, so no problem. Until I get the flood of emails. I had been holding steady at 2.1GB of my 10.1GB at Gmail. All the emails to this thread bumped it up to 2.3GB.

So I went looking for how to stop it. There was no list of posts to which I am subscribed like at WordPress.com. The only relevant place to fix this seemed to be the profile editor and “Email notifications are sent when comments are posted on discussions that matter to you.” That would stop all comment notifications not just the busy one annoying me. I even deleted my comment which did not stop them.

Finally, I sucked it up and went into the help and found the Subscribe/Unsubscribe from Notifications page. It turns out, I had to go to the page and click on the “Subscribe via email” link at the bottom of the comment box. Pretty sure I never would have thought to look there on my own.

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So Google announced Reader will shut down. So I migrated to Feedly. It is okay, but I will miss Reader just like I still miss Bloglines. (The current Bloglines is actually NetVibes which I hate.)

A few weeks ago, I noticed one my categories displays in the left menu there are unread posts, but the main window displays there are none. It took a week for me notice on the right side the list of feeds in the list also shows there are unread posts. Two views say there are unread but the one that shows the titles or previews of them says there is nothing. WTF?

Even stranger, the category does not appear in the Organize section, so I cannot just move the RSS feeds to another category.

Apparently Feedly users have complained for 4 years about the category. And even worse, many of the solutions appear only temporary. Whatever they change restores itself later.

Today, I put together another clue. The problem category is called “blogger-following.” Google Reader displays it as “Blogs I’m following”. Blogger actually owns/creates these in Google Reader when I subscribe to them using Friend Connect. This also adds them to the Blogger Reading List on my dashboard. Feedly picks up these subscriptions from Google Reader.

I think making changes to these in Feedly updates Google Reader. However, Blogger will change it back. I tried removing blogger-following from the feeds. However, a logout and login restored those changes. I think because Friend Connect is authoritative to Reader who is authoritative to Feedly, the fix has to be upstream of Feedly.

However, unsubscribing in Friend Connect did not really do it. (At least through a logout and login.)  When Feedly pulled the data from Reader again, the unsubscribed feed came back.

Apparently Feedly relies on Google for authentication. So, I cannot just Revoke Access for Feedly to my Google account to do #1 below now.

So there are a couple potential ways to approach fixing this.

    1. Do nothing. Google Reader dies on July 1. That should remove Reader, the man in the middle. Without Reader there, Feedly ought to no longer know about Friend Connect based feeds.
      Pro: Least amount of work. Con: Six weeks is a long time. Unknown whether that will actually work.
    2. Unsubscribe in Friend Connect. I subscribed to a blog through Blogger and confirmed new posts showed up in Reader and Feedly. I removed the subscription in Blogger by going to Settings to the right of Reading List. I clicked Settings to the right of the blog to remove. Finally, I clicked “Stop following this site.” When I refreshed Reader and Feedly, this blog disappeared. Of course, any I want to continue to read need a direct subscription in Feedly.
      Pro: Not sure. Con: I will longer publicly support friends. Very cludgy to stop following these.

 Probably wait and see.

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Apparently someone out there is trying to brute force WordPress admin account passwords. Of course, older installers set the administrator username to the same account name: admin. Since this brute force is targeting that account name, WordPress blog owners are being advised to make sure to rename that account.

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I am trying out the Disqus comment system for this blog through the WordPress plug-in. I’ve had an account through them for years for my Tumblr. Not sure why I did not bite this bullet years ago. More and more sites I visit use it. It lets commenters authenticate through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, or Google. The WordPress native comments are spam ridden even with Akismet. Plus the Disqus WordPress plugin is much more user and administrator friendly than Facebook Comments for WordPress.

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This blog has suffered from my sharing on social media. Where I used to post every day, even just one liners to go check out a web site or a story, that activity is now all on Facebook, Twitter, Google+. HackEducation does a weekly post of news. I am thinking about doing something similar for the things I would normally just share.

First, other sites tend to die. Ping.fm screwed me by my not understanding their technology. By using it to cross-post, every link and every image used their shortened URLs. When they lost the database, every link and image was broken. I think ifttt.com works better, so I have it making a backup of this blog at ezrasf.wordpress.com and sneezypb.posterous.com. (Well, except the tags do not go over.)

Second, I can control the format and quotes better on this blog than social media. Sometimes I wish I had quoted more of an article when it disappears behind the paywall, is moved, or removed.

Finally, it would be good for me to spend more time thinking about things before I post. About a tenth the things I intend to post on this blog, I give up on posting and instead share on social media. I feel like there is more thought and intention that goes into a blog post.

P.S. Originally this post started before Christmas. I had it scheduled for today. Setting the goal for the year ought to help.

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Since I cannot use Facebook Apps over HTTPS, that put a wrinkle over using the NetworkedBlogs app. Because one had to go to their apps.facebook.com to do more than look at a post (goes to networkedblogs.com which shows my site in a frame) or view the app profile, I decided to ditch it. I decided to look for another way to facilitate the integration. I’m used to Twitter Tools which just posts to Twitter. I thought there should be an equivalent for my blog posts to end up as a Facebook link post (not as a Note).

So I started searching on WordPress for possible plugins. Many were out of date. Many were for functionality not useful to me. Eventually I started searching through Google which muddied the waters even more by giving me much older plugins.

  • Simple Facebook Connect required me to publish to WordPress then go back and hit a button to publish to Facebook. Lame.
  • Facebook Comments for WordPress pretty cool if all I wanted was comments. Really I wanted the posts to show up in my profile more.
  • WPBook sets the URL for each post to go through apps.facebook.com.

Wordbooker finally did what I want… It creates a post in my newsfeed for my blog which uses a link to my blog. I manage it through WordPress not Facebook apps.

I could be happy now. (Until I next get annoyed.)

m4s0n501

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In the early days of my using WordPress, I set the permalinks setting (the URL format style) to Numeric. They looked like http://ezrasf.com/wplog/archives/3. On 2008-SEP-27 I changed the permalinks setting to the Day and Name. According to my broken links post each time WP autosaved a draft it incremented the number so the names were no longer sequential. The gaps annoyed me. The new setting hid those gaps. (No, I do not have OCD.) However, it meant

  1. all those links in posts to old permalinks no longer worked and
  2. anyone incoming from search engines hit permalinks who no longer worked.

The search engine problem worked itself out without any effort on my part. They recognized the 404 HTTP error code, dropped the bad page from the index on the next crawl. They also picked up the new posts.

I occasionally spent some time working on fixing broken links. However, the process of determining where the link should go took so much effort I rarely fixed more than a few links at a time. So I did not make the progress I would have liked.

Then I discovered the Broken Link Checker plugin for WordPress last weekend. It has been sending me notices about all my broken links. In desiring to shut it up, I had to spend time trying to fix those Numeric permalinks again. I noticed the format of a link in “Get Shortlink” buttons when I edit a post is the same as the Default permalink which look like http://ezrasf.com/wplog/?p=3. It seemed logical I could just replace “archives/” with “?p=” and fix the internal links. Sure enough, it worked. So I’ve cleared up the remaining internal broken links much more easily than I ever expected. It could only be easier if the broken link checker automatically did it.

The WordPress Codex says,

Find a post’s ID number and type the following (with your information) in your browser and you should be redirected to your post:

http://yourdomain.example.com/post/(the ID #)

Well, no matter what id number I use here, they go to the same post on 9/12. Weird. This would have been an even easier fix as I could double clicking on archives does not get the slash. Maybe it means I need something in the .htaccess to make it work correctly?

Meh. I am glad to have an easy solution. Annoyed it seems undocumented. Hope this helps someone else who has the same problem.

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