I logged in to WordPress, started a new post and something flashed up on the screen. Then something else, then I had lost what I started doing. In my list of posts is a page just begun with only part of the title. Odd, because something similar happened yesterday when I tried to write a post.
So I start again, this time having forgotten what I was going to write about and instead write about the distractions that WordPress itself now provides when you try to write a new post. WordPress used to be somewhere you quickly went to and wrote a thought and posted it. WordPress is now a product that wants to tell you all about WordPress. I This was the result:
I started to write “Distractions caused by WordPress” and got the popup about leaving the page. So I let it continue.
WordPress had interrupted my attempt to create a post to take me to a page to tell me about WordPress. Why would I want to be told at this point, when I’m already using it to write a post? This is stupid, inconsiderate design. Why not go here when I logged in, not when I am trying to put my thoughts on the page?
Now I have lost my train of thought and so won’t be writing the blog post I wanted to write. WordPress has successfully sabotaged its own purpose – and mine – by trying to promote itself. And now I am angry with the developers.
Edit: Aaarrgghh!! I realised I had not put a title on this post, went back in to edit it, started writing the title and WordFuckingPress jumped to that elf-promotion page again. WHY? Why send me there EVERY FUCKING TIME? Why do it WHEN I AM TRYING TO EDIT A POST?
Two posts in particular on here receive almost all the comment spam. I have changed them both to say “Do not post comments here, they will be spam-trapped” which should prevent mortals falling foul of the mechanisms attached to those two posts.
I tried an experiment the other day and made them password-protected. So the link the spammers use to get to those pages still works, but they cannot post anything. This has – for the time being – stopped much of the spam.
I expect in due course they will just pick another ppst and target that instead.
I seem to have created a spam trap, or, at least, most if it is falling into a black hole.
My preferred spam tool was a Captcha tool that made you rotate an image and only when it was lined up could you post a comment. That stopped working and would not any comments through so I had to disable it. As soon as I did so, Woosh! the comment spam starts reappearing.
Most of it gets created against one specific post, for some reason. Anyway, I had an idea. I created that post again and gave it a different permalink. A redirection from the old permalink to the new was automagically created by WordPress, although I have no idea how.
Now the copy of the page appears but the original version does not. However, the spam is being posted to the original page; presumably because they are going direct to the /id=nnn link rather than the permalink.
Rather than delete the page and risk the spammers picking a new one to post their spam to, I’ll just leave it there.
What I need now is a WordPress plugin that says “For any comment posted on this page, delete it and blacklist the IP address”. That would turn my spam black hole into a honeytrap.
Trying to look after a WordPress blog is an enormous drain on your time.
There are the perpetual updates to WordPress, each of which means a backup of your web site first.
There are the theme updates which mean lots of testing to see what they break.
The battle with spam is a daily chore, distraction and annoyance.
Trying to find add-ins which work is another time-waster. I cannot find one which both works and yet does not silently lose valid comments. Capchas reduce it a little but are an annoyance. Akismet is as buggy as hell and makes valid comments silently disappear. Blacklisting iPs does not work. Keyword blocking does not work much.
I had such great plans, but all the spare time I want to devote to writing is spent in maintaining the WordPress product and deleting the spam.
It is all such a dreadful waste of my time and energy.
It is hard to come up with pithy, accurate and succinct tag lines, elevator pitches (yuck) for one’s self. But I heard a few lines from Tom Tom Club‘s Wordy Rappinghood which goes:
Words of comfort, words of peace
Words to make the fighting cease
I like that, for the No New Wars concept. Maybe with a slight change:
Words of counsel, words of peace
Words to make all fighting cease
A bit better than:
Let’s all work to stop new wars starting
Having decided to do an Open University degree to learn about conflict management and war prevention, I researched what modules are available and found myself rather spoiled for choice as they include:
- Introducing the social sciences
- Law – Rules, rights and justice: an introduction to law
- The uses of social science
- Power, dissent, equality: understanding contemporary politics
- Exploring psychology
- International development: making sense of a changing world
- Welfare, crime and society
- Living political ideas
- A world of whose making?
- Making social worlds
- Europe 1914-1989 War, Peace, Modernity
- Crime and Justice
- Business, human rights law and corporate social responsibility
- War, Intervention and Development
So I enrolled. Then, a couple of days ago, the Open University had a table in my local library talking about the OU and what one could do. A nice bit of synergy. A two minute chat lasted best part of an hour. One of the professors – a tutor for local students – said her PhD was in war studies. Anyway, I ran my plan by her and she was very impressed with my plan and approach, which is very reassuring.
I went to a Drupal North West User Group Meeting last night in Manchester and had the chance to talk to a few people who had used a few CMS (Content Management System) products. I have tried a number of CMS and related products this past few years, for example there’s my own wiki and this WordPress blog. However, I had already decided to use Drupal for the 11112018 site and was told a number of times that I had chosen the right platform for what will be a complex site, which is very reassuring.
How thoroughly marvellous! Have a blog for 5 minutes and the issues start.
I re-began this just as a massive global botnet attack started on WordPress sites, using brute-force to try to break into admin accounts.
The last 5 days have been lost as I worked out why I couldn’t log in at all (the hosting company’s temporary security measure), then deleted the admin account (and created a new one with a different name) and downgraded myself from an administrator to have less powerful user rights. But now I’m back online and can post again. With login attempt tracking installed, captchas needed to do most anything and everything up-to-date software-wise.
What a tedious waste of time and energy, and an unnecessary distraction. Not just for me, but probably for millions of other WordPress site owners and users worldwide.
Back in summer 2012 I had this idea and in August or September 2012 started putting this site together. But such is life: I started this site and then got clever with a config parameter and pffft! had to start again from scratch. Content has only been partly rescued, but here we go anyway.