corporate-sellout.com - my blog

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sei
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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby sei » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:24 pm

So, I just read Web Design Got Complicated and would like to point your attention to Jekyll and company. You run a local script to regenerate the nav, header, siderbars, etc.. It's nice when you want to throw it in a public folder and not have to worry about interacting with the rest of a site's architecture, if your hosting sucks, or you need things to be blazing fast (since it's just serving static files).

EDIT: By no means a "yo, you should switch" sort of thing as much as "hey, if you run into a context where this proves useful, know that it's an option."
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Thad
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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Thad » Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:50 pm

sei wrote:IMO, blogging is a means too. I am just not sure what your actual end is, even though you wrote it and I'm quoting it.


Doing it because I enjoy writing things, mainly; I see it as an end in itself. If people like stuff I write (and occasionally they do), that's a bonus.

I won't rule out monetization (if I can keep up the regular posting I could see signing up for something like Patreon, though Patreon itself doesn't exactly seem like the ideal option right now, and aside from that I DO intend to expand my Tempin' Ain't Easy post into an ebook at some point in the coming months), but really I do it because I like to talk about this stuff. Same reason I write stuff here.

sei wrote:Fix your fucking URLs so they don't include index.php. This isn't 1996. "index.php" is noise and it will cause URL clipping in search result listings.


The reason I haven't done this yet is that it would break every permalink on my site. I know it would be a simple rewrite rule in .htaccess if I were running on Apache, but I don't know how to do it on an IIS server with a Plesk frontend. If anybody can point me in the right direction, that'd be swell. (EDIT: Done; see below.)

sei wrote:Use featured images. Header images break shit up and make it look sexier.


More time spent finding/capturing/editing/uploading images is less time spent doing what I actually enjoy doing. I just posted the first part of my Mega Man piece and my main takeaway is that it took two things I enjoy doing (playing video games and talking about video games) and turned them into work. More specifically, work that I don't get paid for. Now, there are probably ways to streamline the process and make it less onerous (and I'm going to solicit some ideas in my postmortem after I'm done with the thing), but at the moment "add more images" sounds like exactly the sort of thing that would grate my nuts until I stopped blogging again.

I blog because it's fun. I've demonstrated numerous times over the past 20 years that when it quits being fun, I have a tendency to quit doing it.

sei wrote:Consider just showing excerpts instead of the full posts on the archive pages. It makes it a lot faster to skim for something of actual interest.


The reason I've never used excerpts is because I hate having to open a link from my RSS reader just to finish reading the article I've already opened. As far as I know, Wordpress doesn't have any built-in way to show full posts in an RSS feed but only show excerpts on the archive page. I could conceivably hack one together (just show the first paragraph of each post, say), but I'm not sure how well that would work in practice.

sei wrote:Audio book section. Do you want to actually sell these?


Yes. But at present I only have three of them, and my asthma is preventing me from recording any more. Trying to get a marketing machine rolling at this stage in the game is putting the cart before the horse.

sei wrote:When you've got the page looking up to snuff, start linking people to it and giving them a promo code for a free download and/or attaching the book for free. You have to get some initial interest/reviews. Figure out where people write about audible books or books similar to the ones you narrated, and send them your shit for an honest review and/or a way they can give their readers some kind of discount. Bonus offering for them (content, if they like your book, and a giveaway to readers); bonus offering for you (traffic); win-win.


I don't own the rights to the audiobooks, Sei; I narrated them as work-for-hire. I don't get to do stuff like give them away to people for free; that's copyright infringement.

I could certainly discuss marketing ideas with the authors (or their representatives; I've never actually talked to Dean Wesley Smith), but again, rolling out a marketing strategy for three books, with no new product in sight for the past year and a half, doesn't seem like it would carry the best ROI.

sei wrote:Make a fucking portfolio page to serve employers / peers. Feature interesting personal projects and any previous web shit done for work that you'd like to show off.


I have one. You've seen it. We've discussed it. The thread titled "thadde.us - my portfolio" is literally two spots down from this thread at the time of this writing.

I don't keep my portfolio on my blog site because I would like to direct prospective employers away from my profanity-filled personal blog, not towards it.

Now, I've considered putting a link to the portfolio site in my navigation. That would be one of those things I mentioned about not wanting to bring the navigation and site title together at a combined width of 1280px, because I might want to add more things to the nav.

sei wrote:FIX YOUR FUCKING URLs

(and promptly 301 the old ones)


No, that's bullshit; I am not going to intentionally break 933 permalinks. A rewrite rule would be a good solution (and again, I'm open to suggestions on how to do that in an IIS/Plesk environment); an error message is not.

I still get pretty frequent hits from links to my Kirby, Penders, and Final Fantasy posts. I do not want those people to just get a 301 page and leave.


EDIT: I guess a 301 is an automatic redirect and not just an error page? Didn't know that; my bad. Still looking into it but it looks like maybe the Redirection WP plugin might do the job.

EDIT 2: Okay, should be fixed now. Let me know if you see any breakages.

sei wrote:So, I just read Web Design Got Complicated


See? I do have content in your wheelhouse! Thanks for reading and providing feedback.

sei wrote:and would like to point your attention to Jekyll and company. You run a local script to regenerate the nav, header, siderbars, etc.. It's nice when you want to throw it in a public folder and not have to worry about interacting with the rest of a site's architecture, if your hosting sucks, or you need things to be blazing fast (since it's just serving static files).

EDIT: By no means a "yo, you should switch" sort of thing as much as "hey, if you run into a context where this proves useful, know that it's an option."


Oh yeah, I heard of that thing but I'd forgotten about it. I'll give it a bookmark.

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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Thad » Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:08 pm

...Christ, how did none of us notice there was no pagination at the bottom of the homepage? That's a priority fix, not the header shifting eighteen pixels to the left when you make the window bigger.

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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Thad » Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:11 pm

MEANWHILE: I've finally got my Mega Man: Powered Up/Maverick Hunter X post up. Well, the first part, anyway; it turned out to be a whole lot more involved than I expected. Pausing to take screenshots is terrible (I've occasionally considered trying a screenshot LP -- like maybe the Suikogaiden games to complement R^2's Suikoden ones -- but it is now clear that I would hate that); editing them is worse. And coming up with coherent copy to explain what the hell it is I'm talking about is harder than I expected.

On the plus side, I had a few bright ideas as I was going, one of which was splitting the thing up into three parts. The first is a rough overview; the next one will focus more specifically on the really fucked-up vertical platforming sections in MHX (and why Powered Up doesn't have them (it's because the original Mega Man had no vertical scrolling)); finally, I'll look at the ways the two games were rebalanced and why it worked for Powered Up and not MHX. (Mainly it's because the original Mega Man is a much rougher game than the original Mega Man X, and had much more room for improvement, whereas the places they changed things in MHX mostly made them worse. The change to the capsule order, in particular, is completely fucked up.)

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sei
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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby sei » Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:43 am

Thad wrote:
sei wrote:Use featured images. Header images break santorum up and make it look sexier.


More time spent finding/capturing/editing/uploading images is less time spent doing what I actually enjoy doing. I just posted the first part of my Mega Man piece and my main takeaway is that it took two things I enjoy doing (playing video games and talking about video games) and turned them into work. More specifically, work that I don't get paid for. Now, there are probably ways to streamline the process and make it less onerous (and I'm going to solicit some ideas in my postmortem after I'm done with the thing), but at the moment "add more images" sounds like exactly the sort of thing that would grate my bollocks until I stopped blogging again.
Skip it if you hate it.

If you think that regularity/simplicity might save you enough time/thought to hate it less, I've got a quick suggestion. Be lazy. Right/left align images with a consistent width and don't bother giving a shit about the height. Use wordpress's size-above-thumbnail and have it float on some side or other of paragraphs and it'll break things up visually without making you waste as much time sizing/cropping.

Thad wrote:I blog because it's fun. I've demonstrated numerous times over the past 20 years that when it quits being fun, I have a tendency to quit doing it.
Can relate. Severely neglecting my site, though not due to meta-tedium of pictures so much as not enjoying porting the site across hosts and/or tech platforms. Also, tech debt re writing tests and some boring bugs to squash...

Thad wrote:
sei wrote:Consider just showing excerpts instead of the full posts on the archive pages. It makes it a lot faster to skim for something of actual interest.


The reason I've never used excerpts is because I hate having to open a link from my RSS reader just to finish reading the article I've already opened.
I believe the excerpt view on the blog is independent of how feeds are handled.

On your site (which uses full articles) and on another site I tested which uses excerpts, feedly shows both the same. I think the reader app's configurations tend to show the excerpt in the list-of-articles view, but that it opens the full content on a tap/click without forcing you to open your browser.

I think this is done because the <description> field in RSS is usually straight text, whereas <content:encoded> gets used for the main body.

(But I wasted ~40 minutes coding a custom RSS template for essentially no reason, before figuring that out.)

Thad wrote:I don't own the rights to the audiobooks, Sei
Didn't realize. Disregard the marketing stuff, then.

Thad wrote:I have one. You've seen it.
Ah, fuck. Full-on brain farted and assumed corporate-sellout.com was on the path to absorbing thadde.us.

Thad wrote:EDIT: I guess a 301 is an automatic redirect and not just an error page? Didn't know that; my bad. Still looking into it but it looks like maybe the Redirection WP plugin might do the job.

EDIT 2: Okay, should be fixed now. Let me know if you see any breakages.


Site's being a little slow, so I can't check. Simple 301 redirects is a pretty straightforward way to handle them on WP, but I've only tested it on a *nix environment. Manually .htaccess edits and WordPress don't always play that well, for some reason, if you ever find yourself dealing with WP+apache.

301s not only redirect browsers, but they inform spiders of URL changes, facilitating search indexing updates.

EDIT: Site loaded. I still see /index.php/ in the hrefs of child elements of About and Features in nav. Need to update the menu in WP. The 301s seem to be working, though.
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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Thad » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:17 pm

sei wrote:I believe the excerpt view on the blog is independent of how feeds are handled.


I'll look into it. If it makes sense to use excerpts going forward, I might start, though I'm probably not going to go back through 930+ posts and switch them all over.

(I have occasionally considered migrating my hand-coded pre-2006 blog posts over to the blog format. It would be interesting to go through all my old stuff and decide how to categorize and tag it. I'd probably do that before I went through and excerpted everything.)

sei wrote:EDIT: Site loaded. I still see /index.php/ in the hrefs of child elements of About and Features in nav. Need to update the menu in WP.


Oh right, because those were custom URL's instead of WP pages; makes sense. Should be fixed now.

Also noticed that the URL for the About page was /about-2/ ; eventually determined there was a default About page sitting in the trash and deleted it, so that should be fixed too.

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sei
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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby sei » Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:08 am

Good catch on /about-2/, meant to bring it up.

Thad wrote:
sei wrote:I believe the excerpt view on the blog is independent of how feeds are handled.


I'll look into it. If it makes sense to use excerpts going forward, I might start, though I'm probably not going to go back through 930+ posts and switch them all over.


Yeah, those edits sound like a baaaad time. That's where you'd probably save a lot of time by hacking conditionals into the theme's content.php.

Thad wrote:Oh right, because those were custom URL's instead of WP pages; makes sense. Should be fixed now.
On the note of custom URLs and things breaking in general, the Screaming Frog spider and Google Webmaster Tools are pretty nice for detecting 404s and need for other fixes.
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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Thad » Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:25 pm

Welp, this may be the most ridiculous high-concept post I've ever done; certainly it's the one that took the most effort for the least yield:

Stuff on Screens

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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby sei » Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:07 am

I love the links in the handwritten page.
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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Thad » Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:23 am

You know, I do too. They made the whole thing take substantially longer than it would have without them (because I had to split images up instead of just use one image per page -- and I actually fucked around with some floats to handle the word wrap), but they're kinda the best part.

I was kinda bummed when I realized I'd missed one, but then it occurred to me that it's a good illustration of the point I'm making about the limitations of longhand.

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