Bowls and WordPress

And thus, the plan to play bowls when I am older was set in pixels. Here.
I don’t want to take up bowls now. I’m too young. I enjoyed the casual social league that we played in this last month because of the fact that it was casual and despite the fact that it was social. I might even wander along to their other casual, social bowls events. But I’m not ready to commit myself to playing week in week out right now.

But therein lies a problem. If ever there was a sport in which you improve the more you play, it’s bowls. (Actually, it’s pretty much all sports, but that doesn’t particularly suit my rather focussed narrative here.) So when I get around to playing bowls, anyone who took it up at a younger age will probably be a lot better than I am. I’ll constantly be playing catch-up. (And bowls, obviously.) If I am going to play bowls when I’m older I’d like to be quite good at it. I don’t mind losing, but there’s no fun in being beaten every single time you take to the lawn.

Which brings me to WordPress. WordPress is the software that allows me to write my blog. So if you want to complain to someone about my blog, complain to them. I really don’t need to hear your negativity.

WordPress has something called a block editor, which – when they introduced it eleven months ago – scared me shitless. Fortunately, a workaround was found and I’ve never really looked back. I’ve never really needed to.

The block editor was introduced in WordPress 5.0, and we’re now on 5.3.
5.3, they say:

…expands and refines the block editor introduced in WordPress 5.0 with a new block, more intuitive interactions, and improved accessibility.

…which sounds quite promising.

So basically, not only is the block editor clearly here to stay, but it’s also now really good (according to WordPress, at least). Maybe it’s time that I took the plunge and give the block editor a go: switch off my Classic Editor plugin, safe in the knowledge that I can switch it straight back on again if I don’t like what happens.

Otherwise, the alternative is trying again in twenty years and being really rubbish at it compared to everyone else.

On stats

I reinstated Google Analytics on the blog this week. More out of interest than for any other reason, although it does open the door to potential future advertising and collaboration opportunities at absolutely no cost and very little effort. But it’s mainly just to look at some numbers.

And I do like numbers.

The rudimentary wordpress stats package thing that was automatically active on the blog is ok, but GA does give you so much more information.

And I do like information.

Of course, the numbers and the information mean so much more when you have lots of them to compare with each other. It’s (very) early days and most things that I’ve seen on there have left me completely unsurprised.

Except for one stat, which I had never really considered.

It appears that over the past three days, over 60% of people reading 6000 miles… are doing so on mobile devices. Woah! That’s a lot more than I had thought. I mean, I hadn’t really thought about it a lot, but if I had (and obviously, I have now, retrospectively), I would have thought (and now, as mentioned above, I have thought) it would have been a much smaller percentage than that. Like 10. Or 20.

Fortunately, thanks the genius that is The Guru, this blog is optimised for viewing on whatever size or type of device you choose. Thus, it should be a seamless, fluid, intelligent experience.

It’s just the content that lets it down.

And look, the site looks good to me when I occasionally log in on my mobile device, but if you’re on your phone right now, how is it looking? Please let me know if things aren’t working ok for you (I mean on the blog, not in life generally) (there are professionals who can help you with that kind of thing) (I’m far from professional).

I’m going to review my stats once I’ve got enough data to review, and I might post about it on here if there’s anything worth posting about. In the meantime, in the same sort of vein, I apparently had quite a good day (by my standards) on Flickr yesterday (mainly thanks to this post referencing this post referencing this album, I’d imagine) with almost 7,000 views.

If I could get those sort of numbers on the blog, I could almost retire.

Almost.

Placeholder puffin

I pre-wrote a few posts for this period while I am bundu-bashing in Southern Namibia. The last one of those gets published tomorrow.

It may seem odd, but I didn’t write them in date order. And the upshot of that method is that I haven’t written a post for today. All the others are done – including tomorrow’s (you’re going to love it). Just nothing for today yet. But with life getting ever more hectic as we head towards Friday and all that it holds (that’s last Friday for you guys reading this, so “held”, I guess), there’s a chance I might forget.

So here’s a Placeholder Puffin just in case that happens.

Of course, if I do write a post for today, you’ll never see Percival the Placeholder Puffin. If you’re reading this, I ran out of time.

More tomorrow. Back live on Friday.

Have fun!

Video celebration post

Remember the video test post? Really? Well, it was right here just a few days ago. You might want to see a doctor about that memory of yours. Maybe write that down, hey?

The video test post showed that my existing way of putting videos on the blog was no longer working. I had already found an alternative method, though, so all was not lost. Hope for the future.
But that didn’t help much with the issue that every Youtube video I’d ever put on 6000 miles… was broken. That’s quite a lot of videos.

Then, a WordPress update (to 4.6) and (not) suddenly, everything was back to normal. All the links were mended, all the videos work again. This calls for a celebration – a video celebration. I found this one, just waiting to be posted:

I’ve used to old method to put this on here. I guess I’m now at a bit of crossroads as to where to go now with regards to posting videos. The old method (it’s called “EasyTube”, for the purists) has worked really well for years, aside from the last week or so, but is less futureproofed than the native WordPress method. The native WordPress method, however, is less flexible regarding size and positioning of the video.

So, swings, and indeed, roundabouts.

P.S. I am no longer Grolsch bottles.

Premature Publication

I’m not saying that I’m unprepared for this trip, but I totally ignored the rules of the 24 hour clock on today’s pre-written post.
It should have come out at 4pm, but it popped out 12 hours earlier.

I don’t do 4am flights. Ugh.

If you haven’t read it yet, please wait until 1600 CAT (UTC+2). That will then overwrite my error.

Thank you.