Day 2 – Cabin fever?

Not for me (yet), although there have been some worrying developments.

Firstly, this one:

which is not great when everyone is stuck at home and needs to use the internet. It also almost crashed the blog, which would really not have been good. Although 6000.co.za is hosted locally, when I tried to update a plugin  – a process that usually takes a few seconds – it went to get the update from overseas, got stuck and for a while, I was only able to see:

Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.

on any blog page or post I tried to access. For several or more minutes.

Fortunately, the blog obviously realised that something wasn’t quite right and reset itself before I went to work with a large virtual hammer in the the back end (careful now).

Phew.

The update will now wait until there is a decent connection to America (or wherever) again.

Then: the neighbourhood group has been alive with fake news on the current situation. Was that Whatsapp voicenote real (no, it wasn’t), should we clean our bin handles (yes, we should), is that man allowed to walk his dog on the school field (no, he’s not). And then in the middle of it all, this gem:

I have just microwaved our newspaper. ( Saturday one is only one we haven’t cancelled because of poor quality even though quality of Sat is not good either)

(Genuinely, I promise)

wut?!?!

For the record, microwaving may or may not kill coronavirus. It may or may not burn your house down as well. Do not microwave your newspaper. Just no.

Finally (for the moment, at least): As promised, I have set up an album called The Lockdown Diaries on Flickr. One photo a day during the lockdown. Don’t expect magnificence: this is just giving me something to do while I’m stuck at home, and I’m not going to get images of mountain ranges, racing cars or herds of wildebees being stalked by lions. My scope is a bit limited, which is why it will be a challenge.

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.

Shock news

Blog fans around the world are wondering how to come to terms with the news that there will be no blog post on 6000 miles… today. Marking the end of several (or more) years of daily blog posts, it’s clear that there must be some important or serious reason behind this shocking exclusion.

Officially, there is yet to be an official reason given for today’s omission, but many of those ‘in the know’ are suggesting that it’s probably something to do with beer or football.

Commenters

Look out. Admin post ahead.

It’s been a week since we made some big changes to the appearance of 6000 miles…
I still like it. It’s a good start.

One technical thing which changed along with the front end of the blog was the system for commenting. It’s moved over onto Disqus:

a worldwide blog comment hosting service for web sites and online communities that uses a networked platform

‘Disqus…’ = ‘Discuss…’ Because it’s a comments section. Geddit?
I’m ashamed to say that it took me a while. I was thinking about the Olympic frisbee thing.

Disqus does require you to log in to use it, but it’s a once off thing (assuming that you click the “remember me” box when you log in) and I hope it doesn’t put too many people off. Also, if you’ve already commented since the change, you may have noticed that your comment was held for moderation. I get to them as quickly as I can (time zone differences notwithstanding), and you should see your opinion on the page within minutes in most cases. Regular commenters (you know who you are) have been and/or will be added as “Trusted Users”, and won’t have to endure the ignominy of joining the back of the moderation queue.

I hope this answers questions and puts minds at rest.

New look

Following on and buoyed, I suspect, from his unqualified success in sorting out the Youtube issue on here, The Guru has gone wild on the coding front, redesigning the entire site (but sadly for you, not the actual writing bits). I got my first glimpse of the new look yesterday evening and it looks clean, crisp and professional (even when you include the writing bits).

It’s not quite ready yet. Initially, having read the email incorrectly, I thought that The Guru was going to do some twerking over the weekend. Knowing the sort of guy that The Guru is, I must say that I was slightly surprised by a) this choice of pastime and b) the relevance to the work he was doing on the blog.
Having looked again though, he plans to do some tweaking. This might iron out any slight issues with the new design, but it does nothing to get rid of the frankly terrifying mental images that had unfortunately already been generated.

One thing I need to try and do is make a new banner. I’m not very good at that sort of thing – the last one took 3 weeks. And look at it. Hmm. Anyway, I’ll try and get that done after my belly-dancing class on Saturday.

Look out for a radical new look real soon now, beloved readers.