This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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Publishing Blog Posts to Google+ Again

For a while whenever I did a blog post, I was making sure I also posted a notice of the post on Google+.  Unlike the methods I had for posting such notices to Twitter and Facebook, for Google+ I had to do this by hand.  Eventually I tired of the manual effort this entailed and stopped.

Recently I did some updates to my website, and while I was at it noticed a new way to automatically do the notifications to Google+ again, so I turned that on.

There is one difference from the posts to Facebook and Twitter though.  Those exclude the daily summaries of my Twitter posts.  If you follow me on Twitter, well, you see my tweets already.  And I figured that even the Facebook folks if they really wanted to see that, they could go to Twitter.  The method I’m using for posting on Google+ doesn’t exclude anything, so the daily Tweet summaries get posted too.  And they generally happen more often than “real” posts by me.

Apologies for anybody “circling” me on Google+ who does not appreciate that.  Feel free to let me know your thoughts on that.  If enough people don’t like it, I may simply turn the Google+ posts back off.  Having said that, I’ve had a few responses to posts via Google+ already, including one of the Tweet summaries, so at least some folks seem to appreciate it.

Anyway, if these posts on Google+ bother you, or if you appreciate them, let me know!

If You Read Me on Facebook…

TLDR: I stopped reposting my daily twitter summaries on Facebook, but other posts to abulsme.com will still show up.

For awhile, I’ve had something set up on my blog that autoposts to Facebook whenever I make a new post. Well, it was mostly autoposts. Any post that I manually created would do an automatic notification to both Facebook and Twitter.

But I also have a daily automated post at 00:00 UTC each day that gives a digest of my tweets from the previous day. For whatever reason related to how that digest is created, those would not autopost to Facebook. I’d have to remember to manually push a few buttons to post those things to Facebook. This was kind of a pain, I’d often not remember, and then end up “catching up” by posting a bunch of them at once.

That kind of sucked.

I’m not going to do that any more. (In fact, I stopped about a week ago.)

My “real” posts will still get repeated on Facebook. But if you are interested in the things I am posting on Twitter, well, follow me on Twitter. Unsurprisingly, I’m @abulsme.  Uh, or just follow my actual blog at abulsme.com.  In addition to just going to the site, you can of course subscribe via RSS, or there is even an option in the left bar on my site to subscribe to get a daily digest of my posts via email.

Now, I know most people don’t care, but FYI, that’s the deal.  :-)

Feeding my blog to Facebook

For quite awhile now, maybe a year, maybe less, dunno, but for awhile, I have had the Facebook “Notes” app set to import the RSS feed from my blog.  So basically each of my posts would show up as a Note in facebook.  This seemed to work pretty well.  My posts would usually show up on Facebook an hour or two after I posted them on my blog.  And I started to get more comments to my posts via Facebook than directly on my blog.  Which is cool I guess.

But lately, the last month or so, the delay between me posting and things showing up on Facebook was getting longer and longer.  A few hours turned into half a day.  That turned into about a day.  Then it was several days.  Then a little over a week ago I noticed that none of my posts had moved over in almost a week.  So I went in to the Notes application and reentered the address of my RSS feed.  It responded by quickly importing several of my recent posts it hadn’t gotten yet.

But then I made more posts.  It has once again been a few days (not quite a week yet) and nothing has come through.  So I think I am done with that method.

I’ve been using TwitterFeed for quite a few months to dump my blogging into Twitter.  Turns out it can do the same for Facebook.  (I could also add a level of indirection and go from Twitter to Facebook, but…)  Anyway, I set it up a little bit ago, and see it already posted my most recent blog post.

Unlike the notes, it is just a headline and a link to the post on my blog, rather than a full copy of the whole blog post.  Guess that means less people will actually read any of them, but I guess that’ll be OK.  If you are one of the folks who looks at my posts only through Facebook, you’ll just have to click through.  Or just go to Abulsme.com directly of course.

For now, I haven’t actually turned off the notes feed.  In theory it is still supposed to work.  I’m curious if it will ever start posting stuff again.  Maybe it will, just with a two week delay or some such.  We’ll see.  If it does start doing something again, I’ll probably turn off one or another method of doing this to avoid duplicates depending on how things are going at the time.

Of course, I know there is also the idea that just having the same things posted to my blog, Facebook and Twitter defeats the purpose of them as separate platforms,  and maybe I should just use each of them in distinct ways.  Maybe.  But as far as I’m concerned, my blog, where I have full control of what is in it, I have the backups, I could switch hosting whenever I want, etc, etc, etc is my single place for anything I want to put online.  Everywhere else can have pointers back, but I’m not going to put stuff I really care about in someone else’s system as the primary place it lives.  Pointers linking back are just fine.  It is bad enough that I am using Flickr and YouTube for some pictures and videos.  But the original copies of all that content remains safely in my care.  I just use them for convenience.  :-)

Anyway, we’ll see how TwitterFeed works for this purpose.  Theoretically, with this posts on my blog should always show up on Facebook (and of course Twitter) within 30 minutes.  That will be better than what the Notes import was doing even when it was working, let alone when it started lagging by days…  if it is even working any more.

If anybody has any thoughts on this way of doing things, or on alternative ways to accomplish this kind of thing, I’d love to hear them.  Thanks!

Psychological Transference

So, yesterday the Doctor let us know that we really should go ahead with a C-Section this weekend. I first emailed immediate family about it directly. Slightly later I went to make a blog post about it. A comedy of errors on my part ensued.

  • I decided to try to use a post by email thing I’d set up last week but never tested. 
  • I sent the email, but then it didn’t show up, so I had to troubleshoot.  Spent about 20 minutes doing this before figuring out what was wrong.  Fixed it.
  • The post went out, but had email header junk in it.  Also, the email notification that goes out to some subscribers to this blog went out twice.
  • I FREAKED OUT.  There was much cursing and yelling and stress and panic.  
  • I edited the blog post to remove the offending bits.
  • Then I realized this would not trigger new email notifications.  So after cutting and pasting the relevant bits, I actually deleted the post.  (Then freaked out a bit because I had deleted it.) Then recreated it a few seconds later.
  • Then someone replied to the first email notification, that had the errors in it.  I freaked out some more.  Emailed them back begging them to please reply again, but to the RIGHT notification.
  • Then I used the blog software to send email to all the people who get email notification asking them to please pretend the first email hadn’t existed and to please only reply to the second email.
  • Then I realized that it actually needed to be the third one that they replied to.  So I sent another email to all those email notification people.  (As I look increasingly insane and/or just confuse people.)
  • Then I got all stressed and upset that I had done any of this, rather than not doing the post by email thing in the first place, or once it had happened, at least just leaving it alone and not messing with everything, including deleting posts and recreating them (but now with the wrong timestamp!).  Etc.
  • I continuted to be stressed and freaked out for another 15 minutes or so, until I had to leave to go to a meeting at work.  At which time I took a deep breath and turned all of the above off in my head until I left work again a few hours later.

Now, it should be pretty obvious that all of the above (well, OK, most of the above, I do sometimes freak out about such things) was not actually about the glitch in the blog post at all, but was really me acting out:

ZOMG!  BABY!!!  BABY!!!  THIS WEEKEND???  WTF???  THIS WEEKEND??  JUST A COUPLE OF DAYS???  THIS WEEKEND???  BABY BABY BABY!!!  ZOMG!!  WEEKEND!!!  THAT IS SOON!!!  THERE WILL REALLY BE A BABY!!!  ZOMG!  JUST DAYS?  OMG OMG OMG!  ARGGHH!!!  BABY BABY BABY!!!  

And yeah, that was what was really going on.  The rest was just some random event that served as a trigger to let me freak out a bit about something completely unrelated.  Heh.  Oops.

Having said that, for future reference, if I ever for whatever reason post something that is screwed up in some way I wish to correct, I’m just going to edit the blog post, make a note at the bottom of the post that it was edited, and not worry about the fact that the people who got the email notifications saw an earlier version of the post without benefits of that edit in those emails.  They can always click through and see the edited version if they like.  Now that I’ve stated that policy publicly here, I won’t worry about it any more.  And this post about yesterday’s misadventures can also serve as my final exorcism of the part of my brain still screaming about how the post yesterday was screwed up and it ruined everything.  Begone foul demon!

And now we can get on with things that actually matter. :-)

[Edited 18:05 UTC to fix punctuation issue.]

Registering on Abulsme.com

Of course, if you do register on Abulsme.com, you get lots of other wonderful benefits, even if you can post comments without registration.  I’m just not quite sure what they are right now…

Um….  well, you can sign up to get updates via email when I post, just like the top ten people who email me do automatically.  And I’m not sure, there is probably something else too.  Maybe I’ll send you a thank you email? :-)

Oh wait, you can do that without registering too. Although I think you can get more control if you register. Oops, well, there has to be something cool you get from registering. Perhaps that thank you email? :-)

OK, OK, I figured it out!  If you register it will remember who you are (as long as you are on the same computer and don’t log out or clear your cookies) and next time you comment you will not need to put in your name and email again!  Yes, that is it!

Commenting on Abulsme.com

When I switched the blog to WordPress a few days ago, I made it so you had to be registered on this site to post comments here.  This was basically just because that is how I had things set on the old pMachine blog.  I had turned that requirement on a few years ago because of comment spam.  Of course, with WP there are some additional methods of spam control that were not available to me with pMachine.  So I’ve switched commenting back to only requiring you to put your name and email, but not actually registering here…  plus a spam filter on top of that.  We’ll see if that works.  If not I may change things up a bit again.

Of course, these days it seems most of my comments are on Facebook from the imports of my posts there rather than comments directly on the blog.  Comments are comments I guess, and I’m glad people are reading and commenting, wherever they do it.  And I understand why everybody does it on Facebook given they are often already there, but I still  like them over here better!  :-)

Anyway…  we’ll see how it goes set this way.

AbulBlog Revisited

So, I finally got around to doing something I’ve been meaning to do for literally years…  migrate my blog off the venerable pMachine, a blogging platform that was nice enough for what it was back in July 2003 when I first switched the front page of my site from a static page to a blog format…  but which stopped development a number of years back and has not moved forward.  It was way overdue for me to move.  I picked WordPress for the new engine.  I’d actually decided that years ago, but had just never gotten around to it.  In addition to just setting aside the time, I had slowed myself down by wanting to migrate all the old content.  There are ways to do it of course, but since pMachine is so old and was never THAT popular, there was no one click method, rather it would consist of following some 50 step process I found online, and even then not everything would be perfect, posts would have new URLs, etc.

So at some point I decided to not worry about that and just archive the old blog and start fresh with a new one.  All of the old blog is still there, still at the old URLs, and still actually active if anybody wants to post new comments there or whatever.  I’m done posting there though, and everything new will be on the new platform, which is of course now at abulsme.com.

Over the course of Sunday and all the evenings since, I think I’ve managed to roughly reproduce the parts of the old site I wanted to retain while adding a variety of new things which are now possible with a nice modern blogging tool.  Poke around a bit and you’ll find a few things different than before, and hopefully more interesting, but if not, whatever.  I like it. :-)

Fun stuff, although I must say I’ve been a bit short on sleep as I slogged through getting various things to work just the way I wanted them to.  I’m sure I’ve missed some things and I’ll still be tweaking and fixing things for weeks to come…  if any of you readers see something broken, please let me know… I know there are at least a few things…  but as of a few minutes ago it was finally at the point I was ready to switch over.

This is the first official non-test post on the new blog.  Woo Woo.  Exciting, huh?

Yeah, yeah, I know, this is all boring meta stuff.  I’ll shut up now and normal blogging will resume next time I have something actual to blog about.

In the mean time though, I have actually retained all the test posts and such that I did while setting things up, because I find many of them amusing.  I encourage you all to poke through them and be entertained.  You could of course find them all by navigating on the site, but for convenience, here are all the test posts and such that were made while I was working on getting things set up:

Sun 2 Aug 2009:

Mon 3 Aug 2009:

Tue 4 Aug 2009:

Wed 5 Aug 2009:

And that brings us up to now.  Yay!