What I Learned Yesterday…


…and how I fixed it.

I was just about to go out and have a coffee with a friend.  I had the computer on and took a quick look at my mentions and noticed this.

Huh?

I clicked the link and sure enough, WordPress returned

Maybe there is something to do with this after all.

I clicked on the Archives link above and, sure enough, there was a gap where that post should be.  Now I’m starting to freak.  That was one of my more popular recent posts.  No problem, I thought, I’ll have a backup of it on a computer somewhere.

1)  I went looking – Qumana, LiveWriter, ScribeFire, WordPress for iPad, … no luck. I can’t remember what tool that I used to create the post.  Rats.

2)  In the process, I learned that the ScribeFire backup appears to be the index from the WordPress blog.

OK, now I’m starting to feel a little more than freaked – I’m on the verge of panic.  I don’t have a local backup and poking around on WordPress was fruitless.

3)  I know…I’ll try the Wayback Machine.

Crap.  If I wanted something from 2008, I would be in luck.

What to do?  What to do?  Then, I thought…what would Google do?  Heck, they’d cache it.

So, I take a guess at what the URL would have been (fortunately, the original Twitter message made reference to it).  So, I do a Google Search for the post.  As I wade my way through the results that a lot of others had retweeted and were similarly broken, I found a link that would have gone to the original site.  Hover over the chevrons to the right and a preview of the page pops up.    Bingo!

4)  There’s a link to the cached version.  I click on the link, Google provides a warning that this may not be perfect, but I know it is.  I never post anything until it’s written and proofread locally.

5)  I open a new tab in my browser, go back to the cached version of the post, highlight it, and copy it.  I flip to the new tab and paste the contents.  It’s like this never happened!  I figure that I should give thanks to Google for saving my bacon, post it, and let @stevestoneky know that it’s there.

If I hurry, I can still get into Windsor and have my coffee.

As I’m sitting in stalled traffic on Howard Avenue feeling pretty smug about what I’d done, I realize that I actually hadn’t solved the entire problem.  With the original post, some folks had favourited it and others had retweeted and services like Zite had made reference to the original URL.

How do I fix that?  It was posted on August 6.  It’s now August 17.

6)  It turns out that’s just a hiccup.  I don’t normally get up and blog at 5 in the morning but that’s when my posts appear.  There is a feature in WordPress that lets you schedule a post to appear at that time.  I’ve never tried to post to the past though!  With crossed fingers (and it’s difficult to type that way), I set the time and date.  In effect, I’m rolling back the clock.

And, it works.  I check the link in the Twitter message identifying the problem and sure enough, it links directly to the post.  I check the archives and it’s all in place.

I’m no longer freaking or panicking.  I’m happy that I restored the damage.  In the process, I learned a great deal as numbered throughout this post.  I hope that I never have to do this again.  I’m telling the story just in case it helps anyone else out who has the same thing happen to them.

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The WordPress iPad Application


So, the other day @bloggucation sent out the following Twitter message.

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Now, as a result of the WordPress notification, I had upgraded their application but hadn’t put it to use.  When I blog on my iPad which honestly is seldom, I use BlogPress.  Even with a bluetooth keyboard, I still find it easier to write on a conventional laptop computer.  I think it’s typically because I’m sitting in a reclining chair rather than at a desk.

So, I thought that I’d take a run at the new application and see what Aaron was talking about.  Following up on his blog and he had been raving about Blogsy, a $5 application for blogging.  As I started to poke around, I realize that it’s not fair to compare the two of them.  While Blogsy is an editor with a great deal of features, it doesn’t do everything WordPress that the WordPress application does.

In fact, as I started messing around with the new application, I could see myself using it for a number of things.

Once it’s up and running, you connect any WordPress blogs that you’ve got going to it.  Click a blog and you’ll see all of your recent posts.  More importantly, look at the left column.  It’s like looking at the menu bar of the web interface.

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One of the things that I always do is keep track of the most recent comments and comment back, if appropriate.  I can do that here.

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Even more impressive, I can pull up my regular dashboard.  Hmmm.  Looks like it’s time to take out the spam.

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And, a nice feature, is that I can easily tap into the other WordPress blogs that I follow other than my own.  You’ll see Stephen Hurley’s blog featured prominently!

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So, after the initial walkthrough, I decide to write this post.  The editor has many of the things that I do regularly when writing.  Across the bottom, you’ll see the tools needed to upload videos or images.  I took the screen captures that you see in this post and they end up in the picture gallery.  Uploading an image can be done by taking a picture with your camera or pulling one in from the Library.  Any video that I use is typically an embed from YouTube so I doubt that I’ll be using the video update feature.  Editing and checking the blog is done by flipping between text and preview mode.  For me, I didn’t find that a real problem as I typically work with the HTML of the post.  I can see where that might be of concern.

I do find writing a complete post like this awkward on an iPad.  So, I don’t see me changing that part of my blogging life any time soon.  However, the ability to flip through all of the other things, including having access to the Dashboard without having to load a browser and logging in through the web feels just right.

Back to Aaron’s original post.  I can see his point if he’s looking for an application with an easy UI suitable for education and multi-blog postings.  For me with just a WordPress blog and with all of the other management tools, I will be keeping this application on the iPad for a while!

Thanks to Tim


Thanks to Tim, this blog will be echoed at the Commun-IT.org site. The setup was relatively easy to do. In theory, everything that I post at my WordPress Blog, https://dougpete.wordpress.com should be piped into the Commun-IT blog starting with this post. You’ll have to go to WordPress manually to read the previous entries.

You’ve got to love the concept of webbing and blogging and feeds and …

But, that’s the easy part. The difficult part is finding something to post about semi-intelligently.

The Commun-IT Blog will appear at: http://www.commun-it.org/community/dougpete/weblog

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