30 Minutes With A WordPress “Happiness Engineer”

This trip down the rabbit hole of website editing to the realm of 30 freaky minutes with a WordPress “Happiness Engineer” was quite a ride. She asked if our session met my objectives at the end, and I said, “This was the best thirty minutes since my one week with an actress spring break freshmen year of college in 1976”. I digress.

How I Fell In The Rabbit Hole. This site is powered by WordPress which “is a platform for self-publishing that is popular for blogging and other works. It is owned and operated by Automattic, Inc.[4] It is run on a modified version of WordPress.[5] This website provides free blog hosting for registered users and is financially supported via paid upgrades,[6] “VIP” services and advertising.” So says Wikipedia. Last year, a friend said, “You should turn these humor posts into a book”. What a nice compliment I thought. Recently another friend said, “You should turn these blog posts into a book. I’ll be your book tour manager.” Once is a compliment, two is a sign from the universe so I thought, “i need to download these posts into a word doc for editing”.

Notice the WordPress Description does not say “financially supported by helping bloggers”. In anything involving WP’s ever expanding “revenge of the nerds” website editing and management tools, I should have anticipated this would be harder then holding a “Don’t wear a mask rally” at CDC Headquarters. Ok, so to avoid your boredom, the descent into Happiness Engineer went like this. Tried to download posts from website but WP Only downloads in XML format (which is a nerds acronym for “works like a teenager”. Sensing my 76 posts were not actually 377 pages I googled download to Word document. This required a plug-in. The best plug in for this is called Aspose. I am not joking. The “plugin” to download your WP content is Aspose. Which sounds equally bad pronounced “ass-pose” or “as pose”. (Emphasis on either syllable.). Take a moment and give thanks you don’t work for a company called “Aspose”

“This widget requires an upgrade to a business plan membership of $283”. “WP is financially supported by….”. Alright, this is a non paying hobby so yeah, <sarcasm> “Great deal!”. I’ll save you the slow waterboarding torture of installing the plug in, trying to get WP support chat to help and being told they’re not “plug in experts” (of course not – you need to date the redhead with the tattoo sleeve) and THEN – a pop up offering 30 minutes with a “Happiness Engineer” for the ONE TIME ONLY discounted price of $49 lit up my screen and YES- sold. I’ll happily pay you $49 to show me how to make the $283 I just paid you work. (And people bitch about my legal fees)

We were scheduled for noon today. I was on zoom as instructed promptly at 11:55 awaiting my very prompt “Happiness Engineer” Kathryn”. We started by her asking me 7 questions in one sentence which just taught me that my usual parlor trick of answering every question in one sentence in the order in which they were asked which strikes people as either impressive or funny does not extend to seven questions. We then spent a fair amount of time discovering their prior instructions for these sessions contained in 4 emails and three texts (they must get ghosted for appointments more than a bumble date at Suck and Blow motorcycle bar in Myrtle Beach SC) do NOT contain the following. “We conduct these sessions using screen share which we prefer to do on the device where you primarily administer the site. Unless that’s an IPAd because sharing an a iPad screen is an enormous pain in the Aspose so we’ll ask you to boot up your laptop that your IT Deleted Zoom on, only to finally share our (her) screen which we could have done in the first place.”

She then asked if I liked my “theme”. (The appearance WP gives to your site). I said I didn’t. She asked how I picked it. “7 years ago when I started I spent a long depressing Saturday afternoon looking at your other 1376 themes to pick one. “Would you like one more modern”, she asked. I said, “I was married once, just tell me what to do please”. (Kathryn is not a fan of Ex wife jokes -FYI). She pulled up the “recommended themes on her IPAD screen numbering maybe 20 (thank God). Sensing she was reticent to give up her therapist patient manner of asking questions I blurted out “what’s your favorite. “Twenty Twenty” she said. “Cause this year has gone so smashingly well!” I busted out laughing. (Kathryn loved all the pandemic plague jokes which makes me wonder if she finds disaster so funny how can she not like marriage jokes – same same) But yes, I shit you not, in some staff meeting at word press, “twenty twenty” passed muster as a theme name. Ya’ll clearly need a WP humorist to attend meetings to make fun of you guys. (I’m available).

At this point I decided to mention that her references to my chocolate chip cookie pic was actually an oatmeal raisin cookie pic which then descended into a joke about “raisin lives matter” which I’ll spare you and said one of my categories should be “too soon”. So even though I have a large list of new WP themes to suggest to you, WP And the world, I’m going to save them for my closest friends, who alone get to savor my “too soon” jokes. I hope you enjoy my new twenty twenty theme. I’m $332 in and I still don’t know how to make Aspose work. In WP. (Kathryn, notice you can find this post under the category of “too soon” and I love you).

Humor Uncategorized

So… You Want to Be a Blogger?

After I finished my last post on my one year anniversary of Zumba, I realized it was also my one year anniversary of.. Blogging. Realizing I had even less worthwhile expertise, knowledge and ability in blogging then I did in Zumba, I knew I just had to write about it. Since I’m an idiot, who writes, as compared to a “writer”, I begin with apologies to real “writers”. I know you’re out there, I’ve read your writing. I admire you and your writing. There is no advice for you here. Probably not even humor for you here, so “click on” lest your zeitgeist be offended.

My blogging began innocently enough. I went to a Zumba class, and came home and posted about it. After a bunch of likes and ha, ha, ha’s and a few, “you should write a blog”, I went to another Zumba class and wrote another post about it, and got some more, “you should write a blog”, so after some thought I did.

The reason I’m writing this blog, is that the experience of setting up, and figuring out the blogosphere has been one of the most mind numbing, confusing, unbelievable technological journeys of my life, so as an old, non techy person, I thought I’d pass on what I’ve learned.

1. Everyone will tell you its “easy”. They tell you the same thing about having a baby. They are liars. Its not. Its hard as hell. Find that IT Computer Expert Hacker Software Fix a Computer friend of yours who used to be a programmer at the NSA and taught all those machines to download all our cell phone stuff and spy on us. You know, the guy/gal who, with all their friends, are always showing off always talking in initials to each other. “Hey, hows the IPXN, going? “Aw, shit, I don’t know, my CXPY is just fried”. “Bahahaha, you can depend on that shitty hardware.” This goes on for half a page of posts until you feel like you flunked out of 3rd grade. Yeah, those guys/chicks. They can set up your blog page for you. You can’t. Also, there’s a gazillion choices of blogger places to choose from and once you get there, 4,795 different themes to pick out. Its mind numbing. Just mind numbing. Just on this site alone, they claim to be responsible for almost 20% of web traffic. Here’s a good article on 10 of the best free sites.!GfeLA

2. But fear not, no one will actually read what you write. All that stuff you read about going viral, getting famous – yeah, right after the little old lady in Manhattan who played her Chinese fortune cookie numbers and won 5 million dollars and quit her job at the sewing factory and is moving to Paris with her lesbian lover, after buying her great grandchildren a new house. Yes, that happens, but not to you. Or me. Blogging is like disrobing in a crowded public place. Which, I agree, is frightening and humiliating. Until you realize everyone is walking by and not looking. Or caring. Or watching. Or even glancing.

3. Pay NO attention to your followers. Most of mine are people selling: diet schemes by mail; ways to get rich selling online ads, or how to sell diet schemes, or how to get rich doing nothing all day at home, or some of it really makes not sense at all “something or others”. WordPress also counts my entire Facebook friend count, since I post from Facebook. This does not require that anyone of my Facebook friends actually READS the blog. Based on some word of mouth feedback, and just some basic logical deduction, I’m guessing that my 743 followers listed by WordPress actually comes down to about 6 people who actually read my blog. Which is ok, but…. you get my drift.

4. So, think of blogging as a big, narcissistic diary, drawn on a fancy Louis the XVI Mirror, in cheap hooker lipstick, that everyone can read, but no one does. Which comes to think of it, if blogging actually gave us all a little humility, then maybe its a good thing after all.