Technical Difficulties Surmounted by Primitive, Profane PR

Steve Jobs, yo

Story of my life, really.

I don’t know nuthin, but it seems I know everybody. That’s all I need.

Well, that and Gawker Media commenting privileges.

See, if you look at this site and you’re like most people around WordPress or even like most civilians, you’ll see a bit gaping empty space where my lovely and tentacular/Goth header used to be. And on the sides, where that awesome gloomy wallpaper pattern that’s a takeoff of the really kinda Fifties Motel Hallway one on Matt‘s blog, but Gothified, used to be, you’ll see an equal amount of nussink.

There’s a whole lotta nussink around where my beautiful template images used to be.

And for five days I’ve been reporting it via the Support button on the dashboard, emailing complaints directly to Support staff, stomping my feets in the forum, and generally wailing in 360 degrees. Sometimes they’re here, but then sometimes Amelia Earhart has them, or they’re sleeping with the squids, or Elvis is using them on his Tumblr, or they’ve been eaten by Cthulhu. Or sumpin.

And all I heard from staff was “I see it fine. Clear your cache, delete your cookies and refresh?” which is, of course, 150% extra super galling because I tell newbies to do that cookie dance bit eighteen or twenty times a day in the forums, and DON’T THESE PEOPLE KNOW WHO I AM DAMMIT!!!

So when I was cruising through Valleywag recently, which I’ve developed quite a habit of doing since all the Macworld stuff hit, for lo, I have your basic enormous crush on Steve Jobs and have even invented a verb, “Steveing” which is the word you use for that time you spend reading about someone named Steve.

And it’s not at all stalkerish. For realz.

So when I was cruising through Valleywag recently one midnight, I came across an 11:23pm post on Automattic (WP’s corporate parent) and felt the urge to add a discreet reference to some of the recent technical problems at WP.com, my own in particular.

Well WordPress.com has been fucking borked for four days, so I don’t care who it is, I just want my goddam header back!

Classy, eh?

And the next thing I knew, I had an email from Matt Himself (of AutoMATTic, gedit?) offering to sort it out and, yes, saying he could see it all just fine. And then I got another one a few hours later saying that the reason my blog alone was having this issue was that the blog on which the images were hosted had been set to private.

Of course.

That’s part of the fallout from the whole firestorm in which Timethief, far and away the most prolific volunteer in the forums, got inelegantly axed. It’s happened before. It’ll happen again. This is what happens on the internet.

Several people left WP.com, several more have withdrawn to a large extent, and wank continues to exist simply because she’s just too tough to be killed off. I think I’m still kicking only because of the 3k hits I bring in every day, OR my relentless self-promotion. Then again, JFK was famous, too.

Devblog, the fellow who adapted this theme specially for me (what did I say about knowing smart, useful people?) is one of those who’s pulled back, and he set his blog to private. The reason staff could always see the images was, of course, they can see into private blogs and private files when they’re logged in as staff. Now he’s emailed me the files, so I’ve got some CSSing to do and then all should be back to normal. No idea how Matt figured it out, but he’s a smart boy for someone who looks about twelve.

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28 thoughts on “Technical Difficulties Surmounted by Primitive, Profane PR

  1. rain,

    consider jumping ship to my TP account. I’ll give you access for free and you can use your domain name.

    Just something to think about, since WP seems more broken than fixed these days…

  2. Thanks, I appreciate the offer. I’ve considered moving but I’m really, REALLY lazy. This wasn’t actually WP being broken but WP fixing something that used to be broken (files on private blogs used to be linkable and viewable if you had the URL). The Manolo has also offered to host. And I got given a secondhand server. So it’s not like I don’t have options. Maybe someday I will move, but for now this is working more or less. Also, it gives me an excuse to post that pic of Steve Jobs, which is so purty and for which I hardly have any use.

  3. Did you see the piece in the The Times a week or so about Gawker?

    I kind of like this minimalist look. Except for the empty box where your avatar should be.

  4. Well considering I’m now having problems getting my domains renewed since they’re registered through wp.com but are now hosted elsewhere, moving may not be that good of an idea.

    far and away the most prolific volunteer in the forums

    I was up there too….

  5. I see blank space. But that’s normal for me most of the time.

    Did you say Matt looks like a twelve year old boy? **Chuckles** – That’s exactly what my friend LK said when he clicked on his picture!

  6. No, they’re not there yet, but now it’s MY fault, so it’s okay. I’m used to my own laziness. I have the files and can put them up.

    And yes, Dr Mike, you were up there too. I wanted to link to your thread too, but it go poof as far as I know.

    Gawd knows what will happen to my domain name, since WP.com gave it to me for free and all. But I’m infamous for kicking up a stink if I don’t get my way so presumably they’ll give it up at some point if I move.

  7. Rain, it won’t be to hard to get you back up and running. I Firebugged our blog and found both locations where a simple change needs to take place.

  8. Thanks, Richard. I’m just being lazy. Yesterday Devblog emailed me an updated CSS including the files and some changes to improve the categories display, so I’m going to install that tonight.

    What’s Firebug?

  9. Alas, it won’t happen tonight. Roomie is crashed, lights are out, and I’m blogging from the glow of the monitor. I like to have a bit more scope and a LOT more loud music when I undertake a technical task.

  10. Firebug is a neat (can I still say neat?) addon for Firefox that allows you to peruse CSS and html in realtime, and make temporary changes to see what they do. I use it a lot when trying to figure out how those wacky wordpress.commers b0rk their blogs.

  11. Oooh, that sounds darn useful! Once I get the server up sometime next week I shall check it out.

    Meanwhile, I’ve gotten as far as unzipping the folder of code and images. Too bad I can’t find it now…

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  14. Sorry about that. I didn’t consider setting the blog to private would block the images too.

    I would recommend you to use Aardvark and Web Developer instead of Firebug. In my experience, the tools I’m suggesting (especially Web Developer) are more accurate than Firebug when dealing with CSS changes since it takes into consideration how other style sheets are sent to and rendered by the browser.

    I use Firebug when testing my JavaScript or AJAX apps only. It’s very good for that.

  15. Now if only I could figure out how to delete the busted Internet Duct Tape image from the sidebar. Editing doesn’t seem to work…I’ll have to delete and re-install, I think.

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