Here’s the Thing

Undeniable Truth #286

(in a long series of ‘Things that Frustrate Me about Publishing’)

I absolutely HATE learning that I’ve not been shortlisted for The Thing, or indeed I’ve not made it past the first stage by getting the email that tells me who has won The Thing. When I am in charge, there will be communication at every stage of the process. I will attempt to provide coherent feedback. Mostly, it will all be far better organised.

Seriously, how hard can it be?

In other news, I played with the WordPress features yesterday and yes, this will be useful, once I can get my head around the process. Blogging every day will help with this, of course. We learn by doing, not complaining it got too hard. Therefore, there will be a great deal of doing and very little of the other stuff, because nobody has time for that.

I wanna use three images here as an example of what it is now possible to achieve going forward with the website: what you can’t see is that this allows me to make my pretty simplistic layout into something hugely sophisticated and smart. It will also fix an issue I have on various webpages that have previously needed to rely on grids for their construction.

It doesn’t look like much, but the consequences of this really are significant.

This Feature is Great

I promise I will learn to use it responsibly.

There will be an actual post tomorrow as well, not just me faffing about.

Fight the Power

cycling

I’d love to be able to embed my Strava workouts into my blog. Because I don’t own my own server (SO NOT DOING THAT) I pay WordPress to hold my data: they won’t allow me to use <iframe> Widgets, which is the sole means by which Strava reports. Looking at their support pages, requests to change this have been 100% totally ignored. I shoved a Tweet into the ether yesterday night, and part of me is expecting radio silence on that, too. However, it has only been 13 hours, so there will need to be some patience. It took Patreon a week and about a bazillion people getting upset for a problem to even register.

It is easy to forget (as an Activision Blizzard customer) that getting anybody else to sort out your technical issues can be a bit fraught if you’re a sole user several thousand miles away from their technical hub. Customer Service for World of Warcraft is the benchmark I lay at every other tech company’s door, I’ll be honest, and it makes even a short delay in response times seem like an age (and a half.) However, the fact remains that many US companies with whom I have had customer relationships spreading over years really do have a lot to learn about being in a global marketplace. The hassle it took to replace my faulty Fitbit a couple of years back is tip of a HUGE iceberg. To look at how popular Strava is, and then realise just how woeful they are at dealing with certain technical issues is, quite frankly, depressing beyond belief.

I had a problem yesterday with Zwift too, but it transpires a flat battery was the cause. I spent a decade troubleshooting computers before my kids were born and this has stood me in pretty decent stead for dealing with modern frustrations, but even I last night was ready to break stuff having been unable to make the tech work first time. However, I still got my hour of training in, forcing my husband to do the same… and now we’re playing chicken with each other, to see who misses a session first. It makes for more effort on my part, and it’s been great for keeping this sore throat/cough thing at bay that I have. But eventually, there will come a reckoning.

It’s just a real shame I have to keep screen-shotting and cut/pasting my effort into web pages in 2018.