Had I Known

I recently visited a forum logged in with my user account.  I was surprised, but not necessarily shocked at the reduced activity on the site.  What shocked me was when I logged in with my administrator account to see the almost 15 pages of newly registered accounts not activated.

For clarity’s sake, I was against turning on administrator approval only for new members on this forum, and as such I made it clear to the forum owner I would not be involved in the registration process in any form or fashion.  The owner had brought in another individual and granted that person full and complete administrator privileges and together they would handle the new member registrations.

The last new member was approved Jan 28, 2009! I scanned through the inactive member list and although a great deal of the newly registered account names were most likely spammers or other disruptive individuals, there were also several names that would fit well with the current member base of the forum.

To say I am disappointed would be an understatement.  Myself, and others that work under the JellyBeen banner, put a great deal of time and effort into re-establishing the owner as the primary administrator; as well as, upgrading the forum to the most current version of the forum software.  It truly is a shame to see the other administrator barely making a weekly appearance, and the owner showing up only slightly more often.

I agreed to make the owner the primary administrator and to upgrade the forum to the current version at the time. Beyond those two primary goals being accomplished, I also offered to help explain and coach in managing the forum.  These offers were politely refused, and I was given the impression the new administrator would be taking care of those matters.

In my opinion, this was not done.  The forum is no longer running the most current version (released over three months ago), and the members appear to be dwindling away.

My apologies to those that were involved, had I known this would be the end result of all the work that was put into this project I would not have accepted it in the first place.

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Widgets Are Good

WordPress widgets are not considered new. They have been around for several iterations of WordPress, since version 2.3, with a rumored revamp coming in WordPress 2.8, the next major version.

Now that I am just starting to embrace their uses and realizing the potential that can be opened up by using them I am looking forward to the possible improvements that generally are found with a version upgrade by the good folk at Automattic.

The use of a well coded widget in a well coded theme makes blog management from a layout and design perspective quite easy. The real potential is released by the Text widget. I wanted to add a link to Technorati that would be more or less static, but given that this particular blog is currently hosted on WordPress.com it required a little more investigation and some simple HTML copy and pasting.

First, I had to change all the existing sidebar elements into their corresponding widgets. Done. Working as before? Check. Next, add the Text widget. Done. Next copy and paste the HTML code from Technorati. All done. Working as expected? Yes.

Am I happy with widgets? For the most part I am. Do I see room for improvements with the management of widgets? Yes, but I am willing to wait to see when, or if, the rumors of a revamp in 2.8 are true. I may re-visit my thoughts on what could (or should) be addressed in widgets then, in the meantime I will say, widgets are good.

What are your impressions of widgets? Do you use them? Leave a comment with your most unique standard widget usage.

WordPress MU 2.7 is Live

Of course it was yesterday that Donncha O Caoimh posted on his blog that WordPress Mu (2.7) was available.  It was all I was waiting for to update two MU installations.

A quick review and some brief observations:

The combined time to update both WordPress Mu installations was slightly less than 25 minutes, five of which was fixing the “home” theme on the first install because I was too distracted to remember not to over-write it,  I’m just thankful I have a complete theme backup.

The general layout is very similar to a single user version of WordPress 2.7, with the exception of the newly included Admin bar by Viper007Bond at the top of the Dashboard screen.  A nice touch that I expect to be easily put to good use.

To other WordPress MU managers, share a comment about your upgrading.

Starbuck’s Wi-Fi

Here I sit drinking a Tazo Chai Grande, no water and writing this post using the WordPress iPod app. I’m looking out the front window and see it is just starting to lightly snow.

There is yet another Winter Storm warning in effect; it is the third or fourth issued in the last two weeks. That being the case and I have at least two more stops on my tour today I will be keeping this short.

The chai is very good; the Starbucks is bustling; Christmas is around the corner; and, I’m on my way.

Perception Is Everything

Much like beauty is in the eye of the beholder so perception is an individual’s viewpoint.

One’s actions and words define an other’s perception whether it is the desired result or not. How things are perceived is up to the individuals or groups involved it is not something that can be decided by one for the other.

A Peace Offering

I find it odd how someone can believe they are suggesting a truce by first throwing in one last barb. To this I say:

When offering an olive branch do not pass a rose stem.

I am more than happy to work on my various projects, and to make recommendations for dbjb to carry on with these and other projects, but it truly becomes difficult to justify our volunteerism when we are faced with having to work with difficult additional contributors that have been chosen by someone else.