[ UPDATE 3/17 — I’ve been informed that there is no way to transfer over anyone who followed the old blog via WordPress subscription or the the “Follow” button. Only those people who subscribed to the blog by email can be moved over to receive notifications of new posts. Unfortunately, the new platform does not seem to offer a “Follow” option analogous to what WordPress has, and none of the plug-in or programs that I’ve seen fix that problem. I’m trying to see if anything can be done, but, thus far, the only sure way seems to be to subscribe by email. I realise that some people hate to do that. I apologise, and will understand fully if it is too much of an inconvenience.]
[ UPDATE 3/15 — “Houston, we have a problem.” The new site is up, and all the old posts have been moved over. Unfortunately, there are glitches. The main one is that you may have to re-subscribe, re-follow, or re-sign up again, as I’m not sure if the Transfer request that I put in has worked. I remember another blog, Australian Perfume Junkies, having a similar problem when they went to a self-hosting site.
Since I’m not seeing a list of subscribers on the new site administrative page, I worry that many or all of you may need to sign up again, just to be certain. Those of you who are particularly interested in the new Amouage offering, Opus VIII, which was just released may want to do so soon, as that will be the first review on the new blog.
I really apologise for all this, and I hope I don’t lose too many of you. I am seeking help for the problem, as well as for the fact that I’m suddenly not getting email notifications of any comments that have been posted (on either site). Thanks to my Tech Wizard friends, the other snafu of the URL links to all the old reviews being broken and not re-directing to the new site has been fixed. Hopefully, the rest of the growing pains will also be minor and short-lived in nature.
I wish you all a happy Saturday and weekend. On that note, I should get back to the brand new Opus VIII with its fascinating mix of contrasts and contradictions. A new Opus as a new review for a new blog. It seems quite fitting. Happy weekend everyone!]
As some of you realised, the blog was “suspended” by WordPress in the wee hours of the night, and all posts “archived” or hidden. I received no explanation other than a giant red banner across my Administrator’s Dashboard informing me that I had violated WordPress’ TOS (Terms of Service), and that I was henceforth locked out of the entire system. There are no words to convey the degree of my shock, panic, and confusion.
The problem turned out to be a simple name in a caption to my new Tom Ford post that I provided as a source for one of the photos of the champaca flower. I gave the name of a site (which I no longer dare even mention out of paranoia at this point) called MonsterM______________. (There is also a P in that long name.) The site is on WordPress’s automatic red-flag list, and is blocked out of concerns that links to it would lead users to experience malware, viruses, trojans and the like. I certainly understand and commend them for their attempts to protect people.
Just to clarify, though, in my case, I never provided a URL or link, but a mere reference name in a photo caption. It was enough, however, for the system to shut down my entire account within a minute of the post being published. The blog was archived or hidden, I was locked out, and I was greeted everywhere with a big red banner telling me that I had been suspended for violating their Terms of Service. What that precise violation may be, they didn’t say. They merely pointed me to their lengthy TOS page which listed pornography, hacking, and all sorts of inapplicable activities.
WordPress’ red banner did, however, include the gentle hint that I may want to consider taking a hike and hosting my own site elsewhere. To that end, they said they would kindly give me a brief period of time in which to retrieve my files (by means of some complicated, technical gobbledygook that went completely over my head) before all my work would be lost forever.
Thankfully, now, everything is now resolved. WordPress promptly assisted me this morning, acknowledged how inadvertent everything was, and returned the site back to normal. (So you can now read that Tom Ford Champaca Absolute review, if you’re interested.) But last night left a mark.
Those hellish and incredibly stressful hours forced me to do something that I had been thinking about for a while: self-hosting the blog. In simple terms, that means that I get my own url or “.com” name. The blog becomes its own thing with its own site, rather than an adjunct of WordPress. I’ve long hated the current url and name for the site (AKafkaesqueLife), but I had few options when first began. Franz Kafka is too popular, Kafkaesque is too well-known of a literary or philosophical reference, and seemingly every variation on either name was already taken. It’s driven me a little crazy that people call the blog: A Kafkaesque; AKafkaesque; Kafkaesque Life; or any of the other multitude of things that I’ve seen. But who can blame them? Not everyone reads the “About Me” section in which I clarify the issue of the name vs the URL. Besides, in everyday life, URLs generally are a site’s real name.
Things are going to change in that regard. I have registered a new name and a new domain on a new self-hosting site called DreamHost. The url will be very simple: KafkaesqueBlog.com. But everything else should remain exactly the same in terms of WordPress publishing the actual posts.
Nothing should change for any of you as readers. What is going to happen may take a few days, but, fingers crossed, everything should transfer over to the new self-hosting site. All of it, from the old posts, archived information, comments, links, format, followers, subscriptions, and more. (Perhaps that will also fix my current WordPress problem of never getting email notifications of new posts on other blogs. To all of you other bloggers, that is the main reason why I haven’t commented lately on your new posts. I never get emails about them! WordPress won’t answer my queries about it, either.)
All of this should happen behind the scenes, and none of you should even realise anything is different as things move over. If you click on an old post, you should be redirected automatically to its page with the new URL address. You should still get WordPress notification of my new posts, and you can still comment as you did before. However, those of you who follow the blog via an RSS feed or blog reader may need to update the url. I’m afraid I don’t really know how that works.
I’m not going to be doing any of this technical work, as I am an utter idiot when it comes to computer programming. Actually, “utter idiot” probably doesn’t begin to cover it. In this arena — as well as in everything to do with the nightmare of last night, and the self-hosting, domain, registration, start-up, technical aspects — I am wholly indebted to the Temptalia Team.
Christine of Temptalia is a dear friend of mine who walked me through everything starting at midnight last night and for hours thereafter. She suggested the best service for me to start up my own site, and explained the pages and pages of different computing, domain, programming, download, plug-in, and hosting information. She held my hand through my panic at the veritable tsunami of overwhelming technicalities, none of which helped my latent anxiety disorder one bit. (WordPress’ alarming TOS “support” (ha!) pages didn’t facilitate things in that regard, either.) Christine patiently stayed up for hours to help me with all of it, and I’m incredibly grateful.
I’m equally indebted to her husband, Shaun. He is a tech wizard who generously (and totally crazily, masochistically) volunteered to help me with all the programming aspects. He will be transferring everything from WordPress to the new site, and the amount of work involved is substantial. I’m a relative stranger to him, so I’m stunned by his kindness. I honestly don’t have the words to convey the extent of my gratitude for his help, as well as for Christine’s. It will be solely thanks to the two of them that I will be able to give you a new and, hopefully, better Kafkaesque in a few days time.
So, to all of you who emailed or contacted me with concern about my “suspension,” that is the whole silly saga. Moral of the story: never mention a site whose name starts with MonsterM, lest automatic computer systems have a fit and start flashing red. More importantly, be grateful for friends who are always there for you.
Here’s looking forward to the launch of a new Kafkaesque.