A Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That, and a Random Video

Hey Folks,

Something of an outlier post this time, with not so much of the funny but nothing really tragic or sad. Or political. (Surprise!) Two things to share…

One, WordPress is in the midst of yet another head-scratching round of updates. Part of this change is that the email notifications that I get when someone has “liked” a post no longer contain a link to that person’s blog. This is not a big deal for some folks, but it means a process revamp for me.

I rarely use the Reader as a way of finding new posts from folks. (I follow almost 2,000 blogs, so working my way through that cavalcade is essentially overwhelming.) Instead, I used to use the “like” notification emails as launch points for my reading of other blogs. This would allow me to focus on the folks who were actively engaging with Bonnywood, as this only seemed right. (Why should I pluck a story out of The Reader written by someone who hasn’t bothered to visit Bonnywood since 2013? This is not an egotistical thing; it’s a grateful courtesy to the folks who are taking the time to see what’s up at Bonnywood.)

Now, I can no longer use that methodology. (Thanks for nothing, once again, annoying WordPress People Who Make Things Complicated for No Reason.)

Obviously, I should cull my list of blogs that I follow and toss out all those 2013 drive-by folks who tempted me into following them and then headed for the hills, never to be seen again. This would make The Reader more effective in my case. But it will take some time to conduct such a purge. (Did I mention that I follow 2,000 blogs? I clearly lost my mind for a while there, and the damage is done.) So, whilst I work on The Big Culling, I’ve decided to change my settings on the blogs I follow (at least those blogs where we are currently sharing in a mutual two-way manner) so that I get an email every time you post.

But won’t this explode my email inbox, you may ask as a naturally-curious person. Well, it could. But said inbox is already burgeoning with notifications from readers who like my posts but haven’t written anything fresh since… 2013. (You knew that was coming, right?) Some folks are happy with saying what they wanted to say once, and then they never write anything again. (Just ask Harper Lee, eh?) I spend (well, I used to spend) a lot of time opening a “like” notification, clicking through to the writer’s blog and then finding out that they have nothing new to share. (Not judging on the lack of newborn content, just explaining things.) Eventually, I will turn off the “send me an email if someone likes a post” angle, thus eliminating that tributary river to compensate for the new flood of “somebody just posted!” emails.

Still with me? I know this has turned into a rambling monologue, but here’s the point I’m trying to get to: Many of you will see me suddenly follow you again, even though you know dang well I’ve been following you for at least five years. This is because WordPress is sometimes hinky when it comes to adjusting your settings on the people you follow, and it’s often easier to just unfollow and start over. So, if you see the new “follow” notification, our relationship has not been a lie. I’m just screwing around with the settings.

Side Note: If you are used to me consistently interacting with your blog, via likes or comments or whatnot, and I suddenly go dark, please don’t hesitate to leave a concerned query on this or any post. (I will be leaving the “notify me of comments” option intact.) It will not bother me at all if you say “Hey, we used to be tight, braiding each other’s hair and watching trashy late-night movies together. What happened?” With these hundreds of blog connections that I’m currently reviewing and updating, it’s very possible that somebody might inadvertently be left out in the cold, forlorn and wandering the streets. You might have to help us get back to where we once belonged.

Two, I’ve been dipping my toe into the world of “Medium”, a back-to-basics blogging site that strips out all the advertisements and concentrates on the true sharing of stories without all the useless bells and whistles that distract from said sharing. It’s been an interesting experience, starting from scratch in the building of a following, pulling me back to my early days on WordPress where only two people would read my stories (and I was related to both of them).

This means that some of my time will be diverted away from WordPress, so my posts might not appear here as often as they used to do so. Once again, it’s not you, it’s me. I still plan to post here with some degree of regularity. (It’s an addiction!) Who knows, I might trash the whole “Medium” experience out of frustration (why work so hard on the networking when I’ve already done the work on WordPress?), but time will tell, and I’m currently torn between two lovers, one of whom doesn’t even know my name.

Okay, that’s it. Wait, that’s a lie. I promised a video as well.

Said video involves Kelly Clarkson, performing her rendition of Abba’s “Dancing Queen”. Partner found this one day whilst he was doing whatever he does on the Internet (I don’t ask questions, which is a good way to maintain a healthy relationship), and I’m rather fond of it. I like how she turns the song into a melancholy reflection without the disco beat.


And cheers.

63 replies »

  1. I so get this, understand every word of it. I periodically purge the sites that haven’t posted in 6 months or more, unless the writer has said they’re going on hiatus and will be back, etc. I think it’s easier to create and start a blog than it is to continue with it and to connect with others, and that becomes apparent pretty quickly. along with that, wp gremlins continue to make things more difficult as we go, and I long for the ‘free and easy’ approach of yore.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. First up, you follow nigh on 2000? Did you purloin Doc Browns time flies machine? I have to restrict myself to even try to follow about 20 and I don’t have half the the time to do them justice. You must have a smokin’ keyboard and a crippling case of RSI to attempt to keep track of 2000.
    Second- this Medium sounds interesting, but like Beth says, WP does have its fu- frustrations, but I somehow managed to mangle/wrangle a place to post my bitterness, and I can’t see the point or invest my energy in doubling up on another highly suspect likeable bunch. Some may stay, but most are fly-by-night followers who go go go. Eventually, invariably the blessed few dwindle down to a hard core who are Actual Real Live People!
    Thirdly, ’cause I now know you have plenty of time to spare, and in slightly the same vein as KC- Partner has a good musical ear- might I recommend a listen to ‘Sleepwalk’ by Renee Olsted? She adds so much to an old instrumental that was already a pretty decent if dated tune. Her update is old/new in the best way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • First, I am constantly at this laptop, ruing past decisions but still slogging along anyway. Perhaps someday I will actually start making proper adult decisions…

      Second, my Medium experience is still in its infancy, so I haven’t yet decided on the merit of my endeavor. For now, I’m intrigued by the stripped-down aspect of it, with writing being the (supposed) focus. I’m still confused my some of the mechanics, so the jury is very much still out on this one…

      Third, I just checked out Renee’s video for “Sleepwalk”. This is RIGHT up my alley. More suggestions, please…

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was just sending a list to my daughter of songs that may lead to an hour of two of blessed sleep for both new mother and offspring- my grandkid takes after his grandad in that he does not know he is up and prattling on when good honest people are trying to get some shut-eye!’ But ‘c’est la vie.’ Which segues nicely into these songs that may suit your tastes: Elise Le Grow’s take on Chuck Berry’s ‘You Never Can Tell,’ ‘You’re The One That I Want,’ The Beautiful South, ‘Whoop De Doo,’ Jimmy Buffett, ‘True Love Will Find A Way,’ Wilco, ‘The Beginning’, Eels. Musical tastes are an individual thing, but give ’em a spin if you want/have the time. (All but the last are covers- I like an interesting interpretation of others songs, and I think all are YooToobed.)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. 2,000 blogs? Good god man, thin the herd. No one can follow that many. I noticed you hadn’t commented on any of my drivel in a while, but I’m ridiculously prolific so it was understandable. But now I’m wondering if I’ve made the cut… please don’t lock the doors of Bonnywood, I would miss the crazy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • To be fair, roughly only 10% of those 2K do anything on any given day. But it still means I generally read over 100 posts on those given days, more or less. And that’s the basic reason why I generally don’t comment on most of the posts I read. I’m not comfortable with making short, generic platitude comments like “LOL!” or “This was so funny!”, preferring instead to compose well-thought responses. But I just don’t have the time, and therefore I don’t say anything and just move on. I’m hoping this Big Cull that I’m working on will allow me to relax and be a better person with the sites I still want to visit…

      And no, you would never be locked out of Bonnywood. I love reading your posts. They make me happy… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s amazing how time sucking blogging can be. And like you say, anything more than a generic comment takes even more time. When I think how productive I could be if I quit.. it’s upsetting. So then I blog about that notion. It’s a vicious circle.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I noticed the lack of links to accounts that “like” one of my posts. This screws up my routine of at least LOOKING at the pages of people who read me. I’m glad it isn’t just me.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Wow so you have pretty much made a career of this blogging thing, minus the big income. Unless you are receiving big dividends, then I want to know. 2000 blogs sounds exhausting. Do you even sleep? When do you have time to shower? Oh perhaps that’s too personal… forget that one. I prefer the lazy blogging method of creating around one post a week and following only a select few. I have to admire your dedication.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Honestly, I somewhat miss the days when I only had a handful of followers. We could have lengthy comment conversations and we got really close, digitally. But this blog now has nearly 7K followers. Don’t get me wrong, as I’m grateful for such. But I get an email notification that someone has done something on my blog practically every few minutes, and it takes a lot of work to keep all these juggling balls in the air. Something has to change, and it pains me to consider such, because I don’t want to appear cold when it comes to supporting fellow bloggers, especially the new ones, but we shall see…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I fear I’m one of the lost. That’s on me and my angst and shame over the book cover I promised and never delivered. No excuses. There is nothing to say except I am sorry and there were reasons. I do understand if I’m to be among the culled!! 2000 blows what is left of my tiny mind.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Sister, please don’t worry or feel any whiff of guilt. I would never cull you. And, truth be told, I haven’t been a faithful companion when it comes to your own blog, either. (Part of it is that WordPress keeps unfollowing me, so it’s not surprising that I get behind, but I also KNOW that this unfollowing is constant and I should just bookmark you and go visit every day. I can be lazy sometimes, fully admit.)

      And honestly, I haven’t really tinkered with my new book in months, not since I made that post wherein I asked for book cover suggestions. I don’t know why, as I’d really like to package that mess up and get it out, but something is holding me back. I think I’m in a bit of a “questioning everything” period in my life, trying to evaluate what is really important to me and what is not. We’ll see if I can figure things out…


  7. In concert with others: 2000 blogs? I follow 25, and I regularly unfollow those who don’t post for a year. How do you manage 2000? Wow. But the WP “updates?” They strike fear. Most of them are completely unnecessary or otherwise cause a lot of trouble. Did you hear that, WP?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, it’s clear (at least to me) that I don’t actually manage the 2000, as I’m constantly behind with my reading and commenting. But it IS all on me, as I bit off more than I can chew and now this wretched WP change has forced me to deal with my own fallout.

      As for this WP change, aside from being annoying, it doesn’t make any sense, business-wise. WordPress is all about bowing down to the advertisers (the main reason we went to The Block Editor, as that design makes it much easier to insert ads), and they want to see lots of clicks on pages. (And therefore ad shares.) So, taking blog links out of email notifications strips away an opportunity for more clicks. I’m thinking some programmer who didn’t get the memo about “remember, make money!” made a serious error with his/her new notification design. The links will probably return, but in the mean time I need to do some housekeeping in case those links never come back…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve been exploring Medium and am often turned off by the negativity and sensationalist/click-bait headlines. Not sure if I will renew my subscription. But if you’re there, Brian, that could be a tipping point. With regard to WordPress’s latest “upgrades,” all I can say is “Bless their hearts” (employing all the Southern sarcasm that phrase possesses). Since the “improvement,” I can no longer comment on certain sites–don’t know if it’s a complication with the blog or with me. So, I won’t know if this gentle rant sees the light of day until I click on “post comment” below. Here goes….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Agreed, Medium is somewhat tainted with click-baiting, fluff pieces written by folks who are only in it for the money and nothing else. Sadly, many of those articles have been huge hits in that environment, racking up thousands of views, so I don’t really see the Medium staff implementing any “hey, knock it off” regulations.

      What I haven’t seen, luckily and so far, is any real negativity. Then again, I have a very small readership at this point. (It was only a few days ago that I passed the “100 followers” threshold that allows me to put a few of my stories behind the Earnings Wall. I’ve made a whopping 8 Cents based on two article reads.) But I’m sure the negativity will surface if I do manage to gain a respectable following, with some bashing from the click-baiters who don’t like actual writers taking any of the spotlight. Been there before, as WordPress and Medium are by no means my first time at the rodeo. 😉

      If you do take the Medium plunge, be sure to seek me out. We can take a stand and do what we can…

      Liked by 1 person

    • It really gets under my skin when people mess with things that didn’t need any messing. Sure, I’m all about progress and change, but there are good changes and there are BAD changes, and this example sucks… 😉


  9. Well, I am totally confused by all the WordPress mysteries – I will look forward to finding you somewhere!
    P.S. Thank goodness for the moment of total joy with the Kelly Clarkson video! I hadn’t heard it, and while I find it mildly disconcerting without Abba’s tempo, I actually loved it.
    Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, I still plan to be HERE as well, for as long as folks put up with my mess. I’m just exploring other options…

      I think the Kelly Clarkson video is phenomenal. I’ve always liked her, but she continues to amaze me more than 20 years after she be-bopped onto the American Idol stage. And true, her version throws you at first, but they way she turns it into an aching need for validation is quite wonderful….

      Liked by 2 people

    • Well, I’ve already launched, with 40 or so stories, but I haven’t really shared anything here since I’m still figuring things out. (And all of the stories, so far, have already been shared here, so you’re not missing anything.)

      But if you’d like to take a gander and see what’s what (and trust, things are much more streamlined and minimalistic on Medium), you can do so here:

      Are you on Medium as well, or just curious?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Right? I’m enthralled with this version. It’s a song that all of us of a certain age know by heart, but this rendition gives it an emotional wallop that was right there in the lyrics, all along, but we just didn’t see it. (Or at least I didn’t…)

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Eeeeh Brian,
    Love the post. Good old word press technicalities. Recently noticed I cannot just comment on posts without rigmarole of signing in etc. yours is now one of them.
    This following business intrigues me because, as far as I am aware I am following you etc etc.
    Reminds me of school days ‘ which gang are you joining, cliff or Elvia?’ I always joined Elvis’s gang. This of course before Gary Glitter, ahead of our time!
    My settings need sorting re e mails.
    Really love the Dancing Queen song and the piano accompaniment makes it extra special 😘
    Got you on my Pinterest board 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I follow a lot of people too but not so many that I can’t use the Reader to just go to people who’ve posted in the last week since I checked, thank goodness, or I’d never get any sleep. But the WordPress App on my phone has changed and I don’t like it! I’m also on Medium, I think, but I never go there–guess I should check it out!

    Liked by 2 people

    • As I’ve babbled in many of the comments above, this mess is really all on me. I let things run out of control for too long and now it’s overwhelming. But there is a silver lining in that I have no choice at this point and I need to clean house and get rid of all the tumbleweed ghosts that I still follow.

      I never got used to using the WordPress App on my phone (other than to check stats), so I wouldn’t know enough to notice any changes there. But I suspect that many folks are not happy right now no matter how they access and use the site…

      Liked by 1 person

    • As a non-subscriber, you can still read some things. (Nothing behind the paywall, and the “free” posts are limited to a certain amount at a time. I forget the exact number, but it’s enough to let you poke around a little and see if you like things. Honestly, I still haven’t decided if I’m happy with Medium, but right now I’m doing the right thing and trying to generate a little buzz. We shall see…

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I don’t like what WP has done. Some blogs I can’t even get to now, some I can find in the reader, but I don’t really use that much. Maybe it will be back to normal someday, but I won’t hold my breath. I still have my Blogger acct. but I never liked that much either. I’ll check your Medium. I’d never heard of it. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hear ya, things are a mess these days with WP. I’m still struggling with suddenly being unfollowed from blogs I’ve followed for years and that pesky bit where you can’t like a post, and those issues have been around for a while.

      I also still have my Blogger account, with three of my blogs over there still getting traffic according to the emails I get. But I’ve long since forgotten my passwords and I haven’t bothered to have them reset. Sometimes we just have to move on in life… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I do the same thing, look up who likes my post as a courtesy/ thank you, and to find out what they’re up to. It is kinda frustrating when the link is gone.
    Anyway, first time hearing Kelly Clarkson’s version of Dancing Queen. Her soulful voice gives a surprising and delightful twist to my go-to get-down-and-dirty disco and karaoke tune. Love it. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yep, it’s definitely frustrating. I just don’t understand why the WP decision-makers would approve changes that inhibit easy interaction among bloggers. Of course, nobody bothered to ask me, so…

      I really enjoyed Kelly’s version of this song, and you’re right in that she infuses it with a soulfulness that changes the meaning of the lyrics. Good fun.

      Thanks for stopping by Bonnywood and taking the time to make a comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow, I learned something new today, thanks for posting your Medium link, I shall take a look for you there as well since your blogs are one of the few things that being me pure joy in between hounding one of my other blog members for her monthly contribution (and, surprisingly, it’s probably not who most would think it is)! Guess I can’t blame her though, this work thing does always seem to get in the way of everything. Sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Thank you kindly for your lovely words!

    Medium is definitely a different experience from WordPress, so it’s not to everyone’s taste. And right now, I’m only sharing things that have already appeared on Bonnywood, so you aren’t missing anything at the moment. But I do plan to start releasing new things over there (who knows when, as I’ve already established that I clearly have focus issues), so at some point you’ll have to check things out if you want to see any of the “exclusives” (doesn’t that sound fancy?) for more little sprinkles of that Bonnywood flair…

    I am VERY curious about this other blogger that you think would surprise me, but I won’t push you to spill the tea. At least not too much… 😉


  16. Ah, I thought something was different about those WordPress emails… all I noticed was that the blogger liking a post didn’t think your post was pretty awesome any more.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll certainly have a look at medium myself as well, particularly as WP stuck us with only the one way-too-much stuff Pro account level when I just wanted what used to be on the Personal account level…
        The fuss-free writing/editing and no advertising at a reasonable annual cost are most appealing for a messing-about hobby. I’ll look you up.

        Liked by 1 person

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