Blog Maintenance

For the first time on this blog, I am now using an SEO plugin. One of the cool things it does is redirect links to media attachments to their parent post/page. I’ve actually noticed people coming to view attachments on some of my older posts, which is kinda weird.

This also means I will be putting some sort of share plugin back in as well. I’ve avoided it for some time because I was convinced that “begging” for shares wasn’t the best thing in the world. Now I realize that was stupid.

I’m also on the lookout for a new theme for this blog. I like “required” (the current setup) but the stuff coming out of the marketplace for the Ghost platform fascinates me. There’s a few themes like that for WordPress I want to at least take a look at.

Another thing I want to try is using Scrivener as a WordPress blogging client. So far, there’s no direct “post to WordPress” function, just a Markdown export which can be translated into HTML. I must admit, I’m not terribly keen on Markdown, even though I have friends who rave about it. I just don’t see the point, especially for longer form works (which, as one of said friends is a novelist, is applicable.) I just do CTRL+I or whatever to get what I want. But I’ll leave that for later. I have managed to figure out how to make Scrivener work “in the cloud” using Dropbox, which is really, really neat.

I must admit, this post is completely non-SEO, and is largely something of filler.

Tweaking

NOT twerking. Not at all.

But I find this blog is not a “one and done” sort of thing. Maybe because it’s my personal blog, I find rolling updates to be more appropriate. If I find I don’t like a color, I change it. If I find I don’t like a font, I change it. If I find I don’t like my theme….

Well that will take more consideration.

Meet the New Quantum Matrix Scribe

Well, as you can clearly see, I have a new website theme up and running. And, if you’ve viewing on a smartphone or a tablet, you now get a special mobile theme. It might not be the prettiest thing, but it is functional.

Lately, I’ve wanted to update my blog design. The Twenty Eleven theme was functional, and with the dark color scheme and blue banner, I actually thought it looked quite cool, but it felt kind of…I’m not sure. Pedestrian? Goth? I had one viewer complain of white on black text. While I disagree that’s a serious visibility issue (plenty of people like light text on dark background) I did want to shake things up. So I adopted this theme (“Required”), popped on some Open Sans for legibility, and went to town.

That’s what you get when you develop some web development skills. You start thinking you can make your blog all pretty and whatnot…

I have more content coming for this, including a few new pages (!!!) and of course more blog posts, and hopefully more fiction as well. I’m not sure how much I want to comment on my personal life on this blog–this is not my Livejournal*, after all–but I have had many reasons to become far more optimistic and hopeful towards the future in the last few months. I have made many friends, and more importantly, I think I’ve actually found a niche. I’m developing skills I will use for a long time, and I don’t just mean the technical ones. My life is also acquiring a bit more stability, and I think, while time management will continue to vex me, I will be able to handle more things thrown my way from now on.

I’ll still be tweaking this site–if enough people complain about the color scheme I’ll change that, and the Facebook button on the side doesn’t work because it’s supposed to link to a Facebook page, which setting up is problematic–but for now, I’m pretty pleased.

Welcome to the new QMS. Same as the old QMS, really, just with a better design.

*No you may not read my Livejournal. That thing is locked down for a reason.

WordPress Themes

I’m not entirely happy with the Twenty Eleven theme anymore. Having worked in web development for a few months now and created some responsive websites for people, I’ve seen the different options out there and I think I can do better. Though at the moment I don’t really see any themes I like, which makes me think I should go build my own. That would be a mistake, probably.

All I know at this point is that I want to use United Nations blue as the background color and mayhaps Idlewild for the headline font, if I can figure out a way to do it. Probably end up using Lato, though, for everything. Lato & Calibri.

Man, I am wasting too much time on this. I need to get back to writing.

Amazon Affiliate Links

I’ve started using Amazon affiliate links for the books I have in the ebook widget on the sidebar. It’s a new thing that I’ve decided to try out, and it seems to be pretty cool.

I mean, hey, if I’m going to show you what I’m reading, the best thing I can do is give you a direct opportunity to buy the book, and maybe get some money for it.

Social Media Vacay

Everyone tells me I need to be on social media if I want my stuff promoted. I gotta be on there to be heard, to be seen, to get things done.

If I’ve learned anything in the past few years, though, it’s that that may not be necessarily true. Indeed, social media has some serious pitfalls. My favorite ones are flamewars with trolls. It was one of them, in fact, that led me to this policy of taking a social media vacation.

I’ve learned that I cannot resist getting into arguments; I can’t resist trolls. That something I lost, somewhere, aand I need to reclaim that. How? I don’t know. But a prerequisite has to be stepping back from social media. It’s hurting my productivity, hurting my wider social sphere, and ultimately it’s hurting my brain.

So I’m taking a break from Twitter & Facebook. I’ve downloaded an app that only does Twitter DM’s, and I’ll keep using Facebook Messenger so people can get in touch with me. Other than that, just Gmail & this blog. Thanks to the magic of WordPress, I can still write status updates. And thanks to the magic of RSS, I can autopost these to Twitter and Facebook.

I see this as an extension of some cutting I’ve already done in my life. A few months ago I uninstalled Steam and basically eliminated computer games from my life. Now I need to continue the process and get rid of–at least temporarily–another serious distraction.

I’m not sure why I had to blog this, really, other than to tell my friends who are going to start wondering, but if you stumble across this and read this, that’s what this is about. I will still be politically minded; I will still have strong opinions about political philosophy and government. I will still write, though hopefully not on Twitter (I will maintain my vow, I will maintain my vow…) but through other channels.

That’s all I have. If you know me personally, you can still hit me up through messaging. If you don’t, you can always comment here.

Little note

I’ve added the ability to log in via Facebook to comment. Originally I disabled this feature as I was uninterested in having the actual Facebook commenting thingy, because I think there is some value to anonymity on the Internet. Fortunately, this new one allows you a choice, and I don’t think it has the full on Facebook commenting system, it just uses your account to identify you if you so choose.

I will have more content for this blog shortly. Oh yes, I will have more, much more…

This isn’t the share feature I’m looking for…

Trying to reconfigure the SexyBookmarks plugin, but all its giving me is agita. Where’s Livejournal? Isn’t it supposed to expand if I wanted it to? Does it only allow these other services if I upgrade? What the heck? I don’t understand. I can’t even find Instapaper or the Google +1 button in there, which is dumb.

I made the switch because I thought AddThis was just extraneous noise, but now I’m thinking of going back to it. This is silly.

Still Here, Still Writing

I could give you a ton of reasons why I haven’t written here in over a month. I could tell you my real life issues–new job, looking for new housing–but that isn’t really it. I could’ve told you I stopped writing–a bald-faced lie if there ever was one. Only slightly less bald-faced than saying I entered a long-term, committed relationship. I could also blame technology issues, which is, actually, one reason. But not the major one.

No, the real reason is what to write. I’ve been thinking alot, recently, about the debt debate and US politics, and so I’ve been blogging at United Liberty where I can. In terms of fiction, I’ve been debatingwhich of my favorite ideas I want to tackle. Derelict spacecraft? Spacesteading libertarians beset by socialist stormtroopers? Giant robots? (“Janzer” is in limbo, unfortunately.) What about when you think you see something out the corner of your eye but there isn’t anything there? Or what about crazy dreams that make no sense: do they have their own little village they live in?

Naturally, not all of these ideas are novel. (Har har. I kill myself.) But these are ideas I’ve had in my head and just never gotten out. Maybe now I should. At the very least, if I printed them and then burned them, I could have both fantastic art and lower heating bills at the same time! Stay tuned.

United Liberty

I’ve joined the blogging team over at United Liberty, where I can spread my political writings a bit farther. That’s a good thing in many ways, since I didn’t want QMS to get overly political, just occasionally (and for some of the crazier ideas I may come up with, like reforming the electoral system.) I’ll keep you updated on my science fiction here, as well as other topics in the realms of writing and art that aren’t really related to libertarianism.

And for any United Liberty readers coming over here, hello!