dear diary :: computer malaise

In the last few days when I should have been preparing and packing for our holiday I have been sorting out computer related problems and now have come down with an attack of that modern day illness namely CFD (computer frustration disorder) for which there is no known cure.

Trying to get to the bottom of the WordPress advertising problem, then trying to find a way to get my usual monthly to do list and my cottage packing list I keep on Todoist to print out all the pages and not just the first one (a new glitch on their part which we told them about last month and is still not sorted) has seen me tearing my hair out.

Eventually we found a work around for the lists by logging into Opera browser and the print function through Opera takes a PDF of all the pages (who would have thought). But it only took us four hours of trial and error before coming up with this; and after I had scoured the internet for a new To do list provider that will do print outs at all as most of them think everyone just wants a list on a phone now! Progress!

And yes I could have written my lists out by hand in this time or use excell but Todoist was working fine for me up till now.

There appears to be no simple work around for the WordPress adverts though – and believe me DH and I have tried but because everyone has such personal settings on different devices there is no one adjustment that will fit all.

Anyone following this thread may have read all the comments over the last few days from readers and below in the highlighted sections is the email answer I had from WordPress who investigated my query about both the type and amount of ads now appearing on my site for some readers.

Please note my comments are the underlined italics at the end of each paragraph….

WordPress say “The banner ad at the top has been in use on free sites for over a year, and can be collapsed by clicking on the tab. (we were not informed of this banner)

The ad appearing directly above the sharing buttons is the original ad slot for all sites on WordPress.com, so ads have been appearing there for as long as we’ve been displaying ads on free sites. (Fair enough and I was always aware of this one and its placement and it had never appeared to be a problem to readers before).

The other ads that appear between paragraphs are known as inline ads. Those are relatively new, but they’re also supposed to be there. How many of them show varies, depending both on the length and structure of your post, and on factors related to the person viewing the ad (the latter is what determines which advertisers bid on the available ad slots – if no one bids on inline ads, they don’t display. (I wasn’t aware of these at all and we were not informed these would be added to our sites – I rarely visit my own site as a reader and if I do, because I am logged into my account, I would not see them – these ads seem to be the most frustrating to my readers).

So all the ads you’re seeing are supposed to be there, and are used to cover the cost to us of hosting your site for free. They can be removed via any of our paid plans. (The ransom notice!)

If you feel the content/subject matter of any ad is inappropriate, please click the “Report this ad” link on the ad itself to report it. We serve thousands of ads across millions of sites a day, and no two people visiting your site sees the same ads. Additionally this process is completely automated, so reporting the ad directly that way is the only way it’s possible for us to review a specific ad”. (Firstly, I never see the ads anyway so unlikely I would be the one reporting them and secondly, they are tailored to the reader so I would never see the same as them – the one I did catch a glimpse of was advertising for young girls to work at home – which seemed a bit dubious to me and I feel WordPress should be the ones monitoring this not our readers – it is too late once they have gone out.

So there you have it – WordPress have increased the amount of ads and not really mentioned this to their users and take no responsibility for the content – but well done Simone for speaking up and letting me know otherwise I would have remained oblivious to what is happening.

I think eventually because of their increased adverts WordPress will send more new bloggers to Blogger for those of us who just want a free personal blog and where you can personally choose to opt in or out of ads on your site so readers can read and comment without being put off by a bombardment of pop up ads.

For anyone who is troubled with ads on sites they love to visit, and not just for my site, you can adjust your settings to a more strict mode but be aware this can also prevent you accessing some sites as it will also prevent cookies and most sites run with enabled cookies. Using Firefox or Opera as a browsing mechanism and of course Safari with Apple will limit ad problems.

Moving forward – as far as this blog is concerned it seems I have only two choices:-

Switch to Blogger ….or

Pay WordPress the ransom money – I am presuming here that they will just keep on increasing the number of ads over time until a blogger is forced to have a paid site.

Perhaps I need a holiday to think it over!

PS: whilst writing this post something quite unexpected happened – I have been spelling WordPress throughout with a small ‘p’ but when I preview the post it has always changed automatically to a capital. So isn’t it amazing that now WordPress do not have a spell check facility for a post any longer, as mentioned by me in an earlier post, they do have some setting to automatically change their name to what they think is the correct spelling. Even though I am writing WordPress now with a small p I have no doubt when you read this it will have changed to a capital P. If it has then why can’t they have a spell check for everything?????

PPS: apologies for any typo’s and spellnig mistakes.

17 thoughts on “dear diary :: computer malaise

  1. It is always hard to find a utility like Todoist that will do exactly what you want it to! Using a printer is becoming a bit of a lost art. I was printing so little that my ink cartridges were drying up, so now I either email files to myself or take them on a flash drive to a print shop or library to print!

    I have problems with the ads that appear on the Facebook page linked to my blog – I can’t opt out or pay to remove them – either I accept them or don’t use Facebook! Like your page, the ads are different for every user, and it is hard for me to see them unless I’m viewing the page from someone else’s account. Every week I get an email from Facebook telling me to post more so their advertisers can earn more money!

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  2. As I mentioned in a previous comment, I have been able to rid myself of ads while viewing your blog by adjusting my computer settings (using Firefox on a computer–not a mobile). I am a little disturbed by the fact that WP says the ads are tailored to each person as all of the ones I used to see on your blog were of gut worms crawling out of some stomach lining! About as unappealing a series of photos as imaginable. The fact that they were repeated in between each paragraph was more than a bit disconcerting when placed amidst your lovely photos. Lord. Can’t imagine why I was getting those particular ads, but then who can understand the stupidity of internet marketing. I originally put up with them because I figured it was the only way you could blog without paying (ransom), but I was happy to find I could banish them with adjustments to my settings. Thanks to Simone for bringing up the issue, and thanks to you and DH for your persistence and advice in dealing with the problem. Good luck with finding a resolution that works for you. No matter what, I will follow along for the ride.

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  3. I’m sure that since you’ve mentioned it I’m beginning to see even more ads on your site, or perhaps I’m just noticing them more now. I hope you manage to find a solution that works for you. It must be frustrating.
    I also hope that in the middle of your computer woes you are able to look forward to your holiday and enjoy some reasonably stress free packing. X

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    1. On with the packing now but interupted by a dental appointment for DH (replacement filling), a unexpected but lovely visit from a very old friend pasing through on his way back to Skye and daughter arriving so I can have a last cuddle with little Freddie before we go. I will be packing at midnight again no doubt – but at least I have my list now!

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  4. Must admit that when WP first introduced adverts I paid not to have them show up because (a) I absolutely hate ads and swiftly move off sites that have them(and I would have no control over what was being advertised) and (b) paying just over £30 for WP to host my site, keep it backed up and give me a free theme is incredibly good value compared to doing that all for myself on a self-hosted platform. I wouldn’t be in any rush to move to Blogger – I moved away because it got so glitchy.

    Have wasted several days with CFD and suspect it’s terminal.

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    1. Hope you go into remission soon! One ad I didn’t think too bad – one between every comment is rather a lot and might end up being self destructive for WordPress. I have just had a message pop up on logging in asking if I would recommend WordPress to family and friends – (what do they think!!)

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  5. Would just like to wish you a lovely relaxing break in Scotland. Forget all the the chores that you leave behind. I look forward to pictures of your Scottish garden. Hope your weather is brilliant.

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  6. I suspect Blogger will eventually go the same way 😕 it is such a shame as blogging is not what it use to be and this sort of thing will only put off bloggers and blog readers. 😎 enjoy your holiday xxx

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    1. If blogs don’t attract readers and comments then the adverts will be pointless as there will be no-one to see them. I can understand that nothing can be free altogether and I never thought the one ad before the sharing butttons was too much of a problem but the amount that my blog has now is a problem – not for me of course, I do not see them, but for readers and commenters

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