New Theme


If you hate it, just tell me. It takes two seconds to change it, and the themes are free.

I just feel ready for a change.

Should I Back the Blog Up on WordPress? Or Move Altogether?

After the Blogger collapse last week, Blogger is still not functioning properly. Several widgets on my blog are not working and it takes longer than usual to load. The Dashboard has been working poorly for several weeks now. Other people who blog with Blogger report continued issues with posting and commenting. After the unpleasant experience of Blogger being down for 23 hours last week, I have realized that I don’t want to remain without my blog. I love blogging with a passion and want to continue doing it for a very long time to come. I’m only just getting started here, and I’ve got a lot more things to say. A real lot.

So I’ve started thinking that maybe Blogger should not be relied on. I read that there is an option to export one’s blog to WordPress and leave it there as a back-up option. In this case, if Blogger goes down again, readers will simply go to the WordPress version and continue reading there. Or is it a stupid idea?
Or maybe I should move the blog to WordPress altogether? Are there any distinctive advantages that WordPress has over Blogger? Or is it an even more stupid idea?
Does it make sense to buy one’s own domain name? What are the benefits of doing that?
Please help, people, I’m torn and confused. I’m placing a poll in the top right-hand corner and will also be grateful if you elaborate in the comments.

>Copyrighting Blog Photos


What I find very weird is that many people go to the trouble of posting angry warnings that all photos on their personal blogs are copyrighted and shouldn’t be used without the owner’s permission. I’m not talking about any kind of artwork here. Just regular, completely unprofessional photos everybody snaps on a daily basis. I don’t know what possesses people to feel so protective about stuff that they choose to post online. 
As for me, if I post a photo on my blog, this means that I want people to use it. If somebody finds my clumsy pictures useful for any purpose, that’s great, I’m happy. Free exchange of information is the best thing about the Internet. 

>Promoting Yourself on My Blog


To those who are new to Clarissa’s Blog: you can only promote your own blog here if I have given you express permission. Ending each comment with a link to your own blog will make your comments end up in a spam box. However, if I have told you it’s OK to place your link here once, the permission is good for all future occasions when you might want to do it. If I come to your blog and comment there, it means I like you, so you can place your links freely. If I really like your blog, I will do all I can to promote it on my own because I love sharing cool stuff with people.
I also don’t publish comments from people whose nicknames promote products and link to sites that sell stuff. If you want to buy advertising on my blog, contact me and we’ll see if something can be worked out. But I really hate it when people try to sneak one past me. Nothing annoys me more than when people baselessly assume that they are smarter than I am and will be able to dupe me with such cheap tricks.

>Canukistani’s Blog


One of the most assiduous readers and participators of this blog who is known to us as “Canukistani” now finally has a blog of his own. The blog is called Northern Gaijin and has kicked off its first week of existence with posts on Žižek, Lori Gottlieb (the author of a manual on how women should settle for whomever wants them lest they be left all alone), American history, Fukushima, and other fascinating topics. There are great videos, pictures, and interesting posts.

>Why I Unfollowed Your Blog


I just cleaned my blogroll by unfollowing many of the blogs that I used to follow. I know that people are going to whine about how mean I am, so I will explain once and for all why I unfollowed them. There is a blogging etiquette that one should be aware of if one has been blogging for years. Of course, it’s anybody’s right not to follow the rules of this etiquette but then such people shouldn’t complain that they are losing followers.
So these are the reasons why I unfollowed you:
1. You are rude. If I followed your blog out of the goodness of my heart just to give you a single follower, the least you could do would be return the favor. I don’t care all that much about the number of followers. Many of my best readers can’t be followers because they don’t have their own Blogger profiles. I do, however, care about manners. When somebody does something just to be nice, you reciprocate.
2. You keep inundating my blogroll with endless posts explaining why you haven’t blogged in a while and promising to write soon. This is simply disrespectful of a person’s blogroll. Who has the time to sift through excuses in search of actual posts? I certainly don’t.
3. You think that the fact that I followed your blog and left a few nice comments entitles you to persecute me with unsolicited advice on how to improve myself as a blogger, academic, and a human being.
4. You censored my comments that didn’t have a single disrespectful word just because I expressed an opinion you disagree with politically while inundating everybody with posts on the importance of free speech. Hypocrite.
5. You are boring. People who know me in real life are aware that there is nothing worse I can say about a person than that they are boring. Every other defect can be forgiven and compensated for but boring people I simply can’t stand. I’m willing to give anybody a chance to prove they are not boring but a time comes when the truth can no longer be denied. I can’t see any more boring posts in my blogroll. 
6. You posted one too many photos of your cat. I can vaguely understand why people might love their cats. What I don’t understand is why I should be expected to follow a blog that publishes a dozen posts with cat photos one after another.
As a result of these purges I now have only 203 blogs in my blogroll. This is not a lot since most people publish seldom and interesting posts are hard to find. Out of all these blogs I follow, I read very few on a regular basis. As for the rest, I just keep hoping that they will finally produce something worth reading but that almost never happens.

>Frustrated with Blogger


Blogger is living a life of its own today. Half of my gadgets don’t work, including the great “Random Posts” gadget that is very helpful in introducing people to my old posts. The “Followers” gadget has also been dead. I futzed with the template for an hour, trying to get the gadgets to work. Then I noticed that other blogs that use the Blogger platform have the same problem today. 
This is really annoying. I have observed that there are several moments during a year when you can increase your blog readership dramatically. January, March and August are the months when readers seem to roam the Internet in droves looking for new blogs to follow. 
See, for example, this graph of my blog stats from January 2010 until today: 
See what happened last March? The readership grew from 3,973 to 7,398. After a long and painful struggle with my rusty memory of what I learned about percentages in fifth grade, I think this means that the readership grew by 86.2% in that one month. (I’m mathematically challenged, so please correct me if I’m wrong here.) 
Of course, now that the gadgets are not functioning properly, I’m not sure there will be a rise in readership this March. And that annoys me.