person in spiderman costume

Being a Site Admin Sucks

In 2009, I purchased a domain called RealLifeSuperheroes dot org (or RLSHorg). I used WordPress as the Content Management System. I reposted articles about people dressing up as superheroes and fighting crime. My friend and I secured an advertising deal with Lionsgate for the Kickass Movie in 2010. To further the site’s usability (or UX), I added the BuddyPress and bbPress plugin. I also added a multisite function so people can blog on the site.

After watching the movie “The Social Network” I gave my site up to anyone who wanted to run it. I was done being the site’s webmaster. A guy named Watchman (from Milwaukee) said he’d run it. With no WordPress experience the install became severely infected with viruses. Watchman allowed anyone to register. I could not recover the website, so I closed it down. The site had over 800 spam users. I did not have the experience to clean the infected site. Nor could not I rebuild it. So I moved the old articles to a WordPress.com archive site. Watchman gave up the domain and the GoDaddy hosting account.

A screenshot of Geist complaining about site I do not own.
I don’t want to take this personally. This individual drunk posts and claims the FBI is hunting him.

There was a lot of backlash from RLSH people. One guy in San Diego claimed I did this on purpose to destroy the community. Another guy named Geist claimed I stole money from him. I guess Watchman asked for money to keep the hosting going. Even now, people complain about my mismanagement of RLSHorg.

I learned two things from hosting a community hub-

  1. Never let the inmates run the asylum.
  2. Develop a thick skin.

Visitors do not understand the hard work and dedication that goes in a website. I spent hours on site development and maintenance. A lot of my money went into the site. I learned about WordPress (which I am glad for). But the fronted users had no idea why I did certain things. Instead they complained about my management. They said that I had a bias or an agenda against other people. They wrote blogs about how I was like to Osama Bin Laden (with YouTube videos and Photoshop memes). It was a horrible experience in hindsight. I am not sure the Pros outweigh the Cons.

Site users have no capability to understand web development. It is not their job to know. Their job is to visit and consume content. Complaining about a website means they are visiting. My job is to build and maintain the site. They are the users. They are not the admins. It is their right to complain.

I have the right not to listen. It is my right not to believe their insults. I chose to listen to gather feedback. I failed to understand that there are bad opinions. Not everyone is capable of rational thought. Some people give selfish criticisms. Frankly, some people are stuck up jerks. It is difficult to discern what was positive feedback and what was not. I didn’t trust myself. The job of a web admin is to trust that they know what they are doing. Some users are not trained web development people.

I learned that a web developer will always be linked to a website. You can build the backend to be easy to maintain. But if the new owners do not understand why things work the way they do, the site will crash. This might be the reason why some classes I took recommends adding maintenance fees. No one wants to be the garbage man. Everyone wants to be the Mayor. A site owner is both the mayor and garbage person. And being a free website garbage man sucks.

I am building a new WordPress collective at https://thecomixscene.com. The plugins I am using are BuddyPress, bbPress, Youser, and Comic Easel. My intention is to create a Webcomics hub like Tapas or Webtoons. I want to teach indie comic creators how to build and maintain WordPress sites. There are some Indie Comic collectives that do not and their subdomains are lacking. Whatever I learned in college, I want to sharing with others. Revisiting my time as admin of RLSHorg may help me make smarter choices. I don’t want to make the same mistakes as before.

Skeletor T-Shirt Design

Busted

I knew I was flirting with danger. I used copy-written material to sell shirts on RedBubble. I designed a Skeletor shirt from the Masters of the Universe Movie. I received a notice of content removal. But the reason why is not what I thought it would be-

Hi Illya,

We’re sorry, but we had to remove some of your artwork from the
Redbubble marketplace because it may contain material that violates
someone’s rights. We identified this material in your artwork based on
guidance provided to us by the owner of those rights.

More information:

Rights holder: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Subject matter: Thundercats

Affected artwork:

The Loneliness of Evil :
https://www.redbubble.com/people/nakedmancomics/works/35581358-the-loneliness-of-evil

RedBubble

The image was NOT of Mumm-Ra but of Skeletor. I don’t want to dispute this claim because I don’t own Skeletor. So I got busted… for the wrong reason.

Skeletor T-Shirt Design
Skeletor T-Shirt Design

Unsplash logo

Unsplash for WordPress

Unsplash Test Image
A look at the Unsplash Block

Unsplash released an official WordPress plugin. For those who may not know, Usplash is an image repository for free images. Photographers donate their photos to Unsplash for others to use for free. Unsplash built a plugin that connects WordPress to their image library.

WPTavern wrote an excellent blog about the plugin at https://wptavern.com/unsplash-launches-official-plugin-for-wordpress.

The setup is easy. A user must have Unsplash account so the plugin can connect the site via security token. Click on the connect button in the plugin’s dashboard, and your all set.

Adding this powerful repository eliminates the need to search for royalty-free images. It is not fun activity unless you are creating your own images. The conflict I found is that this plugin will not work if you are using the External Links plugin (by WebFactory LTD).

Download the plugin at https://wordpress.org/plugins/unsplash/.

Black Lives Matter

I’m sorry that you cannot get your Pumpkin Spice Latte because someone burned down your favorite Starbucks. A black man died due to excessive force. This is not the first time it has happened. But please tell me how much it sucks that protesters burned down the downtown Subway and now you can’t get your foot long veggie on wheat.

It was the responsibility of the Middle Class to elect policies that protected people. Instead, the Middle Class chose militant policies. Now people are rebelling and you can’t go downtown and buy your iPhones?

The issue is that we are valuing possessions over lives. This is why Black Lives Matter. Black Lives are worth more than buildings or possessions. This is the injustice here.

Coronavirus

I wish I had some thoughts about this. I don’t. I am at a wait and see stage. I hope there is a vaccine for this in time. I am irritated by my Republican contacts. They are claiming that the GOP came up with ideas that Dems had years ago. I mean… yes, it is important that some ideas like Universal Healthcare are pushed. The benefits outweigh squashing egos. It would be nice of some of my Repub friends would see that they are acting hypocritical. Handouts are socialistic until they come from your tribe, then its “the right thing to do.”

2020 Image

Looking forward to 2020

2020 Image

This past year has been crazy. My life turned upside down. Everything I thought I knew turned out to be a falsified reality. Rebuilding and reconnecting to true things has been hard and will get harder next year. I am committed to fix the wrongs I’ve done. I understand that my fear of failing at marriage overrode my ability to care and stand up for myself. But I’ve learned a lot and I will continue to learn. I will continue to learn how to value myself as a worthwhile individual. I will no longer tolerate any opinion designed to insult and belittle me. People who do that in my life I must cut out. I will not give anyone dominion over who I am and what I do. I feel like this next year will be my personal renaissance. It is time to really live my life.

SEO Title Card

Search Results Viewability

Response to searchengineland.com/mobile-impacted-way-search-based-10-years-eye-tracking-studies-260052

SearchEngineLand.com wrote a blog about how users view Search Engine results. The article deduced that people how people see results have changed. Mobile devices changed our viewing patterns. It is imperative that meta-information reflects the change in how we view results.

Visual Rectangle

SearchEngineLand.com noted some studies done on Google’s SERP. In 2006, users read results in a triangle pattern. They read from left to right, then diagonally downward. This gave site creators a chance to add more content in their meta descriptions. In 2016, users read results in a rectangle pattern. Longer web addresses get cut off by this pattern.

It is vital that meta-information be as short and impactful as possible to fit the rectangle. Meta titles must get to the point of an article/webpage. Meta descriptions cannot be paragraphs; they must be quick summaries. The article states that 57% of traffic views the first four organic listings. This is where having a strong SEO plan comes in. Compact yet informative meta descriptions yield a higher search engine listing.

Sponsored Links

SearchEngineLand.com posted that sponsored links get 2% more views on mobile devices. Yet, users only see the first four listings. Depending on the product, a 2% increase may not justify paying for ad space. In the same article, businesses with mapped listings get 47% more view. If this article is correct in its statistics, then a map listing is more vital to a search engine presence. It is important that websites have a location listing of their businesses. Paying for ad space is not vital.

The takeaway I got from the SearchEngineLand.com article is that good SEO is vital for a business. A proper SEO plan enacted will yield better visibility. Paying for ad space is beneficial. But an impactful SEO plan can overcome the need to pay out more money.

Reference:

Kellogg, Kristi, and Bruce Clay. “How Mobile Has Changed the Way We Search, Based on 10+ Years of Eye-Tracking Studies.” How Mobile Has Changed the Way We Search, Based on 10+ Years of Eye-Tracking Studies, Search Engine Land, 7 Oct. 2016, searchengineland.com/mobile-impacted-way-search-based-10-years-eye-tracking-studies-260052.

white figure beside green plant

Update 5-18-19

Today is one of those days where I have A LOT to say but I don’t know how.

I’m getting the last few pages of The Schlub done. I want to get book 3 out by the end of July. In the meantime, I’m working on a drawing buffer for book 4. I haven’t had time to draw Naked Man Comics #11 pages. I am hoping to remedy that soon.

In the meantime, I did an overhaul/transfer of the Mythos website. There are some bugs to work out but I have plenty of time to work on them.

SEO Title Card

Social Media SEO

The following are the questions I answered in my SEO class at Portland Community College.

“How do you think incorporating social media will affect how the landscape of search engines and of searching?”

Social Media already affects the search engine landscape. In my searches, I found social media links before I found website links. Linking a website to a social media account builds content authority.  

“Is the incorporation of personal preferences and profiles a good thing?”

It is good that personal preferences from profiles are incorporated into searches. It is beneficial that my tastes are taken into consideration for finding food, clothing, and products I want. I found a lot of great products by allowing my preferences to be used by social media sites.  

“How will this affect privacy and how people manage their social media accounts?”

It is important to understand that Social Media makes its money off metadata. It is also important to understand that content is not owned once it is used on a Social Media website. Our accounts should be considered “brand” accounts than personal accounts. Privacy on social media becomes an issue if a person doesn’t understand why their data is used.