Sunday Roast: sitting in the back of the class with the safety scissors and the glitter

So this is my last Sunday Roast before I join 9rules. Once I hit “publish” on this post I’m off to sign on the dotted line in blood and make the requisite tweaks to the sidebar so I can be compliant to the wishes of my new masters. Mwhahahahaaa. Enjoy this, the last ‘Roast from freedom. Sob. 😉 *1*

The NYT has an interesting piece on how digital publishing is affecting the traditional book. Nothing new, per se, but a nice round up of the situation as it stands. Hardly surprisingly, you do get the impression that the author is a fan of the traditional publishing model.

Good news for everyone who owns an MP3 player – it is now safe to copy CDs to computers and MP3 players. You what now? I hear a lot of you scream. Yes, copying music from a CD to your iPod or similar has, up till now, technically put you at risk of prosecution. (I do have this great image in my head of crack BPI operatives swooping down on everyone with an iPod because how else were you gonna fill it up if not illegally?) Now though, so long as it is for your own consumption, you’re gonna be OK. I mean, none of us share music, right?

Six months in, I am severely disillusioned by my hosting company, which kinda makes me wish I’d read this article on what to look for in a web-host before I forked over the credit card details. You’d think I’d have learnt by now, some services are cheap for a reason. Still won’t be making that mistake again!

It almost wouldn’t be a ‘Roast without a link to Darren. This week we have two! Oooh, I do spoil y’all.
Firstly, an article on the gender differential in blogging sparked my brain into working. As a female blogger I would say I have noticed more men out there than women, but I’m used to that from the field I’ve been working in lately, so it doesn’t seem too unusual. That in itself got me thinking on a whole host of things that might work themselves into a post in the near future. With regards comments I know I have a reluctance to post comments. It’s something I’m trying to overcome, but whether that reluctance is just personal reticence, or because I am female… Well, therein lies an entire PhD all to itself.

The second ProBlogger offering of the week, was a slightly worrisome piece on how no-one links to the linkers. Suddenly, my lackluster technorati standing makes sense! Then again, it’s just one post a week so 😛 I enjoy the Sunday Roast even if no one else does. There were some good points made in the comments of this post, one I agree with totally. I always go for the original source if I can find it.

I love Flickr for many reasons, but mainly because of the amazing images you can stumble across, such as this great photoset of photographs taken by a soldier in the aftermath of WWII. Some of the pictures are beautiful, some of the pictures (especially the Hiroshima ones) are heart rending.

If you use WordPress do you know how to back up your database? I’ve had a few server-side hiccups lately and the only thing that stopped me from having a bigger heart attack than I did was the knowledge I had a backup that was only a few days old. I use the plugin method as it requires the least amount of fussing with the back-end of things. If I was feeling even cleverer, I would set up automatic daily backups then I’d never have to worry again.

Apparently, more people watch Freeview than analogue TV. Not my Mum. She couldn’t, even if she wanted to. The very nice man told her she would have to fork out for a sky dish and watch ‘Skyview’ which is slightly different to Freeview – some of the channels you receive are different. Other than that, she’s still all confused why she can’t just stay with her analogue signal. It works fine, is much less susceptible to weather, and doesn’t require her to bolt more aerials to the side of her house. Personally, I like Freeview because of the extra channels (FilmFour is coming soon!), but am still at a loss to understand why we are switching in the first place.

David Pogue has a bit more on Vista’s system requirements, and dear lord does it need a beast of a computer! And five different versions of the OS? You just know that whichever one you end up getting, you’re gonna wind up wanting a feature it doesn’t support. Switch people, switch now!
And note the p.p.s. – yes David, comments are good 😀

I have a pledge for you, my readers, and that pledge is this: Bright Meadow will be a football-free zone for the entirety of the World Cup. But for those of you obsessed with the bloody game, I will leave you with this link to some pretty footballs.

Seems like everyone is having a hard time keeping up with the RSS these days. I like David’s approach, but just know I lack the self discipline to follow it. I do like his description of the ‘personal blogs’ he reads:

There are a number of people on the Internet that I just find fascinating, and I follow them because they are personally inspiring… I read these blogs purely because I enjoy them.

A few years back I had to use a wheelchair for a while and one thing that struck me even then was how cumbersome and antiquated the design of a basic chair is. The Trikinetic K2 on the other hand, is a chair for the spaceage.

And… I’ve just realised I’ve spent the past two hours on this post. Definitely time to get dressed and go for a walk in the sunshine.

Endnotes:
*1*I’m really all giddy with excitement, but I’m British, and we much prefer cynicism and sarcasm to letting onto our real emotions. Excited as a very excited thing, that’s me. 😀Back

12 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: sitting in the back of the class with the safety scissors and the glitter

  1. On the hosting issue, I am actually pretty happy with siteground.com – they are reasonably priced and have awesome customer service.

    I used to pay about 5 times the price at another host thinking I was getting the best, but I found out the hard way that this was not the case. 🙁

  2. Hello Rob 🙂

    And I’m not unhappy enough with mine to switch, but the package I chose has definitely limited some of the things I wanted to do with Bright Meadow. The problem was, when I was choosing the host, I had only a vague idea of what I needed!

    When it comes time to renew, you can rest assured I will be looking into it in more detail – that, and listening to what other people have to say about their hosts. Testimonials really are the best way (unsolicited testimonials that is – I have a hard time trusting testimonials on a given companies website! Just call me skeptical…)

  3. LOL – hey, I should have attached an affiliate link! 😀

    Actually I do have one complaint about siteground – they only do weekly backups, which is pretty poor IMHO – of course, after my last experience just a little customer service love was enough to win me over. I have never waited longer than a few minutes for a support ticket to be answered with these guys!

    Hosting really is a minefield.

  4. Wow, Two hours to write the Roast. That is a great piece of information. Maybe we should have more info like that applied to our blog posts. How much of the two hours was revision and research, if you do not mind sharing?

  5. Well, if I added all the time spent in total, it would be more than that – it doesn’t all get done in one go!

    Since you asked so nicely, the anatomy of a Roast is as follows:

    Throughout the week I read many sites via RSS and other means. Ones I find interesting I bookmark into my ‘Sunday Roast’ folder.

    By Sunday morning I normally have around thirty sites in this folder.

    I then open up all the sites again, reading each one, seeing if it is still relevant/funny/I can think of something pithy to say.

    Ones I feel worthy of the Roast then get written up – I keep a text file with a long list of blank <a href tags ready. There’s normally 10 to 15 sites that make it through this second filtering stage.

    I then fire up the blog, write the intro, preview the post, do some final tweaking, then hit ‘publish’.

    Then it’s a case of clearing out the Sunday Roast bookmarks folder, all ready to start again on Monday morning.

    It’s the writing bit that takes the time. I like to read each article again in full, maybe chase down some supporting links – I generally like to know a bit more in depth about something before I will Roast it. Just in case y’all come back at me with awkward questions! That, and I get easily distracted. Finding a good title can also be a problem. Many’s a time I’ve wandered aimlessly round the flat searching for inspiration. More often than not I end up using a quote I scribbled down from Dr Who or a film I saw the night before.

    On average, I’d say I spend a good hour and a half minimum each Sunday morning working on the Roast. I like it to be as good as it can be. Some times I will read an article and straight away know what I want to say about it. Other times, especially for the more sensitive/potentially controversial articles, it takes a bit more time and I’ll do endless rewrites till I’m happy. Case in point, the other week I spent 30 minutes trying to think of a word to describe a book. I even roped Moose into it, and rang my father (who is a walking thesaurus).

    So yes, two hours isn’t unusual for me to spend on the Roast, but then it’s not unusual for me to spend that on any of my blog posts. I like writing. I like things to be as good as they can be. It’s fun.

    Just hope you all enjoy it too 🙂

  6. Yours don’t stink, so stop fishing for compliments 😛 We also blog about different things and have completely different styles.

    But it was my pleasure to share, and thank you for reading so I have a reason to write the Roast and other posts 🙂

  7. Dewayne – I have been doing a bit of an experiment lately with shorter posts and longer, detailed ones. I have found that spending a little extra time on posts and fleshing them out with example and relevant links really increases people linking to your post and overall readership. It is worth that little extra effort IMHO.

  8. Cas – LOL! I only wish I had been fishing for compliments! I really do need to follow your example and spend some more quality time on some of my posts!

    Rob – After Cas’ explanation and your ideas I am certainly going to start fleshing out my posts by spending more time than the current Max of 15 minutes that I spend now.

  9. SiteGround is HORRIBLE!!!

    I have been using ez-web-hosting for 5 years and there were no problems, except for it’s a rip off.

    Then I transferred SiteGround. They stepped me through the add on domain process while I was on the phone, they didn’t say that the 120.00 I was spending that moment was non-refundable.

    After going back and forth with them with email on their very confusing support ticket system, I cancelled in two days.

    They won’t refund me — phuck the 30 days Guarantee.

    They will only refund me 51.00 of the 191.00 that I spent!!! They said I should have read all this, yeah right while I’m on the phone. They should tell you that add ons are not refundable. I would have not signed up with them in the first place.

    I switched to BLUEHOST.com WOW. 6 add ons for FREE and Ruby Hosting too. It’s faster and there’s 24/7 telephone support in the USA. Amazing host.

    Please tell everyone not to use Site Ground.

  10. It does seem like for every good experience someone has, someone else has a crap one to share. Luckily enough I’ve got next years hosting lined up (I just need to take the plunge and switch) and it will be with MediaTemple.

    But thank you for sharing your story Christina, and welcome to Bright Meadow 🙂

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