jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

And not only is it still unnecessarily complicated, but the WordPress app for Windows Phone has ceased to exist. You can redownload it if you do a web search and find the actual page, but it doesn't show up in Store search, WordPress.org no longer mentions it in their "mobile app" section, and its former home page has been set to "private."

A couple people have asked what's going on, in the WordPress forums, but they either went unanswered or had someone basically tell them "lol you get what you pay for." And disavow all responsibility for it because it's open-source. Or something. Which doesn't make any sense.

I'd say Dreamwidth's looking better than ever right now. And if [personal profile] darael comes up with a decent API for the thing, like they've been talking about, that'll make the whole "Dreamwidth Windows Phone app" thing I've had in mind even better. Especially since the current API apparently doesn't support OAuth, meaning your app has to store people's passwords locally. -_-

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

So apparently I was finally able to access the WordPress install [personal profile] burning_ground set up on her shared web hosting, and spent awhile poking at it today (well, yesterday, but you know what I mean). I'm not sure I actually want to go with WordPress, though ... Dreamwidth just seems to work for us, in a lot of ways.

Speaking of Dreamwidth, we've updated the colour scheme on our journal to be more readable (and more pink). We're also asking some questions over on [community profile] style_system if anyone wants to help answer them.

Incidentally, you can use SkyDrive to make surveys. Click here to take our extremely random test survey!

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Personal websites go down a lot, when they're run by nonexperts and put on shared hosting. WordPress sites can have their security compromised, can go down when something goes wrong with your hosting plan, or can tank when you install the wrong plugin. They're spam magnets, and they have no built-in archival feature in case something goes wrong.

It's telling that the company behind WordPress, Automattic, offers spam protection and offsite backup as perhaps its two biggest businesses. It's also telling that WordPress' biggest fans seem to be expert designers / developers, who WordPress for a living and often have to hang around to maintain the sites that they built.

Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ basically fix the problems with having your own website. They just introduce a ton of new ones into the mix, and the reasons they've gotten so big are only partly because "they make it easy to share things." It's mostly because they're closed off from the rest of the web and rely heavily on network effects -- meaning, they're only useful if everyone's using them.

Somewhere in between are "blogs" like WordPress.com, Blogger, and Dreamwidth. They take care of the fiddly bits of maintaining your online identity, but they also play nicely with other services. You can follow people, leave comments, and "like" or "favourite" things, all without needing an account. It's just not clear how, sometimes, if you aren't tech savvy already.

Dreamwidth offers full HTML and CSS theming, supports Markdown, has extremely fine-grained privacy settings, and has no ads. Aside from learning how styles work, I've never had technical trouble with it, and it's never gone down on me. I think I'm going to restore this journal and try to turn it into a personal site. I just need to get up the energy to do that in between picking up the pieces of everything in our life that has fallen apart in the last year or so.

I'm physically unhealthy. My personal data's a mess; photos, notes, to-dos, everything is disorganized, from the apps that I use to the data I'm sorting. I have very few "spoons," and have been spending most of my day in a haze of trying not to think about anything, or beating myself up for being inadequate.

I'm trying to wake up again.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Right now, Apple can censor your app for political reasons, and lock you out of iOS forever. Hasbro can shut down any My Little Pony fan, anytime that it wants, because you only have Fair Use rights if you can pay to defend them in court (and they won't let you make money from your own work regardless). Popping the case on your tablet voids your warranty, even if you do it to fix the dang thing, and switching your phone to work on a different carrier is now illegal.

The people who own these companies aren't democratically elected. They don't have to work. They don't even have to sign contracts and hire people to work for them. They can get laws written that make others work for them, like the massive army of bronies and pegasisters creating goodwill for the My Little Pony brand without pay. Or the app developers who are out of luck if they go through anyone but Apple, because for some reason Apple's "right" to decide what goes on your iPad is more important than anyone else's.

Apple can do whatever it wants with the App Store, and with the iPad you purchased. Hasbro owns every fan work that every MLP fan ever made, and everything they will make for another hundred years or so. And not even Lauren Faust, the creator of the new MLP series, could stop them from shutting down fanworks based on it like Fighting is Magic.

That's not how things ought to work.

Here's how things ought to work:

  1. The worker should own the means of production.

  2. The audience should own their response to artwork.

  3. Everyone should have the right to take apart things that they own.

Stuff like Apple and Hasbro are doing ought to be illegal. People should go to jail and pay fines for them. It doesn't matter if you think Apple or MLP fans have bad taste, or that "computer games" and "cartoons" are irrelevant. They're just examples of things that affect everyone, in this world that we have where we choose to allow a handful of people to own everything, even though they didn't work for it.

There are a few things that work the right way.

Creative Commons and Free Software licenses let creators throw fans a bone, and make them equal partners instead of "participants." A writer can now own the website that her words are published on, thanks to Dreamwidth and WordPress' Free Software code, while MediaGoblin does the same for artists, musicians, and video producers. And while you can't write an "iPad game" without going through Apple, even my PlayStation can access what Mozilla calls the Open Web.

Finally, the stuff you create -- that you put into websites -- does not have to go away if you leave or get banned. Some sites work like Dreamwidth, where you can "friend" people on other sites and they can subscribe and leave comments. And if something goes wrong, you or someone else can take the code and set up shop someplace else, the way Dreamwidth did for upset LiveJournal fans. Mozilla is even making an app marketplace that works this way.

I'm trying to find more things that work this way, and evaluate everything else in my life and decide whether or not it's worth it.

Edit: I do not endorse brony culture, and I feel that there are a lot of problematic things about it. (The name, for starters.) Free speech should not include hate speech, because it silences others. I chose the Fighting is Magic fangame to use as an example of fans being silenced because it's a) recent, b) egregious, and c) overriding the wishes of the actual creator of the work in question.

Edit 2: Some much-needed corrections and clarifications are here.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Regarding our immediate well-being

Our partners and adoptive family have stepped up to provide support for us. We will also have a few articles we can still write per month, for now, plus we have contacted [personal profile] cereus about resuming work on story commissions. [personal profile] citrakayah is next in line.

We're going to post the stories in a new community here on Dreamwidth, to keep them organized and easy to browse and keep up with. This will be a paid community, which will use the fursona.net URL and allow us to use Google Analytics to monitor its stats. We are also going to post the stories on FurAffinity and DeviantArt, plus cross-posting them to LiveJournal if possible. We're open to suggestions for where else would be good to publish them. Here are a few we can think of offhand:

  • Weasyl (people say good things about it)

  • Tumblr (i hear it's what all the kids are using these days)

  • SoFurry (although they only seem to like a particular kind there)

  • InkBunny (although they seem to have their own reputation)

Are our assessments fair? Are any of these not worth the time and/or difficulty?

Regarding Dreamwidth's speciesist language

I remembered incorrectly; I was not asked to file a support request. When the bug report was closed, I was asked to email feedback@dreamwidth.org with it. That was two weeks ago.

I posted again on the bug report asking when / how to escalate, and [staff profile] denise replied to say that this is considered a very low priority request which "will be dealt with when someone has time to deal with it, which could be next week or it could be six months from now," leaning towards the latter.

We're a bit nervous about trying to build on this site when it's seen that way, but we prefer Dreamwidth to WordPress at this point and consider it to be our home. We'd prefer activism to migrating elsewhere, and are open to suggestions from anyone who's read [staff profile] denise's full response. Do we wait it out?

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
So if you don't get a reply on Dreamwidth or elsewhere, that might be why! Guess I'll have to keep hitting F5 on my DW inbox.

It's related to the web hosting problem from earlier. Apparently, my web host shut down on short notice, and informed me at an email address which I rarely check and didn't realize they had. I am now trying to transfer domains and get Google Apps set up for fursona.net.

Once I get everything set back up, I'm probably just going to use Dreamwidth for my journal, and create a writing portfolio site using nanoc. It's a Ruby command line tool that a lot of people use for blogging, because it's just plain a lot simpler than WordPress for those of us who are familiar with the terminal.

Just as an example, I wanted to eventually create a button I can press that would convert my stories to a format suitable for posting on DA or FA, but in WordPress I'd have to write a whole plugin for that and somehow fit it into their Jenga tower of code. With nanoc it's apparently really simple to create a new filter and have it just automatically create those versions for copy-and-pasting. I feel like, why did no one tell me that this existed? >_< All those hours I spent doing find-and-replace ...

Anyway. I'll update once things are fixed, I guess. Wish me luck!
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
So, today WordPress crapped out on me.

I'd just finished an article I was writing (I use my self-hosted WordPress install like a word processor), then I clicked on "New Post" and all of a sudden got a "500 Internal server error." Trying to fix the problem turned out to be an exercise in futility, because my web hosting (they of the spotty connection and two other randomly broken websites) didn't like the password Firefox remembered for their CPanel or customer support area, and didn't remember any accounts registered to my main email addresses.

I sent them a call for help in a panic, and then started to think "What if I just used other websites, like normal people?" I say that because for the past three years or so, WordPress has been an often-frustrating "hobby" for me, which hasn't really gone anywhere.

Read more... )

Sorry to ramble, and stuff. I just ... yeah. I'm scared right now and I'm trying to figure out how to not have to go through this again.

I just want things to be simple.

I guess I'm not getting that second article written tonight.
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
The last week or so has not been very good, thanks to illness, stress, and depression caused by both. On top of that, the Major News Site I write for is becoming impatient with me after a month of very poor performance, and is starting to lecture me about how to write for them and request fewer articles from me.

About work

I was beginning to think that I may have to write them off for good, even after the Of The Year award and some amazing performance before April. Which would have meant financial disaster for me, if not for the internship. But after spending the last couple days taking a break from things and playing Minecraft, I came back to it feeling refreshed, and wrote an article that I'm proud of about a subject that's important to me.

I'd been feeling like I didn't want to have anything to do with social justice issues; I didn't feel like I had the strength to address them. But I'm proud of how I handled it today, and I feel like maybe part of the problem is that they could tell I was losing my passion for things and burning out.

Between the internship and the financial support I've received / am receiving from some wonderful people (should I name names?), I think I can afford to not write to a quota anymore and only write things when I feel strongly about them ... which will probably improve my pageviews and make my editors happy with me anyway. I just didn't think I could afford to take that risk before.

Thank you, to everyone who's assisted us in the last few months. It means a lot to us and [personal profile] rev_yurodivy.

About the RPG

I've started work on a website that should help and be easy to use. It may take a little while, and I'm sorry if anyone's lost interest already. I haven't been able to keep on top of things as I'd like to, and I underestimated just how much work -- and how much interest -- there would be.

I'm going to continue working on this even if others' interest drops off, just because it's something I want to see happen. I'll show it to everyone once it's in a usable format.

Update on the internship

It starts later this month, and I'm trying to get the website done first (before I have to spend more of my day writing JavaScript documentation). I'm continuing to lurk on the GNOME IRC, though, which will basically be my workplace, and I'm keeping in touch with my mentor ... helping give input on things, and taking copious notes.

I'm still really excited about this project. I just wish I already knew what I could do afterwards, that could still be tech-related and could lead to a paying thing. I really want to have something to do for work besides writing, so that I can take a break from one or the other when needed to keep from burning out. Which is one thing I've learned that I need in the past couple weeks.
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
[personal profile] avia, [personal profile] citrakayah, and [personal profile] rev_yurodivy have all written some long essays about the RPG, the latter with input from [profile] alias_pseudonym. I haven't linked to them or read them yet, because I don't have the spoons for it at the moment.

Today an absolute storm of nastiness occurred, including hours-long technical complications and people being jerks online, and so it's been the first really depressing day that I've had in a little while. I did manage to get my Fedora 17 development environment set up, though, today and last night. So there's that.

This weekend I'm going to try to work on a project for the RPG, which I want to get done before I have to start the internship. I'm going to build a site where you'll be able to post your essays and have them all in one place, all organized and Creative Commons licensed for other people (who want to play in this world or make furry Pathfinder characters) to use. There will also be forums for RPing on. [personal profile] rev_yurodivy has volunteered to be in charge of the forums and keeping track of worldbuilding information. Please let me know if there's anything you'd like to do, or think you can do that would help.

It's not going to be anything really big or special, I just want to get this out of the way before everyone loses interest and momentum. I had no idea how excited people would get about designing more stuff for this world, and I want to tap into that excitement while it lasts. So that you all can create an awesome world for me to explore. >_>

Thank you to everyone for your interest so far.
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
In even more hindsight than before.

Content note: Transphobia, intolerance.

Read more... )

About us

~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

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