A new way to follow Fierce Roller

For those of you who don’t use a feed reader, I have set up a Facebook page for Fierce Roller: facebook.com/FierceRoller. If this works the way I think it should, all you have to do is go there and hit the “Like” button, and you’ll get an alert each time I publish a blog post. If you do use a feed reader, you can follow the blog by adding freethoughtblogs.com/fierceroller/?feed=rss2.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone!

I’ve been doing this for about two and a half years now, and no one’s more surprised than me to find that I’m still at it. I feel a bit like the Dread Pirate Roberts about the whole thing:

Good night, Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I’ll most likely stop blogging in the morning.

Westley’s still ticking, but no promises.

I published 121 posts in 2018, not too far from my goal of three a week. The most read by far was also my all-time most read, “Research Features: seems sketchy to me.” The reason, I think, is that that post appears not far from the top when “Research Features” is searched on Google. I had a colleague try it for me once, and my post was the third hit. So when the “magazine” contacts researchers, and they Google it to see if it’s legit, they get some criticism along with the magazine’s own self promotion. Several commenters wrote that this saved them time.

Research Features comments

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How I destroyed Freethought blogs (temporarily)

I’ve been getting frustrated because only the Publicize features seem to work only when they feel like it, and they feel like it about half the time. I don’t mind posting to Twitter manually, but only about half of my new posts were being accompanied by emails to subscribers. I got on chat with WordPress Tech support, who identified the problem as an out of date version of Jetpack.

WordPress support

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One more test post

If you’re an email subscriber (Hi Mom), you may have noticed that the links in the emails that accompany new Fierce Roller posts have been linking to old Pharyngula posts for a while now. The problem was that the links were of the form https://freethoughtblogs.com/?p=4279 instead of https://freethoughtblogs.com/fierceroller/?p=4279. With some help from WordPress chat support, I believe that problem is now fixed. Hopefully the email accompanying this and future posts will include the right links.

Technical problem: bad link

WordPress has a “publicize” function that automatically sends an email and posts to social media when I publish a new blog post. Unfortunately, the email and social media posts accompanying my last blog post linked to the wrong post (not even one of mine; it’s a decade-old post by PZ Myers). The correct link is https://freethoughtblogs.com/fierceroller/?p=4606.

I’m going to go ahead and guess that the link for this post is wrong, too; it should be https://freethoughtblogs.com/fierceroller/?p=4612. Hopefully Freethought Blogs will get this fixed soon.

On vacation

Maine flag

Starting tomorrow I’ll be on vacation in Maine for two weeks, so posts are likely to be few and far between. The week of June 24, I’ll be completely unreachable, so if you’re a first-time commenter, your comment won’t get approved until around July 1.

Wow, that’s really Maine’s flag. It’s not the worst, but it’s pretty bad.

My conversation with PZ Myers

Over at Pharyngula, PZ Myers has been interviewing his fellow FreeThought Bloggers, and Sunday afternoon was my turn. It was supposed to be a group chat, but no one else showed up, so I got to ramble about Fierce Roller for a full half hour. Apologies for the vertical format on my end; I’ve been having audio problems with Google Hangouts on my laptop, so I had to use my phone.

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