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 I got on chat with WordPress Tech support, who identified the problem as an out of date version of Jetpack.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

Unfortunately, I don’t have sufficient admin privileges to do it myself, so I asked PZ if he could do it. Well, he tried:

WordPress error

For reasons I don’t understand, the attempt to update Jetpack crashed not only Fierce Roller, but all the whole Freethought blog network. It was down most of the day yesterday. At some point in the evening or overnight, FtB’s tech support guru, Alex, fixed it AND upgraded Jetpack to 6.8. According to PZ,

Our intrepid tech support, Alex, took one look at what I had botched in my attempted upgrade, and fixed it right away.

So I’m sorry if you tried to visit the site yesterday, and much sorrier to all of the other bloggers at FtB whose sites I inadvertently crashed. The organizational structure of FtB isn’t optimal, from my point of view; I’d rather have full administrative control over my own blog. That said, the benefits far outweigh the costs.

Now I’m hoping that this misadventure has at least had the intended outcome, namely that the publicize functions, especially emails accompanying new posts, will work consistently. We’ll see…


So far, so good:

Jetpack email


  1. lanir says

    Don’t feel too bad. It sounds like you did the right things. All my worst tech support stories start with someone claiming they have no idea what’s going on, even if they just shot themselves in the foot right before calling me. 🙂

    Nobody expects you to know how to fix everything unless they’re severely lacking in knowledge or they’re a blatant liar.

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