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Posts Tagged ‘website’

Caveat clicker

Apparently several of my old blog posts just appeared on people’s Dreamdwidth friendslists. All of them reference gambling, and had spam links inserted into them that were NOT there before. From this I conclude that my account was hacked somehow.

I’ve changed my password and edited those links out of the posts. But if you’ve seen things posted from me today that aren’t “On Cruising,” “Wheel of Time side post: On Women,” and “A Memory of Light Liveblog Part 2,” please let me know, so I can go clean them up. And if you’re getting comments suddenly on old posts of yours, check to see if they’ve been interfered with, too.

Swan Tower’s privacy policy

I put this up last month, but since I was busy traveling, I didn’t have a chance to mention it publicly until now.

Swan Tower now has a privacy policy page. It’s modifed from WordPress’ boilerplate suggestions, so it’s a little clunky, but the short form it this: I gather almost no data about visitors to my site, use only data which is necessary for the purpose (e.g. email address if you sign up for the mailing list, IP address etc for comments), and will delete your data if you ask. It may take me a little while to do the latter, depending on the scale of the request and whether I’m on a trip or something at the time, but I will do my best to respect any such wishes as promptly as I can.

On a less site-specific note, it’s been interesting to watch the privacy updates roll out across the web. Turns out to be a fantastic way to find out what I’m subscribed to that I had utterly forgotten about — which has led to a lot of unsubscribes, as you might imagine. And I have taken great pleasure in telling certain sites that no, they may not do XYZ with my data. So on the whole, I’m glad that GDPR has pushed the web in general and U.S. companies in particular toward being more careful with such things, even if there was a mild panic as everyone realized the deadline for compliance was coming up fast.

the end of an era

Since Livejournal changed their terms of service and the mass exodus began, I haven’t had a single comment on the LJ versions of these posts. Accordingly, I am going to cancel and remove that blog. If you’re still reading via LJ, I suggest you transfer to one of these options:

* the WordPress original (you can subscribe via the widget in the sidebar or checking a tickybox when commenting on a post, or add it to an RSS reader like Feedly)
* the Dreamwidth mirror

I’ll be shutting down the LJ in a few days, so make your changes now!

Two weeks to the release of WITHIN THE SANCTUARY OF WINGS

Are you impatient? I know I am. <g>

In preparation for the book’s release, I’ve spiffed up its page on my site. The opening chapter excerpt is now posted there (if you didn’t read it already on, and there’s a page that will collect all the blog posts I make about the book, etc. And, for something entirely fresh, I’ve also posted the soundtrack — though that comes with the usual warning that, while I have done my best to minimize spoilers in the track titles, they do still provide some clues, however tiney, about the novel’s plot. For them as likes that kind of thing, go and see what you can divine? For them as prefers to come at the book entirely unspoiled, you may want to hold off on looking at that page, just in case.

The Future of (me on) Livejournal

If you’re intending to bail from LJ due to the changes in the terms of service but want to go on reading my blog, your options are:

1) my website
2) its DW mirror

When it comes to commenting, my personal preference is for the original home, i.e. my website. That’s the place I control, and the home of my blog in the eyes of anyone who googles my name; it would honestly be nice to have more of the discussion happening over there. I recommend Feedly as a service for all your blog-following needs, mine or anyone else’s; all you have to do is click “add content” and paste in a URL to follow a WP blog, DW, LJ, whatever you like. (There are more bells and whistles, but that’s the core of it.) On the other hand, I know many of you like the LJ/DW style interface and would prefer to stick with that, so rest assured, I’ll continue to read and respond to comments on the mirrored posts.

. . . I’ll even fix my damn theme so the text around the comment box is readable instead of accidentally being white-on-white. Like I’ve meant to do for, um, years.

I am not at present intending to drop the cross-posting to LJ, but it sounds like many of you will be shifting to DW or elsewhere, so the comment threads are likely to get a lot quieter. For my own part, I suspect I’m going to be reading everything through Feedly from now on, regardless of where it’s hosted.

a note for those who read this blog via LiveJournal

I’ve been seeing concerns about the future of LiveJournal now that its servers are apparently in Russia (and therefore subject to Russian, rather than U.S., law concerning privacy etc). I don’t intend to pre-emptively abandon the LJ iteration of this blog, which is where it began and where the majority of the comments are, but in case I either change my mind or LJ itself goes poof without warning, you may want to bookmark one of these links:

WordPress (now the source for all mirrored versions, and integrated with the rest of my website; can be followed via WP or Feedly/some other RSS reader)

DreamWidth (mirrored from WP)

Goodreads (I can’t remember whether this feeds from LJ or from WP; I may need to change settings around)

If you read this blog on LJ and that stops being an option, you will still be able to find me at one of those sites — and I hope you will! I think the only risk I really face on the LJ front, aside from possible incompetence that causes too many unresolved bugs, is that mine is a paid account and therefore there’s a credit card number involved. So I’ll stick it out until the bitter end, most likely.

Edited to add this from mme_hardy on DW:

Your readers should know about another catch:

LJ no longer allows access to its https site when browsing/posting, which means that any information you send to that site is readable by every other site that cares to eavesdrop. This means that anything you post under friendslock is still being read by any site that chooses to spy on Livejournal communications; you can safely assume that at least one Russian-government entity is.

I just double-checked, and the payment page *is* protected by https, so that at least should be secure.

New photos!

At long last, I’ve finished going through my photos from our European trip last year. There are new galleries up: Adriatic Coast, Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia, Montserrat, Florence, and Venice, plus my pictures from Rome separated out, and additions to the Italy and Other galleries.

Hunt bugs, win a book!

Ladies! Gentlemen! Polite and helpful people of all types!

I need your assistance. Specifically, I need you to hunt bugs and errors on my shiny new website. I will bait you into doing this by offering your pick from my collection of author copies, and I’ll run it sort of like a raffle: for every bug or error you notify me of, you get one “ticket” to win a book. Send in seventeen corrections, get seventeen chances to win. If at least ten different people submit corrections, I’ll pick two winners; if at least twenty people, three winners; and so on. (It doesn’t matter whether you report an error somebody else already sent in; if it was there when you looked at the site, that’s good enough for me. Otherwise I have to do a lot of really annoying bookkeeping.)

Here’s the kinds of corrections I’m looking for:

1) Text errors. Misspellings, grammatical errors, wrong punctuation, etc. I proofread carefully, but there are a lot of pages on my site; odds are quite good that I’ve screwed up here and there.

2) Broken links. I scrubbed out a lot of dead links when I ported stuff over, but I probably missed some. Also, we’ve set up redirects for the old URLs, so when you click on a website-internal link in the middle of text, it should go to the correct new location — but if it doesn’t, I need to know about it.

3) Bad code. This could be anything from images displaying in the wrong place (like over text) to me forgetting to close a tag to munged escape character sequences. If the site displays badly on any particular platform, also let me know that, and I’ll pass it along to my site designer.

You can send these to me by email, via my contact form or in the comments. Please include a link to the page in question, and enough context for me to know where the error is — don’t just say “missing comma” or “broken link,” let me know where in the page that is. It will also help me if you separate the errors in your reply, just so I give you enough raffle tickets!

You have until the end of the month to send in your feedback; I’ll pick winners once I’m home again in early June. Thank you all in advance for your help!

Welcome to Swan Tower 3.0!

If you’ve visited my website in the last twenty-four hours, you may have noticed . . . a few changes.

screenshot of the Swan Tower front page

For the last month or so I’ve been deeply in the throes of a major, major redesign. As in, the entire thing now runs on WordPress — because I finally got convinced that it’s way more powerful and effective than I thought, provided you get somebody to tailor it to your needs (rather than just running with an off-the-shelf install). This beauty is the work of Jeremiah Tolbert of Clockpunk Studios, who has done a number of author sites; I recommend him wholeheartedly. It’s thanks to him that I not only have the usual stuff of blogs and pages and so forth, but a lovely setup that allows me to easily manage all kinds of material for books — buy buttons for different formats, auto-generated links to the rest of the series, cover galleries, “DVD extra”-type pages, and so forth. And photos! A whole gallery setup for photos!

Seriously, this thing is amazing. You guys get to see the pretty front end; me, I’m over here marveling at the dashboard, at how much easier maintenance is going to be in this iteration. So please, go admire it. Say nice things about Jeremiah’s work. There’s a lot to explore. 🙂

The final count(down)

Actual number of html pages on my site: 351.

Assuming I didn’t miss any.

The good news is, I intend to remove some of the cruft, and doing that will reduce the number to 267. That’s more than 20% less! . . . but it’s still a lot. Doing the transfer is going to take bloody forever. I am sorely tempted to pay somebody to do it for me (this is a service my site designer offers), except that I know this is also my big chance to tidy everything up: change the organization, fix broken code, add information I left out before, remove stuff that’s out of date. So I plan on doing it myself, though I reserve the right to change my mind partway through.

I can do ten pages a day, right? At which point this will only take me . . . a month.


So yes, there is a new site on the way. Just don’t expect to see it any time soon.

(And for the record, the closest guesser was weareadevilcow on Twitter, with 341.)