December 29, 2010

Why I Got Disqus’ted

questionguyThis blog has has gotten a lot more traffic than commenting. I am figuring that this is doe to a problem I had somewhere within my code. Where do I start to track it down? My pages would turn to a blank white page seemingly at random. It was a white page of horror. So I picked through my widgets and started there.

I Get Disqus’ted

I used to use IntenseDebate to moderate, edit and manage my comments. It isn’t a desire to censor reader comments as much as it was a desire to maintain some sort of order and decency.You can believe whatever you choose. You can voice your opinion. But it came to my attention that sometimes things needed moderation – like vulgarity… hence my need for editing.

A special thanks goes out to my friend at As The Crackerhead Crumbles for unknowingly leading to the cause of my white page of horror. It turns out that IntenseDebate can be troublesome when used inside Blogger, especially when using the new Theme Designer. And I was not protected from such bugs. So, I switched to Disqus for my comment moderation needs.

I did have some minor problems migrating my comments over to Disqus. The comments I exported from Disqus were unusable by their own service. This is senseless to me, but not a terrible issue at the moment. I hope they resolve this soon.

Why Did I NOT Use Blogger’s System?

Blogger has made great strides in improving their platform I love their new themes and how easy they are to use and tweak. And, they are even improving with comment moderation.

But, there remains some things that I would like t see… Not only the ability to approve and disapprove comments. But, I would like to see the ability to edit comments as needed. For me, this is a priority.

Another thing that I will miss about IntenseDebate is CommentLuv. I think it is a great idea to allow my readers a chance to show off their greatest posts on their own site. Disqus does not have this… yet… or anything similar. I wish they did. I see this as a wish.

December 27, 2010

About DADT

Image via Wikipedia
When I enlisted I the US Navy, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy was not enforced as it had not been written. It was a simple question upon enlistment that every potential service member was asked. And, plain and simple, if you admitted being a homosexual, you were denied becoming a service member.

Why did they ask? We were told it was because of National Security. National Security? It was said that, if captured, that the information about being a homosexual could be used against a service member to reveal military secrets.

It seemed to me to be more like this zero-tolerance policy was the cause of this National Security flaw… that being a homosexual was a cause of being dishonorably discharged and therefore the reason someone would not want people to know.

It was a policy that only justified itself. It was text book employment discrimination, but with the government’s approval.

Enter DADT

Everyone hailed DADT as a step in the right direction. Homosexuals had already been serving our country before this policy was in effect. But what did it change?

In reality, it made it harder to be a homosexual and serve. Before… you just had to lie and hide it. After… it was no longer a reason for discharge, but you could not talk about it. It was text book employment discrimination, but with the government’s approval.

Exit DADT

Now, we see the day when everyone can serve our country. I may not agree with the homosexual lifestyle, but they deserve the chance to serve our country. It define the fabric of our history, that even though we may disagree, we all deserve to be heard.

It bothers me that some of the “religious right” are embittered by the idea of homosexuals serving. I believe that they deserve that they are human beings too. I believe that they deserve to be treated as people. And I believe that we have the right to disagree.

I may disagree with the homosexual lifestyle. And they probably disagree with me. They deserve a chance to overcome employment discrimination.

Enhanced by Zemanta

December 23, 2010

X-mas and the Xtain

xmas05Is it Christmas or X-mas? Or, do you say, “Happy Holidays” to avoid offending someone? Either way, the battle over Christmas wages on. The bottom of the battle lies in whether or not we should suppress our beliefs so that we do not offend others. And we all have heard about the argument… Don’t say “X-mas” because it is the same as taking Christ out of Christmas.

But this post isn’t about that.
Here is something for you to think about.

Enter the Xtain

But, for the moment, let’s switch up a bit. I have come across an atheist meme… that’s right, atheist meme that caught my attention. Xtain… it is meant to replace the term Christian. I am not sure exactly what the reasoning for this term is, but I am sure it is along the lines of Christ not being real to an atheist. Or maybe the name of Christ seems offensive to some, so they change it up to seem more “politically correct.”

Is anyone offended by the name? If so, then hang on.

Because I have taken this word into much consideration. And it may be a word worth using. If X-mas is taking Christ out of Christmas, would Xtain be taking Christ out of the Christian? Have you ever met that kind of person? You know… They claim to be a Christian, but… they don’t believe in God. Or they want to remove the cross from churches because they are offensive to others. Or maybe they think they can earn their way into Heaven…  by simply being good. Or by being a little nicer than their neighbor.

But, whatever the person is… maybe there is something here. Maybe an Xtain is someone who has removed Christ from their Christian life.

Enhanced by Zemanta

December 17, 2010

My Entrecard Experiment

Image representing Entrecard as depicted in Cr... Image via CrunchBase
I have lost my faith in Entrecard. It took countless hours to do my daily drops. And for what? It promised to increase traffic to my blog. And it did. But I wanted something more than traffic… I wanted readers. Readers who not only read what I wrote, but appreciated it and maybe left a comment or two. But all I got was traffic. All I was doing was drive-by dropping on other blogs, spending at least two hours a day doing this. With work and my family, it left me no time to do what I set out in the first place – to write blog posts. So, I gave up doing my daily drops.
I took some time off… lots of time to reflect on my blog… to reflect on readers… to reflect on traffic and traffic generating site, like Entrecard. After some time and thought, I had an idea… Well, it is an experiment… and here it is… I am giving away a free ad slot through Entrecard. I ask you do some simple things for me… Write a blog post for your own blog and comment on mine.
  1. Write about my blog. Maybe you can tell people something about this give-away. Or you can write a review about this blog. Maybe just a quick paragraph to show that you saw my blog. What you write about is up to you. Be creative. Be thoughtful.  Be respectful.
  2. Include a link to my blog. It may be to this post. It may be to http://oscargecko.blogspot.com .
  3. Write a comment to this very post. Include a link to what you wrote. I use IntenseDebate to moderate my comments and it is CommentLuv enabled. You can use CommentLuv to put your link I would love a comment saying a bit more than, “Yeah, I did it.” But, it is not necessary. It is OK to tell me “Merry Christmas.”
  4. Make sure your Entrecard ad/widget is visible and easy to find. It is supposed to be “above the fold,” but I do not require that of yours. All I ask is that it is easy to find so that I can give you back your credits that you spent. After I find it, I will send you your credits that you spent back through Entrecard. Next, I will post a reply to your comment so that we both can keep track of the details.
  5. There is no limit to how many times you can do this, except for those enforced by Entrecard. Do this as many times as you like. It would be nice if you wrote a new post every time, but hey, I understand if you have more important things to write about than me.
  6. I can change any details listed in this post, comments and on this blog as I see the need. For this experiment, I will continue this until the end of this year – until Midnight, when the ball drops on December 31, 2010.
The neat thing is, you have control. You get to write for your own blog. You get a link back to your blog. You get a free ad.
I am excited about this experiment. Who knows what will happen. And, maybe I can finally get some use out of Entrecard. Maybe. Here is hoping.
Enhanced by Zemanta