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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

site issues

Yes, the site was down again for at least a few hours this morning. Obviously, it’s fixed now. It had to do with my htaccess file getting corrupted through methods that remain mysterious.

I’m at this horrible place at the moment, which should make me happy, but it only makes me miserable. The site is popular enough that a couple hours of downtime is bad, enough to make me worry that I’m presenting an ugly, unprofessional face, and enough for readers to email me or Facebook me and ask what’s up. The site is big enough (12 years worth of content) and popular enough (every comment takes a hit on the server) that it’s reaching the limits of what either Movable Type or WordPress can handle (neither system scales terribly well, apparently).
I’m about to embark on upgrading to the newest version of MT, which is gonna be a ridiculously huge effort that I really don’t have the time to do, but which is vital to growing the site’s traffic (it has new community features which will make commenting more pleasant, for one). And I have to grow the traffic (and hence the ad revenue) because I do not want to continue spending so much time and expending so much creative energy on the other work (editing other people’s writing, for one) I have to do to keep my head above water. I could be reviewing more movies and DVDs, spending more time in the comments sections (which I barely have time to look at these days), and working all the other many ideas I have for making FlickFilosopher.com better and cooler and more interesting. And I could be writing my own fiction and screenplays.

Oh, and then there’s the matter of my ad service. I promise you, I hate those hideous ads with the fat bellies hanging out or the horrific closeups of teeth, and I keep turning them off. And they keep showing up again. Which means I have to waste time figuring out whose ads those are — the advertisers are really sneaky about hiding their identities.

I should be happy: the site is popular! I can afford to take the hit of turning off some ads! But it’s not popular enough to enable me to hire people do to the behind-the-scenes work (like upgrading the site or dealing with the ad network), and it’s not popular enough to pay for the dedicated hosting solution that I probably need.

This sucks, and I’m exhausted from dealing with all this stupid shit. I just wanna write about movies, and too much other crap keeps from doing that as much as I could be.



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  • Saladinho

    Anh! You’ll get there…

  • Ryan H

    As someone who has been following your site for years I’d like to take this time to express my appreciation for your efforts. I’m glad that your readerbase continues to grow enough that expansion is necessary. What you have here is wonderful and deserves to be recognized.

    Hang in there. Do what you need to do. We will be here hanging on your every word.

  • I think the phrase you are looking for is “growing pains” :)

  • Accounting Ninja

    Corrupted, huh? Hmm, I tried to get onto the site earlier and when I clicked onto it from Google, the site tried to download a file onto my computer (Windows caught it though). I tried twice and the same thing happened. I thought, huh. Maybe it’s on my end for some weird reason. Did someone hack you I wonder??

    I feel ya, MAJ. Running a site is a huge job. And us artist/writer geek types hate that shit; we just want to do what we love, you know? Let some magical Drudgery Fairy swoop in and take care of all this IT crap. I’m just getting a site started, so I one day hope to be where you are, actually ;). But part of me utterly dreads it, because even just starting it up has been a HUGE hassle. I am sorry, but WordPress is NOT beginner friendly! Ugh. In the darkest hour I too was like “I just wanna draw comics!! And maybe blog once in a while! I don’t care about ftps and coding! AAAH!”

  • Althea

    Is there any way that some section/s could be moved to another site, and linked?

  • MaryAnn

    Corrupted, huh? Hmm, I tried to get onto the site earlier and when I clicked onto it from Google, the site tried to download a file onto my computer (Windows caught it though). I tried twice and the same thing happened. I thought, huh. Maybe it’s on my end for some weird reason. Did someone hack you I wonder??

    No, I don’t think so. It had to do with html not getting parsed properly, so your browser thought you were trying to download a program. It wasn’t that someone was trying to trick you into downloading a virus or anything like that.

    Is there any way that some section/s could be moved to another site, and linked?

    I don’t understand: What purpose would that serve? How would it help? And wouldn’t I then have *two* sites to maintain?

  • Accounting Ninja

    No, I don’t think so. It had to do with html not getting parsed properly, so your browser thought you were trying to download a program. It wasn’t that someone was trying to trick you into downloading a virus or anything like that.

    Ah, didn’t think so. It would have been kind of a dumb way to infect people anyway, I mean, Windows caught it, AMIRITE? However, after having to personally clear this computer of two particularly nasty viruses last year (Vundo and Smitfraud, plus a delightful cocktail of lesser virii), I was wary all the same. :)

  • Wart
  • MaryAnn

    That sounds really nice, Wart, but it’s *a lot* more expensive than what I’m paying now… and I’m NOT paying for cheap, bottom-of-the-barrel hosting, either.

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