In part one of this story, I wrote: “As part of my adventure looking into the world of art and self-publishing I got to meet some very peculiar individuals; a swearing chef with a taste for art, a break dancing fox, a secret society I happened to stumble across which turned out to be a humble writers group, a class of super eager creative writing third year university students, an evil “Artificial Intelligence” that builds websites, an Avengers type group of writers working on a seasonal magazine. I discovered New Amazon – a multitude of probably 8 million fan girls, and I embarked upon a challenging league of writers scribbling to the death.” – See part one
In this chapter I’ll be chronicling how I did battle with an ‘Artificial Intelligence,’ or was it my ‘Intelligent Ignorance’? Probably a paradoxical mix of the two. I’ll also be looking at a crazy app people are using on Twitter to cull non-followers, a brief look at the usability of Yolasite as a website builder and mulling over how nice it was to be a WordPress user.
My Art and Self-Publishing Adventure: Chapter 2: I Do Battle Against An Artificial Intelligence
Some time ago I started a newspaper blog with a friend. We knew we weren’t going to be the next Facebook, it wasn’t that sort of a deal. The vision was to create a blog where quality articles were posted up within an infrastructure that imitated the world of work. It was the next best thing when no newspaper would take you on after fighting hundreds to be in with a chance.
Is that always the case? No. People do get employed but we weren’t taking chances. We wanted experience and we wanted it now. Learning that the world of Print media was being battled by the leviathan of the digital calling, we decided to follow trend and found our newspaper outlet online. It was easily accessible, and we had one over on the university paper which at the time cost a bit to make, and no real online presence to speak of.
So we struck while the iron was hot and set up the cost effective blog on Word press. Articles were checked between the two of us and before long we had a growing team of ten, when we weren’t handing in course work of course.
All was going according to plan and then one faithful day we lost the login details. This was okay because we could just get a new password. Right? But just like you forget how many times you’ve checked that the front door is locked, I kept changing the passwords and logging them down in various places. Scraps of paper, notebooks and even phones.
Losing A Password Can Cause Problems
The fateful day came when I tried logging into the email to check our emails and reply some urgent messages. Those messages would not be answered for half a year. I checked all the login details on the papers I had hiding in books and on shelves but none were able to unlock that email address. Worse still the blog was having problems and we needed the email. The final straw came when our team shrank. Passwords were reset and we tried again, and this time I entrusted the login details to certain members who updated the blog regularly apart from me.
My blackberry held the last login detail we ever used but with an ever shrinking writing force, the pressures of university and a software system that made changing passwords infuriating, we conceded defeat and packed in the newspaper blog until such a time we could find the log in details that unlocked email address instead of making the software identify us as a virus trying to invade google.
Losing A Password Can Be Devastating
Having been hacked once already, it was important to get security to the highest and install details that were hard to guess. Well this backfired bombastically and had us hitting our head against walls trying to figure out what the password was for the precious blog. We found the details six months later on my unsuspecting Blackberry. Then my phone died.
Either we were absolutely useless at keeping login details secure or there was an artificial intelligence screwing us over at every turn for the fun of it. I concluded it was a mix of the two. Two years had gone by since we had set up the newspaper-blog. It had its fair share of exposure, not posturing to be anything other than an exercise in online journalism. Hilariously, the one thing we learned from it all was that remembering your blooming password was paramount to actually getting any work done at all.
Ignoring Important Emails Can Cause Brain Damage
I had set up a website of my own, it was going well. You had a blank canvas to play with, and things you could ‘drag’n drop’ onto the stencil of a website provided. Its user ability was from the school of touch screen, so it was very easy to use. The real technological leap of faith came for me when I tried reinstating a domain that had expired. To spare you the details of me smacking my head against a keyboard in anguish trying to understand computer terminologies, I’ll paste the response of the extremely helpful customer service lady from the website builder.
I hope to be of assistance to you. The reason why you’re unable to pull up your site is because your domain, koreuben.com, expired on 2013-10-09. While we are able to recover it up to 40 days afterward, unfortunately there’s nothing we can do to restore it at the moment.
It will go through a deletion process at the registrar, and then will be offered back up for purchase once it is available. Regardless of where you register your domain, the domain registrar only has a 40 day window in which to retrieve lapsed domains.
This is to protect users who let their domains lapse in error while still keeping the process moving forward to prepare domains for sale again.
Your only option at this stage is to wait for the domain to be released and then repurchase it. To do this, you will first need to unpublish your site by following the steps on this link: How to unpublish your site.
You can check whether your domain is available, and repurchase it, by following these steps: Buying your domain from Yola.
Could you let me know if you received the renewal reminders for this domain? If not, please come back to me so that I can try and investigate why you did not receive them.
So it turns out there wasn’t much here to be so confused about, I’d just missed my deadline to do anything about it along with a string of email prior warning me about the impending shunt. I seriously need to check my emails more. So not an artificial intelligence per se. Unless of course were counting those really irritating viruses that control people’s emails and twitter and send spam.
While investigating one such tweet I stumbled upon (no pun intended) another social network that writers and artists in particular use to great effect. It is called Justunfollow.com and can sieve through all the people who follow you and find out who isn’t following you. Instagram users are privy to this ingenious piece of software which has become a need to many who heavily rely on their following being of a particular bust size. Clearly this sort of tech only appeared of recent to piggy back off of our own vanity but perhaps it has a positive application too. Artists and writers can go about growing their following which will ultimately be converted into fans and customers, if they aren’t already. It has a very entrepreneurial application and may become indispensable in the near future if not already.
So the newspaper-blog is back at last after a year out, my website apocalypse has been abated (more or less) and My Blackberry has a new battery and is working at full capacity again. Although the Bluetooth isn’t working anymore, then again who uses Bluetooth anymore anyway? I remember when Bluetooth was cool! Sigh.
I, Man, The Technophobe
My new phone is an android, which is funny considering I’m completely against technologies that are too smart (cough, thumb print scanning iPhone, cough!) but it’s actually been a nice deviation from feeling like throwing my phone at a brick wall in anguish. I can check my blog with this phone and keep all my emails in check without having to jump on to a huge desktop. Although I still love a good keyboard, me. Scratch that, I love a good pen and paper. Nothing beats that, ay?
My friend will be making a new pitch as to why I should get an iPhone that will solve all my technological discrepancies no doubt, after reading this yarn but I’m secretly an older man, think Captain America sort of old and you’ll have an idea. His more of an Iron Man, constantly upgrading his gear to bigger and better or smaller it just depends on the gadget. Writers and artists will have to take lessons from both. Retain that old rustic sense of what things should be like, being able to identify the soul in a thing rather than just its ‘efficient functionality’. It’s a quality all writers and artist possess. However, be as apt and tech savvy as your wallet and curiosity will allow you.
Technology is currently in an embrace with the art world and writers and artists are able to share their gifts with the world quicker and more efficiently because of it. They are able to work upon their art in a way that was never present before and as a bonus their audience and customers are able to experience it every step of the way through things like social networking which is bridging rifts all the time between art and its appreciators.
To see the long lost newspaper-blog of mine do click below.
To see my personal blog with even more adventures click below.
And to find out what I’ve been doing on Wattpad all this time click below!
Editor’s Note: Kingsley, just get Lastpass at lastpass.com and save a single, long, complex password. Never forget that password. Lastpass will remember all of your other passwords and if you change them, it tracks the history too.