WATN Problems in 2013
For about a month and a half in the summer, WATN went off the air. I was having problems with my Google account and could not log in, let alone contact anyone to pay to renew my domain name of wordaroundthenet.com.
To make matters worse, Google had changed how their entire website and domain name system worked, and what used to work to log in no longer did. I couldn't even find anyone to contact, until I made an entirely new account to reach them and tell them of the problem.
By then it was too late, the domain name had been locked up and I couldn't get it back. And by then I'd become so annoyed with Google's awful customer service and interface, I'd decided I didn't really care.
And after the election in 2012, I was about ready to give up even writing on a blog in any case. My 7th anniversary for WATN passed without notice, because I didn't care that much. But the thought of having a platform to reach people and perhaps help with my writing career pushed me on and I found a solution; I got the present domain name and started up again.
Unfortunately I lost about half my hits a day in the process, and they've never come back. On the other hand, I'm not getting even a tenth as much of the spam and search bot traffic I used to, so I wonder how many actual real readers I lost.
I think probably the hits are down not out of any loss of many readers, but out of that loss of Google-preferred driven bot traffic, and who wants them anyway?
Then I made a dumber mistake. Over the years, I've picked up a lot of trash comments as all blogs do. I've found a way to lock those out, by requiring any comment on a post older than a certain time to be confirmed by me, but there were more than 40,000 spam comments on my blog by that point. After almost 8 years, that's what happens. So I started wiping out 1000 comments a day, a tedious and annoying process made slightly easier by the ability to list and select 100 comments at a time and delete them en masse.
The problem is it became so mindless and dull I selected a page of 100 real, welcome comments by actual people, and wiped them all out too. I apologize to everyone whose thoughts I expunged by accident. I appreciated them all, even the negative ones, but there's no way to get them back.
So its been a rough year for WATN, but at least its still going.