WordPress x 2: don’t do it


I recently tried to convert my main site to WordPress, installing a new WP in a new directory. I was trying to refresh the site’s appearance with WP themes.

I used the Make theme and got a front page I liked. This was just a test, so it wasn’t live and I forgot about my WordPress site experiment.

Except that WP used some of the existing database in special ways.

The result? My WP blog which has run flawlessly for years disappeared. Blank screen. No images. No posts. No menus. Remember that Borges story about the ink-drinking monkey? It’s my WordPress install!

After trying a bunch of things for several hours: turning on debug messages, turning off plugins and my current theme – no help. (And what is my latest theme anyway?? To find that out, I used a site that reads WP themes from any webpage; it assured me I wasn’t running a WordPress blog. That was … comforting.)

Anyway, the solution was to go into my cpanel and read the data in my MySQL database. There the blog site’s address was confused with my main site.

(I got that idea when trying to load myblog.com/wp-admin directly into my browser — the blog’s blank — and being sent instead to my main site’s WP installation. The database redirected me to what it thought was my blog.)

I think I can use WP successfully on my main site and my blog site, if I assign each WP instance its own database. Duh. The reason the new WordPress on my main site didn’t APPEAR to mess up was that I created a new static home page and didn’t go to blog pages — where my current blog would have appeared.

Seth Godin’s Without a Keyboard

You can’t create the spreadsheet that changes an industry on a smart phone.

Funny copywriting blog


That’s the address of Kelly Parkinson’s copy blog. With topics like the 34 stages of editorial enlightenment and a 7-point check list to bring your about page up to code, this one is fascinating and funny. She also has a marketing guru dog. Recommended.

Feed validator.org. Yay!

After spending a few hours trying to discover why my standard WordPress installation wasn’t generating a valid RSS feed, I tried this site. I put in a few good guesses as to the proper URL. After my third try, FVO auto-filled my URL and got it right!

So if you can’t get your RSS feed working, try this site.

(I installed a slew of RSS plugins and widgets fixing and verifying my feed, but still didn’t know the correct URL. No, it wasn’t thissite.net/wordpress/rss/ !!)

Sushi.com Unsold??

The fabulous top-level domain sushi.com was up for bids at flippa.com. The buy it now was a cool ONE MILLION AND A HALF dollars. (A million only goes so far these days.)

It reaches the nice sum of $915,000 and IT DIDN’T SELL.

Must be nice. Would you turn down $915,000 for your domain name, no matter how top-of-its-category it was? I wouldn’t.

Check out the insane bidding. What’s more it took only 18 days to reach these blue-blood-nosebleed heights.

Sorry I wrote this. Now I crave tekka maki and sashimi.

Ad Age’s Advertising Century — The 100 Best People

Ad Age has compiled an impressive list of the 100 best ad people. It includes celebs like Steve Jobs, Jerry Della Femina, George Lois, Mary Wells Lawrence*, Shirley Polykoff, Bill Bernbach, but also to me, some odd choices like — yikes — Arthur Godfrey.

I have worked for or met three of these people. The one I merely met was John Caples but with the internet’s enthusiasm for 10,000-word squeeze pages, he seems as contemporary now as he was when started in direct response in the 1920’s. (He wrote, “They laughed when I sat down at the piano.”) The other two were the BBDO powerhouses Allen Rosenshine and Phil Dusenberry. (If this “corrects” his name to boysenberry, I’ll scream.)

Great list to peruse to see which advertising legends you’re familiar with. I’d go into chapter and verse about my dealings with Messrs Rosenshine and Dusenberry, but as my kids already ask me, “What was Professor Shakespeare like in theater class, Dad?” I think I’ll save that for another time.

*Hi, Pam. If this made sense to you, you know who are.

No more ketchup stuck in the bottle

A scientist at MIT — OK, the Varanasi Research Group — has come up with a solution for product stuck at the bottom of its container. See the current Heinz Tap Tap commercial. (Or my favorite Heinz commercial using Carly Simon’s Anticipation to underscore the one bad thing about good, thick ketchup: you gotta wait!)

It’s called Liquiglide and it’s a slippery coating for the inside of containers. Nothing even toothpaste, paint or arch grape jelly sticks to it. I can’t wait till this is on the market. (How bout peanut butter, folks? Seems like I throw out a quarter of the jar.

Here’s peanut butter with and without Liquiglide.

World’s Smallest Movie

It’s done by and for IBM, which claims that the pixels in the commercial are individual atoms. I don’t really believe that, but the Guinness Book of Records says it’s the world’s smallest stop-action movie.

It’s by Ogilvy Mather New York.

The blog where I saw this says this is one of the ten best ads of 2014. Definitely worth visiting. (I’m old school — an ad is print, not video. Oh well.)

Breakthrough visual ads

Creative and funny.

I never knew Denver was all that dry. Please don’t let Tucson Water folks see this. My Arizona trucker’s coffee mug holds four ounces.

This blog has Seventy Creative Advertisements that Make You Look Twice.

The images are terrific, weird and frankly sometimes scary:

Hope no one takes this literally.

This all looks like award-show work.This is from hongkiat.com, a design and webmaster blog with a heavy emphasis on tech. These print ad images are the least tech things discussed. There’s some great SEO advice here too as well as security, like why everything on your smartphone must be erased before you sell it. (Probably because your entire life is on the beeping sucker?)

Interesting blog about freelance writing

It’s by Loolwa Khazzoom. Good straight-forward clear writing and good I-wish-I’d-asked-that interview questions.

She writes about everything going easily over into the Too Much Information border. She does not shave her legs, thank-you and will chase you down if you annoy on the road. Quite scary. She’s posted a very sweet picture of herself too; you can’t judge a book etc.

I’m sure there are disadvantages to having a name like Loolwa Khazzoom, but one advantage is you can be sure no one else has taken your dot com website url ahead of you. Yeah, try that with “johngrant.com.” Even Googling myself as a writer I’m an apparently famous UK sci-fi writer. (No, I haven’t read any of his stuff.) I was burned by my John-Doe-type name years ago now when I read the marvelously scary book Silence of the Lambs. When I saw the movie which came out a zillion years later — there’s great question to research: why did they wait so long? — I said a silent prayer that that creep Clarice is tracking down would not be named Jame Gumb/John Grant. (The initials figure in the plot.) No such luck. Great movie but it bothered me quite a bit. At least I’m not sharing a name with the lead character, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. You would definitely get crank calls, necessitating an unlisted phone number.