On having a sense of humour

At one point last year I started volunteering in the WordPress.com support forums. It started out as a way to procrastinate on my writing and studies, but I soon became hooked. Partly it was the great bunch of established volunteers who welcomed me into their midst and taught me (and are still teaching me) the ropes.

But the true reward is that rush of endorphins every time I successfully help someone solve a problem with their site. That, and the fact that my knowledge of WordPress.com has grown with leaps and bounds as I really dug into the support pages looking for solutions to other people’s problems. In fact, I’ve already incorporated some of the things I discovered thanks to the forums into this blog.

It’s not all fun and games, though. People come to the forums because they have a problem, and unsolved problems lead to frustration. Frustrated people can become…not nice. Some people take their blogs VERY seriously.

But then you also get people who take things in their stride, like the user whose ENTER-key started misbehaving in the post editor. His final reply to the thread really made me smile, and I thought I’d share it with you:

  • I refreshed Firefox and that fixed the problem. Kind of like electro-shock therapy — not sure exactly what it did, but it made a big difference. The ENTER key behaves as expected now. Who knows for sure what happened to trigger the weirdness, but several possibilities occur to me:
    a) I leaned my elbow on the keyboard when reaching for Kleenex and hit a strange key combo that a malicious coder set up when she was passed over for promotion at Mozilla
    b) The cat walked on the keyboard and did some sort of feline reconfig
    c) An angry God looked down and said, “Let’s fuck with him for awhile”.
    d) None of the above
    Anyway. Thanks for your help and suggestions.
    Onward toward the abyss!

And on that note I wish you a happy weekend πŸ˜€

10 thoughts on “On having a sense of humour

  1. It was through your technical advice that I found your blog–and patched up whatever was going wrong with my own. (I don’t remember anymore what it was, which is another way of saying that it seemed earthshattering at the time and has settled down a bit now that it’s in my memory.)

    If I didn’t say thanks at the time, I’ll say it now: Thanks. Your help’s been fantastic.

    1. You’re welcome.

      Another perk of volunteering in the forums that I didn’t mention above is that every once in awhile I discover a jewel of a blog that also enriches my blogging experience, like yours. So right back at ya πŸ˜€

  2. I had no idea you were doing this! Would really love your input … If you have a moment (or would enjoy another excuse to procrastinate), would you mind popping over to my blog and seeing if there’s anything I should be doing that I’m not, or anything I could be doing better?

    1. In the forums we do technical support, that is, we help people to do specific stuff they want to do with their blog or if something doesn’t want to work we help them fix it. We don’t provide general blog feedback there.

      I also don’t do tech support via this blog (boundary issue) and I don’t really give general blog feedback simply because I don’t reckon I’m a good enough blogger to give that type of feedback.

      That said, while visiting your blog I’ve never had the thought, ‘What on Earth does this stupid woman think she’s doing!?’ πŸ˜‰ I enjoy visiting your blog, it’s easy to read and easy to navigate, and from a reader’s perspective I think that’s most important. And ultimately you’re the one that must be happy with it as it’s your blog, your online home. You don’t invite people into your actual home to give you feedback on whether your furniture is arranged correctly, do you? (Okay, so some people actually do this, but you don’t strike me as the type πŸ˜€ )

      If you really do want feedback, I suggest you post in the Community Pool, a feature that publishes every Monday on the staff blog, ” target=”_blank”>The Daily Post. They also have many blog tutorials – a kind of blogging masterclass, if you will.

      And then my ultimate go-to blog for improving your blog and your blogging is Timethief’s blog, One Cool Site. She doesn’t post very much anymore, but her archives contain a wealth of information that will make you a better blogger.

      1. Thanks for the encouragement, Herman – and apologies if my request made you uncomfortable! I’m actually working through The Daily Post blog development theme, and burrowing through Timethief is on my to do list. And ja, I’m aware of the community pool; am generally quite comfortable with my blog so don’t want to ask a lot of random strangers to give input, but asking you – as a blogger I respect and enjoy, who has done me the kindness of following my blog – it was … well, equivalent to asking a friend for their opinion of some new gadget I’m thinking of buying for my home. I’ve put quite a lot of thought into the look and feel of the blog and what widgets I want to use; glad to know I’m not missing anything obvious that would make it better.

      2. In that case, I’m honoured that you asked me. And you didn’t make me uncomfortable at all.

        Generally I tend to consider myself a hack. I’m always afraid people are going to catch on to the fact that I don’t have a clue what I’m doing and am just making things up as I go along. I realise I’m probably not giving myself enough credit, but that’s how I feel. At 33 I still struggle to see myself as an adult, never mind as someone knowledgeable enough to give others advice. Ironic, considering my career choice πŸ˜‰

      3. Oh man … it’s so scary when other people express the thoughts that rattle around inside my head! πŸ™‚ Well, I suppose we can both take some comfort in the thought that probably most people are too busy worrying that someone is going to catch them out, to have the time to catch either of us out…lol.

      4. Maybe that’s why we so easily adopt other people’s opinions, regarding your post of today – we actually already think so similarly that we subconsciously think it’s normal to have the same opinions.

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