So, let me catch you up, best I can, on what's happening with the JoeBlogs site.
In the last week, I had our hosting people do a bunch of upgrades to make the site faster, more secure and easier to use. You should notice, for instance, that the site is now an https site rather than an http -- this is supposedly a big deal.
As for the rest, well, no good deed goes unpunished.
From what I can tell, two things happened, one which I THINK I've fixed, the other which we're still working on.
The part that (I hope) is fixed -- if you get an RSS feed from the site, you were probably bombarded with some spam posts. It seems that while the migration was happening, the spam filter was turned off ... and a whole bunch of spam comments poured in. It was super fun going through each of those and deleting hundreds and hundreds of them. It was like multiple root canals.
I did learn a couple of things:
1. I learned that once spam messages actually get through, it's an unbelievable pain in the neck to get rid of them.
2. I learned the spam has become quite a bit more sophisticated. Many of the comments sort of, kind of looked like REAL comments, you know. They were about Colin Kaepernick and coaching in the NBA, etc. I think there were even a couple of baseball Hall of Fame ones, suggesting that spam was chosen especially for us, not unlike the prizes at the end of the Newlywed Game.
Anyway, I think that part is fixed. I also think that now, in order to comment, you need to register. Apologies for that, but I think most of you have registered ... and honestly, I'm not going through that spam thing again.
The part that isn't fixed is, as many of you have mentioned, when you are on the Website and click on Patreon, it just takes you to the Patreon page with no way to get back to the actual site and read the actual story.
What I think is happening is that instead of going to the AUTHORIZATION page, like it is supposed to, the button is kicking you to my site directly. It is entirely skipping the authorization process. And I have no idea why.
And when I tried to just make the whole site free while we work through this, well, it wouldn't let me do that either.
So, I have sent out a couple of emails to our friend Oz, who is the all-knowing wizard of Patreon-WordPress synergy. I am hoping that it's an easy fix and things will be back and working better than ever shortly. But, you know, we'll see.
One other point: A couple of people have asked if the stories are better edited over on the Website. The answer is: Yes (eventually).
Here's how it works right now (and I'm not saying this is the best) ... What I do is I post stories on the Website. I immediately post them on Patreon at the same time because people have asked that I do that.
Once the story is up on JoeBlogs, our editor Larry does some copy editing, adds photos, reworks whatever needs to be reworked, etc. And this doesn't get done on the Patreon site. This is a bloated and convoluted process, but as of right now I don't really know another way to do it. I wish Patreon and WordPress worked better together, but as of right now they really don't.
And I don't want to burden all of you with a whole new subscription thing built just out of WordPress, even though in retrospect that might have been the more streamlined way to go. So this is where we are: Not perfect but hopefully it will work well enough.
You probably don't care about any of this -- you just want the thing to work. That's how I would feel. We'll get there, I feel sure.
In the meantime, I'm hoping you're enjoying being a member. I'm writing way more for JoeBlogs than I ever expected and loving it ... I hope that shines through so that you feel like, even with the inconsistencies, the technical glitches and the projects that are taking a bit longer to get rolling along than expected, this has been worthwhile and fun. Thank you.