Hold On, Ethel!

This may get a bit bumpy. It has been months since there was a bona fide rant on M3. Today, we are well past due. For the first time in M3 history (and likely the last), the prohibition to reblogging is lifted. You are more than welcome to share this post with anyone.

Way back in the prehistoric times, M3 was a .wordpress.com blog. In March, I moved M3 from the “free” platform to its own domain. I chose to do this in the traditional way and move all the way off the servers which power the WordPress.com and WordPress.org blogs. Let’s review.

1. Begin a blog.

2. Purchase the domain name “through” WordPress.

Sounds straightforward. It is not. WordPress does not host websites. They also do not register domains. Enter Automattic.

Phase One

I should have been wary of someone who could not spell automatic. Once this was revealed, I immediately (as in within ten minutes) sought hosting from GoDaddy. I ran into 418 problems with the move, as some of you may recall. What I learned was this:

  • Free WordPress blog owners may not put ads on their blogs.
  • WordPress does put ads on free blogs.
  • Blogs registered through Automattic also may not have ads.
  • WordPress does not put ads on Automattic blogs.

Since the initial reason I moved off of the free blog system was to monetize M3, the neglect of this information was crucial to the case of the reds which developed in those initial ten minutes.

Phase Two

After much unpacking, M3 became a similar site to the one you see today. Many of you have been following along with the updates and box recycling through Welcome Home! One piece has been missing from the declarations there, as I have been testing the waters of mobile blogging.

Mine has better wallpaper and loads more messages.

WordPress offers a mobile blogging platform via Apple (for iPhone and iPad) and RIM (Research in Motion-for BlackBerry). Many of you have seen blog comments here with the footer “Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry”. Those all generate from the mobile app I use to send pictures and comments to the blog.

I have been leery of trying to post remotely because of the limitations to the mobile platform and the standard of post the M3 Readers have come to expect. What I was not leery of attempting was using the reporting tools. So, I pressed the “Stats” button.

Less Than Stellar

The results were: There was an error. I sent an email to report the problem to find out, lo and behold, who should be the recipient….Automattic. (Begin first twinge of reds…again.)

The responses I got from their (alleged) customer service department included such gems as:

That means there was an error in the file system. Does your SD card happen to be full?

Uh, no. My BlackBerry is not full. (PS If you have this problem, you will find out how much space on your removable memory does not make any difference in the performance of native apps. Tell the CSR that.)

OK. It may also help to remove the SD card and add it back again, as well as power cycle the device.

No. The problem is not, repeat not, my BlackBerry. I told him I would do no such thing. Instead, I unloaded and reloaded their defective software.

It appears that no stats data was returned. Are you able to see that you have stats data in the dashboard of your blog through a desktop web browser?

You know, this means war.

To prove this person did no investigation, the next email asked me what the address to the blog was. Of course, the service is merely to get customers to be frustrated enough to go away. He don’t know me very well…do he?

So, the ultra maroon does not (read the last word again) go to the address I gave him. The following morning, he then pens this gem….

Hi Red,
Looks like the site is showing 0 hits for the past 7 days. Do you see the same in your wp-admin area? It might help to make sure that the Jetpack or stats plugin is active.

Could I get a show of hand for everyone who viewed an M3 post on Monday? Or for the week prior? For those who are still on WP, JetPack is what runs your stats on your dashboard. It is an optional feature when you move off of WP.

Are you feeling a Friday Follies email?

Since October 28, 2011, I have NEVER had a day with no hits. My blog has more than 35 comments today so far before my notice goes out I have posted today. Can you see them? Is it plausible to you I have comments with no hits? 

JetPack, for all its bugs, is activated and is currently showing 179 hits for today at the moment. I have attached a screen shot for your viewing pleasure.

I realize your job is to take those who know nothing of software of any type and put them through the inane step ladder of troubleshooting. However, I do know quite a bit about your software. I know enough to have moved my initial registration away from Automattic due to its poor level of customer service.

If you are not going to attempt anything on your end besides emailing me to tell me that I, my telephone and your assumed lack of my computer skills are the problem, please send me an email to that effect. I will stop wasting my time emailing you and post about the dismal customer service which WordPress pays Automattic to provide for their mobile software.

Thoroughly dissatisfied,
Red Dwyer

Phase Three

You can imagine the eye twitch. But we were not done yet. Despite my email signature carrying a link to the blog in all of these emails, this CSR had still not been to M3. You read that right. The CSR had not clicked the link in the email or copied and pasted it into a browser. Instead, since it was entirely plausible I did not know the address to my own website, the CSR took the liberty of inserting .wordpress before the .com. Behold.

Just to follow up. I see where you visited the blog. However, you were 301’d to the blog. I did not fail to put in the .wordpress in the URL. There is no .wordpress in the URL. Since all inbound links to M3 were corrected at the time of the move, and the time of the inbound link is congruent with your “check” of the stats, it appears you are checking the stats of a blog which does not exist.

Thus, if your software is only available to off WP blogs which are serviced by Automattic, an admission of such should have been forthcoming prior to the installation. 

Currently, JetPack is reporting 225 hits. The WP software on my BlackBerry is still giving the “no stats found” message. I will not bother reporting it again. In fact, it is not my device or my blog which is at issue.

Enter cursing stage. The next brain surgeon email the following morning (Yes, it has now been three days.) would announce my problem was beyond the scope of customer service and would need to be referred to the “data team”.

After seven hours of no response, I asked when I could expect the “data team” to come to work. Oh, happy day! In five minutes the response was “They JUST responded, claiming it is fixed.” (Emphasis added.) BlackBerry problem fixed. Advanced stats (more than available on JetPack) readily at my fingertips.

Happy ending, right? Think again.

Final Phase

In order for the CSR to get the wrong stats, he had to activate the old site. What this means is anyone who has an outdated link from the old site is not redirected here. You see, when you move, the old domain must sent all traffic to where your material still exists. Guess what!

All of the old blog things still exists, frozen in time, on the old site. It is interactive, even though I have all of your comments before Wednesday stripped from the posts and moved here. So far, since Thursday, 34 people have visited and one has commented. Two (WordPress) websites have pinged back to it.

WordPress kept all of the content in its data bases, and they are all still accessible to anyone who goes to the trouble to type in the address or click an old link- or one supplied by WordPress as a related link on any blog they own. By dropping the redirect, they are able to show my content (with their own ads and without me getting even M3 stats credit for it).

Now, the banner on the old site is not the antique green “Momma’s Money Matters ~ Money and Parenting Advice from a Momma of Ten”. It now looks like this:

Is this clear?

If you are directed to a site where you see this banner…PLEASE contact me. Use an email from me or M3 to get to my email. Bookmark this page (or any M3 page dated AFTER 06MAR12) for access to the Ask Momma page under About Momma. You can send me a message without having my email handy or in your address book.

Since WordPress cannot be bothered with customer complaints or email, and Automattic only directs to the WordPress forums, I have used my BlackBerry issue Automattic CSR to report this and sent them a security issue email. I do not take the pirating of my website lightly. I also do not take the theft of my copyrighted material by WordPress lightly.

Not A Threat…A Promise

In the event traffic is not redirected appropriately and my copyrighted material continues being displayed on a subdomain which does not belong to me, I will file a DMCA complaint against WordPress and Automattic jointly.

(c) Ann Marie “Red” Dwyer 2012
Re-blogging of this post and this post only is acceptable.
All other posts on Momma’s Money Matters (M3) are not available for re-blogging. 

Copyright and Privacy Policy available (and advised) in The Office. 

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  1. Laurie

     /  July 21, 2012

    where’s the reblog button hiding?? note to self, start from scratch, no WP transfers, too much of a headache.

    • No, actually, I know how to sidestep most all of the potholes. This is what happens when you have to deal with offsite help. The reblog button should be at the top in the WP grey header strip.

  2. G. Devan Smith

     /  July 21, 2012

    Why is it that the more technological we get, the stupider we get?

    • I do not believe we do. I believe we hire people who are stupider so we can pay them less and make more money.

  3. Dont know anything about auimattic but once I moved to a self hosted WordPress site there is no longer any redirect since I am now only using the WordPress software on my host

    • That is not true. If you had content on a WP site before the move, they had to make a 301 from the .wordpress site to where you are self-hosted. They can remove it at their leisure. In my case, they have done so, and revealed they kept a shadow copy of all my content.

      • OH…I just moved all the content to my new blog and didn’t forward the old one. I just put a thing up that said, come to my new blog.
        Bearman recently posted..Editorial Cartoon: Obama and Romney Censor ReportersMy Profile

        • When I moved, I had more than 400 pages and around 350 images to move. It would have been counter productive to recreate the blog. I would have lost more than two weeks in formatting and images alone. I know I will only redirect M3 to a new domain of my own should I ever move it again. With more than 600 pages and nearly 800 images now, I cannot fathom the time I would have to spend to move the actual content manually.

          • I am saying I didn’t have to do that. There was some format where I could export everything, posts, images and comments from my wordpress hosted blog to my self hosted. It was only a few steps but I would have to look it up.
            Bearman recently posted..Editorial Cartoon: Obama and Romney Censor ReportersMy Profile

          • That is an xml download. It did not remove the originals from where they were, merely copied them to load somewhere else. I also did that. The difference for me was I had all traffic to the old site stopped and sent to where I uploaded the xml. The process today is dismantling everything on the old site except the banner which says this is not where you should be. I cannot afford for there to be traffic to the wrong place.

          • I never got enough traffic to really make it worrisome (in either place)
            Bearman recently posted..Editorial Cartoon: Obama and Romney Censor ReportersMy Profile

  4. I’m thinking a complaint report is long over due. Sure am glad you’re being open about this in case one of us decides to go that route. I’m scared to do anything! They don’t know who they’re messing with 🙂 Angie
    Angela recently posted..Time with Grandma!My Profile

    • I am not trying to scare anyone, but I will have to publish the real how to eventually. It is not as tough as they make it. If the information was readily available beforehand, the move would not nearly have been so tough. They are exercising the right of “We will answer if you ask the right question, but we are not volunteering anything up front.”

  5. This has all the makings of Dante’s Inferno, and the Seven Circles of Hell. Well maybe except for the lust and gluttony part…
    Phil recently posted..What Better Way to Unwind?My Profile

  6. The Hobbler

     /  July 22, 2012

    Wow, you have your hands more than full. I will try to check out some more of your blog tomorrow, but it sounds like you have a pretty good handle on the own domain and stuff. I was thinking about doing that eventually. Alright, I should attempt sleep now.

  7. Red, I so admire your persistence, your strength and your fortitude in the face of nameless crime. It’s disgusting what WP and Automattic did, and are doing to countless others who have moved their sites. I assume it is rampant among all other free hosting sites to steal content like this and make money from the shadow blogs and posts. I am wondering if any site is safe from theft and monetizing!
    Gail Thornton recently posted..Poem – PublishedMy Profile

    • I am pretty certain it is less common than we might believe. I know there are few who are willing to talk about it. Those involved do ask everyone to hush it up. I do not see any honest mistake in this. I see those who are ill-equipped to handle their jobs wanting the silence of the ones they wronged in an effort to maintain the facade of qualification. I am not that good of an actress to pretend a spade is not a spade.

      • Thank you for your balanced observation to this occurrence, Red. I didn’t mean to get over-the-top about the security of blog owners on the internet. I am just protective of the hard work that creators do to bring quality material to their readers and viewers. I trust your judgement and am glad you are willing to talk about this publicly.
        Gail Thornton recently posted..Poem – PublishedMy Profile

  8. Remind me not to annoy you Ann Marie!!! 🙂

    Hope you finally get the mess sorted out – I’ve a headache just from reading this!!! 🙁

    Love and hugs always!

    prenin recently posted..Saturday – The sun peeps through!My Profile

  9. Go Red Go Red Go Red Yea! Rock rock rock rock steady eddy eddy eddy. WP you aint ready cause Red is gonna …..hurt you.. son I say you betta you betta run…

    Don’t mind me .. I’m just cheering you on…
    Love and Pom poms
    Lizzie <3
    Lizzie Cracked recently posted..Your Reflection Mid-Afternoon Mental MomentMy Profile

    • Now, I just need to clone you until you fill the bleachers <3 Much love, Lizzie *giggles* Red. xxx

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