Posts Tagged 'blogging'



WordPress Google Docs

I love that WordPress shows search terms that are pulling your stuff up on the Internet. In fact, I love a lot of things about WordPress. I am also a big fan of Google Docs, and when I first began using this “blog” thing, I wanted to use Google Docs to post my entries.

Unfortunately, as my first post indicates, I had troubles getting it set up. I got the following message: Error decoding XML-RPC response.

Now, I’m not technical genius, and I can only vaguely describe what that error message means, but I played around a bit and got things working.

I started posting all sorts of cool stories, technical ideas, and anything else I felt like sharing. Unfortunately, nobody was interested.

At least eight people have searched for a solution to this problem and were sent to my blog and the number one search term that pulls me up online is “error decoding xml-rpc responce” from Google Docs in one way or another. I guess not too many people actually have problems with this message, but those who do have no idea where to find help for it. I may be wrong, but I also want to help out where I can. So, here’s how I solved the problem. It may not be the best way, but it has worked for me.

I’ll provide a screenshot, but essentially I didn’t use the preset settings for WordPress found in the Google Docs options for posting to a blog. At the top of the “Blog Site Settings” window I clicked on the “My own server / custom” radio button. Here are the rest of the settings I used:

(RED text means you should insert your personal information. Black means yours should be the same.)

(Click the image to view it full size.)

API:

“MetaWeblog API”

URL:

“http://mereman.wordpress.com/xmlrpc.php”

-(If you really do host your blog at a different URL, the wordpress.com part my be different too. The part before the “/xmlrpc.php” is the address you give to people so they can visit your blog.)

User Name:

mediocrerenaissanceman

-(This is the whole user name you log into the site with.)

Password:

wouldn’t you like to know?

Blog ID/Title:

The Mediocre Renaissance Man

-(This is the title displayed at the head of your pages and at the top of the WordPress site while you are at your dashboard.)

Last of all I have the box checked that says: “Include the document title when posting (if supported)” and I think you should too if you want to use the document title as your posting title.

The only warning I should mention is that when I use Google Docs to post it doesn’t go immediate. When I go to WordPress afterward it says the post is scheduled for seven hours later. If I want to post immediately I then go in and edit the post at the WordPress site, changing the settings to “Published” and the time to five minutes earlier. This works, but if anyone knows of a better way to get Google Docs to do it immediately, I could use the help.

I hope this helps, and if you have any more questions or ideas, please leave a comment.

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Laziness & Inaction

I think maybe I’m being a little hard on myself, considering all of the stress and pressure I’m experiencing currently.  I’ve got a lot of work-related testing going on, and we’re moving soon, and there is still a lot to do before I leave in about two weeks.

I just don’t know if I can accept that as excuse enough for all of the writing time I’ve been wasting.  Alright, maybe most of it hasn’t been downright wasted, but I don’t feel that I’ve been doing enough to keep it productive.  I’ve used parts of it to read (which is valid, by my rules), but I’ve also been cutting corners off to get a few extra minutes of sleep in, or ending a little early to spend more time with my wife (we’ll be apart for about four months when I leave in a couple weeks).  I just don’t feel that the discipline has been there.

Regardless, perhaps I feel the worst of it because I have very little to show for the time I’ve spent writing over the last week or so.  How many short stories have I finished?  None.  How many times have I contributed anything worthwhile to a piece I’ve been working on?  Maybe once, if that.

I suppose, though, that I should just put all of that behind me and move forward.  I am here now, after all, writing.  I do have a little something I wanted to write about too, so I guess I can save my breath and quit being so hard on myself.

I read an article recently about an issue that had been nagging at me for years.  Sadly, I can’t say I’ve done much to be part of the solution, and at times I might even be part of the problem.  Although, for my part I do feel that I make a steady personal effort to avoid directly throwing my own fuel onto the fire.

The issue is the lack of professional training among bloggers.  In my eyes this issue has two levels (but the article only deals with one of them).  The first part, and the one discussed in the article, is that bloggers are not generally professional, trained journalists, yet that is the role they play in society.  Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to major problems for them, their audiences or their subjects of discussion.  They inadvertently infringe on copyrights, defame others (resulting in lawsuits) and even get in trouble for violating privacy laws.

The article I read discusses a recent movement in the blogging community toward a position between amateur and professional.  As far as presenting content and avoiding lawsuits, I think this is a wonderful idea and a relieving trend.

In my opinion, this problem is less annoying than the second level of the blogging issue.  Personally, I can deal with people getting upset at what I write.  My issue has to do with grammar and style.

That’s right, I’m more bothered by bloggers who write without capitalizing any of their letters, or use “z” instead of “s” or shorten words unnecessarily, or anything else of the like.  Not that I don’t sometimes enjoy their content.  The lolcats blog is a good example.  Their content can sometimes be amusing, but only if you don’t mind having your brain beat to a pulp by the intentionally horrendous and trendy spelling.  Frankly, I would enjoy the site more readily if the content weren’t so horribly mutilated by misspellings.  I understand that, for some, the misspellings are part of the cuteness and appeal.  I have a suggestion for such people who find this entertaining – use a marker or crayon to rewrite the photo captions however you like them (mispelled or not) directly on your computer monitor.

Misspellings have always bothered me, as has blatantly poor grammar.  I know that my own spelling and grammar are far from perfect, but I continue to make an effort to do well in what I know and learn what I do not know well.  If I can tell other writers or bloggers are making a similar effort, I am not put off by a misspelling or gramatical error.  I get irritated when I can tell that absolutely zero effort was put into writing something in the correct manner, or when an effort was made to deliberately avoid spelling or writing something correctly.  When I see such shenanigans I do not think they are cute, entertaining or clever.  I think they are annoying, degrading to the author, and extremely frustrating to read.  When I see more than one in the first few lines (or sometimes even paragraphs) of text I immediately stop reading.

Enough ranting about the Internet community.  There were other things I wanted to share and write about, but I shall have to save them for another time.  I am tired and ready to fall asleep at the keyboard.  To avoid drooling on my computer equipment, I will retire to my bed.

New Page!

I know a lot of you have visited the page I wrote about me called About the Man. Now, due to my belief that a lot of my friends and family could use a little schooling on what I’ve got going on here, I’ve written a page that I’m sure plenty of people could benefit from. This new page is called About the Site. If you are already subscribed to my web log, you don’t need to read it. The new page is for people who I would like to see subscribed so they can keep in touch with me, but they don’t understand what all of this is about.

So, if you’re subscribed already, I thank you. If you’re not, go visit the new page!

Oh, and by the way, I spent two hours on that page then quit without rereading or revising it. I’ll probably go in tomorrow morning and do some editing, but for now I need to get on with my day. If you find errors or find any of it confusing, just let me know and I’ll fix it.

Oh, one more thing. I know a lot of people visit this site to find my Google Web album (not that it’s that special, but we post family pictures there), so I included it in my list of links (Blogroll) on the right so there is a more permanent place to find it rather than coming here and looking for the original posting I had the link in. It’s listed as the Family Web Album.

Odds of Death

I don’t have enough time to go through Digg all of the time, but every once and a while I check to see what’s going on. I loved this:

Click Me!

Found here:
http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=37189&frm=krsn

Why do I love it? Because of its beautiful reminder that no matter how we go, we’re all guaranteed to die someday, somehow. We all have a 1:1 chance of dying. How do you like that!?!

Oh, a little update. In my first blog posting here I complained of technical problems with submitting posts from Google Docs. I have since resolved all such issues and the last two posts have been via Google Docs. Yeah for me! If you experience a similar problem, it’s not that difficult to fix, just let me know and I’ll hook you up.

I found a few other things on digg not too long ago, but they’re tough to find a second time (should have marked them somehow). Anyhow, watch for more postings of my meaningless ramblings in the near future.

Welcome Me

I always told myself I would stay away from “popular” stuff, mainstream trends and Internet terms like “blog.”  Blog just sounds dumb, the spell checker doesn’t like it, and when I think about “blogging” nothing interesting comes to mind.  However, here I am, writing my first post to a dedicated “blogging” site.  I chose WordPress.com because of its professional look and mature name.  We’ll see how I like it here.

Since I have NO idea how many people will spot me as a new user, find me out of the blue, etc., I’m going to do a test.  I have a question, so anyone out there that happens to read this and might have an answer, please let me know.  I am an avid fan/user of Google Docs, and I’ve run into a little hiccup with their posting to blog service.  I’ve entered all of my information (username, password, etc.) and it appears to be correct, but it comes back with an error: Error decoding XML-RPC response.  What the heck does that mean and how do I fix it?  Thanks.

Well, I suppose that’s all from me for now.  My primary purpose in starting this “thing” (I’m going to avoid using that strange Internet jargon term) is to improve my writing by practicing.  I’ll rant about stuff, I’ll post short stories, I’ll share ideas.  I’m also going to assume NOBODY is reading, so I’ll get really excited if people actually comment and respond to stuff.  If I get nothing, that’s what I expect out of nobody!

Watch for something exciting soon.

*****UPDATE*****

I have a new post that explains how I solved the “Error decoding XML-RPC response” problem with Google Docs and WordPress.


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