13/12/2017

Indecision

Being off work for such a long period opens up a lot of thinking time I wouldn’t normally get.

This can be a double edged sword.

On the one hand I’ve had time to add functionality to the blog, read more and take an online course but, on the other, I’ve had the capacity to really examine what I’ve been doing for the past 18 months.

I think I've reached one of those junctures where I'm not entirely sure what I want to do or achieve with my online presence.

It happens from time to time and I've been through various phases in the past 14 years or so, wanting to be or accomplish different things.

I know one thing: social media is not the way I want to spend my time. Returning to social would be doing so just for the sake of it, not because it would actually achieve anything. It's not as though I would be using it as a tool to promote something more worthwhile.

I'm not running a business or promoting a product or book, using it as a customer service avenue or outreach tool.

No, I would be simply posting status updates for the purpose of posting status updates. And without a goal or plan even my blogging is starting to feel a little empty.

I have no need to modify the site or develop new functionality - I'm very happy with how it looks and works - so "getting meta" is not currently an option. Although that can only be a viable one for so long.

I think my desire to make a difference is actually down to wanting to achieve something worthwhile, something of value. Not financially but creatively.

I want to produce something that stands out, stands alone; something I can be truly proud of. Instead I just scrawl angst-ridden words on to a page - words about nothing in particular.

I dance around the matter rather than actually doing something about it. But therein lies the problem: I don't know the what or how.

If I did I'd be doing it already!

#bypen

(I wrote this last night while unable to sleep and was unsure of whether I should post it. But I decided not to censor myself and the best way to hold myself accountable is to put it out there.)

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# I did it!

After three weeks I uninstalled Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. I'm close to collecting all the amenities and have things in the middle of being crafted but I'm not waiting; I've just had enough.

Although Nintendo has been pushing out events at a remarkable rate it's just too much of the same thing, over and over.

Games like this appear harmless fun but they can be massive time sinks. They're addictive and blatantly meant to be.

The way everything happens in timed cycles (an hour for this, three hours for that) is designed to pull us back in throughout the day. Add the timed goals where you have to do or collect a certain number of things within a specific timeframe (usually that day) and all the ingredients are there to get you hooked and coming back for your next fix.

Yes, you could resist the urge and just play once or twice a day for a few minutes but your progress would be so slow as to be unrewarding.

So I'm done. I've reached my limit with it, as I always do with mobile games.

I'm just surprised it lasted this long!

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Changing permalinks

Ever since I moved to WordPress I have had my permalink structure set as /%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/ which served well enough. With the increase in microblogging and posts without titles, however, this structure looks a bit messy as the post permalinks also include date and time, such as: 13-12-2017-1127.

Not nice.

So I wanted to change the structure to just /%postname%/ which looks much nicer. The only problem is that changing it means links will no longer work unless redirection is in place.

I was looking for the best way to do this and came across the “Permalinks Migration Plugin for WordPress” by Dean Lee.

This is a great little plugin! All you do is copy your current permalink structure into the plugin settings page and click to update. Then you are free to change your permalink settings to any other option and all links will be redirected.

No messy link lists or .htaccess editing required and my post URLs are much cleaner.

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Colin Walker Colin Walker colin@colinwalker.blog