Channeling the Light

It was on my 16th birthday that I joined meditations under the guidance of Guruji Krishnananda. I have to admit that I’m not very regular with it, but meditating has brought a lot of changes into my life; if not outwardly, definitely has helped my inner self.

Recently, a Light Movement was launched by Guruji. It is a very simple way to purify and spread Light (love) all around us. It is suggested to be done for seven minutes when we wake up and go to bed. The method is very simple:

Imagine a beam of white Light entering your body through your head. Imagine the Light to be pervading throughout your body. Now let the Light out through your chest to the surroundings, to touch all things around you. Do it for 7 minutes twice a day.

To learn more:

WordPress.com — What’s happening?

Up until now, wordpress.com (not .org!) was THE best blogging community out there. I wonder why the people at WordPress.com are trying to undo all the good name that they have amassed after all these years of hard work?

I was always irked by the fact that WP.com introduced many ‘updates’ without any documentation about it. You either have to go to the Support Forums to find out, or search for a post in Matt’s blog, or visit several other official and unofficial WP related blogs. And to think of the fact that many people don’t even know about such things even after years of being with WP.com is very saddening.

Things you probably did not know:

1. ‘Invisible’ Ads on Your Blogs

WordPress makes money out of your blogs; forget giving a share of it to you, they don’t even inform you about the ads! If you are wondering that you have never seen ads on your blog, then it happens so that WP.com members do not see ads. And its only other visitors who see them. (http://faq.wordpress.com/2005/12/08/adsense/) Here’s what Matt has to say about this: http://wordpress.com/blog/2006/09/06/on-ads/ (Also read the comments and replies)

I’m really not worried about WP.com using my blog to make money from it. Especially since they host my blog for me and the hosting has been impeccable with absolutely no downtime that I have experienced ever since my time at WP.com. However, I’m a little frustrated and a lot worried, and more disappointed.

Why am I frustrated?
I’m frustrated because, nobody was notified about this properly. Also, like I said, I’m OK with WP.com publishing ads on my page to make a little money, but something isn’t really right here. Why stop users from making money from their blogs when they can do it? Why not at least split the earnings; as it is, its our content that WP.com is capitalizing on. I really am baffled at their policy of not allowing members to have their advertisements on the blogs.

Why am I worried?
We all know that Google Adsense is a contextual advertising system. Which actually means that they serve ads based on the content of our website. This system is inaccurate when trying to find relevant ads for the page. For instance, you may see links to unwanted sites (probably even adult/porn sites), which is not really something I’d want my readers to see. And especially since these ads are not under my control, I can definitely not do anything about it. (I won’t even know if or when such ads are shown — see why I’m frustrated)

Why am I disappointed?
Ads are not something that are really pleasant on a personal blog as mine. I’d keep it clean and not make money out of it at all rather than giving my visitors reasons to believe that I’m trying to make money out of a post which has no niche value attached to it.

2. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)

This is a very naive approach by WP.com and I really do not understand what they stand to gain from this. (Interestingly enough, we have a ‘possible announcement’ (Seems like Matt’s not sure if he has to announce it!) about it: http://wordpress.com/blog/2008/04/25/possibly-an-announcement/) And please people at WordPress, if you are listening, please do not list this under WP.com features. ‘Cause its bloody damn not! I’d have rather welcomed this update if it brought up related posts from our own blogs, but having a computer decide how my post could be related to the links that come up is so naive. Blogging for me, is a personal experience. I’m not providing content to the public domain, so I’m pretty against this feature right now.

If you actually read the comments on the ‘possible announcement’, here’s what FireFly said:

When I read about this, I was enthused. What a great way to find new blogs!

But then I saw that my hit statistics were reflecting that a racist, white supremacist blog was linking to me through the autolinks. There seems to be no quality control applied to the autolinks other than keywords. When you’re a woman of colour blogging about racial justice, this means that the feature is actually putting you in danger from people who have their interests set against yours. (In fact, white supremacists have attacked other woc bloggers in the past.)

So because of the irresponsibility of this feature, I have to either turn it off and lose a potentially powerful means of networking with other bloggers, or accept the risk that I might be the target of a racist attack. Catch-22.

There are quite a few woc bloggers who use WordPress who I imagine have similar concerns.

And Matt replied:

Fire Fly, that’s terrible! We’ll be rolling out a feature shortly that allows you to block blogs to protect you against something like this.

Again, shouldn’t the related posts be disabled until you roll out your new feature, Matt?

Robin said:

What happens when I end up with a link to a blog on a topic I can’t stand? We have links on our blogs already. We can control where those links go. I don’t like stuff I’m unfamiliar with showing up in my blog.

Matt’s reply:

Robin, right now you can’t do anything, but shortly we’ll be adding a feature that allows you to filter out certain blogs from showing up.

Matt, it would be awesome if we could actually choose the blogs to allow, rather than choose the ones to disallow.

I have currently turned this feature off. If you would like to do it too, here’s how:
Go to: Dashboard
Click tab labeled: Design
Click on tab labeled: Extras
Click “Hide Related Links”
Save changes.

And by the way, the announcement doesn’t tell you how to disable it!

3. Opt IN or Opt OUT?

I agree that people at WP.com put in a lot of time and effort to build really good features and manage them. However, one thing that I don’t understand is the fact that, whenever a new feature is rolled out, it is by default enabled to all the blogs! WP.com does not consider if there are members who wouldn’t need the features. They enable it for all blogs and give us an option to disable it. (Eg: Possibly related posts!) This is more like making us eat sh** and giving us an option to spit it if we don’t like it.

Wouldn’t it rather be nice if there was an announcement about the feature and instructions on how to enable it?

4. make this blog your-personalized-blog.com for just $15 per year.

One thing I noticed new in my dashboard today was the above statement. It was OK; it was a way of letting people know of the upgrades. But then, each time I visited my dashboard the line just stayed there. Until it forced me to click on the link, and read about the upgrade of domain mapping (which I already had). Why was it shown incessantly, until I clicked on it? Are things being forced upon members at WP.com?

That’s all for now. I guess wordpress found me in a bad mood today. I vented a lot of frustration at the Support Forums, and also created this post! I’m sorry if I hurt anyone’s feelings. I really love wordpress. And I’m just unhappy with the way things are being handled here right now. Hope things turn out to become better.

Update:

More WP bloggers disappointed with the recent update:

U R dumped

I’ve seen a lot of break-ups in my life already. That too, without having a girlfriend yet. Lol! From my experience, I really cannot tell you why people break-up; but what I’ve inferred is the possible reasons as to why they might.

When you are impressing someone, before you start going around with that someone, you put forward the best persona of yourself. Sometimes, well, most of the times, this ‘you’ is not the real you. You tend to hide your not-so-friendly-part of yourself and adjust with the person. You tend to act as though you are ‘OK’ with everything that the person says, does and thinks.

This image of yours is, well, not stable; firstly since it is not exactly what you are, and also, it is being challenged every time the person does something that you don’t like. There will come a day, when you can take it no more. Then, everything that was once ‘OK’ with you, will become irritating and intolerable.

This may just be one of the million reasons why people break-up everyday; another one that I figured is ‘lies’. If you are lying to keep a relationship afloat, you’ll find it impossible to bring it back to life once it has sunk. Lies destroy a person’s trust in you. And trust is vital in any relation.

The brain-seed of this post was actually a Reuters report on the tech-savvy way of ending a relation:

U R dumped — one in seven say they have suffered the same fate as Britney Spears’ ex-husband and been told it’s all over via text message or email, a survey said Friday.While hiding behind technology might appear a cowardly way of splitting up, it contrasts with the four percent who simply drop all communication with their lovers without notice.”Most of us send emails and texts everyday, so it comes as no surprise they are now being used to ditch someone — however distasteful this is,” said Rob Barnes from moneysupermarket.com, which carried out the survey.

“The results show one per cent of the population would use a social networking site to dump a partner. It would be interesting to see how this changes as sites such as Facebook and MySpace become more apparent in our everyday lives.”

One of the most high-profile victims of dumping by text was Kevin Federline, who reportedly received news that pop singer Spears was filing for divorce while being filmed for a television show.

The survey said 15 percent of the 2,194 people questioned had been dumped by text or email, although a quarter of those in the most tech-savvy 18 to 24-year-old age group would choose the traditional method — a letter.

I hold…

I hold the truth, ‘cause a heart must not be hurt,

I hold my weakness ‘cause my strength must not diminish,

I hold my rage, ‘cause anger has helped very few,

I hold my feelings, ‘cause love must not be forced,

I hold my pain, ‘cause it powers my will,

Life is all about endurance; Patience is the key…