My WordPress blog stats for 2013 in review


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 41,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 15 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Finally, Graduated Elite! (Confirmed by @WordPress)


Finally, Graduated Elite! (Confirmed by @WordPress)

This notification from WordPress totally caught me by surprise, and really made me Laugh Out Loud, so I just had to share. To make it even more special, I got the notification at 13:37 – leet-o-clock!
I did nothing to earn this stunning achievement – it is the gift of all the wonderful registered users who were so kind and generous to follow my humble blog. Thank you all so much, your collective actions helped to brighten my day!


The Story Behind ‘1337 Leet’

In the days of Windows 95, a group of infamous hackers named “The Dead Cow Cult” used to take remote control of Windows 95 machines. They used a nasty software package called Back Orifice, and used the network port 31337 to take over thousands of Win95 computers worldwide. Their purposeful misspelling of the world “elite” as “leet” or “1337” was a way to bypass censorship programs.

Years later, the Dead Cow Cult influence has morphed into a subculture of jargon and power user language. People who speak “leet” today are not malicious hackers. Instead leetspeak is often the trademark of serious Internet gamers and people who pride themselves on being technically savvy. explains some of the leetspeak world here… 

Related terms to leet: hax0rchixor, 3ber, epeen, r0x0r. These hacker-type terms were originally purposely spelled with numbers to avoid censorship programs. Today, the numeric spelling is used as a form of subculture and expressiveness.

Posterous is closing down


Having been bought by Twitter a year ago, this was always on the cards; is closing down and my lissping blog will no longer be accessible as of 30 April 2013. Old links will just die.. no redirects, nothing.

I noticed today that the posterous site has developed technical problems which prevent me from editing existing posts after 26 February, and from adding news posts via the web – meaning I have had to write this post in WordPress in order for it to appear on Posterous. I’m tempted to make a corny joke here, but I shall spare you the agony.

What I have I decided is, I will stop posting new updates to Posterous as of today.

Sincere thanks to all the readers and subscribers who have been following me via lissping for the past four years.

Please transfer your subscription to this blog in order to continue to see my latest posts and updates.

If you have a Posterous blog, I suggest you try to get a backup and move to WordPress.

Are you Being Squeezed by Social Media?


Facebook has made several radical changes to support its drive to increase revenue. Twitter is on the same path. But have they tipped the balance and found your breaking point yet?

Dangerous Minds has written a lengthy and eloquent complaint about how Facebook is deliberately “broken” so that your posts are held hostage unless you pay to promote them. They didn’t cover the other parts of this plan, such as removing or obscuring access to RSS feeds of Facebook content, or treating cross-posted content as inferior, so that not even the 15% of your friends or fans – who might see content you posted directly – get to see those posts. They are listed as “X posted something from WordPress”, for example. This is designed to force you to access Facebook directly so they can deliver their promotion pitch. For activists, there is the additional challenge of having content removed, or having pages or accounts suspended. We are not just unwelcome: we simply do not belong.

Twitter has always been cumbersome. From the early days of having to deal with the fail whale appearing often and at random, we have learned to roll with the punches as they change the terms of service and the ‘rules’, mess with search and trending topics, prevent us from accessing our tweets but sell them wholesale to market research companies, remove RSS feeds, arbitrarily suspend accounts without warning, and respond to complaints or enquiries with template emails… the list just goes on. Most of the changes are not announced. The users have to maintain a constant state of vigilance – finding, figuring out and publicising each change. It’s an irritating waste of time. And it’s not what we came for.

As activists, we want to engage in a more meaningful way: to forge relationships, spread awareness, make a difference. These platforms are increasingly hostile environments, and the decisions they make in support of their profit mandate often run counter to our needs.

In my opinion, anyone with serious networking goals is going to have to get off the social media hamster wheel some time. The ideal scenario would be one where we take our friends WITH us, leaving Twitter and Facebook to turn into the consumer wastelands they aspire to be, and without our direct involvement. In other words, to relegate them to a lower rank on our social media menu. I think this would mean cross-posting to Facebook and Twitter (whether automatically or selectively) , but rarely visiting the apps themselves.

The poster image created by Dangerous Minds reads “I want my friends back”. I don’t think most people realise that they are no longer seeing as much content from their friends, and I assume they will be staying in touch through other channels, including private messages. However, after watching Twitter getting blackmailed by a judge into handing over content including private messages without a warrant, or be forced to reveal its earnings data, we can’t really regard private messages as “private” with any certainty. If more changes are planned, ones that shrink the current options, I expect that many users will reach the point where they want out. Then again, I have observed that the majority of social media users, including activists, can be incredibly resistant to change. If that includes you, then I have some questions, and I would love to hear from you:

Have you tried (or tried and failed) to move away from Facebook and/or Twitter, and what happened? What justifies you staying on Facebook or Twitter, and what would it take for you to leave? Are you aware of alternatives that you have avoided because they are not as heavily populated, or because you can’t break your existing pattern of online behaviour, or because you are afraid you would lose your friends or following? Would you move to a social media application that uses a paid subscription model, where privacy, security were top priority, and it was guaranteed to be free of advertisements? What do you suggest as an alternative?

WordPress Devs Love Twitter But..


even they “moved to WordPress”, in a corporate example of my personal micro-blogging evolution. This explains how, in 2009, the theme I am using – P2 – changed Automattic.

I’ve decided to call what I am doing here – posting status updates to Twitter and FaceBook from a WordPress blog home page as my base – as live-tweeting. It makes so much more sense to me that the commonly accepted definition, where tweets are harvested and used to feed blog posts which are updated  over time.