July 11th, 2011

Gizmo Lovers

Gizmo Lovers 2.0

Gizmo Lovers Logo Welcome to the new Gizmo Lovers. I can’t really call it ‘all new’, just mostly new. Those reading this are most likely lingering from before the site went on hiatus, and I thank you for sticking around. I plan to post a summary of what led to the hiatus and what’s been happening for the past couple of years, but a lot of it starts with this old post.. A lot has happened since then, but I’ll get into that in another post.

I’ve been increasingly missing blogging, and I slowly started getting things together for a relaunch several months ago. I decided that if I was going to start blogging again, first I wanted to make some changes, as well as adapt to the changes in online trends from the past few years – like social networking. So there are a few things I wanted to point out.

First, and most obvious, I’ve upgraded most of the software – new version of WordPress, new plugins, etc. I also took the opportunity to create a new theme for the site, based on the ‘TwentyTen’ default theme. I know a number of readers disliked the old green-on-black look, so I hope the new minimalist look is more to everyone’s liking. I’ve also upgraded to a new caching system, W3 Total Cache, to improve performance, and I’ve installed WPTouch to provide a better mobile version of the site.

One of the more notable changes is that I’ve switched to using Disqus for commenting. I felt that it was a more powerful system, and it is used by large sites such as Engadget, but also smaller sites – like this one. But it gives you one place to manage your comments from multiple sites, track other users you want to follow, etc. A small tip – all of the old site comments were imported into Disqus. If you have a Disqus account I discovered you can ‘claim’ them by switching your Disqus account email to whatever email you used on the comments. Once linked they’ll stick with your account even if you change the email again.

Gizmo Lovers has also joined the modern world of social media, and is represented on Facebook and Twitter. (We need 16 more followers on Facebook before they’ll let me have a nice short link.) New posts made on the site will automatically be mirrored to both, if you prefer to follow the site that way. (The twitter feed at the bottom of the site is my personal account. Mirroring the site’s Tweets on the site seemed kind of redundant.) Of course, the RSS Feed is still around. You may also notice that Gizmo Lovers has a custom short link URL now too – giz.lv, supported by Bit.ly Pro. I registered that several months ago when I first got serious about relaunching, all the cool kids are doing it.

Since I stopped posting, the TiVo Lovers LiveJournal community has gotten pretty quiet. I used to manually cross-post TiVo-related posts to the community, but I won’t be doing that any more. Instead I’ll be letting the software do it for me! I only intend to cross-post TiVo-related posts to the LJ community though, not all posts, to remain within the intended purpose of the community. (I may cross-post administrative posts, like this one, from time to time.) If you’re one of the handful of people still using LJ, and you want to see all the posts, there is still the ‘tivolovers-blog’ RSS feed account. Yes, it dates back to when the blog was TiVoLovers.com, before the switch to GizmoLovers.com.

Of course, there always has to be a glitch. One of the changes that occurred during the hiatus was that I migrated my domains over to Google Apps. Which means I’ve basically retired my old Gmail.com personal address, and migrated all of the various Google services I use to my Google Apps account. One of the last things I did before making my first public post was to open a new AdSense account under my Google Apps account. Unfortunately Google doesn’t provide a simple way to migrate an AdSense account. It is a real grab bag depending on which service you want to migrate, and AdSense is probably the worst.

When I saw it was active I switched all of the ad blocks on the site over to the new account, and started posting. Of course, just a couple of days later Google disabled the new account because it duplicated the old account. So now the AdSense ads on the site aren’t working. I’ve jumped through more hoops, closing my old account completely and that is supposed to allow them to re-enable the new account, but I’m still waiting on that. So that’s why you may see weird yellow-ish boxes on the site right now – those are artifacts of the missing ads. (I’m not going to complain if you use an ad blocker, but it would be nice to have some return from the site…) Hopefully Google will re-enable the account soon.

Aside from that, I’d love some feedback on the new site. Especially if you have any problems with it. Use the contact form to drop me a line. And if you are having problems, please include as many details as you can – platform (Windows, Mac OS, Android, etc.) – including version, browser – also including version, the nature of the problem (any specific error messages would help), etc. There have been a lot of changes under the covers, so I expect there may be some kinks to work out.

I still have some work to do. I plan to overhaul a lot of the existing content. A number of the pages are stale, a lot changes in two years. I’ll be working on that bit by bit.

Oh, and I probably should say one thing – I don’t plan to post as much as I did before the hiatus. I expect to be posting fairly regularly, but a lot has changed in the past couple of years and I don’t expect to be able to spend the hours a day I used to on research and posting. I’ll cover that more in my ‘what happened’ post when I make it, but I will say that one of the big changes that happened during the hiatus is that I’m currently engaged to be married, the wedding is slated for February. So life is a bit different now, in a very good way. ;-)

To those of you who stuck it out, thanks for hanging in there. And for those of you who may be reading for the first time, welcome, and I hope you find the site worth your time.

Mirrored from Gizmo Lovers Blog.