My Blog Server(s) is Sentient and has Dementia
Saturday, June 20th, 2009 | Author: lisaksimone

What happens when you create a new user profile on a website and then it magically adds your picture to the profile? Do the servers trade stories after work over SMS martinis? Compare notes and plot random “Your Registration Has Expired” warnings to evil users?

I have a couple blogs with an elusive entity called “Wordpress.” I found out the hard way that massive social networking servers are as temperamental as Paris Hilton looking for a new BFF.

Apparently, according to Wordpress, I am 3 different people, but really only 2½, 2 of whom share the same face. Who had to be introduced to one another through a server matchmaker.

So which Lisa Simone are you really?

So I tried to figure out how many of me there are. Certainly more than 2½. Were the whacked servers at Wordpress anywhere close?

According to How Many Of Me, there are 30 Lisa Simones in the US. There are 160 Lisa Simones on Facebook and at least 9 on LinkedIn.

I also found a cool website World Names Profiler where you can search for surname distributions around the globe (Clearly my husband is from Italy. *grins*)

Have you ever Googled yourself? “Lisa Simone” is a singer, a webpage designer, and the star of the Classic B-movie, The Giant Gila Monster. But really, I’m just the author, the professor and the engineer. And the ofttimes irreverent technology-vs-life blogger.

While it’s neaaaat to check out your doppelgängers or twins, it’s not so neaaaaat to find that you’re a sort-of confused half-sister of yourself.

Well, I think I’m not confused but collections of data packets out in internet-land clearly are.

Enter Wordpress (s)

This blog is hosted by Network Solutions - it came free with my hosting package. Picture the entire internet world - the You Are Here arrow points Right Here at www.lisaksimone.com/PhoneonFire/. But it wasn’t always so.

Lemmee back up a bit.

In the beginning (queue some profound music from Tales from Topographic Oceans or something), I started this blog at http://www.lisaksimone.wordpress.com. - hosted for free at Wordpress.com. A good platform with many neat templates, and totally free!

But then I changed hosting companies for my main website. (Insert a negative review for Verio here.) I found out about the free Wordpress blog, but I already had a Wordpress blog. But I figured I’d “signed up” through my hosting company and use the same username and password - hoping to have Network Solutions connect itself to the Wordpress blog I already had. Would it recognize me?

Lo-and-behold, it let me in!

But the dashboards were different. I had stumbled upon two different incarnations of my Wordpress blog; one published and the other just a “Wordpress Blog Under Construction” placard.

Huh ?????

The Wordpress Sisters

I quickly found that there are two Wordpresses - the free Wordpress.COM and the for-a-fee Wordpress.ORG. They LOOKED the same, but Wordpress.ORG offers more templates and features - the .ORG focuses on the professional market. So, I decided to use the .ORG option. Mostly to tie it to my website and to remove “wordpress” from the URL.

(Plus, it has that cool mouse logo.)

Got it?

I know, it took me a little while to figure it out too. ESPECIALLY since it Isn’t Quite Obvious to the average bear that 1) the two are not the same, and 2) they are more like estranged cousins than happy siblings. I had no clue they were even SEPARATE ENTITIES.

Case in point - below are two footers from Wordpress. Can you tell which evil twin is which?

Here’s what’s behind Door #1:

Footer from Wordpress.COM

Here’s what’s behind Door #2:

The top is from Wordpress.COM. The bottom is the footer at my Wordpress.ORG blog.

CAN YOU SEE MY CONFUSION?!?!

Dueling Wordpress Forums

ANYWAY, I was thus elucidated on the difference when I went to the Wordpress.COM forum to ask why my two lisaksimone blogs weren’t the same. After I received the (apparently frequent) explanation that Wordpress isn’t really Wordpress (you know, that whole Us vs Them thing between .ORG and .COM) they told me the two couldn’t be merged. Or even point to the same place.

Sigh. Ok. Got it. Move along.

So when I had a question about my .ORG blog (this one), I made sure I went to the correct forum. The forum at .ORG … but I was unable to log in and post a question. And I had made SURE I logged in with the correct .ORG username.

It informed me my username wasn’t valid. It just didn’t know me. Sorry, maybe we met in a bar and I was trashed chugging files beyond my max Mbps. But then it kinda acted like my username was real, but that I’d just forgotten my password.

To hinder my OWN debugging process, my usernames for both .ORG and .COM blogs are the same - so where the hell was I currently logged into? (See yet another data point in my own confusion?)

So I used the “have your password sent to your email address on file” option.

So I waited.

Nada.

No email.

But (my brain yells) I can log on and post here on my .ORG BLOG, but not log into the .ORG FORUM!!!!

** rolls eyes **

So, to the punch line …

Network Solutions informs me (they have very nice customer service representatives, by the way) that even though Wordpress.ORG is the same as Wordpress.ORG, getting a Wordpress.ORG BLOG directly or through my hosting company is somehow different. I can log in and post blog entries, but I can’t log in and post a question on the forum.

(Oh, the eyeballs just keep rolling. Can you sense my frustration by the % italics in this post?)

Creating a user account, TAKE THREE

So…. at the advice of my hosting company, I went to the Wordpress.ORG forums and created a new account. Same username as my .COM and *other* .ORG accounts. (I just didn’t want to have to think in circles every time I wanted to log into some incarnation of Wordpress as some other incarnation of Lisa Simone.)

The Wordpress.ORG Forum Server-Meister took my info and then happily greeted me as a New User! Now I was Welcome To Ask Questions! Finally, I thought everything was cool (well, at least UNDERSTANDABLE).

So for step 2, I was invited to add information to my brand new user profile. It loaded the New Profile page.

But somehow, magically, it already had my picture. Imagine that.

So it had kinda known me all along.

PS - Facebook isn’t sure about me either. But at least these two incarnations of me are on each others’ Friends Lists!