Flummoxed

flummoxed: [adjective] completely unable to understand : utterly confused or perplexed.

Yep, that’s me. Perfectly describing my state of mind as I try to re-configure this new website / template.

You’re probably wondering why I changed from my former longtime RadioPatriot website appearance to this one. Well, I’ll tell you…

A few days ago, as I merrily sailed along adding posts one after another, I hit a wall. The website’s bright red “PUBLISH” button went dead. Stone cold dead. Unresponsive. It would not activate when I clicked it.

So…

Perplexed, I opened a “get help” chat box to communicate the unexpected problem to a WordPress’ “Happiness Engineer.”

She looked at it from her end and saw “the problem.” The “classic” design I have been using since 2011 is no longer supported by the updated WordPress (ie. WP) infrastructure.

“We recently released a lot of upgrades to the editor, specifically the ability to really edit any part of your site without needing extra code. We call this feature “Site Editing”. All of the new “Recommended” themes have that ability,” she explained.

Great. Just great. Why wasn’t I given advance notice this was going to take place? I asked her.

“Probably a misunderstanding,” the Happiness Engineer diplomatically replied.

OK, now what??? I asked, optimistic that this change-over would be as simple as she was implying.

“Our newer themes use a Site Editor that allows you to design templates for your site’s pages through a no-code, block-based interface.”

She copied The RadioPatriot‘s content onto one of hundreds of new templates supported by WP — the one you are looking at (named “2010”) to use as an example. My original website was not permanently discarded, BUT… she warned that if I reverted to it, I would be met with the same problem and advised against it.

“Although I don’t recommend you do this, it is possible to go back to the Chateau theme by restoring this backup.”

After more back and forth Happiness “chatting” during our “chat help” session, she referred me to a couple of links to “get me started:” Selecting a template, how to saving my original content to transfer it to the new blank template, and how to work inside the template using blocks to customize its look and functionality before making it LIVE so you, my reader, could see it on your desktop, tablet or phone screens.

“You may want to join our WordPress experts and learn how to use these new tools, from https://wordpress.com/webinars/sneak-peek-full-site-editing/

If you can’t join a live webinar, you may also watch a recently recorded webinar here: https://wordpress.com/webinars/sneak-peek-full-site-editing/#watch

So, I clicked a link to watch the first tutorial. Its recorded instructions/explanations were narrated by another Happiness Engineer who appeared in the upper right corner of my screen, explaining in a melodious but heavy accent that I found increasingly difficult to understand. It didn’t give me happiness. It didn’t give me confidence. This was going to be a little more complex than I expected, I realized as I began running my hands through my hair.

So Ok. After watching it twice, I clicked on to the next link.

This tutorial featured a blogging “photographer” who explained how he easily created blocks containing information, positioning them where he wanted them to show on his page.

Easy.

For him.

My brain doesn’t do well with tutorials that assume I have a basic understand of html, SEO (?) and whatever nomenclature that world uses. My learning style is definitely a more hands-on “You show me and I’ll ask questions as we go along” method, until it “clicks” in my brain and I’m onboard with it. Otherwise, I’m doomed to spend the equivalent of a college chemistry course semester acquainting myself with the basics… a periodic table of what the terms mean, how they interact, etc. etc. Aaargh!

That’s NOT how I want to spend my time! I want to post, post, post. This website infrastructure that would allow me to do that is beyond my ken, and of little interest to me.

Well, the more I research, the more confused and anxious I become until I’ve literally got a stomach ache and I’m raking my hair into a version of Bannon’s on a bad day.)

So…

Until I can figure this out — and there’s no guarantee that I ever will (who needs the stress???) or if…

…there is someone among YOU who can help me, (seriously — help! me!) configure this site to make it easy, inviting, and logical for all visitors to navigate, I’m afraid it’s going to look this way for now.

Some of you have offered great suggestions regarding how the layout could be made easier to navigate. I wholeheartedly agree. Problem is, I just don’t know how to make it happen.

Do you?

This reminds me of how it felt when I learned to ride a two-wheel bike without training wheels. Or struggled to learn to ice skate backwards. Or drove a standard shift vehicle for the first time from a dead stop going uphill.

But once I mentally understood the mechanics and got the hang of it, I confidently “traveled the world.”

I’d love to do that here, and take you along with me.

Can you help get me started?

By Radiopatriot

Retired Talk Radio Host, Retired TV reporter/anchor, Retired Aerospace Public Relations Mgr, Retired Newspaper Columnist, Political Activist Twitter.com/RadioPatriot * Telegram/Radiopatriot * Telegram/Andrea Shea King Gettr/radiopatriot * TRUTHsocial/Radiopatriot

14 comments

  1. Ohh, my great sympathy for how you had no option but to re-do the entire format of your entire blog. Considering my considerable lack of a proficient skill set with just about all of this, I admire your fortitude in accomplishing this additional major new workload. You have my greatest admiration. Also, I certainly had been wondering why you were doing this and appreciate your telling of this saga with the happiness engineer. The term alone makes me giggle ツ

  2. Andrea, I am just so grateful for your hard work in getting all the important information out to us, that I couldn’t care less what the format is like. I find your site easy to navigate, and haven’t had a single problem with it. I know what it’s like when a program becomes outdated, and is upgraded to make it “easier” to use. Who knew that “easier” could be synonymous with “impossible?”This usually means spending long sessions with the happiness engineer (love this term), who speaks some A.I language unknown to everyone except the “pod” people. Finally, I say, “Sorry, you lost me at hello,” and hang up. I sincerely wish I could be of help to you, but the way I deal with computer issues now is to tap on icons until something works—not very efficient, I have to say. However, I can pray for you, and I will!

  3. It’s too late to click your heels together and say, “There’s no place like home,There’s no place like home”, so keep swinging at the Flying Monkeys until the Wizard shows up.

  4. You go girl! I’m with ya! I only wish I could offer technical support but I’m afraid I rely heavily on my IT guys myself.
    But one thing I can do is PRAY! God will send help or give you a burst of amazing understanding. You are not alone.
    Hugs, love and prayers!
    A faithful reader

  5. Andrea! So sorry you had to experience ‘the new reality’ that seems to turn everything upside down, backwards and more difficult!
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your new format !. It is easy for tired old eyes that sometimes do not work correctly, TO SEE ALL OF IT! I love the color, spacing, it is so easy and pleasant! I am no longer gadget savvy…. not sure when that happened, but it did. Thank you so much for the new LOOK! It is awesome. It WORKS like a charm! I am FOR anything that makes YOUR WORK EASIER! WE ALL APPRECIATE YOUR TIRELESS ENERGY, COMMITMENT, AND HARD WORK!
    Wshing you and everyone a Happy and Blessed Christmas! and ALL of us a Wonderful New Year of Successes On Every Level of our Lives!

  6. Heh. (That’s a nervous *heh*). I find it extremely interesting that there’s actually someone else who doesn’t speak ‘Greek’ (Geek’?) than me. Yanno those days where there’s been no trace of my acknowledgement of one of your posts? It seems like it’s every. other. friggin’. day. My HP ‘Elite’ ‘reconditioned’ desktop is hardly two years old and it gets so damned slow / unresponsive that I have to shut it down or unplug the power, wait for the hard drive to stop spinning and plug it back in / turn it back on, wait for it to go through whatever the geniuses programmed it to do so that a computer dummy like me can use it for what it was made to do, which it will do for a few hours … then it starts acting up again, freezing for a minute or ten, then slowly opening the windows or emails I had clicked on 20 minutes earlier.

    Every. other. day. for. months.

    To say it’s exasperating to spend (waste) so many hours in one day on this abomination of humanity is a massive understatement. I’m embarrassed and ashamed at how much I *do not* get accomplished *daily* because of this insanity. I’m gonna guess that if I knew someone who could be my ‘Happy Engineer’ I’d learn what to do to correct my cursed computer, but I don’t. And no, holy water doesn’t work … nor does threats of using a 10# maul (which, if I didn’t have sooo much saved data and priceless articles and memes accumulated over the past three-ish years I WOULD USE).

    Now if the subject was about Cherokee history, U.S. Marines, scuba diving, hunting, HO trains, anything to do with LEATHER, oceanographic technology, chemistry and many other useful topics I could successfully struggle my way through. Computers are my krypton. Period.

    I sincerely wish you the very best in wading through this specific ‘puter swamp which is worse than the Everglades. I’m afraid it will take *all* of your 5,700++ subscribers to pray for your conquest of that confounded “oh, *that’s easy*” ‘puter program. You have my support to punch anyone in the nose that says to you, “Oh, that’s easy.”

    My sole, qualified advise is get yourself a coupla those ‘stress-relieving squeeze-balls’ … and KEEP YOUR HANDS AWAY FROM YOUR HAIR. Wigs can get expensive. j/s

    Prayers, young lady. I know you can do this.

    1. Picture this: A laughing near-balding woman who is damn close to giving it up! I’m hoping someone will come to my rescue. (guess it won’t be you…) As to your problem? Have you brought the damn thing to a reputable computer service outlet to run a diagnostic on it? Might help. If you’ve already been around that block, see if John Paul MacIsaac the Blind can help you. I read he’s real good with computers. Ask Hunter…

  7. Oh, who the heck cares about the format anyway? I love whatever format you decide, Andrea, and will follow you no matter what format is chosen! YOU GO, GIRL! We appreciate and love you! Wishing you a very Blessed Christmas and New Year!

  8. Alright, here’s the thing: “They” are changing things faster than us old folks can adapt to them and it’s maddening ! Computers as we’ve come to know them are actually toddlers who won’t clean their room to our spec’s, laughing at us because of a missed keystroke. The “Tensile strength” of most of us using these dammn computers is not as good as their ability to change what we already don’t know or can’t comprehend. But, I absolutly love the replies and heartfelt messages of hope of the others who have replied.

    Can’t we just go back to 3×5 cards and pencils? I rebuild engines for antique cars and my favorite tool is a no. 2 pencil

    So now I have to hire a “computer and social media guru” who should be about 25 with flat abs and big boobs just to help me muddle through the neverending changes that seem to come daily. I hope she likes Packard straight 8’s

    Good luck folks-Shawn

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