No, I didn’t fall off the planet 3 months ago …

… though I know I’ve given every appearance of having done just that.

Let’s just say that it’s been … interesting.

Both August and October were insanely busy in RL, chiefly due to a new case concerning a client literally being robbed blind by their former managing director (even after he had been fired once he had been found out), with a couple of hefty, sleep-depriving emergencies built into the whole scenario — and all this on top of another major case, which is building up steam right about now, too.

Moreover, in August, as mentioned elsewhere, exactly at the moment when I had absolutely no time to take care of this, a theme update caused several of my plugins to malfunction, to the point of keeping my blog from displaying at all for a period of two weeks or so.  I got it fixed just about in time for Halloween Bingo, which (although it runs in September and October) I did my best to whiz through in September, knowing I would be insanely busy again in October — even without yet another (unforeseen) emergency associated with the above-mentioned case … and without having even the slightest inkling, even a month earlier, what I would spend a lot of time doing in addition in October:

To make a long story short, my favorite reading community has a new home again at last, and I somehow ended up being one of the three people who made it happen.  After BookLikes folded (for all practical purposes) back in last July, we had very grudgingly migrated to a private group on Goodreads, in the spirit of a hated necessary expedient more than anything else, because this seemed the only at least vaguely book-associated platform where most of us had kept accounts, even though we hadn’t actually been active there for years (nor had any plans to be ever again — and only a few of us were, outside that group or a few groups associated with it).  To a community of bloggers, used to continuous threads of conversation via nested commenting and a joint feed showing just the contributions of our friends — i.e., the setup we had had at BookLikes — the Goodreads format constituted an extremely poor replacement even back then, even for our daily exchange (book chat and otherwise).  Community activities, such as the reading games (Halloween Bingo and Festive Tasks) took an extra amount of lateral thinking to make them work at all. 

Somehow we managed to muddle through nevertheless, and keep the community (mostly) together, if only by some pretty tenuous threads, all through last fall and up until September of this year.  Then the GR overlords, whose approach to problem solving has been, of old, in the style of an H-bomb rather than a single targeted shot, decided to combat a spammer ploy involving formatted external links by limiting all site members’ ability to post images, as well as prohibiting the formatting of all external links.  At one point, it even looked like external links were going to be prohibited entirely.  For the (former) BookLikes community, this happened right in the middle of Halloween Bingo, which is a game substantially reliant on both images and formatted external links … and it was literally the last straw.  We set up a search committee, which explored the available options, matched them to our requirements as a group and (in some cases) as individuals, and a month later, here we finally are — with a new home, looking and acting very much like BookLikes (only better), and with the community having flocked back even in the first week / 10 days of its existence with an enthusiasm that fills me with a sense of joy and optimism that I haven’t had about this particular community in over a year.  It’s been a bat-sh*t crazy month, and the whole enterprise had to be pulled back from the brink of failure more than once by the only one of us three organizers who actually knows a thing about IT (and, in fact, totally rocks at it), but here we are at last, ready to play Festive Tasks in a sparkling new environment that is going to restore it to the fun we used to have playing this game and Halloween Bingo ever since 2016. — I am not going to share any details about the BL community’s new home here; after the people who actually own the place we had made our joint home until last summer had let it go to the dogs by admitting (or even inviting in) spammers by the 10,000s, we are extremely protective about our new place and have made it as inaccessible to outsiders as we can.  But let’s just say I am very happy to see the community to which I’ve belonged for almost 10 years now finally coming back together in a new home that really deserves that name, and picking up old threads and habits almost as if it hadn’t been over a year since they had to be dropped.

That all being said, I have no plans of giving up on this blog, either — I’m very much enjoying the exchanges with everybody I’ve met here on WP in the past year (or so), and I still hope to expand my personal WP community, too!

In the next couple of days, I’m going to try and squeeze in a few update posts on my reading in the past several months — my current thinking is to make these a few summary posts and then, similar to the way I’ve done this until this past summer, extract from those, as (mostly mini-)reviews of the individual books, my comments on those books into individual posts associated with those.  So unless RL throws yet another spanner into the works, there may be quite a number of posts to make up for lost time. 

In addition, now that Festive Tasks is back being run in due blog format again — and we have our old BL format back, what with reading updates, dedicated review posts, etc. — I may actually be posting more overall, matching my activity here with that in the new place.  So stay tuned …!

And of course:

 

22 thoughts on “No, I didn’t fall off the planet 3 months ago …

  1. Happy Halloween to you too! Glad to read you’ve found a new home for your book club/group, and I dearly hope November will turn out to be a bit quieter month for you 😉

  2. Happy Halloween, ThemisAthena! I can’t even tell you how happy I am to be getting back off GR. I’ll keep my account b/c I do most of book tracking there, but aside from the Agatha Christie group, I’m unlikely to be there. I think I’m actually going to bow out of the DWS at this point, too.

    1. Happy Halloween, Christine. I don’t expect to be around much on GR anymore, either.

      Btw, what about bringing some of the (M)DWS things to the new place? E.g., “Author in Residence” and Author Birthdays … (in the latter case, I see another community resource project coming, too. Uh, oh.)

  3. Whew, this sounds like it’s been quite a few headaches rolled into one, so I’m glad things are looking up a bit more for you now, and that we’ll see a few of your bookish posts appearing again. 🙂

    1. It’s been a whirl! At the end of it I was totally wiped out — but seeing how quickly the community has come back together has really helped a lot to make me feel better again soon. Fingers crossed the major headaches are over!

  4. Welcome back online 🙂

    And wicked big congrats on getting a whole community up and running. Best of luck and I hope it turns out to be a smashing success for you all. I am sorry you had to put up with devilreads for a year though 🙁

    1. So were we. Quite a number of us had serious doubts about even going there for the limited purpose of joining a private group, but ultimately, keeping the community together won out. Let‘s hope this new venture is going to be „it“ once and for all.

      Nice new avatar, incidentally!

      1. Do you think you’ll try to grow the site or just leave it with the people already established?

        Thanks. I felt like a “facelift”, so to speak, and this one worked out well 🙂

        1. We‘re not looking at a mad rush at growth. This is a community with a common DNA at this point, which had been homeless for a year and has found a new shelter, so the first priority is about making everybody feel at home there. That doesn‘t mean we won’t ever invite any new people, but we‘re going to want to control the process and be sure they match the joint DNA, and don‘t turn out a disruptive element.

          1. It‘s actually less of a planned thing (with this spontaneous a jump start, little enough planning went into the whole thing to begin with) than the underpinnings of the whole venture and the one thing we agreed on from the start. Almost everything else is a matter of PM exchanges on the spot and „let‘s try this and see how we like it“ (and also „what the … just happened and why is it breaking the site???“) — or that‘s how it was for the better part of the (little less than a) month it took us to get the whole thing up and running. It‘s really only now that we‘re starting to sit down and look ahead to what we want to do next, or what new things we might introduce, either as community resources / features or in order to keep things lively.

            That said, though, what I love about this community is precisely that it‘s not just about the site admins, or anybody in particular, coming up with the glue that keeps us together (games, regular features, etc.), but EVERYbody does. „Oh, look, XYZ brought their weekly abc post back! Now I really know I‘m home!“ was the predominant buzz of this first week — and if there‘s anything that most gives me hope for this community‘s survival, it‘s precisely that. Now we can only hope that the predictions in your recent post about online blogging don‘t come true! 😂

  5. RL happens 🙂 And reading community websites are annoying! I know its been a real battle for you to keep everyone together. But I’m so glad you are feeling excited and hopeful about the new setup for festive tasks. And good job taking the initiative to keep everyone together! And its good to read new posts from you here on WP! A site which, of course, has its own problems😆🙄

  6. Hi, so pleased to read that remnants of the BL fraternity, left clinging to the wreckage, look set to wash up on a new sunlit shoreline! Good for you! I migrated to a solo space, but do miss the camaraderie we had, back in the day. Best wishes to all!

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