Sucked into the vortex of WordPress plugins, permalinks, pingbacks, and Google Accounts, I’m listening to Tommy Roe’s 1969 hit “Dizzy” and trying to get back up out of the whirlpool.
I dutifully installed and activated the recommended Askimet – no problem. Google Analytics was a different story. I needed a second search window just to read the descriptions of the bewildering array of plugins listed on the first page of search results. What the heck is “asynchronous tracking code” and do I need it? What’s the point of tracking “outbound clicks”? I narrowed it down to a choice between “Analyticator” and the unimaginatively named “Google Analytics for WordPress”, then spent even more time watching videos and reading author blogs before taking the plunge. I finally decided on GAforWP, downloaded and extracted the zip – only to find that WordPress would automatically download and install it for me. (At least I didn’t fire up filezilla to upload it to my cPanel file manager!) The next challenge was trying to figure out why I couldn’t authenticate. Finally I realized I had to actually add Analytics to my Google products, then when I still couldn’t authenticate, clicked the “add UA manually” box and pasted in my code. Even that required a second try because at first I didn’t realize “UA-” was part of the code. I resigned myself to waiting a few days before I could know if it would actually harvest any data, only to discover to my delight that I could change Google Analytics settings to show today’s date. A big thanks to the ds106 blogger who posted about having to view the results on the analytics site. At least I didn’t have to discover that on my own. That was about the time I started singing “I’m going ’round in circles all the time” and chose the title for this post. I could have spared myself a lot of time and frustration if I’d found Tenisha Minor’s link to WP beginner’s guide before doing this the hard way.
Twitter Tools sounded like a trip to the dentist; and until I begin doing more with tweets, it just doesn’t seem worth the effort. I decided to cast about for a more useful tool to play with. What I settled on was reCAPTCHA. I’d heard about a service that helped with digitizing books. Sure enough, on the second page of my search I found it. After Google Analytics, it was a comparative breeze to activate and helped restore a sense of cause-and-effect to my universe. ReCaptcha distributes the task of deciphering scanned text from old publications which OCR cannot solve. It seems appropriate to be assisting in digitizing old stories on my ds106 blog.