Yesterday and today were the worst 2 days blogging that I’ve had so far…I guess days like this are bound to happen.
Last week I had this great idea for a new tool so I spoke with a few programmers about building this "great backlink" tool….I had the idea…but I wasn’t sure if it would be possible to do what I needed it to do. The programmer I choose thought it was possible, and he did some great work…and within 5 minutes of him saying "here’s the first draft of the tool" – I was posting it to my blog….that was a mistake.
In one sense, I could say I’m like Google (as opposed to Microsoft) in that I’m happy to release things just to be first…bugs and all….but sometimes releasing tools without testing them much first just makes you look bad….so now I’m wishing I hadn’t released my new tool until I had tested it out more first…even if I call it "beta" there can only be 1 original tool release…so instead of setting the SEO world on fire, It just kinda fell on its’ face…maybe it was an engine stopping my tool (and I flatter myself to think they care eneough to stop one of my tools)…but it was probably an error on our part….and my fault for saying "be my guinea pigs – I think it’ll work" – my bad!
Then I went in and deleted the posts saying "Hey Jim, your tool is filled with errors" after I thought I had fixed the errors….that’s not right either….I’m not a fan of deleting posts…I don’t think that’s right (when it is right to delete comments?). The whole experience with that just didn’t feel right….I’ll learn from that experience.
Tonight I also had some comments about people being able to log into my control panel on this blog…at first I freaked out and killed those comments (so any mean people wouldn’t see "hey, you can edit Jims blog if you sign up")….then I signed up as a new member, and clicked on the link in my welcome email and Yea – it totally brought me into (what I thought was) the main controls of my blog….upon further inspection I found what happened….
….I’d been hit with some crappy comment spam last week, so to combat it I decided to make people sign up first to make any comments…while doing that I also changed one setting in wordpress under "Newly registered members:" from what was checked "Cannot write articles" to instead to "May submit drafts for review"…and once that setting is checked, and someone signs in, the control panel kinda looks likes they’ve got free reign in my control panel….but they really didn’t…they could write and submit articles in my control panel for review….but only the mod could approve them (me)….their login control panel showed my posts and comments…but they couldn’t be changed or edited….but at first glance it looks like they had the keys…but they didn’t….
So I fixed that mistake, and changed everyone levels to regular ole users (but if you want to submit an article to me, feel free….the best article I’ve had on my blog was written by guest writer Nick Wilsdon).
So I guess it’s just one of those days with my blog….oh well….
What did I learn….I don’t like deleting comments…and don’t want to in the future unless I feel I really have to…I learned also to not release new tools to the public until I’ve tested them out a lot more (I’ll let you know when/if the "Real Backlinks" tool is ready for the next beta release)…and I learned "don’t change wordpress settings unless you know what they do" (hey wordpress….here’s an idea put a link or something next to settings that say "if you check this box, here’s what will happen" for guys like me who say "wonder what will happen if I check this box 😉 "
So tomorrows a new day…and Hey, I’ve got another new tool coming soon….this one I’ll test out first before I tell you how cool it is and before I start asking for guinea pigs 😉
So I don’t feel alone here, have you ever done dumb blogging (or software release) mistakes too (so I/we can learn from them)….(or at least laugh a little)?
It’s a good rule to never delete comments, maybe ugly trackbacks but not comments. I have had a few high profile sem’s delete my comments recently, you would laugh if I told you who they are. I guess it is not smart to comment about people’s stats eh? Oh well, live and learn. 😉
Jim – If you are ever in a jam I can do all kinds of cool stuff to wordpress.
Hey, if those are your worst two days, life isn’t so bad. 😉
Don’t worry about it, I expected my comment to be deleted, I would have emailed it to you, but since there was already another comment about the issue I figured I may as well put a confirmation about the potential problem next to it.
As for dumb software release mistakes… too many to mention… but how about a demo mistake that another developer did at a previous company (3 or 4 companies and a couple of lifetimes ago)? He apparently thought it’d be funny to put some ‘bad’ data in while testing (and by bad – bad and inappropriate language). What he didn’t know was that a client came by at short notice, so the CEO offered to show them the progress on the demo… Needless to say the CEO didn’t find it funny and the aforementioned developer was out seeking new employment the next day…
The man who never makes mistakes, is the man who is afraid to leave his comfort zone. He never takes chances and or tries something new, in short he never grows.
Heck this week I put up some posts with links to the wordpress edit versions of future posts. Why not just stick a big ole sign that says hey try and hack my password why don’t cha …
I am new to blogging so I dont have many issues, but I did one stupid thing. I installed a Captcha plugin on my first day. I then posted my first blog and then emailed and told all my friends about it. Well, turns out the captcha plugin was not showing the fonts correctly and no one could comment. Duh! I saw your control panel the other night… I thought nothing of it.
I agree with GrayWolf on the the mistake comment. Live & Learn…
You have an informative and regularly updated blog here – that definitely cuts you some slack on a couple of bad days! 🙂
I’ve had worse. About 2 years ago we were running a very small (luckily!) PPC campaign for a client. After a dismal week of zero conversions the girls had been trying everything, changing the ad texts, landing page copy/positioning and increasing the budget. I took a look at it and asked if they had checked the landing page form worked…
I came clean with the client, refunded their money and gave them some free time with us (not a fun phone conversation, the marketing was for their conferences, this last one was now under-booked). However they came back and are now one of our most regular PPC clients. It was a very good lesson in the importance of testing 🙂
Cheers for the kudos on the article as well Jim, it was a pleasure writing it. Definitely made a change from covering the Russian search scene!
embrace failure. you usually learn so much from your mistakes that they are more than worth the hassle.
and i can empathize with the early release, but it is a tough call. if you wait until your product is “perfect” then you run the risk of missing the boat.
we launched the search functionality of the blog directory too early, and i spoke with robert scoble about it at SES NY. he blogged about it, and his readers slammed us. errors galore, and definitely not the first impression we wanted to make.
don’t beat yourself up about it.
Hi Nick! 🙂
Hey Aaron – hope you’re well 🙂
No worries, Jim. When and if you do launch it and it works, the SEO world will once again be afire with it. A great tool is a great tool – messing up one launch only makes you human.
No blood, No foul. LOL.
One of the benefits of having a popular and frequently updated Blog is you have so many great posts and positive comments that the bad ones get buried and forgotten about quickly anyway. Keep up the good work Jim.
This is a great blog. I love the content of this page. I will add your blog to my favorites.Much appreciated :0).
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