Friday, January 06, 2017

Code Cracking Housewife...

Calm the farm - I don't consider myself a housewife. First of all, I respect real housewives enough to acknowledge I lack all the skill and determination it takes to run a household well, I wouldn't belittle the works of housewives by passing myself off as one. Second, I can be a crappy wife at times - not that Dave would ever say as much, he is both smarter and nicer than me - so, no house in its right mind would have me. I'm more like a house grandma, here for all the fun bits, but I get tired and need a nanna naps regularly.

Anyway, I was quite pleased with myself yesterday when I figured out how to manipulate code to get a widget I'm particularly fond of to work on this new dynamic blog template. When I changed my blog template on the 1st I discovered my Statcounter widget stopped recording visits. I knew people were visiting because I actually talked to some of them, but none were registering on the widget. 

I LOVE this widget. It tells me how many people have visited my blog each day, where they visited from - including the suburb for most domestic visits. It tells me what time the arrived on the blog, which posts they read, how long they stayed, what device and platform they used, and their IP address. Yes, you share all this information with sites you visit on the net. Something to think aboutt.

I use this information to target my work, to know which posts are the most popular. I use it to know where people come from to my blog from (whether it was through Google, or a direct link, and whether that link was from Instagram or Facebook, or another source). It tells me if and what search words or phrases were used to find my blog, or find certain topics on my blog.

So, I was quite upset when this widget stopped working. I wasn't sure why it wasn't working but figured it had something to do with the changes I made on the 1st. At first I considered whether or not Blogger was blocking the third party information filter, or perhaps they had removed to the code for it. I checked the HTML template and saw the Statcounter widget was still visible. So, using Statcounters instructions, I tried to reinstall it in case the code was broken in some way. That didn't work. I noticed none of my other widgets were visible on the blog, so I went to the layout of the blog and deleted all the widgets and tried installing the Statcounter widget from the start. It was also a no go. I googled and found a solution that required me to enter a code script with my Statcounter ID. That didn't work either.

All of this was requiring me to copy and paste (and sometimes add to) the Statcounter code for Blogger, or specifically for dynamic blogs on Blogger. The cut and paste procedure was automated (click on the code and it highlighted the entire code and copied it), so I was trusting the code was as it should be.

Then I looked at the code itself, and it occurred to me that the first couple of lines and the last couple of lines were superfluous to the function of the widget, so I employed the automated copy procedure I'd been made to use several times before, only this time instead of copying to the HTML code template or the CSS window in the advanced settings for the template, I copied it to Notes, then edited the code, copied it to the HTML template and VOILA! it worked!

I've still got it! 

I am not a coder or a programmer but I still have the ability to work a problem and through persistence, determination, and patience (yes, patience - ME!), and not least willingness to get it wrong over and over, I made it happen. I'm so proud of myself! It was a timely reminder that I have skills and abilities, even if others can't see them.

While I don't have the skills to be a decent housewife, I have no doubt a housewife would have the skills to do what I did because she has all the skills I mentioned; problem solving, determination, patience, and persistence.

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Good Job!