Infrastructure — not customer service

By Scot Herrick | Cube Rules Commentary

Nov 24

Last weekend, I upgraded all of my WordPress sites to version 2.3.1. While using a “one-click” upgrade may sound like it is not a lot of work, the reality is that there is a lot of work to be done after an upgrade — almost all of it unexpected.

Plugins

Plugins are little software snippets that provide specific functionality with your site. One of the things that WordPress has gotten good at is preventing the installation of a plugin that will cause problems with the site. That’s good in that it helps keep the site up and working; it’s bad because plugins for functionality now need to be researched, tested, and replaced. That happened to me with one of my “back-office” plugins.

Research, test, replace.

But it also happened with one of my favorite user facing plugins — it’s the “sharing” function where you can click on the link after an article and bookmark the article to some of the social sites out there. Upon upgrade of the underlying WordPress software, my social bookmarking plugin would cause a fatal error to the site. Ouch!

Research, test, replace.

The new plugin is that nice little purple box with the heart on it right at the end of this article under my signature. Called the “I love social bookmarking” by the author, clicking on the “Bookmark Options” link will open up a little window that allows you to subscribe to the articles, set the blog up in an RSS Reader like Bloglines, or add the article to a social site like Facebook.

And, by the way, the first replacement plugin I tried didn’t work. But, I like this one better as it is simpler for users and to administer.

Research, test, replace!

Advertising

One of the other changes this past week is that I took off all of the Google advertising on the site. There were several reasons for it. First, Google’s Adsense would interpret “Cube Rules” as having doors for open cubicles, which I suppose is accurate, but would pick up little or nothing related to career management, personal branding, networking, or individual productivity — the main themes of this site. Consequently, there wasn’t a lot of value added for my readers.

Second, I made a decision that I would directly contract with services that would be useful to readers of this site and you’ll see some of that over the next month.

Third, I’m currently working on a different set of exciting services to offer to readers that is a bit further out — about three months, about as long as anyone in Corporate Earth goes with their decisions anyway.

For all of those reasons, I took off the advertising as it just doesn’t fit with what I am trying to do in offering services to readers.

Summary

My time got focused on what I call “infrastructure” rather than servicing my customers this past week. A telling tale, don’t you think?

Now back to our regularly scheduled blogging.

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.