Hiya folks! I’ve been quiet I know. I’m working on a lot of content that I really want to debut all at the same time, so that’s what has been going on behind the scenes.
Computers are hard
Over Labor Day weekend David and I pored over the backend of my website, trying desperately to resolve a mysterious problem that was ruining everything. Fixing website stuff involves searching through code you don’t understand, changing one thing, and then checking to see if that fixed it. It took two days, but Monday night I finally found the problem and fixed it. We hooted and celebrated and then off I went to bed, feeling like the smartest girl in town.
But then I woke up to emails from concerned readers wondering what was wrong with my site. Somehow while I was ninja-ing my way out of one computer problem, I managed to create another by inadvertently blocking all traffic from viewing my content. Oops. That’s kind of the point of a website, you know, to be able to see it.
So Tuesday morning I stumbled downstairs at 5:00am, sat in the darkness and squinted over my WordPress screen until I found the problem and fixed it. Ah, to feel smart again!
Twenty minutes later we realize none of our podcasts are playing. Not on the website, not in iTunes. We do some digging on the server and all the audio files had just, disappeared. Like sentient beings, they picked up and left without leaving a note.
It’s fixed now. Bluehost- my web host, fixed it in five seconds. That’s the difference between trying to fix it on your own versus letting an expert fix it.
About a couple of times a year something fucked up will happen to the website or the brand or something and I will be faced with the realization that I am not a computer scientist or developer.
A website is a big thing. I think because I started on blogs I just never really saw it that way. Having an internet presence has always been easy. Even as a photographer, I built all my own websites without a problem. But I am seeing now that with something bigger, something meant to serve more than just the writer themselves, a lot more thought should go into the infrastructure of the site, preferably at the beginning of building the site.
Build it, and they will Troll- dealing with trolls on YouTube
I’ve been trying to figure out a strategy for YouTube that I’m comfortable with. It’s a fine line to walk, having young kids as well as being a YouTuber. I would find myself sick with dread when it was time to log into YouTube. There would be all these comments from people, all so sweet, and then some asshole will come and comment that I am a bad mother.
Calling a good mother a bad mother is like holding a flame near a cow’s ass. Things are gonna get real bad, real fast.
So I decided to lock down the channel a bit. First step was setting all comments to be hidden until approved. But that sucked big time, because somebody needs to actually read them to approve them. And I realized that until I am able to HIRE somebody to delete troll comments, I just don’t want to deal with comments at all. For me, the good doesn’t outweigh the bad. The idea that my image; my voice and face and thoughts, is sitting somewhere with hateful comments underneath is unacceptable to me. I refuse to be a platform for some neckbeard’s hate, yet I also refuse to be silenced.
Trolls are just content thieves that are too stupid to come up with anything of their own so they hang out on the internet, riding on the success of actual content creators. I am done giving them something to hitch a ride on. My cause is real and personal and serious, so the next step on the channel was to disable all comments completely. Turn off their voice.
And since I did that it has been so nice to log into YouTube and see 0 notifications. That horrible ache in the pit of my stomach is gone. There’s no dread when I check my subscriber count. I can actually watch other people’s shows again!
Here’s what I realized. The people who really want to talk to me will find a way. I’m not hard to reach. But the trolls. When they watch my show and feel the urge to say something disgusting to me, they will now have to find my contact info and then go about their trolling. And that’s not how trollers troll! Haha bitches!
And so, YouTube feels fun again. It’s nice to make these decisions for myself. You don’t have to subject yourself to the idiots of the world. You can take away their voice when you ban them from your presence. As much as you can, try to protect yourself from assholes, and don’t let their negativity invade any aspect of you.
So let’s build it, and only let in the Trolls that we actually like
The initial reason David and I spent so much time last weekend working on the website, was because we have begun the process of building a membership site on thestonermom.com. We’re setting up an awesome space here for member-only videos and vlogs, live stoner sessions with me and my buddies, and access to a forum made just for grown up stoners.
It’s all about safety for me, so the forum absolutely must live behind a paywall. I want members to feel safe on our boards and willing to be open and honest about parenting and pot use. So the forum will be a paid service, and I really think it’s going to be great. (Do I sound like Trump?). It’s great. Really. Just the best.
On the personal side
The kids are all back in school and so we’re back to the regimented schedule. Wake up, off to school, back home, work, work, get stoned, work, clean house, get kids, do homework, cook dinner, bathe kids, put kids to bed, time with husband, sleep. Wake up the next day and do it again.
Kids in school means I have way more time to work. I work best when I don’t have kids around. It SUCKS. When they are home, even when they are totally self-sufficient and doing their own thang, I feel completely guilty and weird if I’m working on my computer. I don’t know what it is. I have got to retrain my brain or something. There’s nothing wrong with me working! Especially from home, and why shouldn’t they bear witness to what it takes to start a business and brand?
The girls love that their mom is a YouTuber. No I don’t have millions of subs like DanTDM (yet), and no they aren’t allowed to even watch my channel, but still. That generation is already so into video broadcast. I should probably start modeling the work and dedication that goes into starting something, and stop feeling guilty for working.
I’m finishing this post, Wednesday morning. I hope you all are having a great week. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit the site, to read my thoughts, and to share yours on social media. And also, thank you for being the responsible examples of cannabis users that I know you all are. We’re changing the stigma.