Don't Publish This - Oh if you Must!

Peter B. GiblettStarred Page By Peter B. Giblett, 24th Sep 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1zvh59pc/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

We have been plagued on Wikinut over the past few weeks and this article was prepared because of trying many times to publish an article. The aim here is to prep and publish all in one session, then if necessary update it and add as necessary.

Same Article Created 7 Times

I have been plagued by the Wikinut "Sometimes" a problem for the last 2 days and cannot save a new article. The problem is that despite the suggestion by Mark Gordon Brown's wife (and I apologise because I do not at this time remember her name) that I check the setting remains at "Your Pages (1,0)" on the right hand menu of my Wikinut page. Trouble is I normally write my article, exit from it, go back at a later time then add pictures, format, keywords etc., and may edit the article multiple times if what I am producing is lengthy.

Truth is my day doesn't allow me to write all the time and therefore I have to save it, then pick it up later an.

What I need is a crystal ball in order to predict the mood of Wkinut on any given day. Then I will be able to tell whether or not it is going to give me any issues saving or publishing my work, but I am not sure that I posses the skills to be able to use the crystal ball to obtain optimal results (having never been trained in it's use).

The SOMETIMES Problem

The "sometimes" problem here on Wikinut is a case of communication issues. What is supposed to happen is when you click on "Save Draft" your browser communicates with the Wikinut server. The problem is that the Wikinut server is locate on the other side of the planet to most writers, so what happens is that the requests are transmitted through the wires and can get lost.

What should happen is that the save request is sent and acknowledged (as close to instantly as possible), but what actually happens is that there is a failure in this process as the message winds its way across the Internet and doesn't arrive (or perhaps this is what happens with the return message). In the early days of the Internet this used to happen quite a lot but more modern communications are more tolerant and allow some failure without a disaster happening (and in this respect it is a disaster to lose a user's submission).

I have spoken about this problem recently with Mark, who had a while ago communicated with the Wikinut owners, who have stated that they are unable to replicate the error - truth is they are too close to the server to find the error.and for them any tests will not have any communications delays. In truth if I owned Wikinut I would ensure the site had a communications upgrade in order to stop this type of thing from happening, truth is communications protocols are at the heart of many of the problems around the web, ask any of the IT guys we have on the web to confirm this.

The trouble with SOMETIMES problems is that are very difficult to find the actual solution, during my days as a computer programmer I remember spending hours and on one occasion days trying to tract down such a problem. It is like the fault that develops in your car that magically disappears when it gets anywhere near a mechanic.

Fed up!

Truth is this current situation makes me fed up, because I haven't been able to publish anything on Wikinut for several days, despite having items complete and ready to go. In truth this article is largely an experiment - an approach to find out what is currently possible with Wikinut. Clearly other people are not experiencing this problem because I have been moderating articles for each of the days where I have been unable to publish. Chances are this article will be lost when I try to publish it.

Then if it I do manage to publish this it will of course need to be updated in order to bring it up to the standards I normally work to - this is the first attempt and will be raw, loosely edited, just as I would have on a first attempt (the point whereby I would normally save the piece and exit normally) but on this occasion I have added keywords and images. In truth this is all an experiment, to find out how to publish through this problem (albeit that this is a less than perfect route to publish).

The basic editing is complete, the pictures added and some keywords added. Time to press the "Publish" button. Wish me luck...

One of the things about editing an already published piece is that Wikinut does not seem to lose them. but we shall see what happens when it is republished (and you are only seeing this if you read the re-published version).

I Always edit Once the Article has been Saved

The process I go through when creating any article is to save it then at a later time edit it. In "Open 24 * 7 * 365... But I am tooooooo Tired Right Now!" I discuss some of the thought processes that I think are relevant to any writer, this is all a part of my philosophy of thought and writing, including the need to steer away from the cult of instant gratification.

To my mind no article should be rushed, it needs to go through a process that includes not only the creation of the thought/idea, it's translation into sentences to explain the concept, the time editing, discovering bits that you have missed, expanding those parts that where the explanation is insufficient, adding pictures, adding keywords, putting in elements to ensure your readers have the opportunity to read other work you have recently published - each, in my view, adds power to the words you use.

I hope that you have enjoyed this meander through my thought process.

Recent writing by Peter Giblett

Peter Giblett regularly publishes here on Wikinut and contributes a semi-regular column on 2 Drops of Ink, a site dedicated to the improvement of writing, grammar, and prose and his own blog called GobbledeGoox. Recent works on Wikinut include:

Wikinut is great a place to share some of your own personal wisdom by adding a comment or becoming a writer, join Wikinut and write.

Tags

Always Edit, Communications, Crystal Ball, Problems, Publish, Sometimes Problem

Meet the author

author avatar Peter B. Giblett
Author of "Is your Business Ready? For the Social Media Revolution"

Social media consultant, with C-Level background.

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Comments

author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
24th Sep 2015 (#)

Peter, I must say this is an excellent article. I've had a lot of trouble publishing my stories too. Just so you know Mark's wife's name is Brenda. I try to follow what she said and sometimes she is right. I've lost so many stories and I've had so many problems that I have come up with a solution. It is not the best solution in the world but at least it's some kind of solution. I write my story on my main computer on Wikinut and before I try to publish it I turn on my Nook Tablet and go to Wikinut on my Nook. I go to my article and bring it up on the screen then I go back to my main computer and push publish. Just as you've said somewhere my story gets lost. Then I go over to my Nook and still have the story on the screen so I retype in on Wikinut again. Sometimes I have to do this three time and then it will usually publish but I'm never sure how many time I will have to type my words over again. Fortunately my whole story is saved on my Nook but I must say it is extremely frustrating. I wish beyond wish that this wouldn't happen but it does over and over again.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
24th Sep 2015 (#)

Nancy, I keep a not of everything on Evernote, so I don't lose the words, but adding things like bold, italics and links is best done on Wikinut. So I like to save the story and come back to those things.

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author avatar Retired
24th Sep 2015 (#)

I am FED UP with Wikinut right along with you, Peter.

I've lost count of how many articles went POOF on hitting the "publish" button, how many times "saving" went on for hours only to be trashed at the end, how many hours I've wasted posting star-quality articles only to have them lost in the world-wide-web cyberspace between here and the U.K.

I've wasted just about as much of my time as I care to for a website that remunerates my efforts at orders of magnitude less than others. This is a website that treats its producers -- us writers -- like crap. Well, I think the website with its on-again-off-again technology is crap.

You can blame it on the technology, the 28-gauge wire that connects the Western Hemisphere with Wikinut owners in England, or the man in the moon. It's up to the owners to keep the site up and running, but they obviously don't care. I've had frustration with Wikinut up to my eyeballs and am well into feeling that that's enough.

So, I'm glad you managed to post this piece, Peter, exposing the schlock operation that Wikinut is, if only to have me agree with you.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
24th Sep 2015 (#)

LeRain, I covered the technical explaination because I know the precise reason this occurs, that said I am surprised it doesn't happen more often on the web. That said there needs to be replication servers in several locations to combat the problem.

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author avatar Retired
25th Sep 2015 (#)

Peter, I get it.

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author avatar Retired
25th Sep 2015 (#)

And again, Peter, I really do get it.

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author avatar Carol Roach
24th Sep 2015 (#)

I lose my articles once in a while, but I save my article as a draft, and click on the draft and rejected to make sure the article appears, when it does I leave it there.
next step after I press publish I open another page. If I see unreviewed there I click on it so that is showing. If not I go back to my original draft article that is showing click on it and publish again.

I never get rid of the either window where my article is showing as draft or unreviewed until the article has been published. Otherwise I lose them often just like you

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
24th Sep 2015 (#)

One of the things I have noted is that with re-publications things do not get lost. I do not lose the words, because they are saved on an Evernote note, but it is the frustration of the whole thing, especially when you have a limited time to complete the task at hand.

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author avatar Retired
25th Sep 2015 (#)

I think Carol ought to be Wikinut Webmaster. She knows the site better than the owners!

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
25th Sep 2015 (#)

Yesterday I wrote an article and followed all the steps Carol outlined above. I pressed 'publish', opened another page, saw it in 'unreviewed,' and figured I was home safe. Several hours later I logged on expecting to find my article published and it had disappeared into thin air. I'm not highly motivated right now to pen any articles for this site.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
25th Sep 2015 (#)

Steve, I have been there as well. One even showed up as "unreviewed" in the screen that appears after you press publish, yet when I returned to my account page 'poof' it no longer existed.

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author avatar Carol Roach
26th Sep 2015 (#)

Peter you have to open a new window, to see that it disappeared, trust me my method works, never ever get rid of the original screen where you saw your article with the title in draft or unreviewed never close that screen even if the new screen you opened up shows the article disappeared, you click edit and draft another copy on the screen with the name of your article, it is not lost though it appears to be in the new screen. Don't worry about that. Just follow the steps I outlined for Steve. It works, you never lose your article that way. I have been doing this for months.

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author avatar Carol Roach
26th Sep 2015 (#)

Steve, you missed a step. You went to the page where it said unpublished, that is your saved copy. If you go back and notice you actually have 0 unreviewed, that is where you go to your unpublished version, click on it, it opens up for me all the time. Then you edit save so that you can open yet another window to have a safed copy. Then you go back to your edit save copy, and publish. Look to see if you have it sent to unreview, never get rid of the draft copy. Sometimes, it gets lost even the second time, so your draft copy showing the article name is always your safe guard. If it publshes when you click on publish back in the other window you just safed your safe, if not repeat the procedure, but always always keep one copy of your article with the name of the article, so that you can repeat the procedure as needed. Once a reviewer has actually published the article, you then can clear any floating copies around. It has saved me so much time and effort doing this. Instead of typing everything over of formatting the article over again because it was lost, I just click edit on the saved draft or saved unreviewed article and follow my procedure.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
26th Sep 2015 (#)

Carol, I know there are workarounds, mine is to keep a copy of everything in Evernote, but my point is that the problem needs to be fixed because if it continues like this the less determined people will leave.

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author avatar Carol Roach
27th Sep 2015 (#)

yes you are absolutely right

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author avatar M G Singh
25th Sep 2015 (#)

Nice post Peter. I find that this problem has crept in only a few weeks back. Earlier I never lost an article, but now it's too often for comfort. I couldn't understand what the problem is. I am sure it's a bug and can be taken care off. So many of my articles just vanished and perforce I have to publish them on other sites. Wikinut has to solve the problem, otherwise the loss will be only to wikinut.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
25th Sep 2015 (#)

Madan, I guess being in India you have a better connection to the UK as this has been plaguing me for more than 6 months now. I am going to write to the owner.

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author avatar Retired
25th Sep 2015 (#)

All my articles exist offline before they go online, so if something does not load first time I can always try again later. This is a practice I adopted long ago with other websites - and is also a protection in case any particular site goes belly-up so that I can then re-use the material elsewhere.

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author avatar Ptrikha
25th Sep 2015 (#)

Yes, I also save my work in a text file.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
25th Sep 2015 (#)

Mine too, but it still takes ten to fifteen minutes to put together all the sections, and insert the pictures, add the links and the other necessary housekeeping. and the article I tried to add 7 times always fails.

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author avatar Ptrikha
25th Sep 2015 (#)

So, what is happening in technical terms is that there is an issue in "Distributed Transaction" processing, or perhaps a connection timeout and either some of the Middleware servers need setting changes, or additional systems need to be added, or some programming changes need to be made. And to replicate the issue, the technical staff needs to do some brainstorming.

Let us hope the issue is resolved soon.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
25th Sep 2015 (#)

Ptrikha, I believe upgrades are required all across the systems, but it is also my contention that replication servers are required to spread the load across the world.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
25th Sep 2015 (#)

I too have lost posts periodically , and have been thoroughly exasperated at the thought that I have to rewrite everything again .
I do have back up though as I write everything on another site first , and also in books for handy reference , but these do not include all the extra wording or pictures , which take me ages to find and process.
Maybe my patience levels need refining ...
Anyway ...I still think Wikinut is a good site , and I enjoy the work of others here ...so I will continue to press the 'Publish' button and hope for the best that all goes well .
Bless you Peter
Stella ><

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
25th Sep 2015 (#)

Thank you Stella.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
26th Sep 2015 (#)

Peter, I was just wondering if we lived near Wikinut would we still have these problems?

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
26th Sep 2015 (#)

Nancy. I do not know precisely where the Wikinut Servers are located (albeit the company is in Ilkley in the UK, if the server is local then when I used the system in Leicester I was 123 miles away from it. I encountered the problem as many times in the UK as here on the western side of the pond. If you were inside the company building you will not see the problem - guaranteed, and this is one of the reasons it is so difficult to fix.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
26th Sep 2015 (#)

Peter, thanks for answering my question. The reason I asked is because I know that since I live in Cleveland I'm far away.

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author avatar Annie69
27th Sep 2015 (#)

I've never lost anything once it got to the "unreviewed" stage, but the waiting for it to SAVE was horrible. 15-20 minutes !! (I'd leave it and run errands and when I got back it was still spinning) I really thought it was my laptop. Now I do all my writing off line. When I'm ready to publish, I cut and paste, then save as a Draft. Once I get it to Draft status, I publish. I've also noticed, although this might not mean anything, that the problem usually happens between England's Midnight and 6 am. I just thought that was when their computer was updating all the stats, etc.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
27th Sep 2015 (#)

I have lost multiple articles once they have reached the "unreviewed" stage, including one yesterday. This is especially annoying stage to lose them because it seems you are home and dry at that point. The time I have noticed the problem to be worst is weekdays between 10am and 1pm Eastern Standard Time (UK 3pm till 6pm).

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author avatar gausan
5th Oct 2015 (#)

Normally many writers start writing the articles on the content page of the website. They work, rework, edit and finally come to an end. This takes a long time consuming more time. Instead the idea can be well planned; neatly written in a separate doc. file and verified more than once before taking a decision to publish in the website. However, many times, this website takes a long time to absorb the content for review.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
5th Oct 2015 (#)

Gausan, the majority of my work is put together off line, even including the bold and italic markups and links to other pages. However it still takes fifteen or twenty minutes to load everything into Wikinut (and we are talking about creating multiple sections, adding pictures then verifying it is all correct) before pressing the "Publish" button. When an article is lost (particularly when lost multiple times) this takes up time out of my day that I don't appreciate having to use and that is the point of this whole issue.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
12th Oct 2015 (#)

I save my articles on MS Word but that is only half the battle won as formatting is at the mercy of Wikinut site. I thought, maybe, Chrome browser could be the culprit, but I use to have worse experiences with IE; I know some swear by Firefox.

It is troublesome to redo our efforts but it is happening all the time. Adding tags also take more time now.

That others find themselves on the same boat increasingly and by voicing out our frustrations could lead to fixing of issues soon, hopefully. Thanks Peter for speaking out - siva

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
12th Oct 2015 (#)

Siva, let me assure you the problem has nothing to do with your selection of browser, I use Waterfox, a Firefox variant (the fastest 64 bit browser) as I have even experienced the problem with the Windows 10 browser Edge.

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