19
Apr
10

Laugh along with WordPress.com and the new fun feature

Have any of you wordpress.com bloggers out there checked out the new wordpress.com fun feature?  Go to your dashboard and change your settings to Surprise me, then sit back and wait for the laughs to begin.

Monday  morning in search of yucks midst dreary news of volcanic cataclysms, a fifth day of flight groundings throughout Europe, Polish state funerals in the wake of last week’s horrendous crash in Russia which wiped out a sizeable chunk of Poland’s elite, not to mention personal ailments including a left shoulder that’s half-hanging out of its socket, a left knee that feels like stretched ligaments – oh, and a blood test – all due to be hashed out over an appointment with my doctor later today, I went online.

My go-to place for all things comedy? The brand new wordpress.com hit count!

Used to be you’d go to your wordpress.com dashboard to find the same old graphic across the top of the page.  Boooorring!  OK, you could choose from its vast menu of Daily, Weekly, or Monthly statistics, but doing so was about as funny as waking up hung over in early November, 2004 realising your fellow citizens had chosen four more years of so-called leadership from the world’s most famous white-knuckle drunk.

No more.  WordPress.com under its frolicky good-time Surprise me setting now has the Humanize button featuring links to upbeat, fun news stories that cheer your heart and put a smile on your face just before you head out the door into the harsh light of day.

The laughs behind Humanize are all based on how many hits you have, kiddies!  How fun is that?  For example, if you have 92 hits and click on Humanize it will tell you that there were also 92 people aboard American  Airlines Flight 11.  In case you haven’t been paying attention, that’s one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001!

Laugh?  I needed to change my Depends:

Hey, it gets better!  If you wait around for a little while as that hit count builds throughout the day, you can contemplate the fact that 290 people aboard Iran Air Flight 655 plunged to their deaths after the Americans blew it out of the air because its trigger-happy navy can’t tell the difference between a pterodactyl and a parrot!  Or maybe they just don’t give a shit. Should it therefore have come as a surprise their military can’t tell the difference between a Reuters cameraman and a freedom fighter with a rocket launcher?

But I digress.  There’s more!

If you have just one hit fewer than 92 – that’s 91 if you can do the math without the aid of GPS or the iPad calculator app – you get this:

The King David Hotel bombing?  OK, an attack by Zionists against the British in Jerusalem only a year after the end of World War 2 has neither the spectacular hilarity of a good plane crash nor is it newsy fodder for light-hearted Larry King talk-show banter, but hey.  We all needed another reminder via wordpress.com of just what a crazy world we live in.

I  just hope I’m never hungry if ever visiting their offices.  If this is what wordpress.com calls fun, I’d hate to see what their cafeteria calls food.


19 Responses to “Laugh along with WordPress.com and the new fun feature”


  1. April 19, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Good grief… what a bizarre widget.

    • April 19, 2010 at 4:27 pm

      Linda, I hesitate to ask how many on Vnukovo Airlines flight 2801 perished. I wonder if you only have 1 or 2 hits what it says? Does it re-cap some random car accident body count?
      I wonder what theme they have up their sleeves for tomorrow, if indeed they do intend to change it from death by smouldering obliteration. How about they tell us the number of soldiers who died in various battles – in thousands, of course. I need some more cheering up.

      • April 19, 2010 at 5:16 pm

        Oh hey, update time! With 265 hits you get to learn that’s how many died on American Airlines Flight 587, the one that took a splash into Jamaica Bay about two months after the September 11, 2001 mayhem. Despite it being the second-deadliest US airline accident to date, remember how relieved everyone was that it wasn’t terrorism?

        I think I’m going off to hang myself soon.

  2. April 19, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Well. I’m currently cruising along with the same number of hits as the passenger list of Vnukovo Airlines Flight 2801. How excited am I?

    Perhaps this is a pre-emptive move toward ensuring full employment for IT geeks. Who in the world thought this was a good idea?

    I’m surprised and amused, for sure – although perhaps not in the way WP intended. ;-)

  3. April 19, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Ian, luckily it wasn’t a body count – just a passenger count. 141

    Now, at 169, I’m told my hits are equivalent to the number of households in Leakey, Texas. That makes me feel a bit more kindly disposed to the program, since my favorite wood craftsman in the whole world lives there, and I’ve thought of it as a reasonable place to retire.

    I think I need to be diligent and get my new post up. I’m interested to see what one or two hits would be like, too. Or what – I suppose we only need to wait for the clock to roll over. I’ll be sure and be here at 7 p.m. local to see what’s in store!

  4. April 19, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    You don’t suppose they’re taking a google approach to targeted marketing. I’ll get Texas retirement spots and you, the journalist, will get the body counts? :-)

  5. April 19, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    I tweaked the Google search so it should try to avoid disasters now, but let me know if you find any more — my email is in this comment.

    • April 19, 2010 at 6:02 pm

      Well Linda, it looks as if none other than Matt Mullenweg himself has weighed in! Thanks, Matt. :-)

      Let’s see what the numbers bring up in the next little while.

      Update: I now know that there are 316 people living in Belgrade, Minnesota. Belgrade, Serbia has 1.6 million, but I had to google to find that out. There’s no way I’d get that number of hits in a lifetime.

  6. April 19, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Keep blogging! You never know…

  7. April 20, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    On the other hand, Ian, for REAL fun, try to post a new blog entry you’ve spent two days on. Do it around midnight or so. Hit the “publish” button and have a huge video of skyscrapers and fireworks pop up on your screen saying, “SURPRISE!!!”

    Then, discover you can’t get out of the video, which happens to have a WordPress logo on it. Bumble back to your edit page, be sure you’ve saved your last draft while you figure out what’s happening and then, as you finally get rid of that damned video, be confronted by a comment page that asks, “Well! What did you think about THAT?”

    I don’t know where my comment went, but it’s the first time I’ve sent something flying off into the ether in ALL CAPS and with none of the expletives deleted. The blog posted, but it took me an hour to recover.

    Sheesh. Enough with the surprises, already. Just be prepared. ;-)

    • April 20, 2010 at 4:03 pm

      I had a bizarre video pop up when I hit publish on my latest post, too. The whole screen went dark and then a video of hundreds of people banging on drums in sync played out before my eyes. A pop-up advertisement couldn’t have been more unwelcome. I think I’ll go back to plain-vanilla blogging.

  8. April 21, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Hahahahahha! This wonderful post made my day! Who needs laughs from WordPress when the world has Ian in Hamburg!

  9. 15 yg
    April 21, 2010 at 11:49 am

    strange feature. but your post about it made me laugh out loud. which i think was quite a surprise for the two others sitting in the office with me.

  10. April 22, 2010 at 9:04 am

    I’m not messing with my settings – I get enough nasty surprises at work without coming home to them too

    • April 22, 2010 at 9:47 am

      Oi, nasty surprises? Pray tell… or post!

      Another thing about this Surprise me thing is it swallows your avatar and spits out something else. Even if you switch it off back to normal, it doesn’t give it back.

  11. April 23, 2010 at 3:23 am

    I like it… I’ll have to check it out and get back into the swing of things!

  12. April 28, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    How on earth did I miss this? Peals of laughter at 01:15, but they were impossible to suppress. WordPress.com – now with more cowbell. So happy I turned that thang off.


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