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Friday, August 1, 2008

Code Deficit Disorder, a silent, crippling addiction among many Great Blog Writers!

First a little background so you'll truly appreciate the horror of Code Deficit Disorder.

When I set up The Unloading Zone, it was designed to be a Web 2.0 learning experience for me. I never thought anyone would actually read it. It was my test lab. And you don't have to be kind; it's not the most attractive Blog on the planet; I know that.

There are websites and other Blogs you can go to that offer novice Bloggers like me free code to add things to my Blog or change it, and things called Widgets that can do all kinds of things.

So in the beginning, my Blog was two columns. I got some free code that made it three columns....kind of. You've seen my right column: it's shorter than the others. I got more free code to create my Table of Contents. But Google Blogger limited my Table of Contents to 25 posts.

I became frustrated and got more free code to get around that. And now I understand why there is a 25 post limit: my Table of Contents now runs well over a hundred links and you have to scroll WAY down to get to the end.

There are new things that break your post links into Categories and sub-Categories which is really cool. I could have a Snus Category with sub-Categories for Swedish Snus, The evil American so-called snuses and more. Same thing with Politics: Local, Texas, National, Illegal Immigration, etc.

Unfortunately, I didn't document any of my code changes plus I added a bunch of other code that caught my eye at some point and I don't remember what it's even for or where I inserted it!

So I'd like to pretty my blog up, but I'm scared to death to change anything else, the template is so hacked up. And apparently, some of the code attracted people to my Blog so I don't want to lose that!

I tried putting ads up for some color and graphics. It's not for the money: You Tube isn't even making a profit off of advertising. I just wanted to give my Blog some character. Then I noticed that it was taking longer for the pages to load. Could it be all those Widgets and Advertising?

So I did some more Blog Surfing and came across a Blog called Jay's corner . Jay has so much stuff on his Blog that in the time it has taken me to write this, Jay's corner is still loading Widgets.

Jay has all kinds of games, ads, free icons, other free stuff, cool looking stuff, links to great sites and, while there is only one Mr. Unloadingzone, I read some of his Blog Posts and they were really, really GOOD!

Just checked his Blog: The Super Mario Brothers Game widget is still loading. Everything else seems up, though.

Here's the HORRIBLE TRUTH: Jay and I are victims of Code Deficit Disorder (CDD). We LOVE to WRITE and to do it publicly but we don't know squat about SEO, HTML, Java, or any of that. So we start out small with one of Blogspot's 16 new templates........ and then the emails start.

"Optimize your website or blog!" they cry out. 'It's easy: here's how!' And it DOES look easy. After six tries, you get the first one right and you're SO PROUD of how your Blog looks!

You then begin displaying the first symptoms of Code Deficit Disorder: an inflated feeling of POWER. I altered my Blog Template's CODE! The very DNA of the Internet itself! I want to do MORE!

So now you're savvy enough to Google and find Websites and Blogs just FULL of new Code, new Templates, new Widgets, and posts about all the cool stuff you can do to your Blog!

Then Code Deficit Disorder symptoms advance to the "I'm a Freaking Programmer" delusion. You re-write your resume. Then you go to "work" on your Blog.

And each time it gets easier because you ARE learning about code....but you're learning how and where to PUT in and REMOVE code that someone else wrote. You still have no clue how to start from scratch and build a website.

But that doesn't stop you: you're a "Freaking Programmer" now, right? So you keep adding and changing code, using Meta Tag Generators to help with Search Engine Optimization (we professionals call that SEO), and you keep adding Widgets....there must be a MILLION of them out there, most are "free", and wouldn't that Exploding Countdown Clock look GREAT on your Blog?

Your Code Deficit Disorder has now advanced beyond your being a programming genius; now you think you're a Website Design Artist! You quickly add THAT to your resume too.

By the way, I just checked Jay's corner again and the Super Mario Brothers game still hasn't loaded.....BUT HAVING Code Deficit Disorder, as I was checking the rest of Jay's Blog, I was DRIVEN to click on a link: it took me to a website that had DOZENS AND DOZENS of tools to check your PAGE RANKING on like TWENTY DIFFERENT SEARCH ENGINES!!!!! And even more tools and Free Code!!!!!!!!!!

Without even thinking about it, I automatically added it to My Favorites under the "Blog Hacks and Tools" folder. Yep, Code Deficit Disorder again: the uncontrollable compulsion to add EVERY site that has ANYTHING you could use or do to your Blog to your "special folder" in My Favorites; ESPECIALLY Analytics Software.

Because now your CDD is so advanced your CONVINCED that you've optimized your Blog to the point where more people are visiting it than Google itself! You need to measure that, see what keywords and tags are most prevalent and FINE TUNE. And you have to keep "fine-tuning" because for some reason, your page rank just dropped a point. THE INTERNET MUST BE BROKEN!

Then you succumb to one of the final stages of CDD: paranoia. The Internet can't be broken, so some hacker jealous of your ingenious coding and Widgets has found a way into your Blog and is ATTACKING YOU!!!! He's adding malicious code!

That must be it: why else are my pages loading slower and slower. Why else does the latest SEO measuring program say I have 12,000 keywords, 1400 links and my Blog is now "Spider-Unfriendly"? OH MY GOD, my PAGE RANK just DROPPED AGAIN! MUST CHANGE CODE!!!!!!!!! MUST FIND HACKER AND KILL HIM/HER !!!!!!!!!!!!!

And then you suddenly realize you haven't written a Blog Post in 6 weeks. The whole reason you started with this; your love of writing and sharing your thoughts with the world. The joy of someone leaving a comment on your Post. All that has been forgotten. Code Deficit Disorder has destroyed the very reason you started a blog in the first place!

Fear sets in as you realize you really had no idea of what you were doing the whole time! What do you do? You become depressed and stop eating and sleeping. You fight the CDD by trying to write as many posts as you can. But you're writing out of desperation, not because you love writing anymore. Without help, you will finally write gibberish like a positive post on Hillary Clinton and then keel over dead from lack of sleep and too many Power Drinks.

Fortunately, I survived. I still move things around on my Blog but I don't add anymore code. And I only check StatCounter once a day now instead of 10 or 20 times a day. I'm using an e-therapist program I found on Google and it says in a couple of years, I may recover.

But I think of poor Jay and Jay's corner and wonder about him....and all the other Jay's and Mr. Unloadingzone's out there. What about them? Are they dying? Are the marriages falling apart?

Have they lost their jobs and homes? Are they huddled over their laptops in the local Starbucks with a used empty coffee cup searching frantically on Forums for help....or more Widgets?

And what about those using a Starbucks that's being closed down? When they shut the wireless Internet off, do they run screaming into traffic and commit suicide?

I called the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington. They blew me off. I called the Surgeon least put a warning label on modems! He didn't care.

I called the FDA. They left me on hold while they and Representative Waxman (D CA) were off investigating the distribution of "smokeless" tobacco to our troops and the marketing of "reduced risk" tobacco: In other words, my precious SWEDISH SNUS!

Crippled with CDD and now in danger of losing the only pleasure in my life, carcinogen-free, nicotine laden SWEDISH SNUS! .......OH NO! I just linked to my own post! Google Spiders HATE that. I'll lose more Page Rank! I wished I were dead.

But then I had a moment of clarity and decided to take action. I'm forming a Foundation to help Blogger's like Jay and I recover and get back to writing for the LOVE of it; not just to generate content.

It going to take time and a LOT of money, but the Foundation for the Victims of Code Deficit Disorder will one day find a cure. It won't be easy though.

First of all, I don't know how to get my Blog to take credit cards. You can't email your checks and I may be sick, but I'm sure as hell not giving out my mailing address.

Hmmmmm. I wonder if I Google "credit cards internet" what will come up? Enough of this stupid writing: I have to surf the web and find a credit card Widget!

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Anonymous said...

Oh God, thank you for exposing this deadly, yet shameful disease! It's about time someone brought it out CDD out in the open.

What are they waiting for? All the great bloggers to Die before the Government takes action? What would the internet be without blogs?

Help us! Now! Please!

Charlie said...

My name is Charlie and I have Code Deficit Disorder.

Jay's Mother said...

Hey, did you just compliment my son's writing or trash his Blog?

He can't help it if the Super Mario Brothers server crashed! He's a sweet boy just trying to make the world a better place!

How dare you say he has CDD! He's never even touched another man in his life!

Swedish Snus Lover said...

Excuse me, but screw this CDD thing. Did you just write that the FDA is going to make Swedish Snus illegal????????

This will not stand!

Anonymous said...

I never knew. I'm so sorry for you. Are you OK?

My fiance has a blog and lately he's been acting strange. He never leaves his computer anymore. We don't have dinner out anymore and he gets mad when I invite people over. And he keeps muttering S-E-O over and over.

Who can I call! I think he needs an intervention!

Rinie said...


Mrs. Unloadingzone

Mrs. Unloadingzone
"The Girl of my Dreams"