The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Site Is Screwed Up

Posted on | October 1, 2010 | 33 Comments

In case you didn’t notice, The Other McCain was offline for about two hours in the middle of the day today. It is now back online. We are grateful to the gnomes and elves at the Enchanted Forest of Service Providers for their use of pixie-dust and other magical charms to repair the Rube Goldberg contraption that is our custom-hosted WordPress platform.

Meanwhile, however, the advertisements are MIA, as are several other usual features on the sidebars of the site. Smitty will probably restore these features shortly after I post this message, and will then add an update with some snarktastic commentary on my utter lack of appreciation of the technological gee-whizzery by which all this kind of stuff is accomplished.

Some people like to tinker with computers. I am not one of those people. Rather, I am compelled, by the nature of my occupation, to cope with computers. This puts me at the mercy of computer-tinkerers who, like all my friends who were invited to speak at Smart Girl Summit, get their most pleasant recreation by laughing at me behind my back.

My life’s purpose, it seems at times, was foretold by the title of a George Carlin comedy album, Occupation: Fool.

UPDATE: Smitty is offline, coping with real-world problems at a Chrysler dealership. Meanwhile, I present Portrait of a Blog Disaster:

What you see here is that we began the morning with a promising upward surge of traffic, which increased 26% from the 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. hour. At some point after 10 a.m., however, the magic inside the Enchanted Forest began to go awry. Visitors to the site began to have difficulty getting the page to load properly and, sometime between 11 a.m. and noon, the escalating failure became complete.

Blog traffic has a certain momentum. If other bloggers cannot access your site at 11 a.m., they cannot link your posts at noon. Regular readers who discover that your site will not load at noon might try again at 12:30, but if it doesn’t load the second time, they’re unlikely to try again soon. Ergo, the traffic lost during “down time” has a negative impact on every subsequent hour so that, after service was restored around 1 p.m., the level of traffic was lower than the 9 a.m. hour, and the promising momentum of the morning was lost.


Every new click onto the blog is an opportunity, you see, and every opportunity missed is a complete loss that can never be remedied. No matter how many thousands of people visit this blog on Saturday, we have lost forever the value of those several hundred would-be visitors who could not reach the site for those two or three hours during which we were not properly accessible. And every minute that the advertisements are “down” represents a loss of potential value to people who pay good money to advertise here.

It is the irreparable nature of these lost opportunities that depress me. A writer naturally wishes to think that his work has value, that his words edify the reader, who somehow benefits — becoming more informed, or at least being pleasantly amused — by the encounter. Who knows what benefit might have been gained by readers, had the site not gone down this morning?

Perhaps my conception of the blog, of its value to readers and advertisers, seems grandiose to some. Yet I occasionally get e-mails from readers who thank me for something I’ve written, making me aware that this project is at times more meaningful than my sarcastic humor may suggest.

To our readers and advertisers, then, I sincerely apologize for the loss represented by our technical problems today. No one regrets this more than I.


33 Responses to “The Site Is Screwed Up”

  1. Dan
    October 1st, 2010 @ 5:19 pm
  2. Joe
    October 1st, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

    Does Bob Shrum run this blog platform?

    Quote of the day from Andrew Sullivan:

    In case you were encouraged by the president’s barn-burning speech last night, Bob Shrum just predicted the Dems will retain the House and Senate. So it’s over for the Dems. Not since the late great – and equally congenial – Johnny Apple has someone been so wrong so consistently about everything. Nate Silver defends his prediction methods here – he has now upped the chances of a GOP Senate take-over from 15 percent two weeks ago to 22 percent today.

  3. Lou
    October 1st, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

    Let’s see you began a “tenacious” campaign for the powerhouse of Twitter, Ms. Milano to tweet you well could this be the result of her army of followers seeing who was this man who tweeted “OMG!OMG!OMG!”? LOL

  4. Robert M. Engstrom
    October 1st, 2010 @ 7:19 pm

    Here I was thinking that my blog had finally hit the big time with FMJRA Award in accordance with Rule 2, and BANG, technical problems take down the banner announcing that lofty achievement. Hope you get it all fixed soon.

  5. Paco
    October 1st, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

    Was Tim Geithner in charge, there, for a little while?

  6. Randy Rager
    October 1st, 2010 @ 10:48 pm

    Sullivan pretends to switch back to Republican in 3, 2…

  7. Stogie
    October 1st, 2010 @ 11:12 pm

    Stacy, are you sure you weren’t hacked?

  8. Estragon
    October 1st, 2010 @ 11:27 pm

    Actually I couldn’t access the site for at least an hour earlier this evening, so the problems may still be lurking out there like terrorists on the White House guest list.

  9. Lonely Conservative
    October 2nd, 2010 @ 12:38 am

    I couldn’t access it either. Be glad it wasn’t hacked with malware. I’m still recovering. Thanks, GoDaddy.

    I hope you get things back to normal soon. Best wishes.

  10. One Bright Ray Amid the Gloom : The Other McCain
    October 2nd, 2010 @ 12:47 am

    […] that (a) my friends got invited to speak at Smart Girl Summit while I did not, and (b) the blog went kablooey today. Things have been going from bad to worse ever since that deer killed my car, and the situation now […]

  11. TR Sterling
    October 2nd, 2010 @ 1:20 am

    So, in the George Carlin motif, you may say Occupation: Fool but in this economy there would be no shame to say you are at this time: Nobody’s Fool!

    And you can add Hannity to the list of things Other Bloggers Do as Dan Riehl was on tonight impersonating a rationale man of the new media (congrats to Dan).

  12. TR Sterling
    October 2nd, 2010 @ 1:21 am

    So, in the George Carlin motif, you may say Occupation: Fool but in this economy there would be no shame to say you are at this time: Nobody’s Fool!

    And you can add Hannity to the list of things Other Bloggers Do as Dan Riehl was on tonight impersonating a rational man of the new media (congrats to Dan).

  13. No, I do not rejoice about Robert Stacy McCain’s Misfortune | Political Byline
    October 2nd, 2010 @ 7:25 am

    […] on October 2nd, 2010 I have received a few e-mails inquiring my feelings about the fact that Mr. Robert Stacy McCain’s blog encountered some problems and was down; and is now being […]

  14. theblogprof
    October 2nd, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

    That 9:00am stat looks like a middle finger. That being said – how do you guys bottom out at night at over 50 visitors per hour and have the gall to complain! Sheesh! Plenty of bloggers will give some of their keyboard keys for such stats!

  15. Bob Belvedere
    October 2nd, 2010 @ 2:17 pm

    It was the Joooz!

  16. Rick Sanchez
    October 2nd, 2010 @ 2:18 pm


  17. Irish Cicero
    October 2nd, 2010 @ 10:23 pm

    Oh, thanks for that, Lonely Conservative. Can’t wait for that experience.

  18. mike
    October 4th, 2010 @ 2:54 am

    Haha I was worried you had ip banned me. Love your blog RSM!