Archive for the ‘Website’ Category

Mission Statement

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

Unbeknownst to most of you, I have won an internal battle. You know how they say that the personal blog is dead? Well, I’ve decided that it’s not, and that I will continue keep my blog general like I’ve always been.

I keep seeing all these specialized blogs that target certain niches. So, for a long time, I wondered if I should focus my efforts on only a narrow range of topics. I could have focused my blog on any one of these topics (in no particular order):
– Photography
– Clothes and accessories
– Music/Composition
– My experiences growing up as a Turkish American
– Drawings/Sketches
– Science, engineering, women in engineering
– Eating lots of delicious food
– Personal self-reflection and the wonders of being an introvert
– Work/life/art balance, how to derive the most satisfaction out of life
– Pigeons

The realization I came across as I browsed other blogs for inspiration was that I’m more intrigued by glimpses into individual people’s lives; I follow blogs for who their authors are. Interests may change, but the person’s essence is still there. As I see myself as a jack of all trades and I’m always dabbling in multiple things, a blog that addresses all of my interests simultaneously is most representative of my personality.

My instinct to diversify was confirmed by a readers’ poll I had posted here in 2010. I posted the same poll on my English and Turkish blogs, and below are the cumulative results. I was surprised to see that for the most part, there was roughly equal interest on a variety of topics.

The only result that caught me by surprise was the high demand for book-related posts. Really? Well, okay. For starters, here’s my Goodreads profile.

P.S. If you’re reading this in a reader, do me a favor and click through to the blog. New layout, ta-da!

The 100 Quotes of 2012

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Here is my Christmas gift to you all: a hundred new quotes added to my quotes page! These are all new quotes I’ve collected from my friends since my last update at the end of 2011. Below are all the new additions. To see all 2140 quotes, sorted into categories and ordered chronologically since the year 2000, go to The Quotes Page. Happy reading!

Keep reading below for the hundred new quotes…
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Zombie Queenoflub Vanquished!

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Today marks the end of the Zombie Queenoflub saga in my life, and I will tell you the story (as briefly as possible) now that it is all over.
Long-time fans of my website (yes, there are some!) know that my website used to be on the domain name queenoflub.com from 2000 until 2008. For obvious reasons, I grew out of the name and wanted to recreate my “brand” so it didn’t sound juvenile and idiotic for the rest of my life. In addition, I was not happy with the customer service in HostOnce, so I wanted to move to a new hosting company. It was a great opportunity for a fresh start.
I moved all my files to www.melikeyersiz.com and made the decision to let www.queenoflub.com expire and buy it again as soon as it expired. Who would want that stupid domain name, anyway? You can imagine my shock when I clicked the button at 12:01am the moment it expired and got the message that the domain name had already been sold! To someone else! It’s an unsettling feeling I’ll never forget.
The site remained parked for several months. During this time, I learned all about scavengers who snatch up domain names as soon as they expire and turn them into porn sites. I had no control over its destiny. The ugly name, which I despised for years, became something valuable and priceless to me for the first time in a long time, but it was too late.
One day I visited queenoflub.com and was hit with another surprise: a version of my website from 2005, with pop-up ads, broken links, and broken images. I was filled with horror as I wondered if the old host had kept all of my old files (including private ones) and transferred them to this new, disgusting guy’s account. Thankfully, that was not the case. A little bit of detective work proved that the guy had actually downloaded an archived version of my website from The Internet Archive, uploaded scraps of it to his new host, and added a bunch of ads. I suppose it was nice of him to revive the old website for nostalgia’s sake instead of turning it into a porn site, but I was not happy that he was now posing as a 20-year-old version of myself, with a personal profile that was embarrassing and out of date.
I once reported the abuse to the hosting company for the website, and had the material taken down. However, the evil person simply revived queenoflub using another hosting company a week later. I decided to leave it alone, since I didn’t want him to realize that somebody out there cares about this stupid domain name, in case I could someday contact him and make him an offer for it. For the past three years, I turned a blind eye to the whole thing, because ruminating on my stupidity and helplessness had become overwhelmingly stressful.
A few weeks ago, I decided to use GoDaddy’s DomainBuy service, where I use GoDaddy as a middle man to negotiate a price for the domain name. I wasn’t expecting much, as I had tried contacting the guy before with no response. To my surprise, this time he was willing to sell it! I jumped on that opportunity!
Today marks the day when I finally set up domain forwarding, so that old fans of queenoflub.com are redirected to melikeyersiz.com. I can’t tell you the relief I have felt ever since this large burden has been lifted off my back! I can move on with my life feeling a little better now.

Bye, Queenoflub

Screen capture of Zombie Queenoflub (with pop-up ad) before it was vanquished.

Tutorial: Adding a custom background to WPTouch

Friday, July 1st, 2011

If you aren’t satisfied with the background options WPTouch offers for the mobile version of your WordPress blog, all you need to do is follow this tutorial to dig into the code and customize to your heart’s content! Here’s a before/after comparison of mine:

Spiffy, no?

Note: You will need FTP access to your WordPress files to access/edit some of the content. I am not sure if this will work if your blog is hosted on wordpress.com. The alternative is to get WPTouch Pro, which has a lot more customization features and eliminates the need to hack into code (but it’s oh so fun!).

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One Pet Peeve Eliminated

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

My blog’s appearance on mobile phones had been bugging me the past few months. It looked just the way I designed it for a computer monitor, which is definitely not suited for reading on a mobile phone.

Well, I had a free Saturday night (which was not exactly free, as I had deliberately stayed at home to work on some creative endeavor), so I rolled up my sleeves and added a mobile version. It’s not as complicated as it sounds; I just enabled the appropriate WordPress plugin and figured out how it works. I’ll save the hardcore coding for a time when I’ll be brave enough to create a mobile version of Matchingfreak.

So here is how it looks now. Much better! I’m more likely to read blog posts that show up in this format on my phone. I have many pet peeves, so I might as well eliminate the ones I can control.

*10 Years of Blogging*

Monday, December 27th, 2010

I’m pleased to announce that today is the tenth anniversary of this blog. I vaguely remember the evening the winter break of my sophomore year of high school when I was bored enough to start a blog – isn’t that how all personal blogs have started, anyway? I accumulated a sizeable amount of writings over the past ten years that have been festering silently on my webspace. In commemoration of this milestone, I spent many hours this year sifting through all of the writings to tag and categorize each post. It enabled me to organize the blog and provided me with hours of introspection as I was reminded of my high school and college years.

The internet was almost unrecognizably different ten years ago:

  • My website was hosted on Geocities accounts. Actually, it was hosted on two Geocities accounts, because each account had a 2 MB storage limit.
  • My operating system was Mac OS9.
  • I used Netscape as my browser. Firefox didn’t exist.
  • I had a Yahoo! e-mail account. I checked it using Eudora!
  • People used AIM and ICQ for chatting.
  • Blog posts did not have titles.
  • Blog posts did not have commenting systems.
  • There were no tag clouds, no categories.
  • There were no news feeds. I visited my friends’ blogs by manually visiting each website every day.
  • Needless to say, there were no Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. The blog, back in the day, catered to all those needs.

As the Internet landscape changed, so did blogging and its place in the world. When I first started my blog in 2000, its purpose was to keep my friends updated with what I was doing every day in my life. The only people who read it were my closest friends and my parents and I was quite detailed with it. As my audience grew, web trends emerged, and I learned to filter my thoughts, the entries began to have more content. For instance, a lot of my old entries were one-liners, which I would today put in a Twitter feed. What is left behind are now the more distilled thoughts put in writing.

Blogs have become too rigid, in my opinion. Most blog entries resemble newspaper or magazine articles, and they almost always have at least one large image accompanying them; God forbid we post writing without a picture lest nobody will want to read it. It’s become so formulaic! Anything I post is now broadcast to upwards of 900 people on my Facebook feed, and 200 people on my Twitter feed. That puts a barrier on the amount of “garbage” I can post on my blog just because I feel like it.

The Internet and computer technology weren’t the only things that went through large changes in the past ten years. Obviously I changed, too:

  • I was fifteen years old when I started the blog, which is pretty obvious from the difference in maturity levels.
  • I had pretty crappy taste in music. I was passionate about music, but my tastes were misdirected. I’m so glad I majored in music in college.
  • It took a lot of self-discovery and time to find friends I liked, and figured out my place in social situations and relationships.

I was also surprised to see that some things haven’t changed at all:

  • While I’ve been able to handle the increasing workloads through high school and college, my sense of time management has always been faulty. Faulty but sufficient for the tasks at hand. It just means I get everything done, but with less sleep.
  • I’ve had amazing consistency through my activities, passions, and goals. I had always wanted to pursue the sciences and music at the same time. I ended up majoring in both in college and I still do my best to be functional in both.
  • Same as back then, I still get caught up in the Internet and have difficulty managing the amount of time I spend at the computer.
  • I used to love matching my outfits and wearing a different outfit each time long before Matchingfreak was born.
  • Choir was and will always be one of my favorite things, ever.
  • Apparently I’ve always been crazy about food. And pigeons.

Here’s to another ten years of blogging.

A poll for the audience…

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

I’ve been blogging for almost ten years with almost no knowledge of what my audience expects to read from me. Do you care to entertain me by checking the boxes for which topics seem most interesting to you, which ones will keep you coming back? I, in return, will entertain you by focusing more on the topics that seem to draw the most attention.


Of course, feel free to submit any other ideas in the comments section.

Ninth anniversary

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Today, this blog is nine years old.

How many bloggers can still say that about their blogs? I’m sure quite a few, but certainly not the majority.

Back when blogging was just becoming popular, it was mostly used in the way we use Twitter today – reflections on our daily moments that only a few of our friends would read. The purpose of blogging changed along with the landscape of the internet.

I’ve changed quite a bit over the past nine years, too. I was fifteen years old and in tenth grade when I started this very blog. The blog has been with me through high school, college, and now the rest of my life. I’d stopped for a while, and now I’m happy to be back.

Sometimes I cringe at some of the earlier things I’ve written, but I tell myself, “Well, I was a teenager.” Now try explaining that to every other person who reads them.

Bilinguality restored

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Long-time followers know that when I moved to this new domain name this year, I decided to build up the website from scratch, even though most of the same content would be transferred from the old website.

The most admirable quality of my old website (in my own opinion) was that it was bilingual; each blog entry, drawing description, composition summary, was written in both English and Turkish. It represents my biculturality while opening my website up to a wider audience.

I was a bit hasty when opening up my new site this year. I had just wanted the website up, so I had only done the English version as a start. Now I have finally managed to complete the Turkish version. All subsequent updates will be executed in both languages.

Blogs that inspired me to blog again

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

There are two kinds of blogs out there: Ones where almost all content is original by the writer, and ones that are solely dedicated to referring the reader to other content on the web.

The latter kind of blog owners post their findings (articles, YouTube videos, funny pictures) on the web to gloat about how good they are at browsing the web all day. Some even write commentary about other people’s work to give themselves a false sense of productivity. Judging from this mini-tirade, it may be obvious that these are not the kind of blogs I prefer to follow.

The blogs I like the most are usually kept by artists who mostly post their creative work, but they might, at times, link to something that inspires them. The entry lengths are not so long that you need to scroll three pages to read through. I find that I’m drawn to ones with pictures – but not blogs where each entry has a picture in it just for the sake of having a picture. Design is important, too; I’m immediately turned off from blogs with the generic Blogger template, but I’ll give them a chance. They don’t need to update every day; just enough for me to keep checking back. Correct spelling and grammar are, of course, a given. Not cluttered with ads.

I had been thinking about what to do with this blog, which I’d been keeping since 2000, and the blogs below were the ones solely responsible for inspiring me to start again:

  • Songs without Words – kept by my good friend Justin from college. His posts are always meaningful and display all kinds of creative work: writings, drawings, music, cooking, photography, other creative projects, or sometimes just a glimpse into his thoughts about other aspects of his life.
  • Phosphene – Fashion blog written by a medical student. There are many fashion blogs out there, but I only liked this one enough to follow it daily. I like the minimalistic design of the website, and I adore the photography she puts up of herself where she models her creations in front of lovely urban backgrounds.
  • Katie De Sousa paints stuff. – An art blog kept by an amazing digital painter. She explains some of the creative thought process behind her paintings and posts pictures of the works in progress.
  • Art blog of Lisa Falzon – Here is a blog by another great digital artist. Her paintings are beautiful, and I also like reading about her life in Cork, too.
  • ClareBayley.com – I’d been waiting for Clare to start her personal website for the past three years. So far, it has been well worth the wait!
  • emilyabigail.com – Okay, so this is the only blog that doesn’t fit my description of the ideal blog above, but I could safely say that this is the blog that made me decide to blog again. The blog, which has a very simple and elegant design, catalogues things that inspire the writer. I like her taste!

As for me, I need to find some time to sort through nine years of archives, screen some entries, and fix broken links as necessary. You don’t get to see the archives until then.